The other day, driving down the motor way and enjoying the beautiful scenery, my iphone brought me this podcast from NRK radio 2. For those not conversant in Norwegian, I suggest using google translate to get the general gist of the story in the accompanying article.
This is no minor issue, in particular from two organizations that seem to have it in for Israel, and deals with how these two organizations failed to protect Tutsi refugees who were seeking refuge in Eastern Kongo back in 1994.
I have taken it upon myself to translate a couple of excerpts of the interview with Norwegian Church Aid General Secretary Atle Sommerfeld
… this is our grave sin of omission… it made a great impression on me when I learned that the hills surrounding the town [Bukavu], were taken by Hutu paramilitaries, who continued their genocidal propaganda…. I was told that they were armed, so therefore we did not dare to anything to them…. Nobody dared to do anything, and nobody has the power to do so either… But beyond that I cannot say with certainty that the Norwegian Church Aid reported this to the UN, querying them [UN] what to do….
The last paragraph of this article is jaw dropping:
The long term consequence of the fact that hundreds of thousands of armed soldiers related to the Hutu extremists never were disarmed, is that Eastern Kongo has become a chronic combat zone. 2 million people have become refugees in their own country, Kongo, and reports about massacres and rapes are endless.
So here we have it, these supposed humanitarians who make such a great song and dance about how moral and ethical they are, in fact have greatly contributed to an unprecedented humanitarian tragedy, with more than 5 million dead reported in 2008 (still counting). Last time I checked, the situation in Kongo and surrounding areas was far from controlled, and thousands of civilians have died from cholera in the last weeks as they try to escape violent clashes between government troops and rebels (terrorists?).
This in itself is SCANDALOUS, but to add insult to injury, it appears that rather than owing up to their monumental cockup in Kongo and help sorting out the problem once and for all, they now eagerly flock to point hypocritical fingers at Israel, for any real or – mainly – perceived slight. And still without calling the UN to request help in containing terror groups who use genocidal propaganda to fan the flames of hatred in the Middle East. And apparently also without yet having internalized the terrible lessons of letting terror groups have free reins.
I certainly know what weighs more on my moral scales… 5 million dead and counting in Kongo on the one side, or boycotting Israel for perceived or imaginary transgressions on human rights on the other…
I put it to you, Mr. Sommerfeld, you are a disgrace to your organization and to Norway for not putting down your foot to foolish and romantic do-gooders who have a hard time adapting to reality, but pretend that with dialogue the monster can be tamed.
Maybe you ought to take a leaf out of the book of the Saudi King who begged President Bush to cut off the head of the snake. If not literally, so then in the very least, figuratively.
It simply wont do with a 20 minute interview on a radio channel nobody outside Norway has heard about, and in Norwegian only. Shame on you.
And to the NRK journalist – Bo Brekke – who calmly talks us through this horror, as if reviewing the BBC shipping forecast- is it even possible?
Prof. M. McGonagall