Can an American President conduct a large scale military conflict with pretty much no one knowing about it? The answer is apparently “yes” considering the shadow war that Obama is pursuing in East Africa, one so large that it makes Bill Clinton’s 1993 Somalia mission look like a Sunday picnic. Since 2009 the U.S. military buildup in the region has been staggering: drone bases in Ethiopia, Seychelles and Yemen, boots on the ground in Uganda, warships off the Somali coast and the construction of a “mega-base” in Djibouti.
The official objective is to disrupt Al Qaeda’s terrorist network in the region and destroy the remnants of Joseph Kony’s murderous Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, but the scale of U.S. military involvement which includes combat missions in Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the support of Kenyan, Ethiopian and African Union armies in Somalia and Yemen suggest a far loftier goal.
Unlike Obama’s bombing of Libya in response to a nonexistent humanitarian crisis, there are many valid reasons for military intervention in East Africa. In September 2011 the UN warned that up to 750,000 Christians in Somalia were in danger of starving to death with an additional 12 million across the region at risk. The biggest obstacle to bringing international assistance to Somalia was Al-Shabaab, the Al Qaeda linked Islamic organization that has killed dozens of aid workers over the past two years and is committed to the extermination of all Christians in Somalia. According to local church leaders, “any Somali that is suspected of being a Christian, or a friend of a Christian, does not receive any food aid.”
Christians and non-Muslim Africans in Sudan have likewise been slaughtered by Arab tribes that are once again on the move in their millennia long campaign for slaves, loot and territory. The Sudanese government, which is dominated by Islamists, sponsored Janjaweed militias in the 1990s and early 2000s that were responsible for displacing and killing millions. More recently Sudanese president and head of the National Islamic Front, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, has made it clear that his goal is to exterminate all non-Muslims in Sudan. Flush with oil revenue, al-Bashir has upgraded the Sudanese military with Russian and Chinese made weapons and is now poised to finish Islam’s age old task of killing all the Christians in East Africa.
The Obama administration has consistently glossed over Islam’s central role in the religious driven conflicts in East Africa. While Muslims have been vocally calling for murderous jihad against non-believers, the administration has released statements asking for “both parties” to relinquish violence even though the hostilities have been decidedly one-sided. According to Faith J. H. McDonnell, director of The Institute on Religion and Democracy’s Religious Liberty Program and Church Alliance for a New Sudan, “the Obama Administration does not seem to fully grasp—or at least wish to acknowledge—that what is taking place in the Nuba Mountains is ethnic cleansing.” By utilizing the “moral equivalency” argument, McDonnell feels the Obama administration is whitewashing the National Islamic Front’s pursuit of a “final solution” to the Nuba Mountains problem.
Is Obama finally taking off his Chamberlain hat and stepping into his Churchill shoes to prevent Islamists from killing every non-Muslim African and Christian in East Africa? Or is it all just for show with no long-term military objective just so he can sleep better at night? It’s hard to tell. With an almost total media blackout in place and Obama not willing to discuss the matter publicly, your guess is as good as mine.