The CSM post-naming elves (creators of my personal favorite: “Why Somalia would make Afghanistan seem like Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood for US troops“) have titled these posts:
It’s like a little debate, see?
Except as I see it, the difference between Stearns’s and Seay’s positions is not where the action on this issue is. Neither of them agrees with the central premise of the conflict minerals campaign, which assumes that competition over control of minerals is a primary driver of the conflict. One of them thinks the legislation might have some marginal positive effect despite being epiphenomenal to the sources of conflict and the other believes it probably won’t. Frankly, there’s not a lot of daylight between these viewpoints. (Hence the post title homage to the Onion’s classic post-9/11 Point/Counterpoint: “We Must Retaliate with Blind Rage” vs. “We Must Retaliate with Measured, Focused Rage.”)
The more interesting debate here is the division between the advocacy community, led by Enough, and the expert community. As far as I can tell, Enough has not yet managed to get a single serious researcher of the eastern DRC to sign on to their analysis of the conflict. (Would anyone like to dispute this? I am willing to lower the bar to anybody who has spent more than six weeks straight in the Kivus.)
Stay tuned for Amanda’s analysis of the legislation itself…