The War-mongering President

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryJust as the civil war in Libya is sort-of finished (well, not really), now U.S. President Barack Obama is putting 100 “advisers” into Uganda to “help” in the fight against the Lord’s Resistance Army. I have three very, very major questions for President Obama. First, why is he doing this at a time when America’s economy is contracting and a record number of Americans are out of work? Why is he wasting America’s resources in a conflict that has no bearing on this country’s national security? Second, why is he doing this without congressional approval? He already got away with no congressional approval for heavily intervening in Libya, but now he is going to do the same in Uganda? Finally, why is he putting U.S. soldiers into another war?

It is what an old friend of mine once said, “when you put soldiers into a war zone, they will be at war.” These advisers will be helping and training in the field Ugandan army units to go after guerrillas in a war that has been dragging on for almost 25 years. This is not some conflict that happened yesterday. Nor is the Lord’s Resistance Army an ordinary guerrilla force. They have a very long and very bloody record to put it mildly. They have been known to kidnap boys and force them to become soldiers. They have been known to kidnap and force girls to be sex slaves. They have been known to hack off people’s limbs as a warning and kill people in horrible ways. They have been guilty of wholesale massacres of villagers in northern Uganda and in the southern Sudan, where in one case the Lord’s Resistance Army guerrillas forced all of the villagers to walk off a cliff.

The group’s surviving leader, Joseph Kony, is guilty of so many terrible atrocities that he is wanted by the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Clearly the Lord’s Resistance Army is a monstrous organization that has killed and ruined the lives of millions of people, and no one should shed any tears for it. However, I find it disturbing that President Obama would start to get this country involved in something we have no business being in no matter how bad the other side. If anything, Obama has placed Americans in serious harm’s way so that they might indeed get killed to then justify even greater involvement in this conflict. And the Lord’s Resistance Army will not hesitate to kill American soldiers in horrible ways. In 2009, the United Nations had sent a crack U.S.-trained Guatemalan team trained in jungle warfare to try and kill Joseph Kony. Not only did they fail but those Guatemalan soldiers who were captured were killed and their bodies were left to rot in the jungle (their commander was beheaded by the guerrillas).

What truly bothers me is that President Obama is doing what he is doing without any authorization from the U.S. Congress and certainly without the consent of the American people (although I have to equally blame the U.S. Congress for slackening off on its duty of stopping the president. It is not a one-way street). What is happening is reminding me dangerously of another conflict we got into where we sent advisers that escalated into the United States wasting tens of thousands of lives and billions of dollars—Vietnam. I am still trying to figure out why the Norwegians gave President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.

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