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Too Much Apathy in the Face of African Horrors

June 07, 2005

Re "A Land of Grief," June 5: As horrific as the photo article by Francine Orr was, it is equally disconcerting how little attention is being given to the suffering of these innocent children and civilians by the world governmental bodies. The notion that another Rwanda, Sudan or Cambodia is about to pass without meaningful intervention by the U.N. is a reflection of the ability of most nations to ignore such suffering unless it is at their respective front doors, as well as the U.N.'s political selectiveness.

John Remeny

Santa Monica


The horrors described and shown in "A Land of Grief" were beyond barbaric. What a sad contrast this story made to "Bush's Foreign Policy Shifting" (June 5).

President Bush talks often about wanting to bring democracy to the world's oppressed. But if he really cared about helping the oppressed, how could he remain silent about the situation in Uganda in which 30,000 children have been kidnapped, mutilated and forced into prostitution and murder?

Drew Davis

Redondo Beach


Thank you for your graphic feature on the horrors of Uganda and your editorial on malaria (June 5). The plight of people in Africa and the rest of the developing world present the most crucial moral issues of our time.

Linda J. Vogel



Being a person of African decent, Francine Orr's photo essay affected me in a way I would never have predicted. Utter horror. I was surprised that such explicit photos could be put on the Web without any precaution to the viewer.

I am not Ugandan, but I find a very high it-could-be-me-or-someone-I-know factor at work when I look at a person whose upper lip has been cut off. I would rather I was warned about what I will be looking at so that I can blame myself for going there. To put this in perspective, I have not seen in The Times such gruesome photos from Iraq of U.S. or Iraqi people, though many more people are dying every day.

If the purpose of this coverage is to elicit economic assistance from the U.S., please also note that it does much harm to innocent people who have no reason to be exposed to so much psychological shock. My stomach is still turning.

Ernest Maina



Once again we are shown gruesome pictures of man's inhumanity to man. Once again we are told that the perpetrators are acting "under divine instruction." If the rebels (the Lord's Resistance Army) wish to rule Uganda under the Ten Commandments, isn't "Thou shall not kill" one of them?

We have watched the carnage in Rwanda and more recently in Sudan, where helpless victims are being brutalized and killed on a daily basis. And the world watches all too complacently and does nothing.

The U.N. is having "talks" to end the conflict, and while it talks, the bloodbaths continue.

Why do we send billions to Iraq to bring it democracy and to help rebuild a country that we decimated? Can we not use this money to spread humanity instead? Where is the outrage?

Varini de Silva

Huntington Beach

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