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Bloggingheads
04-12-2008, 08:29 PM

David Thomson
04-12-2008, 11:09 PM
The number one reason why the MSM rarely touches the issue of rapes in the Congo is due to political correctness. Dark skinned men are normally the perpetrators and therefore one is deemed racist for pointing it out. It really is that simple. Robert Mugabe and the other thugs in Africa have little to worry about from guilt tripped whites residing in the West. After all, we are supposedly imperialist victimizing the denizens of the Third World. Are we also not living in a multicultural world? Who are we to impose our decadent values on the rapists?

The United States liberated the people of Iraq. Have we already forgotten the institutionalized rape during Saddam Hussein’s era? What thanks did the Bush administration receive for this noble act? The same thing would occur if anybody even seriously thinks about saving the women of the Congo. At the end of the day, the dishonest pacifists of the Left refuse to engage in violence to help them. Lastly, Lisa Jackson needs to realize that folks like Mark Leon Goldberg are just waiting to stab her in the back. He is not an ally.

Eastwest
04-13-2008, 12:08 AM
Just want to take the opportunity to repudiate Mr. Thomson's insanely off-the-wall post. There's not one micron of truth in the whole thing. So gratuitously off the map as to diagnose him as unfit to be engaged in conversation.

The reasons for MSM not covering it are more obvious:

1) The horribly unpleasant nature of the phenomenon doesn't boost ratings.

2) MSM is not really interested in delivering important information, especially when its hard to make a case for urgent US interests (like compassion). MSM is "entertainment," not "news."

3) MSM would look on it as: "We don't have a dog in that fight," hence not a good media product.

etc, etc.

The bit about the Left's having no honesty or sincere interest in international justice and also the bit about the wonderfully heroic thing that Dunderhead Bush did for us in Iraq, etc. -- Not just absurd, but amazingly unintelligent.

Most offensive is the remark about Mr. Goldberg (who does so much to bring important issues to light here on BHTV) being poised to figuratively stab the film maker in the back. Completely disgusting.

EW

Eastwest
04-13-2008, 12:12 AM
Much thanks to Mark and Lisa for bringing this ghastly reality to light for a much wider audience.

I consider the making of the film to be heroic.

Pressure needs to be brought to bear on all fronts. As long as this huge disaster remains hidden and hence tacitly endorsed, it will just go on and on unchallenged.

I pray the film will get huge primary and secondary circulation.

EW

David Thomson
04-13-2008, 12:49 AM
"Pressure needs to be brought to bear on all fronts."

At the end of the day, the pressure mostly required is the violent acts of trained soldiers. “Dialoguing” with the rapists is next to worthless. Mark Leon Goldberg and his utopian buddies will not even begin to seriously discuss using force. They naively believe that flapping their jaws alone is somehow useful. George W. Bush closed down the rape rooms in Iraq. He ordered our soldiers to push Saddam Hussein out of power. The same thing will have to occur in the Congo. And needless to add, there will be a number of body bags containing our soldiers sent back to the United States. How many dead Americans will Mr. Goldberg deem acceptable? Will he fight the inevitable back stabbing of the Democrats in the U.S. Congress? I don’t think so.

Eastwest
04-13-2008, 01:12 AM
Additional point, specifically as regards Bush's supposed heroics in Iraq:

Nobody, but nobody, has done more to destroy the US ability to speak from the high ground of moral authority and marshal international action on important issues of this sort than the Bush administration through the actions it has taken in Iraq and to no small degree, in Afghanistan as well.

(See Moyers on "The Buying / Selling of the War," Alex Gibney's "Taxi to the Dark Side" and FrontLine's "Bush's War.")

So, not only is Bush no hero in this regard. Through destroying international goodwill to the US while visiting every sort of incompetence possible on Iraq, Bush has become really an emblem of deep shame for the American people.

Even skipping the economic devastation that Bush's policies have brought on domestically, the recovery from his worst-president-in-US History performance will take decades for this country to recover from. (If, in fact, we can recover at all.) He and his cronies have done a marvelous job of bringing on the end of US pre-eminence. The downward spiral may be beyond recovery.

EW

bjkeefe
04-13-2008, 01:53 PM
I agree with you, Eastwest: The making of this film was incredibly courageous. I salute Lisa Jackson's efforts and I hope that she succeeds in raising a ton of awareness among Americans.

I'd add one more possible explanation to the reasons you gave for why this situation is so far below most Americans' radar: hearing such stories leaves one overwhelmed at the scale of the atrocities and worse, feeling impotent to do anything about it.

