Monday, November 17, 2008

New Stories, Same Plot Lines

Two of the United States' most influential papers published front-page stories on the Congo this weekend. The Washington Post's article portrays the misery of Congolese on the run from rebel forces and describes what they've lost to plundering soldiers. The New York Times shows how tin mining is underwriting Nkunda's war effort. It features an excellent photo essay, and promises to be the first in a series about the role of natural resources in fueling African conflicts. [It follows up on that promise today, profiling one 15-year-old boy who works at the bottom rung of the impoverished mining hierarchy.] In an independent opinion editorial, "An African Crisis for Obama," the Washington Post's Jim Hoagland bemoans the world's failure to protect the Congolese, in spite of the UN's adoption, three years ago, of the doctrine of a "responsibility to protect." He wonders whether President Obama will rise to the challenge and quotes French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner wondering the same:
"This could change everything," Kouchner said, "and not only for Africa. You Americans have just held a world election. President Obama should not wait to show what that means."

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