Friday, September 29, 2006
Dying in silence
We are on our way to central Africa. Right now we're in Dubai waiting for one of several connecting flights we'll be taking to get to the Congo.

It's a place many Americans know little about, and yet each of us carries a piece of the Congo with us, wherever we go. Minerals mined in the Congo like tin ore and coltan are essential components in cell phones, computers, and video game consoles.

The battle over who gets to mine those minerals has fueled the deadliest conflict the world has seen since World War II. More than three million people have died in the Congo since 1998 and there has been very little coverage of it.

Tens of thousands of women have been raped; often gang raped by soldiers and militia members. What has happened there is hard to fathom, and still some 1200 people are dying every day from malnutrition and disease.

It is ironic of course, that in our hi-tech world, the very place that makes our phones and computers work, is one of the least developed and impoverished places on the planet.

Next week we will be doing something I don't think any other network has ever done. We will be covering two major humanitarian crises at once, the Congo and Darfur. Jeff Koinange and Dr. Sanjay Gupta will be reporting on Darfur and I will be in eastern Congo.

Logistically this is an incredibly difficult undertaking. It's expensive, and requires a huge team of people. The truth is no one but CNN would undertake a mission like this. Our plan is to take all of you along on this journey, to two places you have rarely seen.

So many people in the Congo and Sudan have already lost their lives; so many more lives hang in the balance. There are few things worse than dying in silence, too many already have. I hope you'll join us on this trip.
Posted By Anderson Cooper: 4:04 PM ET
Hey Anderson - I'm glad you are covering this crisis in Darfur, although, somehow the word doesn't seem to be strong enough. Maybe words to describe such horrific deeds don't exist. They have started running ads on TV about Darfur and say in so many words that the UN must play a major role as well as the President of the United States. That really scares me because humanitarian crises don't seem to be a major priority for this administration. Think Hurricane Katrina! So I hope you being there and taking us with you will help us all to work together and try to put an end to these atrocities.

Stay safe on the rest of your journey and we'll be watching.
Posted By Anonymous Christina, Windber, PA : 4:48 PM ET
Dear Mr. Anderson Cooper,
Just in class today we were going over some of what was going on in the world but, not once did anything come up about what is happening in Africa. It is fantastic that you are going to help get people aware of the violence taking place in Africa. History is all around the world and from watching 360 & reading dispatches from the edge it makes me not take as many things for granted...
God Bless~
PS. stay safe in Africa and I'll pray for you, those at 360, and those in the Congo & Darfur...
Posted By Anonymous Joanna Parker Millsboro, DE : 5:10 PM ET
It is great that CNN is covering Darfur and the Congo, however, since both of these regions receive such little media coverage, I think that it is particularly important to include either in your report or on the CNN wesbite ways that we can help, including ways to contact organizations that are working towards relief efforts in both areas. After all, if Americans think that there is any chance that they will not be able to upgrade either their cell phones or their computers due to a lack of materials, surely everyone will be willing to help in some form.
Posted By Anonymous Ryan, Phoenix AZ : 5:20 PM ET
Dear Anderson,

Is Doctors Without Borders there? If so, can you please inform us of their progress in the Congo and Darfur?

Also, as strange as this may sound, something you said in your Niger journal piece brought an idea to mind. You stated that so many of the children die without ever a trace of their existence, not even a photo. Would it be meaningful if myself, as a photographer, donated time and money to travel to Niger, and photograph these families and children. Especially those that are not surviving, so that they will be known and their lives will be recorded. Of course, I'd rather save their lives.

What can I, just a regular 9-5 job American citizen, do to help?