It is obvious to anyone who is less of a crackpot than David Thomson that there is no military solution; it is clear from Lisa's description of the geography, the number of soldiers running amok, and the fragmentation of the region that (a) there is no well-defined "enemy" to attack, and (b) the number of occupying troops that would be required to restore order would be at least in the hundreds of thousands. No sane person would say that we're anywhere near to maintaining a safe environment in Iraq -- a smaller region, surrounded by governments much more interested in maintaining order -- and it's costing the US $3 billion/week and a near total concentration of its army just to be able to keep things from completely boiling over there.

I have no idea how to go about addressing problems like this, but it does seem that the first step is making people in rich countries realize what is going on. Talk, alone, will not solve the problems that Lisa documented, but I can only hope that her efforts get things moving. Also, I can only hope that a strong majority of our population does not suffer from the insensitivity, racism, and general pigheadedness of people like David Thomson. If he is at all representative of a shared mindset, we're probably already doomed.

David Thomson
04-13-2008, 02:33 PM
"It is obvious to anyone who is less of a crackpot than David Thomson that there is no military solution..."

In other words---nothing is going to get done. A few left-wing "concerned people" will place bumper stickers on their cars and hold white wine and Brie cheese parties on behalf of the women in the Congo. Unfortunately, Only the disciplined use of violence will save these women. Anyone denying this harsh fact of life is a dishonest pacifist.

AemJeff
04-13-2008, 03:01 PM
In other words you haven't said a serious thing in this thread yet. Your only argument is "left-wing people are idiots and don't agree with me, therefore..." Try something novel, like facts and logic please.

bjkeefe
04-13-2008, 03:37 PM
"It is obvious to anyone who is less of a crackpot than David Thomson that there is no military solution..."

In other words---nothing is going to get done. A few left-wing "concerned people" will place bumper stickers on their cars and hold white wine and Brie cheese parties on behalf of the women in the Congo. Unfortunately, Only the disciplined use of violence will save these women. Anyone denying this harsh fact of life is a dishonest pacifist.

David:

I am going to give you a large benefit of doubt here, and respond to your remarks seriously. Perhaps you are new to this forum, and you are unaware how offensive your tone is. You're entitled to express your opinions, and we welcome differing viewpoints, but I strongly encourage you to frame your argument in something other than stereotypes that would be laughable in their immaturity if they weren't so close to hate speech.

I will be the first to agree that the problems that Lisa Jackson described aren't going to be solved by people placing bumper stickers on their cars, any more than magnetic yellow ribbons are helping to rebuild Iraq. However, as I said in my earlier comment, the first steps in solving a problem are for people to become aware that the problem exists and to be frequently reminded that it's not going away. So, while bumper stickers may be close to an empty symbolic gesture, they are not nothing.

To your image of wine- and cheese-quaffing liberals I can only say that you're not going to win any respect on this site by repeating the mindless tropes of talk radio. The participants in this forum are way above being impressed by such caricatures. If it is your aim to sway opinions by repeating such nonsense, be aware that the only direction the pendulum will move is farther away from your point of view.

Also, people being concerned is far better than people being apathetic or clueless. You're certainly not going to get anywhere until you start building support for whatever solutions you propose. Therefore, it seems inappropriate to belittle people who are one step ahead of the rest of us by describing them with air quotes. In fact, if you look at the history of attempts to address injustices, more often than not, the successful ones start exactly this way, with a few concerned people.

To your assertion that only "disciplined use of violence will save these women," I will stipulate that military and/or police force may be a part of what's necessary in this situation. I am then moved to ask: Who is going to supply the disciplined troops? Who is going to pay for the equipment and support such troops will require?

It seems to me that without addressing these questions, your vague militaristic exhortations are no less empty than the other approaches you ridicule.

There's another possibility here, of course. It could be that you're well aware of the limitations of your arguments and that you have no real interest in having any kind of serious discussion, and that instead, your sole purpose for polluting these threads with your bile stems from some twisted sense of self-amusement. If this is the case, I would ask you to find some other place to play.

dankingbooks
04-13-2008, 04:20 PM
www.dankingbooks.com (http://www.dankingbooks.com)

I admire Lisa Jackson's efforts to bring the Congo to the world's attention, but frankly, she is just the worst possible spokesperson for her cause. This diavlog is just so wrong on so many levels.

1. She passingly condemns the "multinationals" for causing this catastrophe. She says that the thrive on the chaos that allows them to make great profits. Horsefeathers. The so-called "multinationals" (otherwise known as honest business) are the last remaining link between Congo and the civilized world. They are part of the solution, not the problem. She suggests that you & I are complicit because we buy cell-phones. This is a slander unworthy of her cause.

