Tuesday, September 29, 2009

US Condemns Violence Against Guinea Protesters

OK, granted, there were deaths in these protests - nobody died in Pittsburgh (that we know of). But it would be funny if it weren't so infuriating and sad that the State Department has something to say about violence in Guinea, a country 99% of Americans couldn't find on a map, yet had nothing to say of the grotesque spectacle displayed at the G20 summit last week. But probably the same percentage of Americans who have no clue where Guinea is have no clue that the police and military turned Pittsburgh into East Berlin for three days. And the government sure as hell isn't going to enlighten them.

And why is our government "deeply concerned" about violence against civilians when our military routinely and wantonly bombs civilians in Afghanistan? Is this some sort of psychological method being employed against the rest of the world? Get them so used to our hypocrisy that it becomes totally routine and no one notices it anymore?

    Voice of America -

    The United States has condemned the Guinean military's brazen and inappropriate use of force against demonstrators in Conakry Monday. News reports say at least 157 people were killed and more than 1,200 others wounded in a confrontation in the capital of the west African state.

    The United States has joined the African Union, the European Union, the United Nations and others in condemning the attack by troops on civilians in Conakry Monday, one of the most severe incidents of violence in the region in many years.

    Troops of the presidential guard of the country's military leader, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, are reported to have opened fire on a crowd of demonstrators who had gathered in Conakry to protest his plans to run in presidential elections in January.


    " title="Junta leader, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, speaks at meeting at Camp Alpha Yaya Diallo military camp in Conakry, 27 Dec 2008

    " src="http://www.voanews.com/english/images/ap_guinea_camara_speech_27dec08_eng_175.jpg" border="0" height="190" hspace="2" vspace="2" width="189">
    Junta leader, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, speaks at meeting at Camp Alpha Yaya Diallo military camp in Conakry, 27 Dec 2008

    When he took power in a coup last December, Captain Camara - who has ruled the country in an erratic fashion - had said no one on his ruling junta would run for public office.

    A written statement by State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly said the United States condemns the Guinean military's brazen and inappropriate use of force against civilians, and also took note of reports that military personnel carried out brutal rapes and sexual assaults on women protestors and bystanders.

    Kelly called for the immediate release of opposition leaders and a return to civilian rule in Guinea as soon as possible and said the United States insists that junta members respect their commitments not to contest the upcoming elections.

    Earlier Tuesday, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P.J. Crowley said the casualty reports from Conakry were a matter of great concern to the Obama administration.

    P.J. Crowley, US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs (file)
    P.J. Crowley, US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs (file)
    "We are deeply concerned about the general breakdown of security in Conakry," said P.J. Crowley. "We encourage the Guinean government to exercise restraint and insure the safety and security of all Guineans and foreign nationals. We are very concerned about violations of basic human rights and we call upon the regime to release all political prisoners.