Thanks Anderson
PS. The round table talk that you did with Doctors Without Borders was fantastic! I'm glad I went, even though I had a five-year old on my lap!
Posted By Anonymous Jessica Milford, NH : 5:26 PM ET
Wh ydon't we worry about the social problems in the united states, they have been going on longer then 1998, and aren't reported on either. How about the poor rural south for instance? Leave Congo to itself and worry about citizens of our country for once. Just becuase the disaster isn't Katrina scaled doesn't mean it should be ignored Anderson, come home and report here.
Posted By Anonymous Brant, Madison, Wisconsin : 5:33 PM ET
take off the armani suit and do some real work in africa, anderson.
Posted By Anonymous new york city : 5:45 PM ET
I'm thrilled to see CNN and your show are investing the time, effort and money on stories that desperately need to be told. In Copper and Cobalt mineral mines in Katanga's Ruashi mine of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo children work 12 hour shifts sifting through mountains of sand to earn -if they're lucky- a buck a day. More often than not,these children go to bed with empty stomachs. Someone needs to provide these souls with a voice.
"Because we want to live in a world which is not dominated by a division of people who live on the cutting edge of a new economy and others who live on the bare edge of survival, we must be involved..."
William J. Clinton
P.S. I was never a Clinton fan during his presidency but he's sounding better and better today!
Posted By Anonymous Sue, Toronto,Ontario : 6:08 PM ET
Hello Anderson-
I am astonished to learn from your post that three million people have died in the Congo since 1998. I also did not realize that essential minerals for our hi-tech life are mined there. The brutality and suffering in the Congo and Darfur are beyond my comprehension. Thank you Anderson for your very compassionate reporting. I always learn something important as well as what I can do to help. I am looking forward to the 360 humanitarian coverage next week. I truly believe that your reports help improve these situations immensly. Increasing awareness promotes resolution. I am in NOLA right now. Everything is coming back together, albiet slow. I believe that you and CNN played a major role in getting New Orleans back on the road to recovery. I am hoping the same for the Congo and Darfur. God Bless you Anderson! I'll be tuned in.
Posted By Anonymous Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX : 6:29 PM ET
No matter how much we help, it is never enough. I am not saying that we shouldn't help. Obviously, even a little help can make a difference in someone's life. We are selfish. We will always thrive to be the best, to survive therefore, causing others hurting and death. We are humans, nothing can be promised by us. Just pointing out the fact of this world; poverty will always remain no matter how much we will progress as human beings.
Posted By Anonymous Daniah, Toronto, Mississauga : 7:04 PM ET
I want to express my sincere gratitude for shedding light on this crisis. I am originally from Kenya, and my heart breaks for my continent of Africa. My dream is to see the hunger,poverty, disease(especially AIDS),and the sensless killing come to a stop. Edward Everett Hale once said,"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do." I hold people like you and Christiane Amanpour, who was in my home country during last weeks report on aids orphans, in high regard. I have respect for those who know and understand what others in the world are going through, and are honestly not refusing to do the something that they can do. May you continue your good work. Many thanks to CNN for making this possible. It is my belief that, if we all do the something we can do, nobody will have to die in silence anymore.
Posted By Anonymous Nicole, Houston, Texas : 7:37 PM ET
CNN should be praised on this journey. I belong to "Save
Darfur" but writing letters and donating money seems so little to help these people. The 360 show is the best news show I know of. My thoughts are with all of your newsteam.
Posted By Anonymous Anna Vital, Tulare, CA : 7:38 PM ET
Thank you for doing these stories, Anderson.

Aside from Katrina, have you ever considered covering the starving and other indignities that are going on right here in the USA? There is so much.
Posted By Anonymous Missy, Fairfield, Connecticut : 7:55 PM ET
That each of us carries a bit of that part of Africa with us is true , but it is more than components in cell phones and computers. It is in our very DNA. As the Human Genome project has discovered, all our ancestors came from this area.

The people who are being raped, tortured and starved have the same ancestors we have. They are our cousins even if we have freckles and green eyes and they don't. Would we allow our relatives here to suffer in this way?

Thanks to CNN and 360 for the enormous undertaking and effort to tell this story.

Hope you continue to let people know how we can all help.
Posted By Anonymous Del Houston, TX : 8:15 PM ET

I was along with you when you covered the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, for Channel One. Even though it was twelve years ago, the horror of what I saw has never left my mind. Saddened though I am that history seems to be repeating itself, I'm glad that you and your team are the ones covering it, for I know that you will be the most faithful to what is really going on. The events in the Congo and in Darfur are never far from my mind. I've done tons of research lately, signed up for mailing lists, signed petitions, committed my time and energy to attending conferences in my area....and still I feel as though it's not enough. What, truly, can any of us to do ease the suffering of the women who are being raped, the children who are starving, the men who are imprisoned? All we can do is tell their stories, make sure people are aware, that they totally understand--to the extent that any of us can understand such horror--what is really going on. And, I know, that you and your team in the Congo, and Dr. Gupta, and Jeff Koinange in Darfur, will come together to report on these "humanitarian crises" in the most faithful and hard-hitting ways possible. And I, and many other viewers, will be right there along with you all on this journey, and we will help you spread the word.
Posted By Anonymous Mandy, Boston MA : 8:20 PM ET
I am looking forward to hear about your interesting journey in Congo and Duafar. My
friend who is the nurse at the NYU Hospital had gone there in Africa last spring. I am
not sure where she was, but the horror reality that she had described about the dying
children and had been overwhelmed by it. I wish I can be voluteer to help them but
realizing it�s too dangerous for being there. I can donate it whenever I can.

I will be interesting to hear about tin ore and coltan minerals from Congo. This is
something that I have rarely heard of. Good luck and be safe......
Posted By Anonymous Michele, Douglaston New York : 8:58 PM ET
What�s happening in Sudan and Congo is an abomination. How have we let this go on for so long in the 21st century? Would this be happening if these countries were rich or had oil? Where's the U.N.? Stopping the genocide, torture and rape of the citizens of these countries needs to be a priority for everyone. I do know that some celebrities have been trying to bring attention to this atrocity and I applaud them. We need to acknowledge the massacres before the masses will take action. This is where the 360 team comes in. Keep the world aware of the horrors that are taking place in the Sudan and Congo then maybe the people will finally be moved enough to get involved. Thank you for your commitment to humanity.
Posted By Anonymous Terry Nardone, Nutley, NJ : 9:52 PM ET
This tragic story takes a back page to our debacle in Iraq. It is important that mainstream media show more interest in the inhuman conditions in the Congo.

