To Orwell Today,
I hope you are fine! I shared with you some good reporting from AFP recently. Now you'll forgive me for sharing an ambiguous one, written by Lydia Polgreen for the New York Times, and sending my reaction:
"I am reacting to your article on the conflict in DRC (headline After Clashes, Fear of War on Congo’s Edge). First and foremost, thank you for the interest in my country.
"Secondly, I would like you to know that your report is very partial when it reduces the source of the conflict to only two factors: tensions between Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda on one hand, and on the other the wealthy resources of the Congo. There are deeper problems which you could find easily by doing a bit of historical homework: contemporary journalists tend to read the history of Congo only from 1996 as you do; the keener ones go as far as mentionning Mobutu's dictatorship as if this was the whole history. But even if it is allowed to only read the history of the DRC from 1996, you cannot jump over the different agreements that tried to solve the conflict. Only by taking the bother to read the Sun City agreement, could you see that the problem of the DRC isn't Nkunda as your friends of HRW spread it all over the world. In case you decide to research in that way, your report could give a better understanding of issues.
"Thirdly, it's amazing to notice that talking about the last days' events in the Kivu, you could fail to say how this is Kabila's war. Kabila wanted this war against all common sense, even all advice and opinion of those very foreign powers that paid for him to win elections. It could be very interesting for good reporting to find out, why Kabila wanted so much this war. Nkunda never wanted it. He has been only asking for negotiations, stating he would defend himself when attacked. That is what he is actually doing. Please, as a committed journalist, find out for the whole world why Kabila needed so much to fight Nkunda and why his Army High Command did not tell him he would lose the war? What is he going to achieve by losing it? Because he is losing it. And why on earth the UN peacekeeping mission is supporting him knowing he is using genocide forces, and showing by that that Nkunda's fears for the minorities and for the fate of the entire congolese army are real? Why isn't HRW accusing FDLR? Why isn't HRW denouncing humanitarian NGOs who are not assisting displaced people in CNDP controlled areas, and the ongoing killing of Tutsis in Goma, Sake and Rutshuru (I can send you current facts as soon as you give me a feedback? Etc, etc, etc." [end of rebuttal of NYT article]
What do you think of both the New York Times article and my reaction?
And since we are talking about the Congo, are you seeing like me that the UN "warmongers" are going to get a new mandate where they have failed for so many years now?
Thank you and have a nice week end,
Actually, I'd read the headline of that NYT article the other day but didn't read very far down into it because usually New York Slimes (oops, I mean Times) articles are long and somewhat boring, with so many lies interwoven amongst the few nuggets of truth that they are seldom worthy of sharing with readers on any particular issue. They're a modern-day version of what Orwell described as the Ministry of Truth (Lies) in "1984". They are written from, as you commented in your rebuttal, a "very partial" point of view.
In reading through the NYT article in question - as a favour to you - I recognized the usual formula, ie facts interspersed with contradictory conclusions and an obvious choosing of sides. The journalist is writing from a pro-Kabila government, pro-United Nations, pro-genocidal-Hutu, anti-Tutsi, anti-Nkunda bias, or in other words, she's spouting the international Party line.
It's commendable that you read the article and made the effort to respond in order to set the record straight, your points of which I bolded and underlined in your letter above. However, a person's chances of seeing a rebuttal appear anywhere in the hundreds of pages among the dozen sections of the fat NYT daily newspaper are slim - or (as we say here in Canada) about the same as a snowball's chance in hell.
I did, however, learn something new - like you - in reading the article. The last sentence - where she says: "The United Nations Security Council will be voting this month on renewing the mandate of the peacekeeping force here, known as Monuc" - does seem to be reporting that, as you say, "the UN 'warmongers' are going to get a new mandate".
That is truly a terrifying prospect. How horrible it must be for the people of the Congo (and I certainly noticed it when I was in Goma, just before the much ballyhooed UN-orchestrated elections) to see that practically the only people with vehicles or anything money can buy are foreigners comprised of UN aid workers or UN bureaucrats or other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Human Rights Watch (HRW). In the short time I was there I saw more SUVs - white with big black UN letters - than I could count.
I even caught one of those white UN vehicles on film when I was snapping a photo of the boy with the wooden bike. A picture says a thousand words and this one is symbolic of the disparity in prosperity between the thousands of UN foreigners in Congo and the actual citizens of Congo for whom the UN pretends to be there to help. In reality, the UN only helps itself, and it helps itself to plenty. See Orwell's Ministry of Plenty (Starvation) theme.
I arrived at the conclusion a long time ago (with help from George Orwell who described it as Big Brother) that the United Nations is an evil organization whose members feed off the war and misery they create in the name of peace and humanitarian aid.
Sometimes I fear for Nkunda and the people of the Congo for what they are up against, but I also believe that good is more powerful than evil and that somewhere and sometime good will prevail. I pray that it is in Nkunda's and our time here on earth and not in the distant future.
PS - On an optimistic note I've been impressed with much of the BBC coverage and have been posting links to many of their articles. Some recent ones can be seen below the WAR UN PEACE IN CONGO report from the other day.
I think Orwell would be pleased with BBC too, as he had a soft spot for them, having worked for them during the war years during which time he said he never compromised - nor was he ever asked to - his beliefs or opinions on any matter. That's why I've put that BBC photo of him at the top of this page today. It's one I look at every day here in my office because it's on my wall up to the left of my computer screen and I glance at it occassionaly for reasurance from him.
Thank you very much. I am impressed you took your time to give such an extensive answer to my question. I know rebuttals of this kind end up in the trash, but now I am happy to have sent it to you, at least it's going to reach your readers. Thank you so much.
Looking forward to meeting you in Mushaki, only God knows when!!!!
That would be a dream come true to meet some day in Mushaki - a Mushaki in the hands of Nkunda.
Until that day I pray for amahoro,
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~