Patricia Nell Warren

Today, Afghanistan. Tomorrow, Africa.

Filed By Patricia Nell Warren | December 03, 2009 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Politics, Politics
Tags: Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Eric Goosby, evangelical groups, homophobic behavior, Jeff Sharlet, Lord's Resistance Army, Museveni, Obama speech at West Point, PEPFAR, Rick Warren, Sam Brownback, The Family, Uganda, Uganda anti-gay bill, War on Terror

Recently the gay media have been full of outcry about Rick Warren and his support of the bloodthirsty anti-gay bill before the Ugandan parliament. Among other things, the bill mandates the death penalty for certain "homosexual crimes," including being HIV positive. Last January, Warren had no problem standing up in the nation's capital and intoning a solemn invocation about "freedom and justice for all" ... just months after he campaigned around Uganda intoning that homosexuals don't deserve any civil rights. We have to wonder what Obama was thinking when he invited this so-called "pastor" with blood on his hands to give the official prayer that launched his Presidency.

Uganda is now an ongoing news story...and the story is way bigger than just "rights for gays," since it goes all the way into growing U.S. military involvement in Africa.

But the story starts with religious-right fraud around AIDS funds. Since back in the Bush administration, some U.S. evangelical organizations who receive "faith based" government healthcare funding have been diverting PEPFAR monies into non-AIDS-related activities, such as proselytizing as many Ugandans as possible into these church organizations' brand of right-wing religion.

The frauds and misspending involve the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). These funds are supposed to be used for HIV prevention in 15 countries, mostly in Africa, including Uganda. Even when the extremist church groups did spend some of these taxpayer dollars towards prevention, it was not real prevention as per U.S. policy and practice. Instead these church groups convinced the Uganda government to minimize condom use and sex education in favor of preaching virginity and abstinence, and to ignore the prevention needs of gay and bi men completely, since homosexuality was already a felony in Uganda.

Sad to say, this approach proved to be as big a failure in Uganda, as it has been in other places. A few years later, after the government and missionaries had insisted that HIV infections were down, Uganda's minister of health had to admit that his country's HIV infection rate was actually spiking out of control.

Meanwhile, in 2006, investigations of PEPFAR activities began, revealing that they were anything but transparent and accountable, with FOI inquiries stalled for many months. In 2007 Human Rights Watch first reported the widespread PEPFAR frauds when Bush was still in office.

But reportedly, since Obama took office, little has been done to stop the abuses. Earlier this year, HRW put out an update that PEPFAR funds were still being used to win converts and whip up homophobia in Uganda. They pointed out that "Organisations that actively promote hatred of gay people and disseminate inaccurate information about the reliability of condoms" are supposed to be barred from receiving PEPFAR funds.

More Churches Than Schools

Indeed -- so massive has been the political involvement of some U.S. religious groups in Uganda, that I wonder how they manage to avoid prosecution under the Logan Act, which supposedly makes it a felony for a private U.S. citizen to be in unauthorized negotiations with a foreign government.

For many decades now, ultra-fundamentalist missionaries have been toiling quietly to turn Africa into a new frontier for themselves.

Rick Warren, with his Saddleback Church, is only one of many that have helped to colonize Africa for the American Jesus. Well-known TV evangelists like Benny Hinn and Oral Roberts have all taken their road shows around Africa. And they're succeeding, with an alarming groundswell of conversions not only in Uganda, but many other countries as well. Africa now claims 19 percent of its population as evangelical. The BBC pointed out in a recent expose that Africa now has more churches than schools.

The first target of extremist proselytizing was Uganda. In 1986 its new president Yoweri Museveni was successfully maneuvered to "born again" status. Museveni's original goal was to turn his country into a democracy. But now, under evangelical influence, he is creating a Western-style theocracy, with himself as the religious dictator a la Oliver Cromwell. His evangelical mentors and handlers view Uganda as a stepping-stone to their control of neighboring countries -- Kenya, Sudan, Rwanda, and eventually (as the handlers hope) to all of Africa. [See map of Africa.]