The tragedies you may witness and will hear about require action by all civilized nations, together. There can be no resolution to the death, and starvation faced by millions of tragic victims without a world committment of resources, both human and monetary. Our current situation in Iraq relates to our failure to find support among our allies. The Congo and Darfur requires such a committment.
Posted By Anonymous Marc, Hudson, FL : 9:59 PM ET
I once heard the phrase "The CNN Effect". I guess, it was meant to convey the power and ability of a global news network to shine the light on an area of the world or a subject and change people's consciousness. Hopefully, this is still true and that reports -- words and images -- from the Congo and Dafur can make individuals move nations into action. Thank you and all the people at CNN for undertaking this challenging journalistic mission.
Posted By Anonymous Susan, Aiea, HI : 10:10 PM ET
Every time I think that I could not possibly love CNN or '360' anymore than I already do, you all do something that just amazes me. I think that this incredible week of coverage will shine a light on two crises that are too often forgotten or ignored. While I am looking forward to next weeks' shows, I also know that many of the images will be difficult to see and the truths difficult to accept. I want to thank you all for working so hard and thank CNN for putting in the money, time, and effort to accomplish this feat.
Posted By Anonymous Kimberly Miller, Hiram, OH : 10:13 PM ET
but we all know that terrell owens may or may not have attempted suicide? how sad...
Posted By Anonymous tami, allentown, pa : 10:18 PM ET
Unfortuneately, no amount of news segments will change this. No government will aid them because there is nothing in it for them. There's not as much money in copper as there is in oil.
Posted By Anonymous Kelly, Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada : 10:46 PM ET
Anderson - THANK YOU for caring enough about the people of those troubled regions to tell their stories. Having served in refugee centers several times over the past two years, I have been privileged to meet people fortunate enough to flee these situations. What's happening over there is a terrible, terrible tragedy and it is time the western world wakes up and takes action. I look forward to watching. Please take care and stay safe.
Posted By Anonymous Kim, Greensboro NC : 10:50 PM ET
I�d be willing to bet that the average American has no idea where the Congo or Darfur is, much less the atrocities that are happening there. Maybe we�re just a nation made up of shallow, ignorant people. Or maybe it�s just easier to take a cue from our 3 year olds and pretend that by not thinking of the horrors going on in the world, they�ll simply go away. Or maybe the fact that the mainstream media chooses to concentrate on Paris Hilton�s sex life rather than reporting on the genocide, famine and inhumanity happening around the world gives us little else to think about.

Funny how it�s not until a celebrity like George Clooney speaks up that people start to pay attention to what�s happening in Darfur. It�s sad, but if this it what it takes to wake people up and take notice of what�s going on in the world, so be it. That�s why it�s so important that shows like 360 cover these scary, horrible, very real events in depth. Keep up the good work.
Posted By Anonymous Nan, Portsmouth, NH : 11:08 PM ET
Never having heard of coltan, I decided to check it out before Monday's show. I was very surprised to find that, as Anderson mentioned, it was sparsely reported. Most articles were from 2001. Coltan is essential for devices that regulate voltage in all the electronics mentioned. Everyone has a cell phone these days, so mining coltan is understandably more profitable for Congo's poor than farming. Unfortunately, whichever rebel group controls the mine gets the bulk of the money. Sound familiar? This is very much like the situation with poppy farming in Afganistan. Although it is legal, coltan's popularity has been tragic for the people of DRC. I look forward to 360's unique perspective.
Posted By Anonymous Cindy, Franklin MA : 12:51 AM ET
Thank you Anderson Copper and CNN team for your coverage, it really took you guys in the west to long to realize, Africa has more potential then the credit its given.
Posted By Anonymous KD, DSM, Tanzania : 1:18 AM ET
THANK YOU Anderson Cooper!!!!

For bringing to the attention of the of the world our problems!! Yes, we understand that you have your own problems, but all we ask is that the est of the world does not forget about us. Please don't pretend we have all the time in the world.

We are just trying to make our beds with what we have and it makes a a world of a difference if the rest of the world seems to care! No punt intended!
Posted By Anonymous Kim Kibiri, Nairobi, Kenya : 1:39 AM ET
It's not surprising that a country that is rich in natural resorces has lots of conflict. Greed usually brings out the worst in people. Unfortunately the people that should benefit from the resources are left behind to fend for themselves, and usually pay with their lives.

Now that there is a renewed focus on Darfur and the suffering of the people from both malnutrition and AIDS, it behooves us as a society to help in trying to eradicate or alleviate the above mentioned. Not enough is being done to help the country and it's people as a whole.

You are right, not many would have undertaken such a task as CNN to bring to light the plight of the people in
Posted By Anonymous A. C. Altadena, CA : 2:18 AM ET
It is true that living in an prosperous and industrialized nation that we don't often think about our fellow humans in other countries who are living a meager and dangerous existence. It is also mind-boggling that so many people in that area have died in such a short amount of time.

You guys have a lot to cover in a week and we all will be looking forward to hearing the truth about what is happening in that part of the world.
Posted By Anonymous Genevieve M., El Paso, TX : 2:32 AM ET
Thank you for bringing these stories to us. One of the many failings of US media is its lack of international issues. If our president were to put even half as much energy and money into helping out the Congo and Darfur as he has into the Iraq war, I think the world could have been a safer place, rather than a more fear-riddled one.

