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The Party for Socialism and Liberation has come out with an anti-imperialist position about this whole KONY 2012 campaign, which with its first class promotion, I will assume "needs no introduction."

The PSL position isn't wrong, as far as it goes. The problem is that it doesn't go very far. It is over simplistic whereas the real world is much more nuanced. They hear "oil" and they think "That's it!" and they don't look much beyond that when there is so much more than that involved.

Their refusal to comprehend just what is going on in Syria now means they don't get the obvious contradiction that while Assad is presently killing hundreds a day, he just started shelling a second Syrian city and there are reports that he is now using helicopter gunships, a worldwide campaign to bring to justice another war criminal, but one that hasn't been in Uganda for 6 years, is stealing all the headlines.

Also their faulty view of Mummar Qaddafi and his role in Africa and their failure to understand what is happening in Libya have not helped them understand why US Special Forces landed in Uganda just about the time Qaddafi was being killed.

PSL claims to be a Marxist organization so I will begin by looking at their statement and its limitations before giving my own Marxist views on the phenomenon known as KONY 2012 because I don't believe Marxists can give good guidance to the struggle with simple "one size fits all" answers. We must be able to understand and explain things in detail and from all sides.    

From the PSL's
What's behind Kony 2012?

A little-known but not insignificant factor at play in the region is the discovery of oil in Uganda in recent years. “One of the most spectacular recent finds has been in Uganda. The reserves of the Albertine rift, which takes in the Ugandan and Congolese shores of Lake Albert ..., are said to need $10 billion for development. All being well, Uganda will soon become a mid-sized producer, alongside countries such as Mexico. Foreign investment in Uganda may nearly double this year to $3 billion. The country expects to earn $2 billion a year from oil by 2015.” (The Economist, May 31, 2010)

Could it be that a desire to get access to this bonanza is a significant factor behind imperialist interests in intervening in the region's conflicts? To ask the question is to answer it.

It goes without saying that imperialist harbor a predatory interest in any country that has oil. That is not rocket science nor does it do grace to Karl Marx. It is also a long, long way from explaining why we are suddenly all talking about KONY 2012.

To be fair, PSL then goes on to say:

Oil, of course, is not the whole story, as Uganda is a key U.S. ally in a number of geostrategic endeavors.  There is much to be said on this topic...
But then they jump to conclusions like:
U.S. imperialist interests and humanitarian interests are mutually exclusive.
This mechanistic view also shaped their "line" on Libya. It is based on their emotional attitude towards the US and has nothing to do with Libya or Uganda or the concrete conditions of the situation in either case.

Still, I agree with most of what they had to say in this piece. I particularly liked:

The journal Foreign Affairs writes that IC “manipulates facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders and emphasizing the LRA’s use of innocent children as soldiers, and portraying Kony—a brutal man, to be sure—as uniquely awful, a Kurtz-like embodiment of evil,” (referring to a fictional character in Joseph Conrad's novella “Heart of Darkness”).
And what they had to say about the campaign's promoter, Invisible Childern:
Chris Blattman, a political scientist at Yale, has written on the topic of IC’s programming: “There’s also something inherently misleading, naive, maybe even dangerous, about the idea of rescuing children or saving of Africa. […] It hints uncomfortably of the White Man’s Burden."
But overall I think they fail to explain what is happening now and why, and they fall far short of what should pass as a reasonable Marxist analysis. But I agree with them that "There is much to be said on this topic" so let me begin were they left off by telling you, from a Marxist perspective, what I think is going on with KONY 2012 and why.

Obama re-election ploy?

While oil and other imperialist concerns play a role, I think the main driving force behind KONY 2012 is Barack Obama's need to be re-elected in 2012. That is why Joseph Kony, a war criminal and mass murderer who has been on the loose for 26 years suddenly needs to be "brought to justice" in 2012.

What makes KONY 2012 have any real chance of success in its stated goal is the hundred US Special Forces deployed to Uganda in October 2011 and only Obama had the power to order that mission.

PSL and many of the other "anti-interventionist" that campaigned against US intervention in Libya are now vigorously campaigning against US intervention in Syria and this time I think they will be successful because I don't think Obama has any intention of doing anything substantial to stop Assad's bloodletting.

I don't think he plans to start a war with Iran either, or sanction one started by Israel, at least not until after the election. The blow back, both in economic and human terms just might be too high and upset his chances of being re-elected. To quote a famous line I heard somewhere "He wants what every first term president wants, he wants a second term." This too is the imperialist way.

