News

In Their Own Words

Jun 11, 2009

“Nothing I have heard or seen compares with what is going on in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where corporate greed, fueled by capitalist consumption, and the rape of women have merged into a single nightmare. Femicide, the systematic and planned destruction of the female population, is being used as a tactic of war to clear villages, pillage mines and destroy the fabric of Congolese society. In 12 years, there have been six million dead men and women in Congo and 1.4 million people displaced. Hundreds and thousands of women and girls have been raped and tortured. Babies as young as six months, women as old as 80, their insides torn apart… What is happening in Congo is the most brutal and rampant violence toward women in the world. If it continues to go unchecked, if there continues to be complete impunity, it sets a precedent, it expands the boundaries of what is permissible to do to women’s bodies in the name of exploitation and greed everywhere. It’s cheap warfare.”
---Eve Ensler, “War on Women in Congo,” CNN.com, May 18, 2009

“The fallout from the psychic stress of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been vast… the terrible burden of these conflicts is being shouldered by an obscenely small portion of the population. Since this warrior class is so small, the same troops have to be sent into the war zones for tour after harrowing tour. As the tours mount up, so do the mental health problems… [A recent study from the RAND Corporation] found that approximately 300,000 men and women who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan were already suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) or major depression. That’s nearly one in every five returning veterans… Behind the abstract wall of RAND’s statistics is the immense real-life suffering of very real people. The toll includes the victims of violence and drunkenness and broken homes and suicides. Most of the stories never make their way into print. The public that professes such admiration and support for our fighting men and women are not interested.”
---Bob Herbert, “War’s Psychic Toll,” New York Times, May 19, 2009