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How Your Blackberry and Computer Have Helped Fund 6.9 Million Deaths, Countless Rapes and Mutilations

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This post originally appeared on Booman Tribune.What PCs and Macs Have in Common

Profiting from the worst war on the planet that no one in America knows anything about by purchasing "conflicts minerals" from the Congo for their products:

From Nicholas Kristoff in February:

[S]o far the brutal war here in eastern Congo has not only lasted longer than the Holocaust but also appears to have claimed more lives. A peer- reviewed study put the Congo war’s death toll at 5.4 million as of April 2007 and rising at 45,000 a month. That would leave the total today, after a dozen years, at 6.9 million.What those numbers don’t capture is the way Congo has become the world capital of rape, torture and mutilation ...

“Sometimes I don’t know what I am doing here,” Dr. Mukwege said despairingly. “There is no medical solution.” The paramount need, he says, is not for more humanitarian aid for Congo, but for a much more vigorous international effort to end the war itself.

That means putting pressure on neighboring Rwanda, a country so widely admired for its good governance at home that it tends to get a pass for its possible role in war crimes next door. We also need pressure on the Congolese president, Joseph Kabila, to arrest Gen. Jean Bosco Ntaganda, wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges. And, as recommended by an advocacy organization called the Enough Project, we need a U.S.-brokered effort to monitor the minerals trade from Congo so that warlords can no longer buy guns by exporting gold, tin or coltan.

And you thought Goldman Sachs and BP were evil corporations. Who knew that Intell, Blackbery, Dell, IBM, Gateway, HP, Sony, AT&T, Motorola, LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Nintendo, etc., including Steve Jobs and Apple, are providing the funds these barbaric militias and warlords need to continue to fuel the slaughter and rape of thousands of Africans. More from Kristoff yesterday:

I’ve never reported on a war more barbaric than Congo’s, and it haunts me. In Congo, I’ve seen women who have been mutilated, children who have been forced to eat their parents’ flesh, girls who have been subjected to rapes that destroyed their insides. Warlords finance their predations in part through the sale of mineral ore containing tantalum, tungsten, tin and gold. For example, tantalum from Congo is used to make electrical capacitors that go into phones, computers and gaming devices.Electronics manufacturers have tried to hush all this up. They want you to look at a gadget and think “sleek,” not “blood.”

Our computers, cellphones, iPods, Wiis, Playstations, and god knows what other electronic devices are the end product of unimaginable human suffering. 6.9 million deaths. Countless lives destroyed. Misery beyond our ability to fathom.

Guess that's why you never see this story reported upon by the Network and Cable News Channels. No TV cameras documenting massacres. No documentaries exposing the horrid and deadly trade in the minerals that come out of the Congo through Rwanda, scene of another epic mass murder. After all, those commercials for every new electronic device that comes down the pipeline every few months helps keep the media companies in business. Can't piss off your advertisers by showing them to be aiders and abettors of crimes against humanity, can you?

Best not to speak of it. Wouldn't be good for business. And yes I'm typing this from a PC with an Intel CORE processor that no doubt used materials for which others sacrificed their lives so Dell (in my case) could sell it to me.

Excuse me while I go and get sick to my stomach.

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