2. She says that the effect of war on women has rarely before been considered. I guess she's never hung around college campuses very much. Every other history, English, political science, economics, etc., class is titled "Women and ..." There is absolutely no way this issue is ignored. Quite the contrary - campus feminists have expanded the definition of "rape" to the point of complete meaninglessness, with terms such as "date rape" or "acquaintance rape". Some of them even think any heterosexual relationship is "rape". Far from ignoring the issue, they have effectively devalued the meaning of rape to the point where it is no longer possible to take them seriously. This is too bad for the Congo, because in that case rape really is a serious issue.

3. She suggests that the solution to all of this is some kind of criminal justice procedure, and that in particular, high government officials should go to The Hague. But if millions of women have been raped, then it follows that millions of men are rapists. Does she really propose to put them all in jail? Or does she think the problem will be solved if only the few for whom a criminal case can be made are put in jail? This is not a solution - it is a farce.

4. She says that rape is weapon of war. Were it not for her inane comment about the "multinationals" (who presumably wield the weapon), I'd let the comment go as an inaccurate figure of speech. But it is wrong. War is simply an extension of men fighting over women, and in a lawless, completely uncivilized environment, we revert to the worst of human nature. Men are not fighting over resources - those just help pay the bills - they are fighting over women. Rape is the cause and goal of this war.

The only solution is the massive intervention by a highly-disciplined, well-trained, civilized, professional army, e.g., the United States Marine Corps. Feckless peacekeepers from Uruguay or Fiji just won't be able to do it. Unfortunately, the Marine Corps has other commitments right now, so they're not likely to ride to the rescue. The whole thing is tragic beyond despair. Think of Sherman's March to the Sea - but without Abraham Lincoln's civilizing hand.

dankingbooks
04-13-2008, 05:05 PM
Does anybody have a guess on how many people will die when Lisa Jackson's film is shown in the Congo? More than a few, I'd guess. But I suppose it doesn't matter much - life is cheap.

www.dankingbooks.com (http://www.dankingbooks.com)

bjkeefe
04-13-2008, 06:15 PM
danking:

I think you oversimplify part of Lisa'a argument. I think it is not untrue that part of what causes -- and prolongs -- wars is struggle for control over limited resources. This is true for the examples she gave in Africa as much as it is true for the never-ending battles over the oil-rich regions of the Middle East. Is the fight over natural resources the only explanation? No. But it is a part of it, and it is a large part of why, once started, such fighting is so hard to stop. Everyone even remotely close to the situation has thoughts like "How can I take advantage of this situation" and "If the fighting eventually dies down, how would I be best positioned to take advantage of that development? There is easy money to be made in chaotic situations by being one of the few that can deliver an in-demand product, and there are reasons to prefer a sustained breakdown of the social order; e.g., the ability to exploit workers without fear of punishment from a strong government.

There is a little something to your point about terms like "date rape" having the unfortunate side-effect of lessening the shock of the term "rape" in situations like Jackson describes. Nonetheless, it is inarguable that "date rape" is rape, and I think you go way overboard in fretting about the titles certain college courses have. This latter is just misogynistic drivel. You also undermine your own point -- you seem be arguing that, simultaneously, there is too much attention and not enough attention being paid to the same issue.

Your claim that wars are ultimately caused by men fighting over women is just inane. I'm not even going to debate that one. I just wanted to state for the record that at least one person finds this idea boneheaded.

Glad to see you drift back to reality by acknowledging that the US is not going to be able to supply the troops for a massive pacification effort.

David Thomson
04-13-2008, 06:18 PM
"I will stipulate that military and/or police force may be a part of what's necessary in this situation. I am then moved to ask: Who is going to supply the disciplined troops? Who is going to pay for the equipment and support such troops will require?"

This is indeed the most important question to be answered. Everything else is secondary. The rapes in the Congo are not going to stop until disciplined troops are sent into the area. Who is going to pay for their services and how many body bags being sent back to their homeland will be tolerated? If somebody is trying to change the subject---then you have the full right to describe them as a white wine guzzing, Brie chesse eating, yuppie left-winger who is wasting your time.

dankingbooks
04-13-2008, 10:47 PM
BJKeefe,

Date rape, as I understand it, is when a woman has sex with her date, and then regrets it the next morning. This does not seem to have much relevance to the situation in the Congo.

Why is worrying about the college curriculum "misogynistic drivel"? If I think that the devaluation of rape a) is part of the college curriculum, and b) makes solving problems in the Congo even harder, then why am I misogynistic in bringing it up?

My point is that college professors, e.g., the ones who brought you the Duke Lacrosse case, or who hugely exaggerate the problem of "rape" on campus, are the ones most responsible for the devaluation of rape (the real thing - not fake varieties like "date rape"), and thus make solving the problems of the Congo all the more difficult.

Do you think that anybody who disagrees with you is "boneheaded?"

