The Bush administration has responded to the fresh outbreak of hostilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo with a less-than-resounding boilerplate proclamation renewing unspecified measures first adopted two years ago. It was a routine action that caused the combatants in the Congo about as much concern as a proclamation against jaywalking.
Here's the text of the announcement:
On October 27, 2006, by Executive Order 13413, I declared a national emergency with respect to the situation in or in relation to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and, pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706), ordered related measures blocking the property of certain persons contributing to the conflict in that country. I took this action to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States constituted by the situation in or in relation to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has been marked by widespread violence and atrocities that continue to threaten regional stability.The saddest part of the entire affair, of course, is that this limp missive represents the entire U.S. government response to the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Because this situation continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States, the national emergency declared on October 27, 2006, and the measures adopted on that date to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect beyond October 27, 2008. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13413.
This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
October 22, 2008.
Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a romantic thriller about blood diamonds in the Congo.