Just when you thought you couldn't loathe Limbaugh more, he defends The Lord's Resistance Army

PHOTO, click for larger size without mosaic: Jean-Marie Anigbishe, 45, who was attacked by Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels near Ngalima sits with gaping head wounds at hospital in Ngalima in northeastern Congo February 21, 2009. Anigbishe was fleeing LRA massacres and left for dead on the road after he and his brother were attacked by LRA fighters. His brother in law was shot and killed and Anigbishe was found unconscious five days later with maggots eating away at his gaping head wounds. Thousands of Congolese fled their villages as LRA rebels roaming the bush carried out massacres. Picture taken February 21, 2009. (REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly)

At the New York Times Lede blog, Bob Mackey writes about Rush Limbaugh's new position of public support for the Central African warlords known as the LRA, or the Lord's Resistance Army. This is the military entity described by the Times as "a notorious renegade group that has terrorized villagers in at least four countries with marauding bands that kill, rape, maim and kidnap with impunity.”

It seems Limbaugh just likes the "Lord" part, and opposes president Obama's recent decision to get involved militarily. The U.S. recently announced a contribution of 100 Special Forces to deal with LRA. Now, any number of reasonable people might disagree with the administration's decision to send a token show of troops, but supporting the LRA is something only someone as stupid and evil as Limbaugh would do.

Here's an excerpt from a Human Rights Watch report on a recent LRA massacre (link contains "un-mosaiced" version of photo shown above in this blog post, which some may find disturbing):

The vast majority of those killed were adult men, whom LRA combatants first tied up and then hacked to death with machetes or crushed their skulls with axes and heavy wooden sticks. The dead include at least 13 women and 23 children, the youngest a 3-year-old girl who was burned to death. LRA combatants tied some of the victims to trees before crushing their skulls with axes.

More at The Lede.


  1. I don’t see anything particularly special or unusual about this specific instance of an ignorant republican talking head/politician skimming an article and then seizing on a particular key word/buzz word without having a clue on the context.  The goal is to slam Obama no matter what the issue is.

    Now if I was willing to give Limbaugh any credit at all and not assume that he is just a pompous drug addict who likes spouting off while on painkiller binges, he might be shilling for some silent donor/sponsor who is upset that their rough diamond pipeline might be closing up if the LRA is wiped out.

    *edit: does Limbaugh really want to prevent Obama/ the US troops from helping to stop the LRA from “doing Gods work”?

  2. Well, there you have it.  Limbaugh supports terrorism.

    I still think of him as an entertainer rather than a real pundit. 

    1. Then you haven’t paid attention to how many times in the last few years some politico has said something El Rushbo didn’t agree with… within a day or two, that politico has backtracked his statements to agree with Rush’s. Make no mistake – he directs a significant proportion of the GOP’s official platform & policies thanks to the vast chunk of the GOP base that listens to his every word.

      1. A man can say words, and others can take them to heart.  Whether he is a pundit or an entertainer has more to do with his own personal beliefs than his actual political power.

        I don’t think he believes everything he says.  He is CARTOONISHLY conservative.  He does it because that appeals to a certain demographic, and because he can do that so well he’s a very wealthy man.  Now I do think he’s at least SOMEWHAT conservative but I think that a lot of what he says and does is an act.

        However, once he says something, it doesn’t matter whether he believes it or not.  Someone might.  Helter Skelter and all that. 

        Now you might say that’s irresponsible and dangerous of him, and I might be inclined to agree. 

        1. “I don’t think he believes everything he says.  He is CARTOONISHLY conservative. ”

          I agree – I don’t think he’s believed most of his own words for years. 
          He’s just a paid performer… which is why it’s probably a good idea if we start ignoring him or at least just label him with a clever buzz word “Conservitainer” or something so we can dismiss him and the other smoke-and-mirror ditto heads .

    2. Limbaugh doesn’t actually support non-US-government-sponsored terrorism or the LRA.  Limbaugh saw that Obama was sending US troops to oppose the LRA, his knee jerked, his kneebone was connected to his mouthbone, and he  ranted about how evil Obama is for opposing Christians.  Since then he’s been smacked upside the head about having his facts wrong, and is mumbling about “Well, we just found out about this today. We’re gonna do, of course, our due diligence research on it.”  and deciding it’s a good day to rant about how the Tea Party is better than Occupy Wall Street instead, hoping people will forget about this issue.

      If Limbaugh’s this clueless and inaccurate when people are paying attention to what he says, you can expect that he’s that way about topics where people aren’t paying attention as well.  ([Expletive deleted!], hasn’t Limbaugh read anything about the LRA in the last decade? It’s kind of hard to cover central African politics without mentioning them. Limbaugh lives in New York City, and they’ve got several good newspapers there – even the Daily News article acknowledges that the LRA’s leader is a murderous crazy.)

      And even on this issue, Obama said “I have directed this deployment, which is in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct US foreign relations and as commander-in-chief and chief executive”, and Limbaugh bashed him over the issue of whether it’s in the US national interest, not over whether the President of the US is allowed to start wars on his own. 

      Here’s the link to Limbaugh’s page from that session.

  3. as though this is the first time anyone representing either of our wonderful political parties has backed a group of warlords…  nothing to see here, business as usual.

  4. Maybe he should have admitted that he hadn’t heard of Lord’s Resistance Army before that day, instead of assuming no one else in the US had heard of them. Rush should listen to Democracy Now.

    1. Rush should listen to Democracy Now.

      Even if he did, I doubt he’d actually comprehend what he was hearing.

      1. I think his head has some kind of special sound insulating layer that insures outside opinions are incapable of getting in there. The only reason he was bothered by the severe hearing loss he suffered in 2001 was that he could no longer revel in the sound of his own voice.

      2. True, it really does come down to Comprehension and Perception, two very hard things to change depending on a person’s nature.

    1. I’d like Obama to attack Cthulu, just to see these people defending It.

      Would you settle for naked Obama on a (naked) unicorn whipping naked Rush Limbaugh?

      1. Obama isn’t whipping anybody in that painting. He was probably trying to find common ground and come to a compromise before the unicorn got disgusted and yanked the microphone from Rush’s grip.

        Any chance of the unicorn running on the Democratic ticket?

      2. Not really. We need Cthulu.

        However, Arkizzle drew Richard Feynman on an unicorn http://www.flickr.com/photos/arkizzle/4276738971/in/photostream/ , which to me is the Ultimate Unicorn Chaser, source of everything Awesome

  5. Just when you thought you couldn’t loathe Limbaugh more

    He’s not been able to go any lower for a very long time so now he just slithers around the floor.

    1. I don’t hate Rush at all. I hate whose paying him and profiting from his insanity. 

      It’s like that idiot on American Idol, William Hung. But poor William and Rush have something in common, they don’t realize they are being made fun of. Yesteryear, they would have been considered freaks and traveled around with Freak Shows. 

      Freak Show’s have never died, they’ve just changed with the times. 

  6. Mr Mackey neglects to mention Mr Limbaugh’s continuing quote after a commercial break. He suddenly admits, presumably via thunderbolt, that he doesn’t know whom he’s defending:

    “Is that right? The Lord’s Resistance Army is being accused of really bad
    stuff? Child kidnapping, torture, murder, that kind of stuff? Well, we
    just found out about this today. We’re gonna do, of course, our due
    diligence research on it.”

    But then, like most blowhards with an agenda, he can’t quite admit the error:

    “But nevertheless we got a hundred troops being
    sent over there to fight these guys — and they claim to be Christians.”

    1. We’re gonna do, of course, our due diligence research on it. 

      “And if we find anything that could be construed in any way as giving Obama an ounce of credit for anything, we’ll keep that part of the research to ourselves.”

      (Not that I think Obama deserves tons of credit for much of anything, except campaigning well and maintaining his trim, electable looks. And learning quickly and all too well how to avoid pissing off rich people.)

    2. Due diligence indeed. Know what the least demanding job in the world is? “Fact-checker” for Rush Limbaugh.

    3. This is what I’ve suspected from the American right-wing Christians for quite some time: it doesn’t matter if you act like a Christian or not, as long as you call yourself one. Ignore everything that Jesus said, it’s just the label that counts. If you’ve got that, you can commit all the attrocities you like, and it’ll be okay. Limbaugh brings this to a wholy new disgusting level, but the basis for this attitude has been present for a long time.

      It’s disgusting. It’s the complete opposite of what Christianity should be about. Jesus explicily condemned any sort of pretend-religiosity. Sadly, his message seems completely lost on the Religious Right.

      The LRA is the most depraved scum on earth. Even Al Qaeda and the Taliban would be disgusted by their inhuman attricities. And they’ve been doing this for well over a decade. How is it possible for anyone with even the slightest interest in politics to not have heard of them? Certainly a radio talk show host who actually makes an item out of it when somebody finally decides to do something about this scum, even if he miraculously hadn’t heard of them, shouldn’t he at least do a little bit of research? How can he be surprised they’ve done bad stuff? Why is the article still on his website?

  7. Though a super-rich, soul-less, plutocrat, who is paid tens-of-millions-of-dollars to divide us:  I too do not want our troops sent to Africa to engage this group. That goes for Iraq, Afghanistan and most likely Iran too. 

    1. Good news then, because the special forces being sent have a mandate to “train, assist and provide intelligence” but “will not themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self-defense.” Also, for anyone foaming at the mouth about Obama starting “another unauthorized war” – these activities were specifically authorized by the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, passed unanimously by both houses and signed into law in 2009.

      1. It appears that every war we get into is “made legal” by nothing more than a sketchy vote or a decree – I just prefer that we get out of this war business all together and that includes: Military intelligence, weapons supply, training, and tactics.

        From Wikipedia: Military Assistance Advisory GroupAAGIn September 1950, US President Harry Truman sent the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) to Vietnam to assist the French in the First Indochina war. The President claimed they were not sent as combat troops, but to supervise the use of $10 million worth of US military equipment to support the French in their effort to fight the Viet Minh forces. By 1953, aid increased dramatically to $350 million to replace old military equipment owned by the French.

        1. I can’t even read that wikipedia excerpt, but I’m not sure how you got “sketchy vote” from “passed unanimously by both houses.”

          1. I have a belief that you can count on one hand how many honest Senators and Congressman there are up in Washington. I believe politicians are paid to vote right, and paid to vote left. So yea, I consider all votes; especially when it comes to war related business, are highly sketchy. I don’t want to take up bandwidth so have your say and have a good day.

      2. 16 of the people sent Viet Nam to train, assist, and provide intelligence back in ’61, died there in 1961. That ROE line is just there to provide an excuse to allow us an excuse to get into a shooting war.

        I was always willing to sell my gun for something I saw as a worthy cause. But I can’t see going to Africa. No more. Africa is a monster that eats people. The colonial powers and arabs stuck their noses into something with no understanding and an incurable desire to make money and to either cast everyone there into christians and some sort of pseudo-european, or as slaves.

        Sending troops to africa is pissing away lives into the wind. It doesn’t matter how well meaning it is. Doing so only prolongs the misery on both sides.

  8. Winston Churchill famously said about his WWII alliance with Stalin:

    If Hitler invaded Hell, I would at least make a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons

    Obviously, Rush is following the same principle. It makes sense, as long as you agree with Rush that Obama is a Hitleresque ultimate monster against whom we must wage a total war to save the entire world from utter ruin, and consequences be damned. Which is obviously Rush’s position, and good to have it clarified.

  9. On a completely different note….

    I know the detail about the maggots was probably given to make readers squirm, but the fact is they probably saved his life by keeping the wounds clean from infection.  No small feat, over 5 days in that circumstance.  He probably wouldn’t have made it without their work.

      1. My understanding is that:
        1) Some species of maggot eat only dead flesh, others eat both dead and living flesh. It’s important to get this right!
        2) Maggots can carry disease-causing bacteria, and the like; maggots used in first-world hospitals are carefully prepared to minimize this risk. This gentleman won’t have been so lucky.

        1. Yes, there are Medical Maggots, sterile Green Bottle Maggots, SUPPLIED by a pharmaceutical company. 

          I find it strange that you chose to submit a negative comment on this matter, Chgoliz simply mentioned a great and plausible reason why the man survived. I just buttressed his reasoning. 

          Are you a sales rep for Antibiotics?

          I will do my part and edit my statement and add “SOME”. 

  10. 100 properly deployed SF troops isn’t really all that “token”. A combination of small-group tactics and training and organization of local friendlies can be very effective and efficient and is kind of what SF used to be known for, before “Hearts and Minds” became a total joke.

  11. Do you really think that when Rush’s researchers are picking topics for him to talk about, they don’t also do some basic fact-checking?

    No, this is probably deliberate. Here’s how it works:

    Rush says (at length): Obama sends US troops to attack Christians
    Listeners hear: Obama sends US troops to attack Christians


    Rush says: (very briefly, before quickly changing the subject): Actually, the LRA might be kind of bad.
    Listeners remember: Obama sends US troops to attack Christians

    People remember what they heard first. That’s how we got Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and the Al-Qaeda/Saddam Hussein link, Private Lynch’s heroic struggle and subsequent martyrdom, etc. etc. Afterwards, you can backtrack as much as you need (always framing your retraction as ‘uncertainty’ about the facts, rather than an outright admission that your first version was 100% bullshit). By then the false version will have gained traction, and most of your audience will still be convinced that that’s how it really was.

    Rush, of all people, knows how to use this tactic.

    1. Do you really think that when Rush’s researchers are picking topics for him to talk about, they don’t also do some basic fact-checking?

      I’m curious what you picture in your head when you imagine the Rush Limbaugh Research Department. A crack team of diligent archivists, legal experts and fact-checkers? Personally, I imagine a bigoted little elf that only Rush can see.

    2. I don’t know, that tactic can work but only to an extent.  The LRA are probably the worst organisation I can think of.  You spend any time reading about what they do and you get a really visceral reaction to them.  (When I first heard about them my thoughts first went, let’s just kill them all, and then you find out the majority of them are brainwashed kids from the villages they are attacking and….fuck, it is just awful).

      Anyhow, that kind of thing, you can’t easily just brush over it if people cotton on to it.  

      But I’m really confused, of things we can all agree on, LRA are monsters is one of them.  I had a look back at previous wikipedia pages to see if they’d been hijacked by LRA propagandists just before they went out or something, but no.  Half the article is a section labelled “massacres”.  I’ve never heard of anyone defending them before.  It seems like he heard “Lord” and left it at that.  If doing that crucifies him, then there is some justice.

  12. “is a good use of our military.” How does combatting a criminal gang [on steroids perhaps] work out as the national defense of the U.S? “Good” is such a malleable observation. To me it seems a waste of time-personnel-resources. And what is the ROI? What plausible U.S. national interest is being served here? My inner cynic wonders what Ugandan natural resources are being protected for Wall Street? I am unconvinced by humanitarian arguments. The current Ugandan government seems to be catering to the worst right wing American anti-gay bigotry. From Wiki: Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill (also known as the “Kill the Gays Bill”)[1][2][3], if enacted, would broaden the criminalisation of same-sex relations by introducing the death penalty for people who have previous convictions, are HIV-positive, or engage in sexual acts with people of the same sex or for adults who do so with those under 18 years of age.[note 1] The bill also includes provisions for Ugandans who engage in same-sex sexual relations outside of Uganda, asserting that they may be extradited for punishment back to Uganda, and includes penalties for individuals, companies, media organisations, or non-governmental organisations that support LGBT rights. Homophobia is rampant in Uganda and is thought to have been one of the causes of the bill. [Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill] Perhaps the Warren connection provides an explanation for this otherwise mysterious intervention. “American evangelicals such as Scott Lively and California pastor Rick Warren have a history of involvement in Uganda where they focus their missionary work.”

    1. “I am unconvinced by humanitarian arguments”

      As disgusting as the alliance of US-Ugandan neanderthal christian-rightwingers is, the LRA is incomparably bad. An utterly insane guerrilla cult bent on endless rape, murder and mutilation across 4 countries is something the world community really should be dealing with. If you need some narrow self-interest to justify it, consider this: cross border armies of this nature are capable of destabilising very large regions in a lot of ways, and can trigger inter-state warfare. Such events could well threaten US interests after a certain point.
      If that happens, it’ll take a lot more than 100 US Special Forces to do anything about it.

      1. Agree with your assessment of the LRA, as far as I know. Maybe request came from UN forces there. It gives me heavy Mogadishu flashback. Something bad happens to our troops and either we leave it worse off (if possible) or we start sending more “advisors.” LRA estimates have been as high as 3000.

    2. Because it’s not enough to do something because it’s Right, here are two defenses of this from a moderate-to-absolutely-cynical-national-interest perspective:

      1) The Lord’s Army poses a threat to regional stability, in a region populated entirely by precarious governments and impoverished citizens.  If we can settle things down through the investment of only 100 troops, then our companies can vastly expand their exploitation of the region’s mineral resources.

      2) The United States’ international reputation continues to flat-line.  If we’re able to impeded or eradicate the LRA, hopefully that will translate to some good will in other parts of the world.

      100 special forces troops might be enough to knock the LRA out.  They’re not the Taliban.  All the Devil’s Advocate stuff aside, I think this is a worthwhile use of our forces.

      BUT…we’re terrible at choosing sides in these things.  Pick any conflict in the world, and the US will misunderstand it, pick a side, and then just kick the hell out of everyone and everything until one day we give up and go home.  stevelaudig is not wrong to point out the questionable character of the Ugandan govt.  And our involvement with Vietnam started with just a handful of troops on the ground.

  13. Africa is such a cluster fuck I’d hate to send anyone there and commend the people in the Peace Corp, Red Cross, missionaries etc who go there.

  14. “….is something only someone as stupid and evil as Limbaugh would do.”Using words like ‘evil’  really only continues these debates on religious nuts’ own exitable/knee jerk terms. 

  15. Thank you for censoring the wound. It’s not even a very offensive image but it was considerate to conceal it on the front page.

  16. I’d like to see Mr. Limbaugh struggling to move his fat arse around the jungle trying to get away from a bunch of people who are convinced that he would make a nice bonfire.

  17. It seems to me that your predisposition to hate Limbaugh is causing you to take literally statements that should be regarded as satirical. Limbaugh was making the point that the president is sending soldiers to fight a group that almost no one has ever heard of, and simultaneously show how Obama is a hypocrite. He did this by appearing to defend that group and making obviously absurd statements in their favor. The problem is you don’t know their absurd until you actually know who the group is, which no one does. As pointed out by commenter Teller, he reveals this later in the program. 

    1. That’s quite a reach.  It seems more likely that Limbaugh is a little more predisposed to hate Obama.  If you Google news about the LRA, it’s been in the reality based news stream for many years.   If Limbaugh’s minions and his listeners didn’t know anything about it, is shows they are uninformed.   If it’s a group that “no one has ever heard of” than how are statements against them “obviously absurd”?   You seem to be starting with the conclusion that Obama is a hypocrite and working backwards to justify it.  Wrapping the word “satirical” around it doesn’t work.  I will agree that Limbaugh is obviously absurd, but not deliberately.  If you need an example of deliberate satire, watch Colbert.

  18. The first thing we must understand, when reading any news story, is that America is an imperialist nation. Our foreign policy is first and foremost imperialistic, and in every case can be seen to further power and corporate interests. We do NOT intervene for humanitarian reasons, ever, and claims that we do are just propaganda, same as empires have always done.

    So, we should look into this more. It’s worth noting that, in Uganda, the LRA is fighting against an entrenched dictatorship that has been in power for 25 years. A dictatorship that just passed a law mandating death for homosexuality, and prison for not reporting homosexuality. That has allowed tens of thousands to be evicted to make way for ‘carbon credit’ forests to be planted where their villages once stood. etc. 

    In short, there are no good guys in this.

    So, which is worse: some right wing gasbag making stupid and ignorant remarks? Or an imperial ruler with millions of troops andwarehouses stuffed full of WMDs at his disposal stepping in to support the ruling tyrant?

    I’ll let you ponder that question.

    1. Why are we leaving Iraq?  If all we cared about was imperialism, why wouldn’t we consolidate our power and stay? 

      1. Our job there is done. We aren’t following the traditional imperialist model. This is the age of neo-imperialism. The goal of our foreign policy is to open up foreign nations for our corporations, and to open up their political systems for our influence. 

        There was nothing more to do in Iraq. The cost-benefit equation no longer made sense. Plus, we need the troops for these other wars.

        1. If you mean neocolonolialism, I don’t think it meets the definition.  It was likely initially an attempt at that sort of relationship, but a more hawkish administration could have used the “war on terror” to justify a force remaining in Iraq indefinitely.  This adminstration came into power partly on the promise to the nation of leaving Iraq.  All nations use foreign policy to open up nations to trade, and to try to influence their political system if they can.  The cost-benefit equation never made sense, we were always going to lose money in that sort of adventure.

  19. I suspect the biggest duties the troops would have is training the Ugandan troops in counter-insurgency tactics and intelligence gathering (drones?).  The biggest challenge the LRA poses, from what I know, is that they are spread out in small groups and take advantage of the wilderness in southern Sudan.

    I think if villages had some sort of self defense militias or local quick response teams they’d pose a major challenge to the LRA which seems to be lightly armed.

  20. Q:  So, what’s the difference between Rush Limbaugh and the Hindenburg disaster?

    A: One’s a flaming Nazi gasbag and the other’s just an airship.

  21. Where in the Limbaugh transcript does it say he supports them? The excerpts in the Times blog shows that he is critical of sending US soldiers into another combat zone.  And of course he’s taking a gratuitous shot at Obama by pointing out the the LRA are “Christians” fighting “Muslims”…

    But that’s not the same as supporting them. 

    It’s the war party’s favorite line of rhetoric, “if you oppose war, you support the enemy.” Aren’t you applying it here?

    Regardless of Limbaugh’s reasons for opposing it, is it really “stupid and evil” to oppose another US military operation in a foreign land?

    1. Where in the Limbaugh transcript does it say he supports them?

      Limbaugh took the time to read aloud what he called the “Lord’s Resistance Army objectives,” which was a list of noble-sounding things like “To remove dictatorship and stop the oppression of our people” taken from a speech made on their behalf in 1997. In other words, he presented the group as they see themselves but didn’t bother to check if anyone else had something to add to that description. Like mass murder, rape and mutilation, for example.

      It’s not Limbaugh’s opposition to foreign intervention that’s offensive; if he was remotely consistent about that sort of thing it would be a vast improvement. What is offensive is that he presented this group in as positive a light as possible just to make Obama look worse.

    2. Limbaugh issued a (partial) retraction.

      Are you going to tell Limbaugh that he never said he supported them?  Because he seems to have thought he did.

  22. Hard work for Rush Limbaugh….think it’s easy making $50MM/year to get a fairly substantial audience of people to vote against their best interests?  He’s not paid to entertain, he’s paid to be the conduit between the RNC and his listener-voters.  It’s all about demonizing Democrats and repeating the lies repetitiously.   Being the blowhard that he is, he’s prone to talking before he thinks….but how could he resist the framing? – that the Muslim Presidential poseur is sending our troops to kill Christian’s in the Lord’s Army.  Way too good of an opportunity to reinforce that primary subliminal message, to pass up.   It could be another “Excellence in Broadcasting”  moment, if  excellence in broadcasting means the ability to willfully misinform on our publicly owned airwaves.

    On another note, I look at this action as a transformative approach in handling a humantarium emergence that requires a partial military solution.  There are less bad actor rogue nation-states around in which a large footprint to deal with a regional criminal warlord is needed.  A 100 SF plus drones plus real time satellite/sensor technology plus the US Military… the Lord’s Army’s work on Earth might be soon finished.   Obama has effectively engaged at a micro-level (pirates, OBL, other AQ targets).  W e could have done this with Saddam if our real intentions were to help the Iraqi’s rid themselves of Hussein.

    Personally, this ought to be the rightful jurisdiction of the UN.  Seems they could field a similar force of SF with support from NATO and deal with this kind of conflict as well.   The UN should be able to vote and threaten to take out any despot if a significant vote warrants….give the tyrant 48 hours to vacate.  A few actions like that and maybe future wannabee dictators will think twice about committing crimes against humanity.  Unfortunately, the rest of the world are socialists so we can let anyone be the boss of us.  The money it costs us to go it alone while killing our international reputation boggles the mind.  But that’s Rush’s job, right?  Convincing the rubes to ‘stay the course’.

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