President Obama started another war this week; but if you relied upon the local press for your news, you would have heard nothing about it. According to Reuters dispatches, on Wednesday, Obama sent 100 American combat troops into the African country of Uganda, to fight on behalf of the central government against the rebel forces of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), in the middle of that nation’s lengthy and bloody civil war.
President Obama announced the decision in an official notification letter to Congress today, in what is commonly referred to as the “Friday news dump.” In the letter, Obama said that he had sent the initial team of armed U.S. combat troops to Uganda on Oct. 12; to be deployed not only in that country, but in the neighboring countries of South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic, as well.
So, our Commander in Chief has unilaterally involved this country in its fourth ongoing war (Obama’s second), without prior congressional authorization, and Louisville’s media outlets are silent. Today’s Courier-Journal led with a front-page story about Western High School’s dismal (but less dismal than before) student achievement, and an employment extension for the President of the University of Louisville. But no mention of Obama’s sending American boys and girls into the African jungles to fight and die.
Louisville’s local television outlets, WHAS, WAVE, WDRB, and WLKY, were similarly bereft of any information about America’s entry into the African civil war. If and when you discuss America’s latest imperialistic war with your friends, be sure to let them know that you first heard about it on louisville.com.
The White House web site contains the contents of Obama’s “notification” to congress:
"For more than two decades, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has murdered, raped, and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women, and children in central Africa," Obama said in the letter. "In furtherance of the Congress's stated policy, I have authorized a small number of combat-equipped U.S. forces to deploy to central Africa to provide assistance to regional forces that are working toward the removal of [LRA commander] Joseph Kony from the battlefield."
This marks the third time in recent history where a Democrat in the White House has involved American troops in an African escapade. Readers will remember when President Clinton sent U.S. soldiers into Somalia—ostensibly to capture some evil “war-lords”—only to suffer ignominious defeat at the hands of underfed teenagers with shoulder-fired rockets. Remember that horrible scene in Black Hawk Down, when the bloodied bodies of American soldiers were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu?
Then there’s Obama’s little adventure in Libya, where American-led NATO troops are chasing around in the boonies looking for the elusive Muammar Gaddafi, in a farce reminiscent of Woodrow Wilson’s sending Black Jack Pershing in pursuit of Pancho Villa. Never caught him either.
Now, our feckless leader has sent our boys (and, one assumes, our girls) into Africa’s heart of darkness to die in a Godforsaken country, in a Godforsaken part of the world where folks have been killing and eating each other since the dawn of time.
And lest you criticize that last remark as unnecessarily racist and stereotypical, we remind you of the fact that Uganda’s former President, Field Marshal Idi Amin Dada, was infamous for drinking the blood and eating the livers of his political opponents.
Speaking of fecklessness, we checked over at the Occupied Louisville demonstration site at Jefferson Square this afternoon, and there appeared to be no posters complaining of our warmongering president’s unilateral decision to involve us in the bloody internecine struggle in central Africa. Too busy trying to get those greedy Wall Street bankers to forgive their student loans, one supposes.
Louisville.com's The Arena section features opinions from active participants in the city's politics. Their viewpoints are not those of Louisville.com (a website is an inanimate object and, as such, has no opinions).