Oh, and as a nice bonus, there are massive deposits of oil in Africa too.

Why the earth-shattering appeal of evangelical Protestant churches in Africa? The International Humanist and Ethical Union offers this analysis:

"They promise divine healing and instant solutions to all problems -- poverty, hunger, failure, diseases, accidents etc. Pentecostal pastors claim they can make the deaf hear, the blind see, the lame walk and the barren give birth to children. They tell us they can raise the dead, make the poor rich and the unemployed to get jobs. Africans are therefore trooping to Pentecostal churches in their millions mainly in search of their miracles."

Evangelators of the Laws

One miracle that Ugandan zealots want performed is making homosexuals disappear.

Reportedly the Ugandan anti-gay bill was introduced in parliament by The Family, that shadowy cultish U.S. lobby group that has made itself so comfortable in the Beltway and whose membership includes so many members of Congress. According to Jeff Sharlet, bestselling author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power in a recent interview:

"The [Ugandan] legislator that introduces the bill, a guy named David Bahati, is a member of The Family. He appears to be a core member of The Family. He works, he organizes their Uganda National Prayer Breakfast and oversees a African sort of student leadership program designed to create future leaders for Africa, into which The Family has poured millions of dollars working through a very convoluted chain of linkages passing the money over to Uganda." Bahati is Uganda's minister of ethics, and a member of its Parliament.

U.S. Congressmembers have also openly lobbied in Uganda for the anti-gay bill -- notably Senator James Inhofe (R-OK). According to Right Wing Watch, Inhofe has flown to Uganda at taxpayer expense, and has admitted to helping bring people to Jesus -- which evidently included recruiting Ugandan officials into The Family.

But Uganda is not content with simply eliminating gays. The country is going through intense legal reform, passing other laws that conform more closely to American Protestant practice -- for instance, outlawing traditional non-Christian practices like witchcraft and female circumcision and bride price. (Catholic leaders are unhappy with the new marriage law because it does allow divorce.) All church groups must register with the government, and no "unauthorized" services are allowed. This means that U.S. groups who are cozy with the Museveni government can ensure that rival churches can't get their foot in the door in Uganda. Uganda's Islamic population is furious at the Christian influence over Museveni's government -- they demand that their regions be governed by Islamic law, sharia.

Not surprisingly, all this religious fervor has ignited some hideous civil conflict between Christians and Muslims in Uganda, as well as other countries across Africa. Here, as in Afghanistan and Pakistan, both terrorists and their refugee victims flood back and forth across numerous national boundaries. But Africa's vaster population promises to dwarf the conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The spreading conflicts could devastate a continent that is already seriously destabilized by famine, desertification, poverty and disease. War and civil conflict know no borders in Africa.

A Continent Destabilized

Worse still -- while Americans argue the pros and cons of Afghanistan and Iraq, few of us are watching the growing meltdown in Africa, and the slow-but-steady uptick of U.S. military involvement on that continent.

As I watched the President's address at West Point the other night, and listened to Obama's polished arguments that "our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan," I was wondering when the growing "security stakes" in Africa would finally start to generate some real public discussion here. For several years now, there have been signs that Al Qaeda has been moving its operations from the Far East and Iraq to Africa.

Supposedly our general troop presence in Africa is geared to "responding to humanitarian efforts," like aid to victims of famine, and war refugees in Rwanda and Darfur. But the growing presence of Al Qaeda in several African countries -- terrorist training camps in Somalia, for example -- raises a clear question about whether America is going to extend itself willy-nilly to fight those terrorists on a third battlefield, and a fourth, and a fifth, all across a vast continent. Here too, as in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the terrorists sift back and forth freely across national borders -- but on a much vaster scale than in Iraq or the Far East.

But the most likely country for our first major commitment of American blood and death is...Uganda. The Museveni government wants us to help them wipe out a rebel army in the north that calls itself the Lord's Resistance Army. Allegedly some LRA fighters have been trained in Al Qaeda camps. Hence Museveni's eagerness to have the U.S. take aim at the LRA.

