State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, evidently relishing her status as the poster child for Obama Administration nitwittery, interrupted her campaign to defeat ISIS by giving them all jobs to wonder why nobody’s complaining about Joseph Kony any more. You don’t remember him? There’s a good reason for that: he’s another Obama foreign policy failure, so the media decided to stop talking about him. Mystery solved, Marie!
Kony is indeed a nasty piece of work. His “Lord’s Resistance Army” has been haunting central Africa for the past twenty years or so, committing various atrocities – most famously the conscription of tens of thousands of children into service as slave-soldiers with threats of inhuman punishment – in a deranged quest to “establish a new state ruled by a mix of Christian fundamentalism and local African mysticism,” as the Washington Times put it, in a New Year’s Eve update on the search for Kony and his cronies. He’s been charged with war crimes by the International Criminal Court, and President Obama has dispatched a few hundred American troops to assist in the manhunt, to no avail.
It’s not the African mysticism that made Marie Harf suddenly remember this guy. She thinks she’s making a brilliant argument about how there are Christian terrorist groups, too, and that means we should climb right back off the high horses Obama told us to abandon because of the Crusades. Presumably she’ll repeat this dopey talking point until she finds an interviewer who tries to argue that Kony isn’t really Christian, at which point she’ll light up like a pachinko machine that’s been struck by lightning and cry, “That’s exactly what we’re saying about ISIS and Islam!” (A word of advice to Ms. Harf: you’re not likely to score that gotcha moment with anybody who works for MSNBC.)
There’s nothing conspiratorial or hypocritical about the relative lack of attention paid to Kony. African atrocities tend to be ignored, in part because there are a lot of them. He only caught the world’s attention because a documentary about his crimes went viral on the Internet. His gang isn’t a threat on the scale of, say, Boko Haram, which also didn’t attract much attention until their headline-grabbing enslavement of hundreds of young women… an atrocity the Obama Administration and its followers quite literally responded to by pouting. There are only a few hundred adult fighters in the Lord’s Resistance Army, while Boko Haram is doing quite well against a multi-national coalition in pitched battles.
Kony himself has gone so far underground that the Washington Times noted some of his own soldiers say they haven’t heard from him in years. It’s embarrassing that Obama couldn’t bag him, after declaring his capture a priority, so Obamaworld forgot about him. It’s not Christians trying to memory-hole this cretin because they think he single-handedly refutes complains about Islamic terrorism, as Harf seems to be implying.
Kony has zero influence in the Christian world, an important difference with ISIS that Obama officials ignore furiously. The whole misbegotten project of their Summit Against Generic Extremism is to confuse the issue, turning the already far-too-generic “War On Terror” into an even blander battle against “extremists” – a term Obama and his drones not coincidentally apply to nearly all of their domestic political opponents. Obama looks visibly annoyed with the business of defending America and her allies against ISIS and other Islamist organizations because there’s nothing in it for him – it’s a pure and unpleasant exercise of duty with no payoff, no fresh billions to spend on vote-buying projects, no expansion of government, no opportunity to persecute the segments of the American populace he intensely dislikes. A War On Extremism, on the other hand, has loads of appealing possibilities. He’d be happy to sign up for that, provided he gets to make the list of “extremists,” and cross Islamists off it.
That’s what he’s in the process of doing with his Extremely Extreme Summit Against Extremism, at which the very words “Islam” and “jihad” are verboten. The quest for a Christian version of ISIS to balance the scales has taken Team Obama from the dim mists of the 12th Century to the forbidding terrain of central Africa. The search for “root causes” of generic extremism leads unsurprisingly to the same old Obama nostrums about central planning and income redistribution. Of course it all sounds like the same wheezy rhetoric liberals deployed when they were busy losing the War On Crime; they avowedly believe themselves to be dealing with common criminals, not a military and ideological enemy.
Meanwhile, out in the real world, Christians are being kidnapped and beheaded by ISIS. They’re getting burned out of ancient communities in the Middle East where they’ve lived for thousands of years. Even before ISIS rolled into Iraq, a Christian exodus was under way. Benjamin Weinthal of the Jeruslaem Post appeared on Glenn Beck’s TV show earlier this week and said the persecution of Christians has “increased dramatically,” to the point of genocide.
“It’s one horror after the next, but the West simply fails to internalize what’s unfolding in the Middle East, not only in Libya but Iran, Syria, and Iraq,” said Weinthal, who noted the only country in the region with a growing Christian population is Israel. He complained there is “no counter-movement right now to tackle this problem.” And there won’t be, as long as Obama and his ideological posse are more interested in rounding up a Christian version of ISIS, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, the Taliban, Hamas, Hezbollah, et cetera, ad nauseum, to score cheap points on talk shows.
I’d like to tell Christians it’s nothing personal, strictly a matter of political business, but anyone who understands how the Left views the history of Europe and the United States knows that isn’t true.