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Every night thousands of children travel through the night hiding in churches, shelters and abandoned buildings seeking to avoid capture by the Lord's Resistance Army's brutal commander, Joseph Kony. Kony reportedly makes sex slaves out of the children, tortures them and turns them into murderers and soldiers and slaves. The war between the Ugandan government and the rebels has been going on for 20 years with a death toll of tens of thousands of victims. The insurgency has mutilated, cooked and eaten, brutalized and raped indiscriminately. Now thanks to folks like Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney, several thousand folks nationwide are planning a gigantic rally called Global Night Commute to increase awareness of the crisis in Uganda. The rally proposes to raise awareness for two purposes. 1. To raise funds for the 'effort' (no surprise there) and 2. To register outrage and demand that the U.S. government "do something".
Now, I know these folks mean well, but providing humanitarian aid is only going to accomplish what it did in Somalia - provide the warlords with further supplies for their troops and point out clearly who need to be targets for their depredations. Women making money for their families and healthy children are only going to infuriate these guys. Don't forget - they're evil. That was pointed out in yesterday's Oprah segment. You know they are going to try and take out anyone who is not afraid of them and tries to stand up to them. Will people be heroic and stand up for what's right - you bet! Will many of them die tragically for it - of course!
Where I get crossways with Hollywood types trying to solve world problems is with their stubborn insistence that you can do something about evil by hosting house parties and talking about how awful it is and that giving money is as good as actually doing something.
You can't just sit around and talk about how bad it is and expect things to change. You can't just sit around a nice round table and negotiate and expect bad people to lay down their guns and stop being naughty. You can't send supplies and teachers and rest assured that everything's gonna be all right. You've got to put boots on the ground and make a mess before you can clean up something like this. Unless you take out the bad guys, they're going to keep on doing bad things. Did we learn nothing from Osama, Saddam, Tojo and Adolph?
The problem is the soft-hearted folks in the U.S. (and I count myself one of them) who look at this stuff and are apalled, haven't learned much from our experience trying to clean up these messes. We've thrown money at this stuff for years and only managed to strengthen the bad guys. If Oprah and George want to do some real good, they need to hire some mercenaries and send them into Northern Uganda to take out the LRA leadership and liberate the kids they are holding as prisoners.
Let me hear a call for the U.S. to offer military aid to the government of Uganda and neighboring countries like the Congo and put some divisions and equipment in there with the Africans and help them clean up this mess the only way you can deal with armed evil people.
If the liberals and conservatives in this country could unite in a call for a realistic solution to the problem of evil little armies running around helpless little countries in the third world - namely multi-national armed intervention (and by that I don't mean blue helmeted UN Peacekeepers). Lets send some Seal teams after Joseph Kony. Lets negotiate with the Congo and other neighbors where Ugandas tormentors go to hide out and let us give this pervert a real war.
Let's let the Seals show how it's done. Let them go in and help the villagers, bring them food, technical assistance, dig wells and plant fields. Watch how quickly the guerillas would be ratted out and exterminated if we went in there full up.
But you know why that won't happen? It's because everybody's afraid we might encourage the Christian religion or do some missionary work while we're at it or something. A lot of this is part of the ongoing conflict in that part of the world between Muslims and Christians (or more precisely between the perverse offshoots of both faiths). The world will demand that we go in and clean up the mess and then step aside so the persecution can commence once more.
We're handicapped because we don't want to get in the middle of a religious war. The problem is that we're already in one. And don't get me wrong, it's not with Muslims, it's with fanatic elements of Mohammedanism that claim to speak for their more moderate brethren and it's they who have declared war on us.
Why don't we put our troops on the ground? One of the reasons is it's so hard to figure out who to shoot! The good guys are very hard to identify in the third world. Often its both sides of the conflict who are doing evil things. Who wants to go through all that mess again.
The Uganda-CAN website lists 10 things you can do to help. They include lots of petition signing, various fund-raisers and prayer. Of all of those things, the last might just be the most effective thing we can do.
When I look at this kind of tragedy, I have to believe Jesus must be coming back soon. I can't think of any other way to get this all sorted out other than to take home the good guys and leave the evil ones behind to wipe each other out. I personally believe hell will be the nuclear holocaust that happens when God withdraws his people and his spirit from the Earth at the end of time. Seems like that's already happening in some places.
As the Kingston Trio once sang, "Then, some lucky person on some lucky day; someone will set the spark off and we will all be blown away."
That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoe-making and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse. -Mark Twain