Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Dona Nobis Pacem
You may notice that you don't hear much about Darfur anymore. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but there was not a sudden outbreak of peace in Darfur. We have a friend, I'll call her Rachael, who is a career diplomat with the State Department for certain West African countries. She was the first diplomat allowed into Darfur when they opened the borders. According to Rachael, everyone has simply given up on Darfur. No cease fire held, and no one cares anymore. This doesn't mean that the killing has stopped. It just means that there are so many different factions fighting over so many issues going back so many hundreds of years that some things are not quite clear anymore. Still, they are fought to the death over. Africa and the Middle East have remarkable similarities.
I should tell you that Rachael has a personal issue she likes to advance as a part of her work. She'd like to eradicate slavery. She writes and presents papers all over the place, and generally keeps various groups of people informed. I don't want to publish her picture, or tell you her last name. First, you all think that there's no slavery where you live. Wrong. There's slavery right here in the Nation's Capitol. There are women who have come here from places such as China and Russia who are paying off someone's debt working as prostitutes, and living meager existences. According to Rachael, these women will live and die in indentured servitude, often of various occupational diseases.
I am grateful for Rachael and people like her. She is doing a job that I don't have the temperament to do without going crazy. I did more than buy her and her husband a drink. I also hugged her, and thanked her for what she does. It was the least I could do.