So our wading into battle against Africa-based Muslim terrorists will inevitably have our government trapped into propping up the growing number of evangelical-influenced governments -- of which the extremist "Christian" Museveni administration in Uganda is only one.

Bloodthirstiness in the U.S.

By extension, here at home, our government's war policies abroad may be propped up more and more by evangelical organizations, who will function as cheerleaders against the Muslim enemy in Africa, and brandish their pompoms of prayer.

The power that these religious lobbies have in both Africa and the U.S., and in both U.S. government and the major media, raises the question of whether any atrocities committed by these African theocracies will ever be publicized or punished by us? Not just atrocities against gays, but atrocities against any vulnerable group? Will President Obama have the courage and the political independence to speak out against these horrors, if they happen on his watch? To take international action against them, the way he hasn't yet done with our own alleged war criminals?

After all, in Uganda, even the leaders of mainstream churches -- not just the evangelicals, but the Anglican, Catholic, and even Muslim leaders -- are joining together to cheer the anti-gay bill, showing how willing they are to bathe in the blood of homosexual citizens in their country.

A few thinking conservative church people in the U.S. are beginning to be shocked and alarmed at what is being unleashed in Uganda and have spoken out against it. They've even tried to pressure Warren into not supporting the anti-gay bill. But apparently most of the non-thinking U.S. extremist believers will wink at atrocities committed against homosexuals...because that's what their Bible tells them to do. Which means they will also wink at atrocities committed against women who are viewed as too independent, or practitioners of native witchcraft, or Muslims, or people with AIDS, or any other groups whose humanity they despise.

At least in Afghanistan, the U.S. has been a little more neutral, to the extent that we are supposedly helping a more moderate Muslim government hold its own against Islamic extremism. But in Uganda we will have no such ideological buffer against what could become our extreme complicity in religious violence against vulnerable groups.

News Snapshots of U.S. Troops in Africa

Though most Americans aren't paying attention, our growing military interference in African affairs has not gone unnoticed by U.S. media.

Item: An recent AP report saying:

"Training camps in the lawless nation of Somalia are attracting hundreds of foreigners, including Americans, and Somalis recruited by a local insurgent group linked to al-Qaida, according to local and U.S. officials. American officials and private analysts say the camps pose a security threat far beyond the borders of Somalia, including to the U.S. homeland."

Item: a story in Stars and Stripes about growing Air Force involvement in Africa, under cover of teaching African troops unfamiliar with aircraft how to do things like air drops:

"Working through the U.S. Embassy team in Uganda, Air Forces Africa -- also known as the 17th Air Force -- started putting the pieces together for a trip to Uganda in early 2009...In fiscal 2009, 17th Air Force oversaw slightly more than 30 events in Africa in about a dozen countries..... In fiscal 2010, more than 80 events are planned in an undetermined number of countries."

But this growing clank of weapons is nothing new. Two and a half years ago, on 2/8/08, Stars and Stripes was already reporting on the rapid increase in U.S. military spending in Africa. It said:

"The Defense Department is garnering more money for missions in what it calls 'Operation Enduring Freedom -- Trans Sahara.' From $31 million in 2006 to $81.7 million in 2007 to approximately $100 million annually for 2008 through 2013....OEF-TS is designed to bolster nine nations in the northern and western part of the continent. The money is to pay for sending U.S. troops into the nations to train with host-nation militaries and other missions."

One hundred million a year may seem like just a few drops of blood, compared to the $170 billion a year that we're hemmorhaging in Afghanistan. But typically our involvements in foreign "police actions" have always started out that way -- small, like somebody's campfire spreading into a few dry leaves, and finally racing off to grow into a firestorm that engulfs heaven and earth.

Earlier this year, U.S. troops already supported Ugandan troops in a large-scale attack on the LRA, in an operation code-named Lightning Thunder aimed at decimating the rebels, who are said to be few in number, maybe 10,000. Presumably President Obama approved this attack, though the initial planning may have been done during the Bush administration. But the result was not a thunderous win for Museveni and his American allies, and the LRA staged a number of reprisal attacks in Congo and Sudan that killed over a thousand people.

