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Right Intention: UN Rapists vs. Abu Ghraib

Monday, February 21, 2005

UN Rapists vs. Abu Ghraib

I finally saw the first serious report on television regarding the rapist UN peacekeepers in Congo. It's probably not the first time a report has been on television, it's just the first I've seen. Anyway, I thought I'd do a little experiment.

It has been my contention that the world doesn't really care about abuse and torture unless it is in some way caused by Americans. Well, let's put that theory to the test. I did a simple Google search using the following keywords:

Iraq Prison Abuse = 1,030,000

America Prison Abuse Iraq = 936,000 entries

America Soldier Prison Abuse = 423,000

Abu Ghraib Prison Abuse = 388,000 entries

UN Peacekeeper Congo Rape = 63,900

UN Peacekeeper Sex Scandal = 37,700

UN Peacekeeper Rape = 6,210

Now there are a couple of problems with this comparison, one objective and one subjective. The first is that Abu Ghraib hit its height about a year ago and has had all that time to accumulate stories. And even though those of us who frequent blogs have known about the rapist peacekeepers in Congo for a few months now, it is only now getting any real MSM attention. Therefore what I'll do is re-run the Google search from time to time to see if the Congo search is closing the gap in a meaningful way.

The subjective problem is that I think systematically raping 12 year old girls is much worse than forcing a terrorist to wear panties on his head. Therefore I think that coverage of the rapist peacekeepers should generate substantially more attention and press coverage, particularly given the high esteem in which the world in general, and the media in particular, hold the UN. In other words, there will have to be significantly more coverage of the rapist peacekeepers before I'm convinced I'm wrong about my thesis.

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