Friday, March 29, 2013

Angelina Jolie's third finger, left hand is not the news in DR Congo

Angelina Jolie is on one of her phony humanitarian jaunts to the DR Congo to talk to rape survivors & investigate rape as a weapon of war. In a case of the blind leading the blind, she is guided by British politician, William Hague. Ignoring at least the stated reason for sending no-nothing celebrities into war zones, media reporting was all about the ring on Jolie’s third finger, left hand. She had removed the massive, half-million dollar diamond ring given her by Pitt & replaced it with a gold band. Media speculation ran wild: were they now secretly married? One report said the ring switch might be ‘out of respect for the seriousness of her mission’.

The competitive plunder of foreign corporations to control the immense mineral wealth of DR Congo (especially diamonds & gold) is the primary cause of the war in DR Congo that has raged for nearly 20 years. The war is the world's most murderous conflict since World War II, displacing millions & killing nearly 6 million people. The hefty diamond ring Jolie sports would have been a neon red-alert to the refugees & rape victims she talked to--signaling her not as an ally but as complicit in the crimes against them.

The gold band was no improvement on the insult. Gold mining is harsh, back-breaking work. While the price of gold is now $1,500 an ounce on the world market, according to an Al Jazeera investigation in 2009, at the end of each day workers receive a bucket of earth from the pit as payment. It may or may not contain gold.

Media reporting raises the question: is the media really that venal, are they that incapable of getting the real story!? Is it racism that blinds? Or celebrity? Or collusion?

(Photographer not identified)