There may be no better demonstration of how the blind, unthinking and unfounded hatred of Barack Obama has skewed the rationality of conservatives than Rush Limbaugh’s endorsement of the war criminals, murdering “Lord’s Resistance Army” (LRA) in Central Africa.
Watch this short excerpt from a PBS documentary, “The Lord’s Children”:
Original PBS airdate: Tuesday, July 29, 2008. The region of Northern Uganda was ravaged by one of Africa’s longest civil wars until 2006. For over 20 years, more than 65,000 children, some as young as five years old, have been kidnapped by Uganda’s anti-government rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), and forced to serve as child soldiers and sex slaves.
Under the command of LRA leader Joseph Kony, these children have been terrorized into committing the worst atrocities, even killing their own families. Lord’s Children follows three former LRA soldiers who escaped from the bush and have since taken refuge in a rehabilitation center. WIDE ANGLE is with the center’s counselors as they help the physically and emotionally scarred children put their lives back together.
For more information, visit http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wideangle/episodes/lords-children/introduction/1769/
Oh, one may have second and third thoughts about President Obama’s dispatching of “advisers” to help Uganda’s government fight the LRA. Anyone who remembers Vietnam would think twice about such a deployment, though Rush appears not to remember Vietnam at all (!), and ignores the dramatic success of Obama’s policies toward Libya over the past year.
So that’s a new war, a hundred troops to wipe out Christians in Sudan, Uganda, and — (interruption) no, I’m not kidding.
I don’t have a really strong view on whether or not it’s advisable to dispatch a small number of US combat troops to help fight the Lord’s Resistance Army. My instinct is to be skeptical. I want to see less military intervention, not more. But Rush Limbaugh’s instinct is to embrace brutal murderers:
Now, up until today, most Americans have never heard of the combat Lord’s Resistance Army. And here we are at war with them. Have you ever heard of Lord’s Resistance Army, Dawn? How about you, Brian? Snerdley, have you? You never heard of Lord’s Resistance Army? Well, proves my contention, most Americans have never heard of it, and here we are at war with them. Lord’s Resistance Army are Christians. It means God. I was only kidding. Lord’s Resistance Army are Christians. They are fighting the Muslims in Sudan. And Obama has sent troops, United States troops to remove them from the battlefield, which means kill them. That’s what the lingo means, “to help regional forces remove from the battlefield,” meaning capture or kill. [...]
Lord’s Resistance Army objectives. I have them here. “To remove dictatorship and stop the oppression of our people.” Now, again Lord’s Resistance Army is who Obama sent troops to help nations wipe out. The objectives of the Lord’s Resistance Army, what they’re trying to accomplish with their military action in these countries is the following: “To remove dictatorship and stop the oppression of our people; to fight for the immediate restoration of the competitive multiparty democracy in Uganda; to see an end to gross violation of human rights and dignity of Ugandans; to ensure the restoration of peace and security in Uganda, to ensure unity, sovereignty, and economic prosperity beneficial to all Ugandans, and to bring to an end the repressive policy of deliberate marginalization of groups of people who may not agree with the LRA ideology.” Those are the objectives of the group that we are fighting, or who are being fought and we are joining in the effort to remove them from the battlefield.
This post is illustrated with a photo of a man who survived a Lord’s Resistance Army machete attack and has the gashes on his head to prove it. You can read more about it courtesy of Human Rights Watch:
LRA forces attacked at least 10 villages, capturing, killing, and abducting hundreds of civilians, including women and children. The vast majority of those killed were adult men, whom LRA combatants first tied up and then hacked to death with machetes or crushed their skulls with axes and heavy wooden sticks. The dead include at least 13 women and 23 children, the youngest a 3-year-old girl who was burned to death. LRA combatants tied some of the victims to trees before crushing their skulls with axes.
The LRA also killed those they abducted who walked too slowly or tried to escape. Family members and local authorities later found bodies all along the LRA’s 105-kilometer journey through the Makombo area and the small town of Tapili. Witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch said that for days and weeks after the attack, this vast area was filled with the “stench of death.”
