Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ethiopia invades Somalia with US support: George W. Bush and the "Fear of the Lord"

David Seaton's News Links
This is so easy, these juxtapositions are so obvious, but they have to be made and repeated and circulated. Howard Dean is absolutely correct when he says the Democrats should push "values". Progressives should not allow the rich human values of Christianity to be monopolized by criminal hypocrites who are more incensed by gay marriage than by the United States supporting a situation which is literally a "hell on earth", one that produces starving children and drug-crazed warlords. The Horn of Africa, with its famine and genocide has the Devil's fingerprints all over it, and any believer, no matter how tepid, would have to approach it with the greatest trepidation. There are scads of people running around today calling themselves "Christians": among them, notoriously, the "decider" himself... George W. Bush. What in hell do these people mean by the word "Christian"? I always thought that evangelical, Southern Baptist types really believed in hellfire and were afraid of it. Probably, most people who are spiritually inclined, of any tradition, would agree with King Solomon that, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Prov. 1:7). When you read about the Horn of Africa you have to ask yourself if any of these self-proclaimed "Christians" actually do "fear God". DS
News Items - BBC - Islamists abandon Somali capital: As they withdrew, gunfire was heard and armed supporters of the city's warlords began taking control of key facilities. Some residents say lawlessness has returned to Mogadishu - which had been under Islamic rule for six months.(...) Residents in the north of the city have reported cars and mobile phones being stolen. Rising insecurity has forced most businesses to stop trading.(...) The situation seems to be descending back into anarchy, our correspondent adds.(...) Courts administering Islamic law restored order in a city bedevilled by anarchy since the overthrow of former President Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.(...) The UN Security Council has failed for a second time to agree on a statement calling for the withdrawal of Ethiopian and other foreign forces from Somalia.(...) The African Union earlier called for Ethiopia to withdraw, as fighting moved closer to the capital Mogadishu. However, the United States has signalled support for Ethiopia's intervention, with the White House saying Addis Ababa had reason for concern about Somalia's internal security situation.
Ethiopia: Malnutrition is cheating its survivors, and Africa's future - New York Times
Abstract: Almost half of Ethiopia's children are malnourished, and most do not die. Some suffer a different fate. Robbed of vital nutrients as children, they grow up stunted and sickly, weaklings in a land that still runs on manual labor. Some become intellectually stunted adults, shorn of as many as 15 I.Q. points, unable to learn or even to concentrate, inclined to drop out of school early. There are many children like this in the villages around Shimider. Nearly 6 in 10 are stunted; 10-year-olds can fail to top an adult's belt buckle. They are frequently sick: diarrhea, chronic coughs and worse are standard for toddlers here. Most disquieting, teachers say, many of the 775 children at Shimider Primary are below-average pupils — often well below. "They fall asleep," said Eteafraw Baro, a third-grade teacher at the school. "Their minds are slow, and they don't grasp what you teach them, and they're always behind in class." Their hunger is neither a temporary inconvenience nor a quick death sentence. Rather, it is a chronic, lifelong, irreversible handicap that scuttles their futures and cripples Ethiopia's hopes to join the developed world. (...) Thirty percent of Amhara's children under 5 are stunted, with another 26 percent severely stunted, evidence of lifelong, acute hunger. One in 15 pregnant women experiences night blindness, indicating vitamin A deficiency and a diet devoid of protein and red or yellow fruits and vegetables. Among both malnourished children and their mothers, the impact of such privation is achingly evident. One recent Sunday, Tewres Beram, a woman in her early 20s, carried her daughter Mekdes to a free immunization clinic. Mekdes, severely malnourished, sat suckling fruitlessly at her mother's breast. "We don't have enough food," her mother said, "so there's not enough milk to feed her." A year old, Mekdes does not crawl. Her sister, 2, has barely begun to crawl. "Both of them are like little dead bodies," their mother said. Sirkalem Birhanu, 40, clasps Endalew, age 2 and unable even to hold up his head. "He's always sick," she said. Endalew has company, she said; his 13-year-old brother "is very tiny, and he loses weight." "And he's always been sick," she added. READ IT ALL

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