Some foreign media have taken a more pointed note of what's happening.

Item: a recent comment at AllAfrica.com, the continent's multi-national news service:

"More than 1,000 American and East African troops are to be deployed in northern Uganda next week as the United States carries out its biggest military exercise in Africa this year....The decision to site the exercise in northern Uganda raises questions about whether it may presage a renewed US-supported assault against the Lord's Resistance Army."

Congress Makes a Move

Just a few days ago, AllAfrica reported on a definitive step made by Congress -- one that went largely unnoticed by TV news anchors in the U.S.:

"The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed bipartisan legislation today authored by US Senator Russ Feingold and co-sponsored by Sam Brownback, requiring the Obama administration to develop a new multifaceted strategy to confront one of Africa's longest running rebel groups, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). For more than two decades, under the leadership of Joseph Kony, the LRA has kidnapped more than 66,000 children and forced them to fight as child soldiers, wreaking havoc in northern Uganda and Southern Sudan, and more recently, northeastern Congo and Central African Republic. Feingold's bipartisan Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act requires the United States to work with multilateral partners to develop a viable path to disarm the LRA, while ensuring the protection of civilians."

In other words, Congress has just taken the first formal step towards escalating our involvement there. And The Family is apparently right there on the Senate floor, making it happen. According to Counterpunch, it has been established that co-sponsor Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) is a member of The Family.

To see how committed our government already is to the Ugandan cause, we have only to read the following puffery on the State Department's website right now, about how wonderful and democratic President Museveni is:

" Since assuming power, Museveni and his government have largely put an end to the human rights abuses of earlier governments, initiated substantial economic liberalization and general press freedom, and instituted economic reforms in accord with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and donor governments....The Ugandan Government generally seeks good relations with other nations without reference to ideological orientation."

That State Department article is burbling about an African regime that has its own pages at Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, where Ugandan abuses of human rights are reported -- everything from the government's failure to stop violence against women to its infringements on freedom of the press.

UK openly gay human-rights activist Peter Tatchell paints a different picture of Museveni's Uganda -- of "voter intimidation, hounding opposition politicians, detention without trial, torture, extrajudicial killings, media censorship, corruption, suppression of protests, homophobic witch-hunts, and crackdowns on universities and trade unions." In short, Museveni has declared war not only on unpopular groups like gays and witches, but on any Ugandans who still dream of a real democracy, complete with real religious tolerance, and who dare to oppose the direction in which he's taking their country.

No way do I argue that the official aim of U.S. military forces to "protect African people" and "save Ugandan children" is not a noble cause.

But we have to ask the question: just how many more wars can we jump into, before our own country is devastated by economic and human distress?

Can we win such a patently religious war? One that has such a danger of massive escalation, with our tiny volunteer army going head to head with Africa's vast populations? With our military technology so expensive, and so heavily outsourced to other countries? Would Americans tolerate a revival of the draft? In order to avoid renewing the draft, would Americans tolerate the increased use of "private contractors" in combat -- especially in view of all the abuses that contractors were guilty of in Iraq? How many of our foreign allies would stick with us -- especially those European countries who are disgusted with the way state religion is taking over our own country?

These questions, and others, will have to be answered.

"A Step Backwards"

Back to the anti-gay bill, and growing protests against it from around the world.

In the UK, The Guardian reported, "Britain and Canada today led Commonwealth protests against a law proposed by the Ugandan parliament which would introduce the death penalty by hanging for "aggravated homosexuality".... The British prime minister's anger was echoed by his Canadian counterpart, Stephen Harper. Harper's spokesman, Dimitri Soudas, said: "If adopted, a bill further criminalising homosexuality would constitute a significant step backwards for the protection of human rights in Uganda."

