Here's more for my "reality once again outpacing satire" folder (h/t to David Gibson at dotcommonweal and The Lede). The president's recent decision to commit 100 U.S. military advisors to train Ugandan, Central African Republic and Congolese troops so they can, God willing, finally put an end to the reign of terror orchestrated over more than two decades by the psychotic Lord's Resistance Army has drawn critcism from the usual suspects. Now you can, I guess, make the case that this minor deployment is ill-advised or that there are better ways to track down the murderers, rapists and child molestors of the L.R.A., but rare is the man who could argue that it would be offensive to go after this "Christian" militia, since Lord=God and they purport to be resisting the Islamic hordes in Central Africa. Rare indeed. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Rush Limbaugh:
In a segment of his radio show headlined, “Obama Invades Uganda, Targets Christians," he, natch, rebukes Obama for this vast overextension of the U.S. military, and then goes a little further down the road toward self-parody, helpfully explaining that the “Lord” referred to in their name is not someone named Lord, but “God."
Here's Rush, quoted The Lede from the N.Y. Times:
"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.
"It means God." Yeah. No, not so much. Rush adds, “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. So that’s a new war, a hundred troops to wipe out Christians in Sudan, Uganda.”
If, like Rush, you have never heard of the L.R.A. before, here's a sample of their fine work (I used my extensive research skills to extract this from their Wikipedia entry): "On December 25, 2008, the LRA massacred 189 people and abducted 120 children during a concert celebration sponsored by the Catholic church in Faradje, Democratic Republic of the Congo, continuing the attack on December 26. Shortly afterwards, the LRA struck three additional communities: 75 people killed in a church north of Dungu, and the church burned; 48 people killed in Bangadi, and 213 people in Gurba. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimated the death toll as 189 in Faradje, Doruma and Gurba. However, Caritas International estimated the number of victims to be about 500."
You just can't make this stuff up anymore. I think Rush's grotesque attempt to spin this decision against Obama says less about how poorly informed even professional commentators on current events can be than it does about how craven and dysfunctional U.S. political culture has become. Anything to smear Obama as 2012 draws nigh. I've heard of politics making strange bedfellows but Rush L. and the L.R.A.? He needs to fire his researchers. Or hire some. Or something.
What should be of note here is that the decision to use U.S. military advisors in East Africa marks a second step, after the U.S. role in the multilateral air campaign over Libya, to practically engage the Responsibility to Protect, which U.S. and other Western powers accepted in 2005. That doctrine calls for coordinated international response (not necessarily a military one) to humanitarian or human rights catastrophies when the sovereign authority is incapable of responding itself or when that authority is itself the culpable force behind clear crimes against humanity. (See also "Libyan Freedom")