By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog.
"This is what leadership looks like," said Amy Siskind of the New Agenda in an e-mail to me today. She included a link to this Washington Post story about Secretary of State Clinton going to the Congo next week as part of an African tour:
As part of her swing through Africa next week, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to visit eastern Congo, the epicenter of two wars in the past decade, and denounce the alarming rates of rape in the region, an official said Wednesday
The eastern Congo has one of the highest rates of sexual violence against women in the world, with both soldiers and rebel groups using rape as a tool of war.
Sexual violence as thought of in the West does not begin to describe what the Congolese women endure. Not only are they raped repeated and physically brutalized, they are forced to watch their infants slaughtered upon birth.
The women's inability to control their bowels and urine comes from repeated rapes. The medical term is fistula. The walls of their uterus and bladder have been broken from repeated gang rapes by rebel soldiers, objects shoved roughly inside them and even guns fired into their vagina.
Just by going there, Secretary Clinton will shine further light on the sexual predation, perversion and incalculable brutality taking place in Congo. The sooner it is brought to an end, the better.