I'm glad that you have your priorities straight - I wish the rest of the media as well as the world governments would get their acts together and follow suit.
Posted By Anonymous Calla, San Francisco, CA : 3:17 AM ET
I truly believe that these is the network that can make a difference.AC360 is the only program that has bothered to enlight the world.The challenge is to keep these stories on the air so that people can do something. For many its just another TV show, once the channel changes or the television goes off all is forgotten and people go on with their lives.Africa is the richest continent in the world and the most exploited. For how long are we going to turn our backs. What hurts me the most is to see the children suffering.There are too many people talking but as we know actions speak louder than words. If we could only put our pride and selfishness aside and humble ourselves enough to help those in need there would more no wars to be fought.Mr cooper Please keep these stories alive. As long as you keep airing them ,the people in these regions will have hope that someone out there is listening. Hope is probably what keeps them going. May God give this network the courage to break down the boundaries and to make a difference in the world today. Thank you.
Posted By Anonymous Valerie G, Hesston KS : 3:58 AM ET
Who cares about Black people, especially African black people. The world loves to watch and talk about africans being killed either by bullets or desease and do nothing about it. If Congo or sudan was a 'white' country, the story would have been different. Please leave us alone, let us die and you watch us die!
Posted By Anonymous Chusi, Fort worth, Texas : 6:39 AM ET
Hey Anderson, Going to the Congo and Darfur is such an important decision for you and CNN. While it's been in the news a lot lately, its had to take a backseat to the events constantly unfolding in the Middle East. This situation needs to be made a priority because for too long we've sat back believing there was nothing we can do. I hope that by showing the horrendous condition this part of the world is in on live TV, you will finally make the impression needed for the Governments of the world to take immediate action.
Thank you AC360 and CNN, and stay safe.
Posted By Anonymous Lisa Scarboro, Ont. Canada : 6:42 AM ET
What is happening in the Congo has bothered me for a very long time, but I feel so helpless. I don't understand why our extended media spends so much time wondering where Suri is, but so little time on important issues like this. Which came first, the apathy of the public for something that is happening so far away to someone who the majority public does not identify with or the inability of the media to create the empathy and the belief that we should care and identify with these people? I'm not sure what the answer is.
Posted By Anonymous Jessie, Philadelphia, PA : 6:47 AM ET
"I hope you'll join us on this trip". And do what? Let's watch 'em die together? This is going to be a frustrating trip for the rest of us, half a world away; I envy you that by at least reporting on what's happening you can perhaps, maybe, bring about a change. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be enough oil in the Congo or Sudan for the world to care. A colored man's life apparently is worth next to nothing on the world market. Congo will eventually boil over, Darfur will be a memory, AIDS will run it's course, the next disaster will come and go and I will continue with my mug of coffee, notebook on my lap, in my heated living room, accompanying Anderson on his journey from my armchair; really caring about what's going on, but never caring enough to do something...
Posted By Anonymous Mark - Richmond, CA : 7:45 AM ET
Be prepared for the 'smell' of your travels in the Sudan and the Dufar problem. It will be the smell of death and misfortunate souls. It is like steping off the aircraft in Bombay and wiping the soot off of your arm. Our technology only provides the sights and sounds of what you report. But the smell of the olfactory senses do not reach your watchers or readers, an important element of 'being there'. Some day perhaps technology will reach this level, until then one can only 'describe' what one sees and cannot describe what on feels after realizing what that 'smell' is. Just consider how fortunate you are to be whom you are and where you are from - you get to come home and they only have one future which is not a bright one. I encountered this problem many years ago when I traveled extensively as a exploration surveyor in remote regions - most people just will not believe that such disparity exists.
Posted By Anonymous Tim Shelest, Vernon, Arizona : 8:00 AM ET
Anderson, we all appreciate the stories you bring us from all over the world (e.g. Afghanistan, Darfur, etc.) but aren't there any pressing issues in America that you think deserve your attention and effort? This past week the big story was a man going into a school with a gun, molesting and raping girls, then shooting himself and one of the girls. Last week it was the story of a man who had kidnapped a girl and kept her in a dungeon that he basically dug out of a hole in the ground, keeping her there for days while he raped her. You can't let your children play in the yard for fear that someone will snatch them. That doesn't even get into children being taken from their own beds in the middle of the night, and the fact that 1 in 4 women in this country will be raped at some point in her life. The next time you are waiting at the airport for your connecting flight, make a list of the women that you know, total that, and divide it by 4. Now start picking names to match with that number. A number is just a number until you put a name to it. I think your next big story should be: What is going on in the mind of the American Man? We are supposed to be the most civilized country on earth. That is hard to believe judging by a story I read on CNN a few weeks ago involving a man who repeatedly raped his own baby on the Internet while other people watched....and paid.