At this point it time, getting re-elected is foremost in Obama's mind that you can bet, that has a lot more to do with why he ordered 100 USSF into Uganda now than any long term imperialist interest in more oil.

So while Obama probably isn't planning any big military actions between now and the election, as those could be too iffy from the re-election standpoint, and even though he has Bin Laden's scalp under his belt, he probably needs the insurance of something like an "October surprise" on the military front to shore up his "right flank" as he faces the Republican challenge in the fall. Something like another Ben Laden take down that he could pull out of his hat would be nice.

Joseph Kony has a history of atrocities that goes back 26 years and is one man that seems to have no redeeming qualities. He was the first person ever indicted by the ICC and he hasn't been in Uganda for 6 years but he is still in the region. His child army, which once number 3000 is now down to less that 300 children so a 100 well equip US Special Forces should be able to defeat them easily. The deployment to Uganda probably satisfied a pentagon desire to see US "boots on the ground" in Africa after they couldn't get their eggs hatched in Libya, but the decision to send them there was the president's.

The problem with this plan is that nobody knew who Joseph Kony was and you just can't get much political mileage out of taking down a nobody. What was needed, after the troops had been sent to get him, was a campaign to make him world famous. They needed to fatten him up before the kill, so to speak...

That must be the force behind this new KONY 2012 campaign and why it must be done this year. It certainly isn't, as the filmmakers argue in the video because:
"Unless the government knows the people care, the mission will be canceled."

That is the laugh line in an otherwise very serious video. Since when did the US military cancel a mission because of a lack of public support? Where was the mass outpouring of public support for Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan?

Although they come from what could be called a "white, liberal do-good perspective", Invisible Children seems sincere in their desire to rid the world of Kony. They have been at it since 2004, here is article about them from the Nation in 2006. They are principally filmmakers that see films about Kony as their major tool. Accordingly, most of the money they have collected has gone to equipment, travel, salaries and other expenses, with only about a third going to people in Uganda.

The video itself is certainly no amateur activist effort. It is highly polished and represents the best production values Hollywood has to offer. A Reuters article today gives us a clue as to its pedigree:

Filmmaker Jason Russell's nonprofit group, Invisible Children, tapped 12 influential policy makers and 20 celebrities with popular Twitter accounts, including Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie, to spread the video. Since then, the company owned by powerful producer Harvey Weinstein has contacted Russell to buy the film.
Want to venture a guess who all these people will be supporting in the 2012 election?

Angelino, defending the KONY 2012 campaign in the pro-Democratic DailyKos, without however seeing the military aspect I am predicting, says:

Regardless of whether you agree with the campaign's content, do you think there might be something to learn from their methods? Would you like to have another 26 million people turn out to vote Democratic in November?
Not to make too fine a point.

The Reuters article also make some criticisms of the video:

The phenomenal success of the video, including the savvy media campaign with tweets about Kony, has been hailed for inspiring young people to activism, but has suffered some criticism including that it oversimplified a long-standing human rights crisis.
Mixed reactions in Uganda include criticism that the attention has come too late, that much of the armed conflict in the area has subsided and the film leaves out that the Ugandan military is often accused of committing the same atrocities as Kony's fighters.

In addition, Kony is believed to have long since fled Uganda and now only commands a few hundred followers.

I would also add to this the observations of Teddy Ruge on AJE that this is a US organization that is calling for US military intervention in Africa, that it has no African voices, that these atrocities aren't news in Uganda, Kony hasn't been there for six year and now people have largely put this in the past and are about getting on with their lives.  

There are, of course, other reasons behind this KONY 2012 campaign. The atrocities being committed by Assad in Syria is one. Assad has five times the air defense Qaddafi had and a lot less oil so the Syrian people are just SOL when it comes to NATO "humanitarian" intervention. Still it is embarrassing for the self-proclaimed "cops of the world" to appear powerless in the face of Assad's murderous rampages.

The KONY 2012 campaign shifts the publics attention to a war criminal that can more easily be handled. I was surprise to see that on NBC Nightly News, Friday, Kony's past war crimes received a lot more air time than Assad's current and on-going ones. They said they were going to broadcast from Uganda on Monday, so expect this to continue for a while.

Another very important reason for this KONY 2012 campaign and the US military intervention it supports is the need for the imperialist to exercise their muscles in Africa more directly now that they no longer have Mummar Qaddafi creating chaos on the continent and helping to keep the people there down.

