Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Some days I wish I hadn't read the news

Will all these evildoers never learn,
they who eat up my people just as they eat bread?
They have not called upon the Lord;
then they shall be in great fear,
for God is with the just generation.

Ps. 14:4-5


This
is all over the news now. An anti-Syrian, Christian Lebanese Cabinet Minister has been assassinated.

The Janjaweed attacked eight Darfur villages,focusing their murderous wrath on children and the elderly. Children were taken from their mothers and shot. The militias barred African Union investigators from the areas they had "purged"; African Union troops in the region, outnumbered and without a mandate to intervene, say they can do nothing. Somebody tell me again what the hell the United Nations exists for?

This is a couple of weeks old, but as I figure the odds of seeing it on the news sites any time soon are slight, I feel I ought to mention it. It's been all the talk of the Egyptian blogosphere, although the government and media in that country seem to be trying their best to say as little as possible about the incident. I found it on Sandmonkey (where I also found the link to the Darfur article above;) his post on it includes a roundup of several other bloggers who have reported on the incident.

The gist of the reports is this: On the first night of Eid in downtown Cairo, a mob consisting of moviegoers angered at having been shut out of a full movie first vandalized the box office, then went on a five-hour rampage through the downtown sexually assaulting any unfortunate woman or girl who fell into their path. While some downtown shopkeepers and cabbies did rescue victims they encountered, the police, aware of the situation, apparently did nothing to stop the attacks and even refused afterward to take reports from victims. Al-Jazeera had some footage of the incident, but obliged the government when asked not to air it. The country was finally made aware of the incident when a female TV writer decided she'd had enough and reported the whole story during a talk show. Protests have followed the incident and (surprise) have resulted in some arrests. Sandmonkey has been following this story and writing some good posts. Be warned, those with linguistic sensitivities: from what little I've gleaned from his blog, he's an atheistic hedonist whose language is often not drawing-room suitable, but he's a gentleman. Read his post on this; it will shock you.

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