I do look forward to seeing your stories from Africa. Stay safe.
Posted By Anonymous Joanna, Dallas, TX : 8:17 AM ET
Why does everyone go to Eastern Congo? There are problems in Western Congo and people are dying there, just more quietly, because no one shines the spot light on them. I grew up in the Congo and I am tired of the lack of actual work being done to bring about peace. The only reason the East is in such bad shape and getting all the attention is because the West needs to feel better for having ignored the Rwanda genocide and all the murderers fleeing to the Congo. They all get fed in the refugee camps and the Congolese starve outside the fence. Maybe if the world had reacted with the concern they have now 11 years ago, the Congo would be a better place. Sorry for sounding bitter, but a country close to my heart is in shambles and there is only lip-service.
Posted By Anonymous Krista, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada : 9:02 AM ET
Anderson, I remember reading something about this almost 10 years ago. I remember thinking WHY ISN'T THIS BEING REPORTED on a LARGER SCALE? I am very pleased to see that at least you and CNN have not forgotten about these people. Keep up the awesome coverage.
Posted By Anonymous Liz, Chino Hills, CA : 10:46 AM ET
Be sure to get to the "root" of the problem......tell us who is doing the killing in the Congo and the Sudan and why. From there keep the focus on that and that alone and then we will all know the truth.
Posted By Anonymous David Ray Athens, Texas : 11:07 AM ET
How can the world show appreciation for the attention you all will give to this crisis? This story touches us all and is a personal reminder for me to be vigilant to those who we elect so they can work towards a resolution, acknowledge our own apathy so we can become involved, and realize that LIFE IS A GIFT AND A RIGHT FOR ALL HUMANITY.
God be with you all and thank you.
Posted By Anonymous Linda Brown-Burton, Midlothian, Virginia : 11:34 AM ET
thank you cnn and anderson cooper for opening up our eyes. now, we ALL need to open up our hearts.the shame that i feel is overwhelming.
Posted By Anonymous sharon thomas ,milford ohio : 11:48 AM ET
Sitting in comfortable, rural northwest Tennessee it's hard to imagine the conditions others around the world live in on a daily basis. I suppose we all tend to believe everyone lives about like we do. Anderson truly brings it home to us. The sights, sounds and suffering come into my home and invade my thoughts and I am touched by the hurt and daily struggles people have to endure just to survive. Though we are so far removed Anderson, you bring us so cloae and for that I say Thank You! Being a Southern Baptist I wonder how much of our mission $$ is being used in these areas---???
Posted By Anonymous Zann Vickers Easterwood Martin, TN : 12:48 PM ET
Great effort Anderson.. Once again your program/CNN is lending voice to suffering people whose suffering is hidden from the civilized world for years now..Iam so glad you are making time , taking risky journey's to bring this story to people like us living in US totally shielded from all this suffering. It makes us see the world differently and understand how hard life is for fellow women in sad women and children raped and troubled in today's civilised modern world..It such a voilation of human rights and hope UN and powerful people in the world watch your program and address these issues immediately.
I was watching Christina Amanpours program "where are the parents gone" on children Of AIDS victims and also your interview with Angelina where u showed clippings of lives of women in cango and other places in Africa. It was so touching and so painful to watch but Iam so glad the whole world is watching it..
May be this will change people all over the world... leaders of countries fighting silly wars, change people in power, change the thought process of people terrorising other people and make them give up terrorist activities and focus on helping fellow human beings who are already suffering so much. Hope it changes ordinary people like us ,to focus our energies/money/resources and time on to stop injustices like these happening in Cango and else where in the world and help those people rebuild lives. I pray God keeps you all safe and God gives strength toall those suffering people in Cango Africa to rebuild their lives all over again and forget all the suffering they went through.
Posted By Anonymous madhavi, Indianapolis, Indiana : 12:57 PM ET
Dear Anderson,

We are all responsible for allowing these people to die in "silence." How can we continue to live our comfortable and spoiled lives at the expense of these suffering people? Although, it is, as you said, "a place Americans know little about," it is, however, our responsibility to know where these raw materials are coming from. Does anyone think twice about where the diamond in their engagement ring may have come from, or if anyone, maybe even a child, had been maimed mining it? I doubt it. Hopefully your coverage next week will prompt people to take action and get involved.

I know you are not traveling to the exact same locations, but please share your thoughts on the air or in the blog on how this trip compares with the trips you have made to Africa in 1992 and in 2005. If he is with you, it would be great to hear Charlie's thoughts as well. It would be interesting to hear responses to the following questions. What effects, positive or negative, does your "celebrity" have on your ability to cover the African story this time around? Is there an advantage to being "unknown?" Does the horror of what is happening there affect you in the same way? Are people more or less reluctant to talk to you now? Most importantly, has any progress been made since your last visit?

I am so glad that CNN has allowed you to make this trip. One thing is for certain, because of the reputation you have made for yourself, you have a better chance of making a difference as a result of your reporting during this trip. Take care; try not to develop malaria again!

