Thursday, February 24, 2005

A Picture Is Worth...What?

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has four photos to accompany this week's column, "The Secret Genocide Archive." The photos are part of an archive of thousands of photos and reports that have been gathered by African Union monitors that document the genocide that the world is ignoring in Darfur.

One photo shows a man whose injured leg kept him from fleeing when the killers came. One photo shows a man who fled and almost made it to the bush where he was going to hide. One photo shows "the skeleton of a man or woman whose wrists are still bound. The attackers pulled the person's clothes down to the knees, presumably so the victim could be sexually abused before being killed. If the victim was a man, he was probably castrated; if a woman, she was probably raped."

All of the photos are affecting, but the one that affected me the most is of a little boy, about the age of my grandson who turns two-years-old tomorrow, face down in the dirt, brutally murdered along with 106 of his fellow villagers. Among the dead were "his older brother, about 5 years old, who lay beside him...(who) had been beaten so badly that nothing was left of his face. And alongside the two boys was the corpse of their mother."

It's one thing to hear about estimates that put the number of dead at over 220,000 at the rate of about 10,000 per month, it's quite different to see the product of our indifference. I hope that more and more of these photos are released until people fully begin to understand what's going on there.

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