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whatnot's avatar

What can Americans do to stop gang-rapes in the Congo?

Asked by whatnot (589points) August 24th, 2010

“The eastern Congo is known as the “rape capital of the world” where savage mobs use sexual violence to subdue the population and vie for control of the “conflict minerals” used to make cell phones and laptops around the world” (from: As Many as 200 Women, Babies Gang-Raped in Congo).

Reportedly, U.S. Secretary of State H.R. Clinton says ending the violence in the region is a personal priority. What can she do?

Considering the nature of warfare used in the Congo, what can anyone do to end this violence towards women and girls as young as 5 years old, and towards men and baby boys (the soldier and rebels attack anyone in their way)?

Reading the article makes me think about the laptop and cell phone I’m using, and wonder about the rape victims who suffered violence in order for me to have such luxuries. Is there anything an average American can do for the victims?

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11 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Not much.

We can ask the State Department to put pressure on them to stop it.

We could ask Congress to pass a resolution condemning it.

CMaz's avatar

One of the most F’ed up things going on in this world at this stage in history.

And, there is nothing we can do.

Austinlad's avatar

This is an awful situation, as are so many others on the globe, but unilateral help is hopeless. I certainly believe the U.S. should do its fair share to make the world a better place, but people are being raped, killed and robbed in this country. People are starving in this country. People are homeless in this county. People are uneducated in this country. Infrastructure is broken in this country. Let our government commit more effort and money to domestic problems.

le_inferno's avatar

The reality is, it’s very admirable that America likes to play white knight and try to fix other country’s problems, but honestly? It’s really not our job. For example, we’re trying to make Iraq a democracy? For what? Thousands of American lives? I just don’t get it. It’s a futile practice to try to make everyone play nice, to make everyone be like us. It’s a sad truth, but there it is. America needs to stop wasting its resources.

kevbo's avatar

This is a symptom of a gigantic “problem,” that being the deliberate subjugation of African nations for the benefits of military and economic colonialism (as well as to foment population control). As long as those nations are fractured, natural resources are there for the taking. As long as “our” population-at-large remains ignorant of the fulcrum of the rape and pillage (that happens on many levels) that bring disaster to others for “our” benefit, it can continue.

The closest thing I have to an answer is that there needs to be more and a more potent global awakening to the cause and effect that leads to this and every other institutionalized atrocity. As long as we remain ignorant of and tolerant of this kind of injustice it will continue to exist. I once read that “people (i.e. individuals) will endure exactly the amount of abuse they think they deserve and no more.” I think that sentiment applies somewhat globally as well in that societies will tolerate exactly the amount of injustice that they are unwilling or unable to see or feel competent or compelled to stop.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, who has pretty much told presidential administrations how to conduct their foreign policy since Carter, if not earlier (i.e. is one of the men behind the curtain in a Wizard of Oz sense) has commented ’... that for the first time in human history, mankind is politically awakened… to global iniquities, inequalities, lack of respect, exploitation…’, so there’s a glimmer of hope in that statement, whether Brzezinski’s words should be taken at face value or regarded as coded speech.

On the other hand, the six global media conglomerates and their allied global industries (Big Pharma, Defense, Big Agra, and the like have a vested interest in keeping “us” in the dark with respect to many of these injustices because they couldn’t make insane profits and otherwise the U.S. government or the “shadow government” couldn’t maintain such a tight grip on international affairs and security. Nowadays (or perhaps for a few decades), the game seems to be weapons of mass distraction—fractured media that deliver one side of the truth OR the other, shows that make sport of the obviousness of spin, or old fashioned muckraking about issues that inflame passions over “problems” of lesser importance. Even in the article you link to, it’s said to be a mystery why this hasn’t been reported sooner. How many mysteries do we suffer before we put two and two together and realize that it’s not mysterious, it’s just systematic and systematically hidden?

See a few thoughts on a similar atrocity here.

Seek's avatar

We can’t stop rape in our own country. What the hell are we going to do over there?

Randy's avatar

The people of the congo, and other guerrilla warfare countries as well, grow up with violence and rape as a part of their childhood. They grow up on a system that teaches if you want something, take it and kill the people who try to stop you. Do you really think that kind of mentality can be changed? That mentality eradicates all fear of death because the rebels know that they could die any minute of any day. They know how easy it is to kill someone and how easy it is to be killed. Someone who isn’t scared to die is a pretty tough enemy to face.

There isn’t much that anyone can do, let alone a normal, everyday, “soft” US citizen.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Interested organizations could hire Blackwater/Xe Services to go there and kill the perps. Put the psychos to good use for once.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’m with @Seek_Kolinahr – we might start by eliminating gang rape here in the U.S. or telling people who blame the victim to fuck off.

Tomfafa's avatar

It would take very little effort to be surprisingly effective against the cowards who commit these horrible atrocities. The UN is a fraud in this department… as most countries are. If the US had the will… we could do sooooo much.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. What should happen or need to happen will never happen. As hard as it is to accept, nothing will happen, first off is because it is Africa. There is no strategic or monetary incentive there for Uncle Sam. Most of the world will not act unless Uncle Sam is leading the way. The only interest the US would have in Congo is to keep them on a leash well enough that they oppose any fingerprint of Al Qaeda there. Maybe blame Al Qaeda for the rapes the US will rush in there. A study say there is more than ⅓ of a million women raped in the Congo every year, that was way more than the 50 or 70k estimated rapes in the Bosnian War, but the media was all over the rapes there and the world was in an uproar; after all it was Europe. Dismiss it if you will but how else can you see it?

As @incendiary_dan say, maybe the only way to slow it down before you can stop it, is to arm the women. Who will provide the weapons and training? The US won’t do it as mentioned before and if Uncle Sam is not involved he ain’t giving no guns or manpower. The fear that Al Qaeda will get there hands on it is more important than 1,000s of women and young girls being raped; after all, it is not Europe.

A booby-trap ”rape condom” might work for a while but then the woman will have a gun to her head and an order to take it out or get shot, or they might threaten to shoot her kids, husband or parents if she don’t, then after she complies and they brutally rape her shoot her for having it.

It has gone on so long it is probably part of the culture, “if you are big enough and strong enough to take it from a woman or girl, you take it.” As debase and tragic as it is, little will happen because the US don’t care, and if the US don’t care others will care little also. There is little more than can be done than alreay is being done, with the amount of apathy in the climate today.

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