Jo Ann
Posted By Anonymous Jo Ann Matese, North Royalton, Ohio : 2:41 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
No one can die in silence when their story is exposed. As long as you guys get the word out, there will be no unknowns, no silent, no forgotten people..And if shouting from the rooftops about their plight saves even one person, you will have made a difference. Take Care
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton,Calif. : 2:54 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
First and most important please be careful! Secondly, I was just at my daughters curriculum night at the freshman campus (yes we are lucky enough to have a brand new campus for high school freshmen only!!) and her world studies teacher informed the parents that the kids will be studying Africa this year. I will make sure that she sees some of your reporting this week and I am sure her teachers will watch as well. Last year the freshmen class did a project based on their studies of Africa. They designed t-shirts and sold them. All proceeds went to help stop the genocide in certain parts of Africa. This years freshmen class will do something along those lines as well. In a world where most 14 and 15 year old kids are wrapped up in their cell phones, internet and the daily drama it is refreshing to know that kids do care about the big picture. Thanks to their incredible teachers, CNN and most especially you (they think you are cool)for bringing these stories to light. You help them and all of us make a difference no matter how small it might be.
Posted By Anonymous Terri, Issaquah wa : 11:54 PM ET
Thank you and your team for taking us on this journey with you to the Congo and Darfur, now and then we hear or read bits and pieces of what is happening in some of those African nations but not enough to fully comprehend the scope of the atrocities that occur over there.
It is so sad that in he midst of plenty natural resources there in so much malnutition, suffering, disease and death and very little if anything is done to alleviate this situation.
We deeply appreciate your candour, unfailing courage in bringing us these stories.
Posted By Anonymous Rose Jordan, Barbados. : 10:32 AM ET
It is time for Americans to realize that there are more important things going in the world than what celebrities are wearing or who they are dating. Perhaps if someone decided to make the crisis in Sudan and the Congo into a "reality tv" show with prize money for the "winners" then more people would watch. The only thing good about prime-time tv right now is "Anderson Cooper 360". The rest is a heap of garbage.
Posted By Anonymous Pia Cone, Jersey City, NJ : 10:54 AM ET
Thank you to CNN for coverage of Africa. Not 5 minutes ago in a hotel in Uganda I saw former Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards on his way to an event focusing on the conflict in Northern Uganda. Honestly, I don't know whether it's good or bad that he flew in for 2.5 days to attend events like this, held in fancy restaurants full of well-meaning powerbrokers, far from the reality of the conflicts and cholera in the camps. I DO think it is important that Americans know about Africa, though, and you accomplish this. Meanwhile, there are very positive stories to be told in Africa, too. Best wishes for safe, challenging work that makes a difference, somehow.
Posted By Anonymous Lisa, American in Kampala Uganda : 12:30 PM ET

Off on another global adventure, I see. No wonder David Doss thanked CNN's travel department in his Emmy acceptance speech!

But seriously, as I contemplated 360's upcoming African broadcasts, I was struck by an ironic dilemma news organizations and correspondents face when deciding to cover a story like the one in the Congo:

In order to bring this story to its viewers worldwide, AC360's team travels to Africa, bringing with it the latest in broadcasting technology, from cell phones to satellites to laptops, even Anderson's beloved Blackberry, all to ensure that the victims' of the Congo's current crises have their stories told properly.

However, in an effort to report on the realities of this tragedy, news programs like AC360 are using equipment whose existence is dependent, in part, on minerals like coltan, one of the causes of the region's ongoing conflicts.

This fact leads me to ask this question: Isn't AC360 at least a tiny bit responsible for perpetuating the demand for the very product that is at the heart of some of the atrocities the show is trying to expose?

I know there isn't a simple answer to this question, but perhaps you all can keep in mind those people whose lives have been forever changed so that their country's plight can be brought to the outside world.

Stay safe and thanks for continuing to present global issues on an individual level.
Posted By Anonymous Carolyn, Glendale, CA : 2:53 PM ET
May I just add that while people rightly call for America to quell the violence in the Congo and Darfur, I'd like to see Pres. Bush be given more credit for liberating Iraqis from totalitarianism by removing the same type of oppressive gov't that exists in some African countries.
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago IL : 6:10 PM ET
This probably won't be posted, but I hope it finds it's way to Anderson Cooper.

That is a mighty conceited statement, "The truth is no one but CNN would undertake a mission like this." Whether this is true or not, going around boasting about how great your network is, makes you no better than any other "blown dried" anchor. I would expect more from you Mr. Cooper.
Posted By Anonymous Kelly Breuer, San Francisco. CA : 7:54 PM ET
Dear AC 360...Everyone....Thank you! and I mean it...
Posted By Anonymous Jane, Toronto : 8:30 PM ET
Darfur is an example of how we are all as citizens of the world are fast losing our humanity by letting this happen. The question is, would it have been a different scenario if there was oil in Darfur?
Posted By Anonymous Aurora, Ontario Canada : 8:33 PM ET
Hi AC! I just got back from Lawrence, Kansas and here you are in the Congo. It is awesome that you get to travel to places like Beirut, Afghanistan, and Iraq. It is even better that you are willing to share these experiences with us. We get to see the world through your eyes and camera shots. You are in a world I am even less familiar with than the Middle East. I am lookin forward to your reports. Hopfully the world will be watching and focus on how to help these people. Have a great week and be safe!
Posted By Anonymous Kathy Chicago,Il : 8:59 PM ET
Okay I've read some of the comments, and I realized this. Some of you out there are selfish. We have food pantries that help the hungry. We spare change if asked in desperation. We also have shelters. Since everyone is aware of the problems we have here, why not take the stand, and make a difference. Shut up, and let CNN&Anderson report the story. Then I bet you get real Thankful for what you do have! I hope it gives us a little more compassion, and a wanting to not turn your head, but to help. Think about it when you jump into bed with your full bellies, and your loved ones around you. Be Thankful that's not your daughter, mother, or yourself being beatened or raped. Be safe you guys!
Posted By Anonymous jenn mckee orlando fl : 10:54 PM ET
I am glad that despite the expense and logistics of this mission you are going. I will be watching with deep interest as the humanitartian plights in both regions have been on my mind and my prayers and often I wonder what else can I do, there must be something because people just shouldn't die or suffer in silence.
Posted By Anonymous Christine Hunt Aurora, Ontario, Canada : 2:51 AM ET
Hey Anderson,

Thank you for bringing us the "true" story. Congo is a contradiction in itself. It is strickinly beautiful in some parts but there is so much violence! I saw a report of a makeshift hospital for women who are raped and beaten. It really got to me. To see the pain in those women's face but to see them holding there babies close to their hearts. Unconditionnal love. It is heartbreaking.