Meanwhile, so far, our President and most in our own government have stayed eerily silent on the Uganda bill. Even Ambassador Eric Goosby, openly gay U.S. global AIDS coordinator, made an ass of himself by declining to criticize Uganda. (Incidentally, Goosby is director of PEPFAR, so ongoing misspending of this money by faith-based groups may be happening right under his nose.) Among the few to speak out strongly was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Ironically President Obama just signed a hate-crime bill into law that makes LGBT people a protected class in the U.S. Yet his administration's silence makes a mockery of that law, by encouraging hate crimes against us in other countries.

How does this story end?

As I listened to Obama the other night, I was also hearing other words in the back of my mind -- the words of an American astronaut, said in a more noble moment, when he made the first footprint on the Moon. Sadly I have to turn those words around to suit the starkness of this moment that the U.S. is in now, perhaps a turning-point in our history, as our President is faced with a near-future decision of whether or not to commit to a larger and possibly unwinnable war against terrorism in Africa.

It could be "One small step backwards for a man -- and a giant leap backwards for mankind."

______________________

For detailed research on what the New Apostolic Reformation and other extremist
groups are doing, in Africa and other parts of the world, go to Talk2Action.


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Another excellent post from you, Patricia. Thank you!

Charlie Rose on PBS has recently been asking his guests who are experts in the Middle East whether Al Qaeda might just move somewhere else if they are successfully flushed out of Afghanistan and northwest Pakistan. So far, the discussion of this possibility has never been very lengthy or detailed, and the responder usually mentions Somalia but not Uganda.

However, it shows that the American public is beginning to be introduced to this notion that Africa might be the next chapter in the ongoing "War on Terror".

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Al Qaeda can move anywhere in the world where there is a significant population of Muslims that might support them. So I am always amazed at this notion that many Americans have, that we can defeat them once and for all in Afghanistan, or Iraq.

Excellent post, Patricia, as always.
The same churches who in the US spout "love the sinner, hate the sin" are either actively supporting or tacitly tolerant a "Final Solution" style end of LGBT's in at least two African nations, with simultaneous attacks on religious minorities and the rights of women.

People interested in supporting this vile cause need only apply at a house on C Street...the one with escorts and congressmen

I read a transcript of NPR's interview with Jeff Sharlet, and here's what he said:
"[It's] really kind of a perfect case study in the export of a lot of American, largely evangelical ideas about homosexuality exported to Uganda, which then takes them to their logical end."

MauraHennessey is right: This is what they mean by "love the sinner, hate the sin." It's just their way of compartmentalizing bigotry so that when they ship us off to the camps or whatever it is they want to do with us, they can simply say, "We aren't doing this because we hate you for your same-sex attractions; it's because of your homosexual lifestyle choice!"

Genocide always happens slowly and incrementally, and all it takes is a little bit of demagoguery to send bigotry that boils beneath the surface shooting out like a geyser. The anti-gay conference in Kampala earlier this year was the Nuremberg Laws. The subsequent witch hunts were Kristallnacht. The new law is the deportation to the ghettos. I shudder to think what could come next.

I agree. And this Uganda law makes it clear that these extremist evangelicals would pass the same kind of legislation in the U.S. once they take over.

Which is why I am so concerned about Sarah Palin's possible candidacy for President, since she is supported by the same groups who are so deeply invested in Africa. Research material about her involvement with the Africa front was published during her VP campaign last year, by Talk2Action and other groups...but a lot of people just didn't want to believe it.

Another excellent post Patricia.

You certainly hit a nerve on this one. I continue to be amazed over the hold that 'religion' has on ones weaknesses and how they 'need to belong' to the 'organization'.

To me...as you and I have talked many times....religion is dangerous.

Awesome my friend.

Thanks for the eye-opener.
I lived in Cameroon the summer of 1990. I was working with Irish Catholic missionary priests in the lightly settled mountains bordering Nigeria. The people were welcoming and kind, but often afraid of having the little they had being taken from them by roving bands of robbers. In one village they banded together for strength under a Pentecostal leader, but the Catholics weren't allowed to be in the "compound" with the Pentecostals- they were left to be the sacrificial lambs simply because they were fewer in number. After the first few raids, there were no Catholics left in the village, they had all converted....