Just as the imperialists have tolerated billions in oil profits flowing to the Saudi king because he rebates much of it back to the US by buying treasury bonds, they tolerated Qaddafi because he footed much of the bill for keeping Africa in turmoil. I have written before about Qaddafi's role in Africa, especially in Helter Skelter: Qaddafi's African Adventure, I will call upon Yoweri Museveni, the current president of Uganda, for a little history of Qaddafi's mischief in Uganda:

By the time Muammar Gaddaffi came to power in 1969, I was a third year university student at Dar-es-Salaam. We welcomed him because he was in the tradition of Col. Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt who had a nationalist and pan-Arabist position.

Soon, however, problems cropped up with Col. Gaddafi as far as Uganda and Black Africa were concerned:

Idi Amin came to power with the support of Britain and Israel because they thought he was uneducated enough to be used by them. Amin, however, turned against his sponsors when they refused to sell him guns to fight Tanzania. Unfortunately, Col. Muammar Gaddafi, without getting enough information about Uganda, jumped in to support Idi Amin.
Amin killed a lot of people extra-judiciary and Gaddafi was identified with these mistakes. In 1972 and 1979, Gaddafi sent Libyan troops to defend Idi Amin when we attacked him. I remember a Libyan Tupolev 22 bomber trying to bomb us in Mbarara in 1979.
Many Libyan militias were captured and repatriated to Libya by Tanzania. This was a big mistake by Gaddafi and a direct aggression against the people of Uganda and East Africa.

The second big mistake by Gaddafi was his position vis-à-vis the African Union (AU) Continental Government “now”. Since 1999, he has been pushing this position.
We should, instead, aim at the Economic Community of Africa and, where possible, also aim at Regional Federations. Col. Gaddafi would not relent. He would not respect the rules of the AU.

Something that has been covered by previous meetings would be resurrected by Gaddafi. He would ‘overrule’ a decision taken by all other African Heads of State. Some of us were forced to come out and oppose his wrong position and, working with others, we repeatedly defeated his illogical position.

The third mistake has been the tendency by Col. Gaddafi to interfere in the internal affairs of many African countries using the little money Libya has compared to those countries. One blatant example was his involvement with cultural leaders of Black Africa – kings, chiefs, etc. Since the political leaders of Africa had refused to back his project of an African Government, Gaddafi, incredibly, thought that he could by-pass them and work with these kings to implement his wishes. I warned Gaddafi in Addis Ababa that action would be taken against any Ugandan king that involved himself in politics because it was against our Constitution.

You see, now that they don't have Qaddafi to kick Africa around for them, they will have to take a much more active and direct role in "managing" Africa themselves.

So you see, the success of the Libyan revolution is likely to result in more NATO "boots on the ground" in Africa, as the anti-interventionists predicted, just not in Libya, as the anti-interventionists predicted.

For related writing by me see also:
African Spring continues in Senegal      
Occupy Nigeria - 1st African fruits of Qaddafi gone?
BREAKING: Libyan's NTC pledges not to discriminate against black Africans  
Racism in Libya
Helter Skelter: Qaddafi's African Adventure

Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 7:48 AM PT: Apparently Ugandans  are not happy about this viral video about them either. According to this news resport:

The non-profit organization Invisible Children and its viral video Kony 2012, which has become an international sensation in the past couple of weeks, is continuing to stir controversy. Not only have critics raised questions surrounding Invisible Children and its methodologies, but numerous reports are now verifying that local Ugandans too are in fact angry about the campaign.

The non-profit African Youth Initiative Network (AYINET), which calls itself an organization to help rehabilitate victims of war, organized a public screening in the town of Lira in northern Uganda on Tuesday night. Northern Uganda was one of the regions worst affected by Joseph Kony's rebel group, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). While the Kony 2012 film has become the most viral video in history, this was the first time that most Ugandans in Uganda — the majority of whom have no access to the internet — saw the film firsthand.

The reactions featured in this video report on the screening are a far cry from the outburst of support that pummeled through Western nations. One local Ugandan featured in the video, an LRA survivor who only had one arm due to the other being blown off in a land mine, seemed pained at some of Invisible Children's campaign strategies. "If people in those countries care about us, they will not wear t-shirts of Joseph Kony for any reason," he said. "That would celebrate our suffering."

Another local Ugandan stated, "We wanted to see our local people who are killed. So these are all white men, different from northern Uganda."

