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Foreign Affairs

Obama, Limbaugh, and the LRA

President Obama has dispatched 132 U.S. Special Forces to the central African nation of Uganda in order to help combat the Lord's Resistance Army and bring its commander, cult leader Joseph Kony, to justice. While Ugandan, American, and other international efforts have been made to stop Kony before, now is likely the best opportunity to do so as he will have a much harder time retreating to safety in Sudan with the newly-independent Republic of South Sudan adopting a more anti-LRA stance. The United States Congress has passed bills with bipartisan majorities seeking to weaken the Lord's Resistance Army; the most recent one, authored by former Senator Feingold and co-sponsored by 64 others, passed in 2009 with the unanimous consent of the Senate and a simple voice vote in the House. The bill called for the United States to use military, intelligence, diplomatic, and development tools in order to combat the LRA and protect civilians. However, to be clear, it did not authorize the use of force. So long as these soldiers that President Obama sent to Uganda are not actively taking part in combat operations, he is in the clear for doing this. If he does wish to engage in combat operations--which would be unwise given our problems in the Middle East and a looming issue with Iran--he must get authorization from Congress. Given the fact that most of Congress has for long been in favor of stopping these brutal murderers, I foresee support if he can come to them with a clear, coherent, and comprehensive plan of action.

On this same subject, I can not help but draw attention to the recent words of radio host Rush Limbaugh. Attempting only to take any type of opportunity that he can to disagree with the president, Limbaugh declared that the Lord's Resistance Army was a good Christian organization dedicated to fighting tyranny and that we are thus wrong to be taking action against them. The radio host has said foolish things before, but this is a step way too far, and after some Googling during his show he apparently seemed to slowly step away from his comments--he ought to apologize for even making them. The Lord's Resistance Army is a cruel and inhuman terrorist organization that brutalizes men, women, and children. Joseph Kony is one of the most vile men to walk the planet, and it will be a good day for the human race when he is finally brought to justice for the evil he has committed. My stepmother and some family friends traveled to Uganda as part of a film crew a few years ago to get the stories of some of the former child soldiers who had escaped Kony's captivity. The Lord's Resistance Army will go into homes, torture and kill the adults, and then abduct the children. The boys are given guns and forced to go kill their families and neighbors; the girls are raped and prostituted. Their preferred method of killing civilians is tying them to trees and then hacking at their bodies with machetes or crushing their skulls with axes. These are not Christian men. They are not good men. They are not even men. They are depraved butchers and rapists. Disagree all you want with the prudence of going after the Lord's Resistance Army, disagree with President Obama having the authority to do this, disagree with the United States getting involved in anything abroad, but do not give Joseph Kony and his ilk any inkling of legitimacy or support. Shame on those who do.
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Discussions - 2 Comments

That's a pretty bold stand you're taking there, ROB, calling out Limbaugh like that. You're a maverick! (....and keep linking to ThinkProgress stuff - like you mean it. I'll be interested to see how that turns out.)

Great writing Robinson. I always find your articles entertaining and insightful. I have been wanting to comment on them and finally the urge is irresistible. So here's to my first comment on NLT: Robinson is the man!

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