It may not surprise you to learn that Rush Limbaugh lacks a nuanced understanding of the human rights crisis in central Africa, but one might expect him to avoid defending a mercenary army of mass rapists. But on his Friday radio show, Limbaugh suggested that sending troops to fight the Lord’s Resistance Army was part of President Obama’s broader war against Christianity.
“Lord’s Resistance Army are Christians. It means God…Lord’s Resistance Army are Christians. 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, and — (interruption) no, I’m not kidding. Jacob Tapper just reported it. Now, are we gonna help the Egyptians wipe out the Christians? Wouldn’t you say that we are?”
Limbaugh went on to defend the Lord’s Resistance Army by relaying the group’s self-styled objective, which is “to remove dictatorship and stop the oppression of our people.” The only problem? Nobody told Limbaugh that they plan to accomplish that goal through a campaign of horrific war crimes including the massacre of unarmed civilians, systematic rape and kidnappings, and the widespread use of child soldiers. Their leader Joseph Kony — who believes himself to be the messiah and has been noted for his attempted use of black magic — certainly isn’t a proponent of the Christian values that Limbaugh loves to accuse Obama of undermining.
Liberals and conservatives have generally been able to agree that the Lord’s Resistance Army is a truly evil and nihilistic group; as former Bush Administration senior policy adviser Michael Gerson put it, “Kony’s epic career of murder has few equals. As both a rebel and a cult leader in northern Uganda, he led an army of stolen children and sex slaves, sometimes forcing his captives to engage in cannibalism and the murder of neighbors to sever ties of community and humanity.” Yet Limbaugh chose to use his nationally syndicated radio program as a platform to defend arguably the worst known human rights violators in the world.
Even when he was eventually informed about what the Lord’s Resistance Army actually is, Limbaugh refused to completely back off of his comments.
Is that right? The Lord’s Resistance Army is being accused of really bad stuff? Child kidnapping, torture, murder, that kind of stuff? Well, we just found out about this today. We’re gonna do, of course, our due diligence research on it. But nevertheless we got a hundred troops being sent over there to fight these guys — and they claim to be Christians.
In a twisted way, Limbaugh’s defense of the Lord’s Resistance Army is somewhat impressive: He really will say anything to make the president look bad.
Copyright 2011 The National Memo