Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Repeat Offenders

The same folks who sell Christmas gift certificates that can be used to pay for an abortion have been found in flagrante delicto against Indiana state law not once but twice by the Mona Lisa Project. The MLP is the work of a pair of college students who've gone undercover into abortion clinics across the country with one of them posing as a thirteen year-old girl who's conceived a child with her fictitious thirty-one year-old boyfriend. The girls secretly film their encounters with PP counselors and others and have released two of the videos so far. They're pretty damning.

The counselors in both of the Indiana tapes flout the law that requires them to report knowledge of statutory rape and encourage the girl to cross state lines to get an abortion so that her mother won't find out about it. Here's the tape of their second visit:

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has much more on MLP's unfolding expos�. It'll be interesting to see if Indiana is going to prosecute Planned Parenthood. In my opinion, the way MLP is doing this, dropping the videos into the public domain at intervals rather than all at once, is going to make it harder for the authorities to just ignore it until it blows over. The more of these videos that are released, and the more widespread the abuses appear to be, if in fact they are, the harder it will be to cover it up and to contain public outrage. The harder it will also be for our legislators to continue to fund PP to the tune of $330 million of your tax dollars every year.

It's almost amusing that these expos�s come on the heels of last spring's hoax in which PP personnel were taped as they clearly encouraged a donation that would go specifically toward aborting black children because we already have "too many of them". What an organization.


Bumble Had it Right

Kitty Genovese was a 1964 New York City murder victim whose calls for help were heard by dozens of people only a few of whom responded by calling the police. Even though the apparent lack of response was overblown by the media, subsequent psychological studies showed there is indeed something called a "bystander effect" in which people will often refuse to involve themselves in situations where others are in danger.

Whether this is true of people or not, it certainly seems that the cries of the long-suffering Zimbabwean people in Africa have gone pretty much ignored by their neighbors in Africa and around the world.

The African countries of Sudan and Zimbabwe (among others) are festering boils of human cruelty and wretchedness that need to be lanced. There's evidence that other African leaders may finally be screwing up the moral courage to condemn Zimbabwean strongman Robert Mugabe for the disaster he has inflicted on that once beautiful land but not much evidence that anyone in the West is actually going to do anything substantive about it if they don't. FrontPagemag lays out the awful facts:

The 84-year-old Robert Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since the country achieved independence from Britain in 1980. In that time, Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) has gone from one of Africa's most admired and successful nations to a failed state of enormous proportions. Now, with a humanitarian crisis raging inside the country, pressure from Africa and abroad is mounting for Mugabe to end his tyrannical reign and spare his country from further misery.

International pressure on Mugabe is long overdue. Zimbabwe's inflation rate is an unfathomable 231 million percent, while unemployment is above 80 percent. Everyone from human-rights activists to opposition-party leaders are routinely abducted and murdered. Most pressingly, a cholera epidemic is ravaging the country. The latest World Health Organization report find 14,ooo cases of cholera infection, and some 800 dead, though some critics call those numbers far too low; meanwhile, millions of sick and impoverished Zimbabwean refugees are flooding into neighboring countries. The UN estimates that this particular outbreak will ultimately kill one in ten Zimbabweans.

Even though some African leaders such as the much respected Desmond Tutu have all but called for African military intervention, other voices are more timid, cautioning against outside involvement that would stir a backlash in the region against "democracy":

The African response, moreover, still leaves much to be desired. Despite the newfound willingness of some African leaders to criticize Mugabe, some African nations are hurriedly distancing themselves from Tutu and Odinga's calls for Mugabe's resignation. Dr. Roger Bate, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, is bluntly pessimistic that other African nations will follow through on their calls for Mugabe's overthrow. There is "no chance at all," says Bate, pointing out that many of Mugabe's critics have backtracked since last week's statements, including South Africa's Jacob Zuma. This is unfortunate, because if the African Union or South Africa and other neighboring states did force Mugabe out that "could have a positive effect, driving similar despotic leaders to seek elections and leave power peacefully."

By contrast, foreign [i.e. non-African] intervention to oust Mugabe could have a destabilizing effect. Bate points out that any military intervention on the part of the UN, especially one that involves American or British troops, could "encourage a backlash against democracy." Bate speculates that at some stage during such an incursion, members of the Zimbabwean army would back a breakaway faction of Mugabe's party, who would then "form some kind of power share government in exchange for aid from the West or China."

In the "old days" before we became a kinder, gentler nation much more sensitive to what the rest of the world thought of us, this situation would have been expeditiously handled by simply sending the CIA in to covertly depose the villain. Of course, we can't do that sort of thing nowadays because it would violate international law. So, we sit by and watch helplessly as perhaps millions of people die in agony and misery in order to avoid giving offense to words on paper. When the law protects tyrants and permits genocide then, as Dickens has Mr. Bumble observe in Oliver Twist, the law is an ass.