I think reasonable people can disagree as to whether or not chasing a relatively small band of depraved mass murderers around central africa is a reasonable thing for American military personel to be doing. But let’s make no mistake—these are depraved mass murderers. And yet Rush Limbaugh is pleased to welcome them as fellow Christian allies.
If Limbaugh has a human brain cell and human heart cell left, surely he will retract this bizarre endorsement of terrorists.
You don’t know about the LRA? I suppose it’s possible people have slept through the past two decades or forgotten the news reports. The group has been terrorizing Sudan and Uganda since 1987. The facts from Wikipedia:
“The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants on 8 July and 27 September 2005 against Joseph Kony, his deputy Vincent Otti, and LRA commanders Raska Lukwiya, Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen. The five LRA leaders were charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, rape, sexual slavery, and enlisting of children as combatants. The warrants were filed under seal; public redacted versions were released on 13 October 2005.”
- You may wish to start with the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Uganda Recovery Act of 2010:
The Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act was a 2010 act of Congress promoted by the Obama administration that makes it American policy to kill or capture Joseph Kony and to crush his rebellion once and for all. According to the President, “The legislation crystallizes the commitment of the United States to help bring an end to the brutality and destruction that have been a hallmark of the LRA across several countries for two decades, and to pursue a future of greater security and hope for the people of central Africa.”
- The Economist carried a story on that law and U.S. intentions. Note especially the part about how this law is a moral imperative of the U.S., who failed with an attempt to defeat the LRA under the Bush administration in 2008, which failure produced a murderous rampage on the part of the LRA, “a killing spree that continues to this day.”
- White House statement on the signing of the LRAD&NUR Act
- LRA relies on the use of child soldiers. Children of War is a 2009 documentary that followed former LRA soldiers for three years of attempts to rehabilitate them after their brutal abuse as murderers by the LRA. “During the twenty years of war, an estimated 35,000 boys and girls were dragged from their homes, schools and villages, tied up and marched to rebel hideouts deep in the bush. There they were initiated into the Army’s cult-like culture through a combination of religious indoctrination, traumatizing abuse, and forced participation in extremely brutal violence. Often these child soldiers were forced to kill fellow abducted children, burn and loot villages and maim civilians—in some instances even their own families. Fear and total dependency upon their captors burdened many of the abducted children to yield, internalize and adopt the violent culture of the rebels. Additionally many of the female children were given to the rebel commanders as ‘wives’ and forced to produce more children: a new generation descended from brutality.”
- Invisible Children is a 2003 documentary on the LRA’s use and abuse of child soldiers. A foundation, Invisible Children, was set up to spread information and promote actions against the LRA.
- Rush could have done an internet search. The New York Times has a collection of stories dating back more than 20 years on the problems with the LRA. See this 1997 story about the “Christian” soldiers waging a war of terror. Also see the story on Limbaugh’s actions: “Updated | 6:02 p.m. Apparently sensing an opportunity to tarnish President Obama’s standing with listeners who were unaware of the suffering caused by the African rebels who call themselves the Lord’s Resistance Army, Rush Limbaugh responded to the president’s deployment of 100 military advisers to combat the group in central Africa on Friday in a segment of his radio show headlined, ‘Obama Invades Uganda, Targets Christians.’”
- LRA is not the only terrorist group using these tactics in Africa. See also, CBS 60 Minutes and “War Against Women.” Will Rush Limbaugh endorse those terrorists, too?
Limbaugh’s actions are really beyond the pale. Clearly he is undergoing some kind of mental disturbance. Is there any organization over him to see he gets the treatment he needs, and get him off the air before he does more damage? Responsible radio stations should pull his program until there is a retraction and some sort of indication that the man is not himself a threat to the country — assuming he thought he knew what he was doing.
Call your local Limbaugh outlet, ask if they endorse terrorism, too. If they don’t endorse terrorism, ask what they intend to say and do about Limbaugh.