Search Box

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Lord's Resistance Army

This past Friday, Barack Obama announced that we would be sending 100 troops to help central African governments fight the Lord's Resistance Army. Obama said, "I believe that deploying these U.S. Armed Forces furthers U.S. national security interests and foreign policy."

This is, of course, Obama-speak for "It has nothing to do with U.S. interests." (Remember, this is a man who said that he would be the "post-partisan President," and who, before picking Sonia Sotomayor to be Supreme Court Justice, said that he wanted a "strict Constitutionalist who would not legislate from the bench.")

Of course, the fact that helping Uganda and the Congo battle the LRA has little to do with our vital interests makes it no worse than our other military adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan. If anything, it's more justified. The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), according to Wikipedia, practices murder, abduction, sexual enslavement of women and children," and forces children to participate in the hostilities. (The Ugandan Army has also been known to recruit children and practice mass rape, but let's ignore that for the moment.) The LRA will on occasion cut off the noses, ears, lips, and hands of its victims.

The LRA is not animated by any known political ideology, but rather by a toxic brew of mysticism, Acholi tradition, and the Ten Commandments (!).

In other words, they are religious nutcases. Not unlike some of the factions we've sided with at various times in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The LRA was founded by Alice Lakwena, who informed her followers that if they covered their bodies with shea nut oil, it would make them impervious to the Ugandan Army's bullets. She also told her followers that they should never take cover in battle, and should never kill snakes or bees. Her movement was later taken over by Joseph Kony, who told his followers that they should use oil to draw a cross on their chests as protection from bullets.

It is inevitable that after we leave Iraq, it will descend into sectarian squabbling and perhaps even civil war. Worse, it could be overrun by Iran. It is also inevitable that when we leave Afghanistan, the Taliban will take over.

At that point, we will have effectively lost both wars.

Should we lose to the LRA, it certainly won't say much for our military adventurism. 

Perhaps at that point, our soldiers should start covering their bodies with shea nut oil.

Better yet, maybe our politicians should start slathering it on, to protect themselves from bad decisions.

No comments: