With Russia threatening Ukraine’s sovereignty, Iran readying a nuclear weapon and China threatening America-friendly neighbors, the White House has indicated its true foreign policy priorities by denying a top Ugandan police official’s entry to the United States. The Ugandan official was on his way to attend an FBI anti-terrorism training course, but he is not welcome due to his government’s anti-homosexual policy.
According to a report in the Ugandan newspaper, The Observer, the barring of the police official has its roots in the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill that Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni, signed into law last February, making homosexuality a crime with a possible life sentence for offenders. The bill has been roundly — and justly — condemned internationally, especially by the United States, the United Nations and Western European countries.
The Observer reports that the officer in question, Police Commander Andrew Felix Kaweesi, police chief of Kampala, Uganda’s capital city, was denied an American entry visa. He was slated to take a three-month training course, located at the FBI’s junior academy, meant “to re-skill Kaweesi in investigating and handling new terrorism threats.”
The American embassy informed Kaweesi of Washington’s decision in a letter which cited the anti-homosexual law and “dampened American relations with Uganda” as the reasons for Kaweesi being denied the entry visa. The “dampened relations” referred to “opposition-led protests” that Ugandan police violently suppressed.
“It’s true that the American ambassador has written to me over the matter,” Kaweesi told The Observer, calling the decision “unfortunate,” saying the anti-gay law was meant “to protect Uganda’s cultural interests.”
With America herself having experienced terrible tragedies at the hands of Islamic terrorism, and with the anniversary of the Boston Marathon having just passed us, the Obama administration’s treatment of Uganda, an ally in the worldwide battle against Jihad, in this recent episode is problematic, to say the least.
Along with other American-allied countries, Uganda has long shared the burden of the anti-jihad struggle, building a credible reputation in the process. The East African country has had troops stationed in Somalia for several years now, suffering casualties, as part of the African Union contingent fighting the Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-connected outfit. As a result of its anti-Islamist efforts, Uganda has also, like America, experienced deadly Islamist terrorist attacks of its own.
The worst such attack on Ugandan soil took place in 2010 during soccer’s World Cup. Al-Shaabab sent suicide bombers into two venues, a restaurant and a rugby club, where people had gathered to watch a game. The resulting carnage left 74 dead and 70 injured. It was al-Shaabab’s first terrorist attack outside of Somalia.
“Uganda is one of our enemies. Whatever makes them cry, makes us happy,” al-Shaabab leader, Sheik Yussa Sheik Issa, told Reuters after the attack, calling the East African nation “a major infidel country.”
Uganda has been targeted by Islamist terrorists since the 1990s. From 1998 to 2001, a homegrown Islamist terrorist group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), conducted a bombing campaign that reached its climax in Kampala in 1999. The ADF’s deadliest attack, however, occurred a year earlier when it set fire to the dormitories of a technical college, killing 80 students. A further 80 were abducted. The ADF was also suspected of plotting to kill Britain’s Queen Elizabeth when she came to speak to Uganda’s parliament in 2008.
With such solid, anti-Islamist credentials, “infidel” Uganda is obviously four-square in the fight with America against Islamic terrorism and deserves all the help America can provide. An enemy of al-Shaabab is definitely a friend of America’s.
While Uganda’s anti-homosexual law is clearly a reprehensible violation of human rights that should be rescinded, the question remains: is combating Islamic terror not a vitally important matter for all concerned, including homosexuals, due to the terrible death and destruction it leaves in its wake? Islamic ideology, after all, calls for the execution of homosexuals.
Denying a top Ugandan police official high-level, American anti-terrorism training may very well actually cost Ugandan homosexuals their lives. It is Ugandan security officers, like Kaweesi, after all, who are in the frontline of stopping Islamic terrorist attacks and the advent of Sharia Law. The better trained they are, the better they can combat Islamic terrorism and save all lives, including homosexuals. Jihadist bombs and bullets do not discriminate when it comes to sexual orientation.
One also can’t help asking whether a double standard exists in Washington’s banning of Kaweesi. It would be interesting to discover, for instance, whether the White House is treating Saudi Arabian officials in a similar manner, coming as they do from a country that persecutes and executes homosexuals under Sharia Law.
In the end, it’s not just African lives that the Obama administration’s foreign policy priorities, in this context, are endangering, but American ones as well. In the sizeable number of Islamic terrorist attacks East Africa has, and is still, experiencing, Americans have also perished. The best example is the American embassy bombings of 1998. More recently, in the 2010 Kampala attacks, an American was killed and several were wounded.
Former CIA director George Tenet adds his voice to the danger Americans have faced from Islamist terrorism in East Africa, stating in his book, At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA, that the US embassy in Kampala was a Jihadist terrorist target. A Southeast Asian terrorist organization, Tenet writes, brought in “four trucks filled with C-4 explosives” only two months before 9/11 to destroy the building and its occupants. But Egyptian intelligence tipped off the CIA, which then informed Ugandan security officials, preventing the disaster.
East Africa is an important front in the anti-jihad struggle. By training security officials from the region’s countries to the highest standards possible, America, as it should, is contributing to and helping ensure the safety and preservation of both African and American lives. In an interview with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) after the 2010 terrorist attacks in Kampala, President Obama, America’s first black president with family roots in East Africa, appeared to indicate that saving African lives was a high priority with him when he criticized Islamic terrorist organizations, like al-Qaeda and al-Shaabab, for not regarding “African life as valuable in and of itself.”
“They see it (Africa) as a potential place where you can carry out ideological battles that kill innocents without regard to long-term consequences for their short-term tactical gains,” he told the SABC.
Ironically, it is now Obama and his leftist supporters who are waging an “ideological battle,” disregarding the “long-term consequences” their politically correct decision regarding Kaweesi may have. In the end, their decision may cost more African “innocents” their lives, just the opposite of what President Obama is supposedly intending with his foreign policy decisions.
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