To think of all the natural ressources that Congo has. They could make it if only given the chance. But, greed,money, power rules the world. TO see so many violence in Darfur and Congo blows my mind away. And the children dying of hunger...

Please, talk about the humanitarian workers. They are doing amazing jobs but in difficult conditions. We can't watch was is going on and do nothing. They are part of the same planet as we are. We tend to forget.

THANK YOU CNN AND ANDERSON AND CREW for giving them a voice.

Stay safe, take care.
Joanne Ranzell
Laval Quebec
Posted By Anonymous Joanne Ranzell Laval Quebec : 9:47 AM ET
Hi Anderson,
I applaud the upcoming focus on the conflicts in Congo and Sudan. I agree that these and other African issues need to be more prevalent in mainstream media. But, while reporting, I urge you to not forget all the wonderful things happening and the interesting and complex people of that region, and to report on these as well. Those of us working in development and other international areas look often for good news coming out of Africa, but rarely find it. Thanks.
Posted By Anonymous Erin, Boston, MA : 11:20 AM ET
Part of the cause of the intense hostilities between Africa's people is the recurrence of famine in the area.
The problem of recurrent famine in Africa is an ancient one that is clearly being aggravated by ever increasing environmental abuse. The natural climate of the area is long droughts puntuated by floods. Few plants can survive both drought and flooding. One of the plants that can is the cattail plant (typha australis). As a result, it has proliferated greatly throughout the areas in which the famines are occurring. It clogs streams and lakes, irrigation and drainage channels, and absorbs much of the water that arrives. If you look for it on the internet, you can find evidence that this plant causes a great deal of damage in vulnerable areas. Its control, and in some places, eradication would go a long way toward solving the recurrent crises. It occuppies thousands of square km.

But the plant is made of food. Every part except the leaves is edible at some point in the life cycle, and the root-like rhizomes produce more foodstarch per acre than potatoes. Several North American Indian tribes used it extensively. If you look for this on the internet you can find a lot of information on primitive ways it was used.
The best way to extract the flour from the rhizomes appears to be to boil the rhizomes, and then put them through a wringer (like a clothes-wringer). Harvesting this plant for food is very labor intensive, but would-be farm workers compose the bulk of the victims. This plant could be feeding the people it is helping starve. The only real problem is that if the water they are grown in is polluted, the rhizomes will be too. What isn't fit for human consumption can be brewed into ethanol for fuel.
Posted By Anonymous Steve Klaber, Cleveland Heights, Ohio : 2:16 PM ET
This crisis is more important to me personally, than any "war" we are currently fighting in this world. I applaud you for coverng this story, and pray for your safety.

Thank you & Be Safe
A. Soesbe
Posted By Anonymous a. sosebe, atlanta GA : 4:01 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
I sat here at my computer and read all of the blogs that have been written so far and read about how people feel that there isn't enough news being covered on our own continent. Nor is there enough being done to prevent the crimes committed on our own land. The fact is that I watch CNN every day and I see the enormous coverage of each and every shooting, child kidnapping, etc. We know what's going on in the USA and we have police, fire departments, hospitals, and health care to take care of us.
In order to respond to this blog I read about the Congo and those people have been opressed from the beginning. Now the land is one of the largest petroleum producers but the citizens have poor health care because of the poor economic infrastructure. I also read that travelling to the Congo area is dangerous so Anderson, please take care of yourself.
My point is that,America does have problems. We have skid row in L.A., people still homeless in New Orleans over a year after Katrina, and too many Americans without health insurance.I see very little being done to solve the problems on our own land nor any ideas on how to solve our problems. I have a degree in social services and I cannot find a decent job because of budget cuts all over the country. How can we save our own citizens and save those suffering all over the world at the same time.
Posted By Anonymous Marilyn, Warner Robins, GA : 4:32 PM ET
I am completely shocked by the amount of people who are comparing problems in the US to Africa's. How dare those people compare the richest country in the world to the poorest and say that the State's problems are worse. Question, how many children die in a year because of starvation in the US? I don't think you can compare that statistic.

Yes, the US has lots of problems, but so does every country in the world. These countries in Africa need international assistance. They can't help themselves. We are so rich in North America and we need to share some of the wealth.
Posted By Anonymous Lindsay, Ottawa, Ontario, CA : 8:59 AM ET
Anderson: I am a Technology student and after reading this, I like to use this information for one of my projects. It is ironic that all this people died and we are benefiting from the new technologies that are being developing without taking under consideration (and in most cases) being unaware on how we affect the environment and societies in a quest for more and more confort in our lives. Hopefully by doing these I can touch people and will make them more sensitive about the cration and development of technology and the impact on human lives. Thank you...God bless.
Posted By Anonymous Lucy Lopez, Terre Haute, IN : 10:54 AM ET
Thank you for being so courageous to bring us these important stories that the world would rather keep hidden. Since we are so far away, we rely on you and your team for the facts. Your reporting will help us to make a difference. Please keep educating us on how we can ALL take part in ending these horrific events.
Posted By Anonymous Dana Summers, Scottsdale, AZ : 4:20 PM ET
I have been watching your report on the congo and all the rapes of women and children and none of the men being arrested. You then shift to the protection of the gorillas in the mountains. That a private group is paying for guards to protect the gorillas from poachers. Is it just me or does this seem unbelievable. I can respect the animals of this world but shouldn't the guards be protecting the women and children first? Is this world coming to men against women and children? Whether in the congo, the streets of Bagdad or the halls of congress? Men - what are you thinking?
Posted By Anonymous Melanie - Winter Park Florida : 6:06 AM ET
Mr. Anderson Cooper,

There is an election coming up soon in the Congo. Please put some pressure on those who wish to lead this great nation.

