President-elect Obama: Are We Our African Sisters’ Keepers?
by Phyllis Chesler
 Oxfam America has launched a petition drive which asks President-elect Obama to “announce his plan to end sexual violence in Congo.” Their demand is a worthy one. In effect, they are calling upon America to become “our sisters’ keepers” in the heart of darkness that modern Africa has become.
As America faces the most serious economic recession (or depression) since the last century, as civil and national wars rage everywhere, and as the world faces continued acts of Islamic terrorism–Oxfam is telling Obama that, despite our own increasingly limited resources, that the American mission rises–or falls–as a function of whether this great nation can continue to spread justice elsewhere. It is an almost impossible mission. But prithee pause and hear what’s going on in only four African countries.
Congo has been characterized as “ A Hell on Earth for Women” in the Nouvel Observateur. Rightly so.
Remember the Hutus who perpetrated genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda? Well, more than 1.5 million of them fled to eastern Congo, to a place where the hills of Rwanda are still visible. There, they (and economic mercenaries, who are after gold, diamonds, ore, and hardwoods), have been committing rape as a “genocidal act.” Last year, a United Nations Report documented the “number of excess deaths due to Rwandan and Ugandan occupation as estimated at between 3-3.5 million.”
The rapes are unprecedented in “savagery, planning, and perversity.” The pattern is that of repeated, public gang-rapes of women, usually in front of their children and husband. Fathers are forced to rape daughters, brothers, and sisters. Most unusual, men are also sodomized. The ages of such victims range from 4 to 80. In one hospital, women require at least six operations to repair the damage of their “sexual injuries.”
It gets worse. Many husbands reject their raped wives and take away their only means of livelihood: their kitchen and farming utensils. And, the majority of rapist-soldiers and rapist-mercenaries have HIV/AIDS and/or syphilis which they pass on to their innocent victims. “Armed Hutus are the worse rape offenders” in this “war within a war.”
Onwards to South Africa where a woman or girl is raped every seventeen seconds.
According to WorldNetDaily, there is an epidemic of child rapes in South Africa. Way back in 2002, children were the victims of 41% of all rapes or attempted rapes. Since then, an increasing number of infants and toddlers have reportedly been raped. And why? Because South African men believe that sex with a virgin can cure their HIV/AID.
In 2008, in South Africa, 21,538 rapes or attempted rapes were of children under 18. However, most rapes go unreported. Why is the great Mandela not taking a stand? Why are African-American groups not taking a stand? According to WorldNetDaily, “This story has been largely ignored by the mainstream media in the United States and the Western world, in order to perpetuate the Mandela myth of the wonderful New South Africa,” said former Republic of South Africa military intelligence officer Koos Ven der Merwe.”
According to a 2008 Human Rights Watch Report, marital rape in southern Africa is epidemic and almost never reported.
Can we ever forget the news out of Somalia this past November, 2008? The Islamic government stoned Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, a 13 year-old victim of gang-rape to death in a stadium filled with 1,000 spectators. Words fail me on this one. Only action will do.
Darfur, Sudan? Clearly, tragically, the world learned nothing from the genocide of Armenians (which the Turkish government continues to deny), or from the Holocaust of European Jewry. It continued on its diabolical way in Algeria, (Islamic paramilitary groups kidnapped, raped, sexually enslaved girls and women); Bosnia, (women were systematically raped, both by Christian and Muslim men); Rwanda (women were systematically and publicly gang-raped and mutilated); and in Darfur, Sudan–where genocide and what I call “ gender cleansing” has been going on for years now. I have been writing about it since 2004.
Darfur proves that the United Nations is completely ineffective–except when it comes to demonizing and scapegoating Israel for the crimes being committed by others.
President-elect Obama: What are you going to do about the horrific violence that men in other countries are perpetrating upon women? How will you be able to convince our own multi-culturalists that we have the right to “interfere,” that we command the moral high ground to do so? How will you be able to convince unemployed Americans that our budget belongs not only to ourselves but to foreign lands too? How will you be able to convince our own isolationists and pacifists that “boots on the ground” might be the only thing that will stop a genocide or mass “gender cleansing” in progress? Most of all: How will you be able to convince the many victims of rape in America that our resources don’t belong to them first?
Sir: I do not envy you this task.
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