"What has angered people is that the video is about a white person, not about the victims," said Emmy Okello, a radio journalist in Lira featured in another report. "All of them came here hoping to see video that tells their story."

These sentiments echo other crowd-sourced views surfacing from Uganda.

According to reports, the reactions in Lira erupted into stone-throwing. As a result of this aggresion, AYINET has postponed further screenings of the video in Uganda indefinitely.

Meanwhile, Invisible Children has not been indifferent to the Kony 2012 backlash. Earlier this week, the organization released a video responding to its critics. But while it defends its marketing and financial tactics, it doesn't address the resentment of Ugandans at seeing "white people" tell their story. Indeed, like the original Kony 2012 video, it's told from a Western, rather than Ugandan, perspective.

What do you think of these latest developments in the Kony 2012 controversy? Should Ugandan reactions prompt another video response from Invisible Children? Let us know in the comments.

Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 10:06 PM PT: The KONY2012 video has been viewed more than 85 million times and now the African Union is deploying a military force of 5,000 to hunt down Joseph Kony in Uganda. Like the special team tasked with tracking down Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid they have announced that they will be there for as long as it takes to capture or kill Kony. Kony is believed to be in the Central African Republic. The US already has a hundred special forces soldiers hunting Kony and the US will also be strongly supporting this AU effort. See BCC: African Union force steps up hunt for Joseph Kony for more.

The push is on big time to bag Kony before November IMHO.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (0+ / 0-)

    Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

    by Clay Claiborne on Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 02:02:46 PM PST

  •  LOL, I really doubt it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sky Net
    I think the main driving force behind KONY 2012 is Barrack Obama's need to be re-elected in 2012.
    The Invisible Children team has been beating on the Kony issue for quite a few years - pre-Obama. In addition, all indications would suggest they are not Obama supporters. If I had to guess, I'd figure Santorum voters maybe.

    (Oh, and the spelling should be Barack, with one 'r')

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 02:51:55 PM PST

  •  seriously, (0+ / 0-)

    the Obama team has one objective, at this point. Keep gas prices closer to four dollars than five this summer.

    and I wait for them to interrupt my drinking from this broken cup

    by le sequoit on Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 03:23:52 PM PST

  •  You're as wrong as PSL. You leave out Africans. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    You have completely misread the Obama administration's Africa policy, but even worse, like almost everyone commenting on Kony, the LRA, KONY 2012 and the sending of special forces to Africa, you've left out the most important factor -- Africans themselves.

    Just as PSL sees events in east Africa solely as a reflection of US imperialism, you see events in Africa solely through the prism of US politics.

    You're just as wrong as PSL is.

    To understand what is happening in Africa, first you have to look at what Africans are doing.  They really do exist!  Really!  And they do stuff!

    The main thing that has been happening politically in Africa, especially east Africa, is the strengthening of regional and continental government.  As your quote from Museveni put it in the context of criticizing Gaddafi, over the last decade, African governments have been building up the capacity of the African Union, not in the sense that the Europeans created the centralized EU, but as a set of regional collective security and economic unions.  Generally, these regional unions consist of the more stable and decent governments, and in many cases more democratic governments.  

    In the regions some governments are more capable than others.  In southern Africa, South Africa is the regional power of the Southern African Development Community, which includes Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, Mozambique, Angola and Zimbabwe.  In west Africa, the Economic Community of West Africa includes most of the governments but the regional power is Nigeria.

    In east Africa, the situation is more complicated because there are several stable governments with different capabilities.  Ethiopia is large but poor; but because of its long running civil wars that ended several decades ago and consistent conflict with its former province Eritrea, it has the most powerful military.  Kenya is the economic regional power, but has a completely untested military, having never used it for anything except internal security (and under Moi oppression).  Uganda, led by a former professor-soldier, Museveni, has a rapidly growing economy and military that had been focused on the LRA as well as adventures in Congo.

    These countries have been coordinating economic and security policy increasingly closely over the last decade.  They do not want heavy handed US intervention and under the Bush administration rejected that administration's overtures to have bases and some kind of permanent US war on terror waged by Africom, a US command structure in Africa.  

