Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Yet More Congo News - Via Amygdala

I can't praise Gary Farber enough for his work in keeping the Congo situation in the blogosphere spotlight. He isn't alone in this regard, of course, but I can credit him with bringing the issue to the attention of more than a few high-profile individuals.

I cannot over-emphasize how frustrated I am by the inattention being paid to the Congo, not only by the majority of "A-list" bloggers, but by most of the American media as well. With the exception of the New York Times, hardly any of the major American papers, and pretty much none of the TV networks - not even CNN - have given the developing crisis front-page coverage, and yet they have the space to spare to cover every new development in the Laci Peterson case! The European press (in Britain and Germany, at any rate) have been incomparably better in this regard.

But why should this paucity of American media coverage matter, you ask? Because in our age nothing is worth thinking about if it isn't on television or in the newspapers, and until the American public is made aware of the issue, the American government will be under no pressure to act. The bottom line remains that only America has the werewithal to make a difference in the Congo - witness the EU's difficulties in assembling a force of just 2,000 soldiers for the proposed UN mission. Given the realities of European military weakness, to speak of effective UN intervention in today's world is to really be talking about American intervention, albeit in a euphemistic manner.