Killing the Lord in Uganda

Well, we’re now off to Uganda to bring peace and joy to that African nation by presenting them with 100 military ‘advisors’ to assist in the final elimination of the rebel group called the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).  Headed-up by a mass-murderer named Joseph Kony, this gaggle of primitive gangsters has been responsible for thousands of killings, rapes, abductions, and child slavery across the Ugandan, Sudanese, and Congolese regions.  The brutal history of these guerrilla goons is certainly not in dispute.  But us cautious and curious citizens here in the US are a bit perplexed as to the real whys and wherefores of Obama’s latest geopolitical maneuver that inserts an American military presence into this sector of the Dark Continent.

Why send military ‘advisors’ to Uganda to help eliminate a group that is already fractious and floundering?  Back in the 1990s, the LRA was a strong fighting force that terrorized the countryside, but today its bedraggled hangers-on are hunkered down in the backward boonies of the bush and only number in the hundreds as opposed to the thousands of armed thugs that used to swell their ranks.  So why send in military ‘advisors’ now?

And aren’t there a few other terrorist and rebel organizations panning the African continent that pose a much clearer danger to not only African stability but also to our own short and long-term interests?  What about the al-Shabaab terrorist group out of Somalia that claimed responsibility for the 2010 bombings in Uganda during the World Cup that killed 70 people?  This nasty outfit has ties to Al-Qaeda and has turned Somalia into the killing fields of Africa.  But maybe Obama’s Uganda venture is indeed all about al-Shabaab.  Since Uganda has committed thousands of its country’s troops to the African force fighting this terrorist group in that sinkhole known as Somalia, maybe the 100 ‘advisors’ from the US are simply a little thank you gift to Uganda’s president for helping to destabilize the Muslim terrorists living next door.

Uganda is predominately a Christian nation (84%) with a small Muslim minority (12%) and an even smaller Jewish community within its borders.  People generally seem to get along here and the intense religious hatreds that plague Muslim-dominated countries on the continent are thankfully thin on the ground in Uganda.  Under the leadership of their perennial president, Yoweri Museveni since 1986, this struggling pseudo-democracy has managed to create stability in a very unstable region.  Despite Museveni’s power hoarding, Uganda has made economic gains during his oversight and has also been one of the few African countries to successfully reverse the scourge of the HIV/AIDS epidemic that has decimated the continent.  So as quasi dictatorships go, especially in Africa, this one appears pretty benign.

But Obama’s ploy to put boots on the ground in Uganda especially given the endless double-speak from the White House about our military commitments in Afghanistan and Iraq is intriguing.  And then committing the extra sin of only informing Congress after the fact….now isn’t that a big No-No in the neo-liberal notebook of goody two-shoes’ guidance for the new American persona?  I mean, what will Obama’s comrades in the Occupy Wall Street cabal have to say about such a brazen presidential imperialistic action?  Funny, but I haven’t heard a peep from those perpetually put-upon progressive pissants—all quiet on the Free Lunch Home Front.

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