Nzingha Zola, Tucson,AZ.
Posted By Anonymous Nzingha Zola, Tucson,AZ. : 11:10 AM ET
Those gorillas need to be protected-that ecosystem is dying.
Posted By Anonymous Debbie Darby, Denham Springs, LA : 11:17 AM ET
Hi Anderson! I have been watching your report on the Congo and the Darfur regions. With all the natural ressources that Congo has and the rich oil Sudanese land, no children or women should've been malnourished or dying of hunger.
Aren't we looking for the cause of all those ills in the wrong place? Who is financing the milicia? Who is arming the warlords?
The answer is "Western multinational".

Africa needs an african "Think Tank" body that can advise the world on steps to take to resolve some of the issues.

My hope is that your report won't just stop at the diner table, but will bring about a shift in policy toward Africa.

Posted By Anonymous Serge, Dallas, Texas : 12:07 PM ET
It seems to me that there is something eternally wrong in Africa. Always, always, some big, horrible PROBLEM there. Africa has--at least as long as I have been alive (59 yrs!) been a place of inhuman behavior. Black and white Africans are guilty of tribalism. Tribalism is now overflowing the world, and that is a very bad thing.

Honestly, if you took every cent, every morsel of food, every drop of water, every dose of medicine from all the rest of the world and gave it to Africa, Africa would still be a mess. Yes, it's heartbreaking. Yes, you want to stop it. No, you can't. There are any number of cultures there--it's a continent, not a country--but nearly all are anti-life.

Go ahead. Take your little trip, show your handsome self, make your pronouncements.

Nothing will change, because there is something fundamentally WRONG in Africa. And it seems to be something we are not yet able to comprehend. I don't know; maybe it's cosmic.
Posted By Anonymous Ruta, Dallas, Texas : 11:49 PM ET
Dear Anderson,
When I saw your reporting on the crisis of the women in Darfur I felt compelled to help in someway! I quickly made a donation to DWS, but that is not enough. Women can band together and overcome this atrocity, not with bullets, but with money for these women. I ask the women of America to give just ONE DOLLAR a month to the DWS! We as American women cannot turn our heads! Let's show the world what we can do for them! We MUST help them. With a DOLLAR A MONTH from all the adult women in this country, we could get the women out of there! Let's teach them English. Then pay for them to go to school. Do anyone of them want to become nurses, engineers, doctors? The world is in dire need. We want the raped women of Darfur to be given a dream of finanacial independence. I know they will be able to take it from there. Anderson, how can this simple program be put into place?
Posted By Anonymous Tina Kolinas, Las Vegas, Nevada : 10:05 AM ET
Thank you Anderson Cooper for uncovering the suffering of the forgotten peoples - those affected by Katrina, now the Congo and Darfur.
God Bless you for using your great gifts to spark compassion in our hearts for our brothers and sisters.
Posted By Anonymous Mary, Vancouver WA : 1:18 AM ET
Thank you so much Anderson for bringing our misery to the attention of the world community. I thank you for not the courage, for many have the courage to jump off bridges, but for the love and genuine human concern you have for all humanity. You are using what God has given you to help humanity. THANK YOU SO MUCH.
Posted By Anonymous Fr. Mugagga Lule, Las Vegas, NV : 3:03 AM ET
Its so awesome what you are doing to raise awareness to the struggle in DRC. I just moved here from the US to work as a missionary in Bukavu. I work with rape victims in Panzi every week and its hard to relay the real story to people who are so far removed physically and emotionaly to the devistation here. thank you for telling the world about the things I've been seeing on a daily basis; I pray that the world will sit up and take notice. These women had the same worries and cares as most women throughout the world but all of that changed when everything they've ever known was stripped away from them due to tribal conflict.
Posted By Anonymous Wendy Merritt, Bukavu DRC : 6:54 AM ET
I hope that you not only bring to light the stories of the victims, as there are many, but also the mindset and the reason behind the mass killings. Too many times, when Muslims kill Muslims in Iraq and blacks kill and rape blacks in Africa, we never focus on the groups doing the killing and take them to task for their actions. Even responses to your blog generally note the US apathy, but not anger at the people actually doing the killing.
It would be refreshing for you to put aside CNN's political correctness and question the killers.
Posted By Anonymous David Milinazzo, Lynnfield MA : 10:18 AM ET
I'd like to thank you Mr Cooper,as a congolese woman living in the states,no words can express my gratitude.I have been watching in horror as my country was and is still being torn apart by these monsters,and no talked about it.You have giving the people of Congo a voice.Thank you!
Posted By Anonymous shaba nguza Atlanta,GA : 12:51 PM ET
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