    In other words, the African Union is making a very broad-based effort to complete the process of stabilization and state building in the region -- because the lesson that Liberia and Rwanda taught African leaders with a vengeance is that internal conflicts can quickly escalate into vast region wide wars that can suck in and destabilize even stable, democratic governments.  African governments have always been much more concerned with each other's stability, because they are more open than governments in any other region of the world to the free flow of refugees; but with the AU, this is more institutionalized.  Although settling the massive conflict in eastern Congo seems out of reach, the AU is basically trying to finish off LRA, Somali piracy, the Somalian jihadist group, al Shabaab, while stabilizing southern Sudan.  

    They are even bringing peace and stability to Somalia after decades of anarchy.  Reading East African and European sources on what's happening in Somalia and then reading uninformed American speculation about what's happening there is like stepping into a bizarro, opposite world.  The African/European sources describe this huge international Africa-led effort to negotiate a wide ranging peace while using newly trained peacekeepers from Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia, as well as the stable parts of Somalia (Somaliland and Somali Puntland) to bring order to the areas under al Shabaab, with Ethiopia and Kenya providing air cover and the occasional US and French drone strike.  In the US, especially the left blogosphere, it's as though there are a few dozen US hunter killer teams roaming across borders creating havoc.  Even the recent US killing of Somali pirates who had kidnapped an American was described in the African press as something from an alternate universe compared to how it was described here; in their versions, the operation was actually pretty big, involved Somali Puntland's active cooperation, and that government was fully informed before hand.

    The Africans are doing a pretty amazing job of it, as well.  The fact that al Shabaab has launched terrorist bombings in Uganda and Kenya, rapidly growing, politically stable countries means that African governments themselves are intently focused on working together to eliminate nihilistic and atavistic threats to stability in the form of assorted crackpot militias.  

    Also it's amazing that Americans think that East African governments have somehow been dragged into the US "war on terror," against al Qaeda.  This is because of spectacular ignorance of recent East African history -- above all, ignorance of the fact that Kenya and Tanzania had their own "September 11th" three years before the US did -- when AQ lauched two simultaneous, spectacular bombings in the capitals of Kenya and Tanzania, Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam.  Although these bombing were aimed at the US embassies, AQ killed hundreds of Kenyans and Tanzanians and wounded thousands, and destroyed a big chunk of their downtown areas to get at a dozen Americans -- showing the utter contempt those organizations have for African lives.  East African governments have been at war with Islamic terrorism for longer than the US has.

    You, like PSL, seem to think that the only people who have an economic stake in East Africa are unidentified Americans who will take Uganda's oil -- of course neither the Ugandans nor, say, the Chinese, Brits, Brazilians or Russians will have anything to say about it, I suppose in that world view.  

    What about the farmers, ranchers, small manufacturers, tourism operators of East Africa?  Don't you figure they also have a strong interest in their own economic well being and security?

    East Africa doen't need 100 Americans to solve these wide ranging security problems, nor can 100 Americans do the work of the armies and air forces of five or six East African countries.  What they do want is training and the occasional direct assistance through drone strikes.  You, like many people who comment on "Special Forces" forget that unlike Team 6, Navy Seals and Delta Force, Special Forces aka Green Berets, have typically focused much more of their work on training foreign forces.  THAT is why Special Forces is in East Africa.

    Like PSL, your perspective is laughably US centric.  At the same time that US is training African Union forces, so are the French, British and other EU forces are also training African Union troops in East Africa alongside the Americans.  The Russian, German and South Korean navies are helping with piracy suppression.  

    In other words, for this broad international effort to be a result of the Obama re-election campaign, I suppose the re-election campaign is also controlling France and Britain as well?

    In other words, the sending of 100 US Special Forces to east Africa is not driven by American concerns at all.  This is being driven overwhelmingly by Africans and their governments.

    The interesting domestic political question is how the Obama administration has reacted to these African initiatives.

    As it turns out, they fit perfectly into the Obama administration's stated security policy, which you can read online.  It's utterly bizarre that people feel the need to make up all sorts of preposterous "conspiracy theories" about the Obama administration's policies when the administration states very clearly for an international audience what that policy is.

    That policy as stated over and over again in their policy documents is that the US's number one security goal at this point under these economic conditions is to rebuild the economy of the United States.  The administration says over and over that this means turning over responsibility for collective security to regional powers.  The administration says over and over again that its operations will be guided by regional collective security organizations, like the UN Security Council, European Union, NATO, the African Union, ASEAN, the Arab League, and so on.  It's amazingly easy to understand the administration's policies -- just look at what the UN Security Council is doing.

    This is what also drives the right wing Republicans crazy and why they slander the administration for "leading from behind," which to them is a label for international cooperation.

