You know, dear Kossacks, you think you've read about the most horrible events in the world, depravity of unimaginable dimensions, and you wonder can it get much worse? Then you read about this.
Congolese women being brutally, systematically and savagely raped. Some left so mutilated, that they will never have children, or go to the bathroom in a normal fashion.
Last week I attended the Clinton Global Initiative, it was a sobering experience, because as they say, it put things in perspective.
In the United States we have unforgivable poverty. But we
have had a government and we will have a government again--on January 20, 2009. We also have the resources, and as the richest nation on the planet, it defies belief that we have such vast poverty. But if we as a society wanted to, we could to a large extent, ameliorate the terrible suffering of many Americans.
The political class, which grows more and more worthless with each passing day, is largely responsible for this deplorable state of affairs in the United States. But we also have the ability to get rid of these losers and elect people who will recognize their moral responsibility to address and correct the shame of American poverty.
The Third World on the other hand, is filled with tens, hundreds of millions of human beings living in what is known as extreme poverty. Many of these people live in refugee camps some are displaced people who have been forced to leave their homes for reasons such as religious or political persecution, war or natural disaster.
This article in the New York Times about African women being sadistically tortured and raped is graphic, revolting, sickening and almost impossible to fathom. But you must read it, and you must feel intense anger, revulsion and pain. Please do not shield yourself from this barbaric reality. Hug the person you love, then understand what is transpiring at this very moment on our planet.
Savage Rapes Stoke Trauma of Congo War
BUKAVU, Congo — Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynecologist, cannot bear to listen to the stories his patients tell him anymore.
Soldiers and militiamen have raped women around Bukavu.
Every day, 10 new women and girls who have been raped show up at his hospital. Many have been so sadistically attacked from the inside out, butchered by bayonets and assaulted with chunks of wood, that their reproductive and digestive systems are beyond repair.
"We don’t know why these rapes are happening, but one thing is clear," said Dr. Mukwege, who works in South Kivu Province, the epicenter of Congo’s rape epidemic. "They are done to destroy women."
Then I hope you will also take a few minutes to acquaint yourselves with the End Poverty 2015 Millenium Campaign.
At the 2000 UN Millennium Summit, world leaders from rich and poor countries alike committed themselves - at the highest political level - to a set of eight time-bound targets that, when achieved, will end extreme poverty worldwide by 2015.
These are some statistics you should be aware of:
* Half the world — nearly three billion people — live on less than two dollars a day. * The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the poorest 48 nations (i.e. a quarter of the world’s countries) is less than the wealth of the world’s three richest people combined. * Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names. * Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen. * 1 billion children live in poverty (1 in 2 children in the world). 640 million live without adequate shelter, 400 million have no access to safe water, 270 million have no access to health services. 10.6 million died in 2003 before they reached the age of 5 (or roughly 29,000 children per day).
Here are some more unbearable facts:
Each year, more than 8 million people around the world die because they are too poor to stay alive.
Over 1 billion people—1 in 6 people around the world—live in extreme poverty, defined as living on less than $1 a day.
More than 800 million go hungry each day.
Over 100 million primary school-age children cannot go to school.
All of this is even more disquieting than usual because it comes on the same day that the New York Times ran a front page story entitled Age of Riches: $6 Million for the Co-op, Then Start to Renovate. This was about New Yorkers who spend millions of dollars to purchase an apartment, then spend millions more to renovate it.
And as we laugh about Larry (the latrine) Craig, David (the diaper) Vitter, and General Betrayus. As we fight amongst ourselves on Daily Kos about Clinton, Obama and Edwards, remember that most of the world wishes they could amuse themselves with such stuff.
But they can't, because they just want to live to see sunrise.