Thanks for telling this story. It's typical of the attitude that Protestant extremists take towards other religions in African countries.

Jacqueline Gross | December 3, 2009 11:06 PM

Another thought:

What's happening in Uganda has been a long time coming. As far back as the early 2000s things have been seriously hinky with regards to churches in Africa and how they've used the power of the pulpit (as well as American evangelical money) to ramp up their campaigns against gay and lesbian people. At one point, the Epicopal progressive magazine, The Witness produced an essay about what was happening and drawing the links between evangelical Episcopals and other Anglican bodies (who regard the rest of us as heretics, don'cha know) and churches on the continent. Unfortunately it's no longer available online.

However, it's deeply ironic to me that so many people stateside are so upset about Rick Warren and his ilk now when our GLBTQ brothers and sisters in Uganda have been under the gun for quite a while.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | December 4, 2009 3:09 AM

Good post, Patricia. Fact filled and relevant. Just the way we like 'em. They're a great relief after reading relentlessly boring Hossanahs to "He Who Is Our Fierce Defender".

This story is a big scoop, at least for me. I had no idea that the US was that deep into military intervention in Africa. Thanks for the heads up.

I think one of the reasons for the White House's silence on the anti-LGBT campaign in Uganda, which may turn into an Iran style mass murder campaign, has to be Obama's relationship with Warren and his general predisposition to cater to the religious right. I don't think there’s anything strange at all about the fact that Obama and Warren are bedfellows.

"I will say this much for our noble rulers: that, tyrannical and morally rotten as they were, they were enthusiastically religious." Mark Twain

In terms of all the US invasions, occupations, 'police actions' and ‘humanitarian interventions’ I think they all just a front for US empire building and the relentless drive of our looter class to control as many of the worlds resources and they can. That’s why the Pentagon has over 750 military bases in over 130 countries around staffed by almost a million military personnel. Its why the DIA, CIA, NSA and other spy and mercenary groups blanket the world with secret bases and concentration camps to kidnap, torture and murder political and military opponents.

Their aim is to enlarge and maintain their huge empire of coercion at the cost or our lives, our safety, our standard of living and of the lives of millions of civilians all over Asia, Africa and Latin America.

I don’t think that US troops should ever be allowed out of the US as long as this society is run by looters. For any reason. And I don’t think that a colonial power like the US, Russia, or England should be permitted to station military of espionage/spy/mercenary forces outside their borders until they undergo thoroughgoing revolutionary changes. If the UN or regional groups like the African Union need to suppress rightwing governments they can call on anti-colonial nations. Vietnam, Syria, Venezuela, Angola etc. They should never be used to supress left wing or anticolonialist states.

An excellent source of information on Afghanistan and Pakistan is the Counterpunch web site. They feature dozens of expert scholars. Tariq Ali is one the best in the world on what’s now being called the AFPAK war. http://www.counterpunch.org/

Almost universally empire builders use religion to steal the property, and with slavery and neo slavery, their persons. As Desmond Tutu said

“When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said "Let us pray." We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.


Thanks for providing a link to Tatchell. He one of the most militant fighters for LGBT rights anywhere in the world and clearly understood what Irish writer Oscar Wilde meant when he said “With audacity one can undertake anything…”. He tried to arrest rabidly anti-LGBT Dictator Mugabe and stood side by side with our brother and sisters in Moscow when the fascists attacked. Perhaps that’s why the rightwing hates him so. (I do think he should step back from the fists, though, he got the hell beat out of him both times.)

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 4, 2009 8:05 AM

Wonderfully done!

The illogical expectation of HIV prevention through denial of condoms completely proves the idiocy of their point of view. Killing homosexuals scapegoats the truth of the source(s) of their problems anyway. Too many people, military/government financial corruption, too little food, no birth control or medical care, no real education.

With all the heterosexual HIV transmission in Africa, I doubt that any of the proponents believe that killing homosexuals will make a dent in the HIV situation --- HIV is just a convenient excuse for exterminating a group of people that you hate.