    The administration's policy documents explicitly state over and over that it will look to governments like Nigeria, South Africa, and Brazil to be the anchors of stability in their regions.  

    The administration explicitly says that it's security policy now depends on relying on the so-called BRIC (sometimes BRICS) countries -- Brazil, Russia, India, China (and South Africa), but it adds a number of other regional powers in its analysis as well like Australia and Indonesia.

    That's why I found it so hilarious when the left blogosphere went berserk because the Obama administration posted 1200 Marines to northern Australia for "surfing duty" at a Club Med symbolic deployment, claiming that this was tantamount to declaring war on China; whereas the administration's actual policy documents say over and over that it is the policy of the US to rely on China for regional security.

    So the Obama administration's policy of pulling back happens to fit exactly with the African Union's policy of stepping forward.  And of course, this makes particular sense considering that the president has close personal and emotional ties to East Africa through his father's family, and that one of his main explicitly stated goals in Africa is moving from a pity/aid/intervention/neo-colonialism model to one of African self-reliance.

    •  If you ignore Teddy Ruge and (0+ / 0-)

      Yoweri Museveni, then you can claim "you've left out the most important factor -- Africans themselves."

      But my intention was not to publish a tirade about Ethopia, Somilia, Kenya, all of Africa and everything going on for the purpose of justifying US troops in Africa, as you are going.

      My purpose was to examine why Obama sent 100 USSF to Uganda in October with a mission to capture a relatively inactive fugative of 25 years before the elections, I mean before the end of 2012.

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Sun Mar 11, 2012 at 07:50:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Short answer (0+ / 0-)
        to examine why Obama sent 100 USSF to Uganda
        Because they asked him to.  You've got it backwards.  Obama didn't decide to send troops to Africa and then try to get the Africans to obey.

        The Africans have been carrying out wide ranging initiatives.  When they do that, they submit requests via the UN to the entire international community to provide support.

        You've got the whole story backwards.

        That's why I'm saying you've left Africa out of it.

      •  Addendum (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe

        I hope you realize that the 100 Americans are not there to capture Kony.  

        The Africans, like many governments, see the Americans as having several distinct useful capabilities.  Knowing how to fight in the African bush isn't one of them.

        Everyone knows that the US is great at

        (1) Intelligence, especially drones and satellite images.  But US forces have to be there on the ground to receive them and help African commanders and ground level officers make sense of it;

        (2) Logistics -- especially cargo planes and stuff like that;

        (3) Overall coordination, ie basic military theory.

        As you may know Guatemala tried to help by sending a small platoon of highly specialized trackers into the Bush, but all that was ever found of them was their severed heads.  

        Various countries help out as best they can.

        As Tom Ricks summarized it:

        I know some of the little grasshoppers may disagree with me, but I think that sending 100 Special Forces troops to Africa to coordinate different countries' operations against the Lord's Resistance Army is a good use of our military. This is classic "indirect action," and it is a whole lot better than sending battalions of American infantry. I expect they will introduce unique American capabilities-such as imagery from satellites and long-loiter drone aircraft-to help corner the LRA. And because the American commitment is so small, there won't be a ticking political clock on their deployment.

        Again, the idea that this is driven by the need of Obama to get some sort of trophy just in time for election in lieu of Assad is absurd.
  •  First Gaddafi, next Assad, always Iran, now Kony (0+ / 0-)

    Do I see a pattern here? 1st the Knee-Jerk Stalinist Left defends Gaddafi, then Syria's Assad, always Iran (doubly perplexing? - how many thousands of Leftists did the Medieval Ayatollah murder back in the 80s?), and now, in a circuitous way, Kony, the human manifestation of one of H.P. Lovecraft's fictional demons. What does that tell you other than that the Old Left is really hopelessly degenerate, pathological and Qlippothic, to borrow a term from the Kabbalah. I actually support Invisible Children, and admire their chutzpah in storming the gates, so to speak. They have had the sense to lobby and pressure governments to actually go after the fiend, rather than asking them to supply ten thousand band-aids for Kony's victims. Because of many other characters like Kony, that is one reason why the DR Congo is a nightmare. Arresting and/or hanging him will put the others on notice that they may be next.

    Meanwhile, anyone who thinks this is some kind of diabolical Imperialist, oil baron plot really ought to learn how to do a headstand for an hour straight so the blood can flow back into his or her brains. Time to escape the straitjacket of Marxist religious orthodoxy.

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