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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Stopping reign of evil men

    Last Friday, President Barack Obama announced he would send 100 Special Forces troops to Uganda, and has plans to send others to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic and South Sudan in the near future.

    They are there to help combat the Lord’s Resistance Army, specifically to help “remove” key leaders. Though both the American and Ugandan presidents insist Americans are there only for support services, there are at least some indications that Joseph Kony, the Lord’s Resistance Army’s’s leader, and his immediate subordinates may be on the receiving end of a bullet or missile in a targeted killing in the months to come.

    Whether it is American or African forces that ultimately pull the trigger, assistance of this type is long overdue in the troubled region where the Lord’s Resistance Army has wrought evil for more than 25 years.

    Though its goal is to establish a Christian government based on the Ten Commandments in Uganda, the Lord’s Resistance Army has few rivals for being the most amoral organization on Earth. It was one of the first groups documented as using child soldiers, and it continues to do so at an alarming rate. While boys are made to fight, girls are used as sex slaves and forced into labor.

    People who live at the point where Uganda and its neighbors intersect have been subjected to this treatment for a quarter century. It is far past time for their suffering to come to an end.

    There is a theory circulating that part of the reason American service members are being sent is to reward Uganda for its continued commitment to fighting al-Qaida-linked militants in Somalia as part of the African Union. Whether purely altruistic or a political tit for tat, the Obama administration’s gesture is one of the best things America could do for the people of Uganda and the people of Africa in general.

    If hell only had room for one person, the bottom of the human barrel, there would be a distinct possibility that Kony would be the lucky occupant.

    Kony has consistently rejected calls for peace, responding only with violence. He even executed his own deputy commander. Many think he did so because the deputy was attempting to advance peace agreements without Kony’s permission.

    It is always a tragedy when a human life has to be taken by force, regardless of the context. Yet there are times when someone places his own existence above thousands of people and their ability to live anything even resembling a normal life — that is when such a difficult action must be taken.

    Slowly, fitfully, and despite opposition, there have been shoots of hope growing in Africa recently, signs of things going right for the continent. If force is the only option, then America can do no better in helping than by destroying the one man who so thoroughly represents everything that is wrong in Africa.

    American Special Forces have the capacity to render the aid needed to track down this criminal and bring him to justice. They are there by permission — by request — of a sovereign government. Though it will not come close to eliminating all the problems for the countries affected, it will be a major symbolic and strategic victory for a peaceable, normal society in this region.

    Let us hope, then, that the American advisers and their African partners are successful in their mission.

    And spare a thought for Joseph Kony, a man gone so wrong that only in dying can he do right. A thousand hearts, and 100 American guns, are trained squarely against him.

    — Andrew Conlogue is a junior studying philosophy, politics, economics and law. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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