I'm curious, re my post "dead people", if you think Lisa Jackson's movie will help people in the Congo, or hurt them, or have no effect? I suggest it will mostly have no effect, but if shown in the Congo it will lead to a wave of revenge killings (and rapes).

I don't think there is anything anybody in the USA can do about the situation in the Congo. I know that's depressing, but it seems to be simply the truth. So I guess you liberals can have wine & cheese parties with good cheer. Enjoy.

www.dankingbooks.com (http://www.dankingbooks.com)

AemJeff
04-13-2008, 11:10 PM
So I guess you liberals can have wine & cheese parties with good cheer.

Wow, another one. How is that that some folks can't figure out that using the word "liberal" as a pejorative is just witless?

If your larger argument is that publicity for this sort of thing is counterproductive, what would you suggest? Suck it up, accept the inevitable, close our eyes and think of England? Or is it just this tragedy that should be ignored? If so, how is it that we determine which ones to close our eyes to?

David Thomson
04-13-2008, 11:43 PM
"How is that that some folks can't figure out that using the word "liberal" as a pejorative is just witless?"

It is entirely accurate to say that left-wingers are looking for any excuse to host a white wine and Brie cheese party---instead of doing something sensible. This is especially true when disciplined violence is the only real answer to a problem. Their dishonest pacifism prevents them from facing reality.

dankingbooks
04-13-2008, 11:57 PM
I did say I didn't think there was much anybody in the USA could do about the Congo. I believe that is generally true of Lisa Jackson's movie - it will mostly have no effect. But if shown in the Congo, it might lead to the deaths of many people.

It does seem to me that Lisa Jackson needs to at least consider that possibility before she shows the movie in the Congo. Otherwise she is being rather selfish.

Thinking of England is not such a bad idea. Neither is playing tiddlywinks. Frankly, I'd prefer a good glass of wine, accompanied by some excellent cheese.

One should choose battles one can win. Bush thought that he could win in Iraq. I think he was right, though many disagree with me. But we certainly can't win in the Congo - that is truly a lost cause. And short of military force, I see no other viable suggestions. Wine & cheese is the best anybody has come up with so far - it isn't just liberals who are witless.

bjkeefe
04-14-2008, 01:27 AM
DanKing:

Date rape, as I understand it ...

Clearly, you don't.

... is when a woman has sex with her date, and then regrets it the next morning.

No. Date rape is when a woman is forced by her date to engage in sex when she doesn't want to. Have there ever been exaggerations or completely false accusations? Of course. But that doesn't change the reality of the situation for the overwhelming majority of the cases.

This does not seem to have much relevance to the situation in the Congo.

It's just a matter of degree. The act of violation is the same. And as far as relevance goes, you were the one who started comparing the two, not me.

Why is worrying about the college curriculum "misogynistic drivel"?

That's not what you said originally. You said, much more specifically:

Every other history, English, political science, economics, etc., class is titled "Women and ..."

I invite you to link to the course offerings listing of any accredited university where 50% of the courses in any of these departments have this title.

Okay, so you were using hyperbole to make a point. Show me any example within an order of magnitude of "every other."

And what's your problem with some courses being taught from the perspective of the other half of the human race, anyway?

Do you think that anybody who disagrees with you is "boneheaded?"

No. But I think your claim that wars are ultimately caused by men fighting over women is. Go review the post (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=73949#post73949) if you don't believe me. I was talking about precisely one assertion that you made.

I'm curious, re my post "dead people", if you think Lisa Jackson's movie will help people in the Congo, or hurt them, or have no effect?

I don't know enough about the region to make a meaningful prediction. However, I expect that she, and whoever else is in charge of showing the film, will consider the risks. In general, I'm of the belief that airing out dirty laundry is always a good thing, and it's hard for me to think that the possibility of a few riots in response to such screenings is worse than letting things continue as they are.

So I guess you liberals can have wine & cheese parties with good cheer.

You really think this makes your argument stronger? Maybe you are a bonehead.

opposable_crumbs
04-14-2008, 11:29 PM
I can't say I look foward to seeing this film, as the stories mentioned seem truly heartbreaking, but I wish the film every success and comend the director for her work.

It was recently announced that thje Chinese goverment has decided to invest heavily in developing the Congolose infrastutucture, including the construction of a number of hospitals and health centers. Hopefully this, combined with any calming influence the deal may bring, can start to heal the wounds that have been so brutally inflicted on this country.

themightypuck
04-16-2008, 12:11 PM
You are probably right that we will do nothing about the Congo. Does it follow from this that the film is a bad thing? You seem to be positing a very black and white world view where one either does nothing or commits everything. This seems naive. People do what they can do and sometimes it makes a difference.

Tim_G
04-25-2008, 07:25 PM
Somehow an evil Western capitalist must be behind this.