It's a hard time to find a bright spot in the newspaper lately. Natural disasters, also known as 'Acts of God,' are topping our collective imagination as a species in 2005. Somehow, some way, I think we will mourn, yet work our way through those nightmares. It's the 'Acts of Men,' though, that I'm worried about.
When the people ('peackekeepers' they are titled) who are empowered with responsibility to protect, defend, and provide care and food to victims of savage crises turn their power into tools of brutality, bestiality, control, and oppression then we have new assailants, new warriors, among us. Yet, by structural design, that is what the United Nations has provided throughout the world, particularly in Africa and Asia, over the last 35 years. How could this happen?
The mechanism for recruiting U.N.'peacekeepers from member nations carries with it the expectation that the member nation will carry, in turn, the responsibility for disciplining or punishing those in derelict of duty or in violation of human rights violations. In the recent case of the rapes of 120 women and girls in the Congo, the U.N. gave the member countries (Pakistan, Uruguay, Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa, Nepal & France) and the Congo the names of the violators and asked that they take immediate action against their own people. But that hasn't happened.
U.N. enforcement apparently doesn't have teeth as sharp as those of the jackals of the crimes. And abuses pile up from peackeeping missions around the world for decades that extend beyond rape and into pedophilia and child trafickking/slave trade.
Is the U.N. undersecretary-general for peacekeeping operations troubled by all of this? "Rules and regulations should be tightened," he said. [Jean-Marie Guehenno]
And so that's the mighty United Nations, at least as it protects and defends 50% of the world -- the half born female. After Bosnia and the U.N. tribunal on sex enslavement camps in the 1990's [decimation devices of 'ethnic cleansing'] we learned that survivors would speak out and could hold their assailants accountable before the world community for some of the worst crimes known to humanity.
With or without the United Nations, it seems to me that those survivors of Congolese atrocities at the hands of U.N. peacekeepers should be upheld for holding 'court' in the way of the Old West.
Find the right perpetrators, make the accusations clear, be looking for trees with stout branches and truss the rope in suitable fashion to accomodate the greatest discomfort for the slowest possible, yet assured death as the African sun beats mercilessly.
Let it be for the offenders a place that transcends all language barriers and is known as A Special Hell. Let the message carry widely throughout the world that women and men are intolerant of waiting for justice for the crime of rape as a weapon of war as well as weapon of 'peacekeeping.'