Angelina Jolie opening remark:
It is a myth that rape is an inevitable part of conflict...There seems to be a cynical belief that this statement is naive. The unspoken opinion is that rape is just part of war, always has been and always will be. But, this notion is just a cop out. Genocide also used to be considered an ordinary part of war, as horrific as it is. But, we decided as a world that Genocide is a war crime and made an effort to prosecute its practitioners. As a result, this form of mass murder has become a bit less prevalent, if not more politically toxic. Mass murder still happens, it's just not as convenient to accomplish.
Of course, there is still a lot of mass killing in the world. However, Had it not been for the change in the culture of war away from genocide, there would have been, for example, a lot more civilian casualties in Syria's recent upheaval. Clearly, it was the cultural shift away from genocide that allowed us to get those chemical weapons away from Bashar al-Assad and avoid their widespread use against more innocent Syrians. Genocide is our cue to get involved in regional conflicts, something regional warlords don't want. Assad was largely swayed by the threat of U.S. intervention, but all that hinges on our willingness to spend our blood and treasure for the sake of principles.
Humanity has solved many daunting problems like a shrinking Ozone Layer and Acid rain. We can certainly reduce the incidents of rape in conflicts around the world by simply calling it what it is, a war crime, and vigorously prosecuting it. The only thing that stands in our way is the politics of contrarianism that is being used by multinational corporations to turn America into a failed state. But, judging by a new tide of isolationist sentiments that seem to be fracturing the Right (Cue: Glenn Beck's recent epiphany "not one more life..."), that Contrarianism may be wearing thin. If in fact the tide is shifting, we may at least be able to get rid of the ban on abortion attached to U.S. humanitarian aid. Achieving much beyond that depends on the quality and depth of the moral fracture Glenn Beck has shown us may actually be at hand.
The Security Council’s call for access to abortion for war rape victims stands in stark contrast with the United States’ categorical ban on abortion attached to its humanitarian aid for war victims. Because the United States is the largest humanitarian aid donor in the world, its anti-abortion policy, which contains no exceptions for rape, life or incest, affects the medical care provided to women in every war zone.