Posted November 5, 2013
by Jerry Alatalo
Those responsible for millions of deaths in the nations of the Congo and Rwanda, in central Africa, are walking freely on this Earth.
The history of these two nations in the center of the African continent leads one to once again wish that one had never become aware of truly saddening realities. I came upon this short documentary on the history of the Congo while searching for more information about Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961), the second Secretary General of the United Nations.
First, let me say what many reading these words are aware of – the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the richest nations in terms of valuable natural resources on Earth. Dag Hammarskjold died in a plane crash on his way to the Congo in 1961, to take part in meetings focused on ending the civil war and killing there. From the small time spent reading about the crash, it is now obvious Mr. Hammarskjold was assassinated because he stood in the way of covetous owners of mining companies, mainly copper mining – one of many minerals in extreme abundance in the Congo.
Dag Hammarskjold has come to be considered the United Nations’ greatest Secretary General. He studied philosophy then law, and became UN Secretary General in 1953. Perhaps the appreciation expressed by another man who went on to suffer the same fate as Dag Hammarskjold, John F. Kennedy, will suffice to explain the status Mr. Hammarskjold attained in his life of 56 years.
JFK on Dag Hammarskjold: “I realize that in comparison to him, I am a small man. He is the greatest statesman of our century”.
Dag Hammarskjold wrote one book titled “Markings”. The famous English poet W.H. Auden wrote the forward to the book and quoted Hammarskjold, “In our age, the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action”.
Hammarskjold was the victim of assassination in that plane crash in 1961 – fifty-two years ago. The people of the Congo have continued to suffer since then, and the decades back to 1908 when King Leopold of Belgium “owned” the region, and took today’s equivalent of $1,000,000,000 of natural resources wealth from the lands and mountains. From King Leopold in 1908 to the murder of newly independent Congo’s first democratically elected Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in 1961 , to today in 2013, over 6 million Congolese people have died unnecessarily.
After the assassination of Patrice Lumumba in 1961 the nation became controlled by dictator Robert Mobutu, the vast natural resources of the Congo were extracted and the wealth/profits were transferred out of the country. The people who were unfortunately born in the nation have been the victims of oppression and violence, proxy wars and killings, and inflicted with misery for decades.
Who is accountable for the genocide in the Congo and Rwanda?
Through the decades since 1908 and King Leopold of Belgium there have been a number of those who have been responsible and accountable. In 1961, when Patrice Lumumba was kidnapped and murdered, those who committed the assassination have yet to face justice. In 1961 (my guess is that Dag Hammarskjold was murdered after Patrice Lumumba), Hammarskjold was assassinated, and those who murdered him have yet to face justice.
Because of the tremendous quantities of valuable minerals and diamonds in the Congo, the nations surrounding the nation, including Rwanda and Uganda, have become involved in “proxy” wars against the Congo, supplied and aided by the United States government. In particular here, I am pointing at the Bill Clinton administration. First, let me say that Bill Clinton recently has expressed “regret” that during his time as president he didn’t do enough to prevent the genocide that occurred in Rwanda.
Expressing regret, when your administration turned away and gave the green light to the leader of Rwanda to commit the genocide, while supplying that leader with the weapons to carry it out, does not come close to absolving Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, and others from guilt. I will state it clearly: Bill Clinton is guilty of aiding and abetting the genocide which occurred in Rwanda while he was president, and has to answer in a court of justice.
Those who knowingly take actions which result in genocide, the supreme crime against humanity, in a civilized world, must face justice and punishment for those crimes. I will state clearly here that George Bush, Tony Blair, and others are also guilty of genocidal actions for their roles in the Iraq War which resulted in over a million Iraqi deaths. Because the initiators of crimes against humanity are leaders of powerful nations, CEOs of the largest corporations in the world, or so-called Kings and Queens does not eliminate or erase their crimes – they simply must face justice like any human being.
Let me illustrate my point with a simple analogy. Let us say that you covet the personal belongings of a particular family in a county that borders the one you live in. That family is wealthy and they own a big house, expensive art, jewelry, the highest cost automobiles, etc. You have come to know the family keeps a lot of cash in their safe.
You covet that family’s possessions, so you give your neighbor your entire supply of rifles and ammunition, and tell him that you will pay him thousands of dollars to attack that family in the neighboring county, and bring back all the valuable possessions to you. Now, here is the simple, illustrative question. After this action is completed and carried out by your neighbor – are you guilty of a crime? Well, let me think about this…
There is no thought required – you are a criminal.
This simple analogy takes one to the heart and essence of crimes against humanity committed by the so-called “élite”. People know what has occurred through history and go through the painful process of trying to figure out how there is such a massive double standard of justice on this Earth. The man who steals a lawn mower from his neighbor gets punished more than a so-called “élite” who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands – millions – of human beings.
Let me use the simplest, perhaps naïve – perhaps not, logic to drive my point. Any man or woman, no matter if their “status” is considered low or high, who takes actions knowingly, while realizing fully that their actions will result in supreme harm to innocent human beings, must be held accountable.
- Death, Destruction & Rape in the DR Congo: It is WAY Past Time to “Break the Silence” (hcvoice.wordpress.com)
- A Season in the Congo at the Young Vic (timesonline.typepad.com)
- Too rich for its own good (bbc.co.uk)
- UN ‘should reopen Hammarskjold case’ (bbc.co.uk)
- UN ‘should reopen Dag Hammarskjold inquiry’ (telegraph.co.uk)
- Congolese Rebel Group Says It Is Laying Down Arms (nytimes.com)