The Common Good

I'm a Mac, and I'm Helping Fuel War in the Congo

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"With 1.7 million iPhone 4s sold within three days of launch, the only thing Apple's sorry for is that it couldn't meet demand," says PC World's blog about last weekend's business success. But what Apple -- and Intel, Dell, Nintendo, HP, and other computer, phone, and other electronics manufacturers -- should be sorry for is their failure, so far, to do what it takes to make sure that their products don't contain conflict minerals from Congo. There, profits from mining tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold often prop up blood-stained militias in a conflict in which rape is often used as a weapon, and which has claimed five million lives in the last decade.

Five million. Just picture all those folks you saw on the news outside Apple stores last weekend. Then picture three times as many as that, dead.

Check out Raise Hope for Congo for more info on the movement against conflict minerals (the site also has a PC-vs-Mac commercial spoof which would be hilarious if it weren't so true).

portrait-elizabeth-palmbergElizabeth Palmberg is an associate editor of Sojourners.

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