I agree with you -- it's just a pretext. Uganda isn't proposing that it execute any of the heterosexuals who are transmitting HIV (especially now that transmission is spiking).

Thanks Patricia,

This is an excellent posting which addresses a
very serious issue.

John R. Selig | December 5, 2009 2:06 PM

Another excellent piece, Patrica, written only the way that you can write. I suggest others send a link to this column to friends and family. The media is far more interested in writing about Tiger Woods' "putter" than something that really matters!

Ditto on excellent post Patricia.

Uganda, and the powers that be who control the government, have a history of being one of the worst places to live if your GLBT. With Iran being the absolute worst. Iran's President claimed "there are no homosexuals in that country". The reason being, they execute anyone found or perceived to be gay. Now Uganda wants to follow Iran's lead, by passing a law to rid their country of HIV+ and gay people.

Where is the outrage from the mainstream media, excerpt Rachel Maddow, leaders from countries who give Uganda billions of dollars in aid, and yes religious leaders from the international community. I don't consider Warren a religious leader, he's in Uganda for the money, not doing God's work or what's best for the people.

I would expect Obama, but, won't hold my breath, to speak out against this Holocaust against gay people. I was mad before reading your news piece Patricia, now I sick to my stomach.

Many of us have written to the U.S. ambassador and politico's in Uganda, but, have yet to hear a word back from any of them. It's up to us to make as much noise as possible, if we're going to bring attention to these atrocities and persecution our gay brothers and sisters. If we don't speak for them, there won't be any voices left, to speak for themselves.

beachcomberT | December 6, 2009 6:38 AM

Thanks for an eye-opening post, Patricia. Few Americans care about Uganda, or even know where it is. And I suspect few gay people are paying close attention to what is going on there. Your article helps make it clear there's more at stake than the danger of pogroms against gay people. Not hard to imagine Obama announcing in a year or two we have a new continent our armed forces must control. We already have something like 800 overseas bases, and the list keeps growing. We seem to have learned nothing from the Romans, the British, the French and every other colonial power. We all thought the Crusades were over and done with, but I guess not.

This article was very informative and I learned a lot I did not know. I have been following the situation there concerning the anti-gay bill. However, I had no knowledge of the background concerning the current head of state and the LRA.

Thanks for this.

This article was very informative and I learned a lot I did not know. I have been following the situation there concerning the anti-gay bill. However, I had no knowledge of the background concerning the current head of state and the LRA.

Thanks for this.

Very informative and asks the astute questions. Thanks for this, Patricia. It's still going on, of course, and more updates on this:
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez inveighed against "radical muslims, radical homosexuals, radical abortionists..." Rodriguez then shouted out, "we don't need any more sissy Christians, Oprah Winfrey Christians - we need prophetic, devil-stomping, demon-rebuking, blood-washed, Bible-believing, free-from-sin Christians!"

http://www.talk2action.org/story/2010/1/21/15336/6128

The Globalization of evangelicalism….whoa!
and this, related:
BBC admits al qaeda never existed last March.

Video: http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=r-hYorNi0nA& feature=player_ embedded#

This almost gets it, but I think Stratfor, in this case, is still too influenced by the populism of the term “al-qaeda”. And, in this report, the focus is strictly on the Muslim jihadists...and by-passes the non-Muslim terrorists movements or groups or individuals- of which there are plenty with grudges to vindicate.
Insofar as the jihadists unifying into a strategic force- I don't think it would never happen, no matter how "sympathetic" they may be of the actions of others. There is too much tribal disagreement. Could they find their Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Guevara, Castro, Franco to unify them? I doubt it- culturally they are too divisive from one tribe to another. This is evidenced in the difficulty the Arab States have in coordinating cooperation amongst themselves in finding solidarity even on things with which they supposedly agree.
Sympathetically they may like the idea of "al-queda" and even "identify" with its pseudo-created reputation, but as the Stratfor analysis suggests, the reality of al-queda does not exist, except as a political-propagandist tool or term.
In my humble opinion, michael