Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Genocide? Massacre of millions? The Belgians? Those well known champions of world justice? Could this be? Never!
Of course! Now I get it. That’s why they think they’ve got the moral right to judge the rest of the world! They know exactly what genocide and crimes against humanity are. All they have to do, if they’re not sure what these consist of, is read their own state records!

According to this New York Times article about a new exhibit in a Belgian museum, “In 1919, a Belgian commission estimated that Congo's population was half what it was in 1879”.

In “… Adam Hochschild's " King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa " (Houghton Mifflin, 1998), which appeared in translation in Belgium in 1999 …

… Mr. Hochschild describes how, along with the uncounted thousands who died of disease and famine, many Congolese were killed by Leopold's agents for failing to meet production quotas for ivory and rubber, the territory's principal sources of wealth before its diamonds, copper and zinc were discovered. Mr. Hochschild estimates the total death toll during the Leopold period at 10 million”

Now all we have to work out is why the New York Times saw fit to bury this in the Arts section and not on the front page? Oh, of course, they haven’t managed to pin it on Israel yet. How silly of me.