Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Labels: Africa, Anti-Gay, genocide, GLBT, hillary clinton, human rights, Museveni, PEPFAR, sweden, the family, torture, uganda
In all the buzz about the Uganda's anti-homosexuality genocide bill, some interesting American political connections surfaced. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow brought our attention to James Inhoffe, a GOP Senator, and Pastor Rick Warren who had both been traveling to Uganda and frequently advising Ugandan leaders on the subjects of HIV, Homosexuality and Birth Control.
Harper's magazine and NPR turned their attention to "The Family" - a clandestine group of government and business leaders who gather in secrecy and have some very strange views on Jesus and capitalism. Two of the people mentioned in connection with "The Family" who are most relevant to the situation in Uganda were the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni and US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. According to most sources, Museveni is a known member of "The Family" while Clinton was merely a close friend to the group's leader, Douglas Coe.
Museveni is mostly described as favoring the anti-gay genocide bill and is widely distrusted among human rights activists who disagree with his handling of the Lord's Resistance Army by supposedly mimicking their grotesque human rights abuses which included mutilation, torture, murder and rape. Another blemish on Museveni's record is his fondness of "storing" victimized people in what amounts to concentration camps.
When the controversy over the deadly bill reached its boiling point in the blogosphere, people began speculating as to whether or not "The Family" was using Uganda as testing grounds for a new holocaust and if that was the case, whether or not Clinton was implicated. Speculation is all that comes from these discussions, since the group is, by nature, secretive.
On World AIDS Day, Clinton affirmed that “We have to stand against any efforts to marginalize and criminalize and penalize members of the LGBT community worldwide. It is an unacceptable step backwards on behalf of human rights.” That statement, however, was too general to be applied specifically to Uganda. Nevertheless, Clinton did eventually respond to the Uganda controversy directly, albeit in a cryptic way by saying that she and the Obama administration have addressed the problem to Uganda's leaders in both "direct ways and indirect ways" and that she viewed the pending legislation to be a "potential" threat to Human Rights.
But Hillary Clinton must be a woman of her word, because Museveni has now affirmed to the Ugandan Parlaiment that "foreign policy issues" are at stake and the parlaiment must "slow down" on their legislative persecution of homosexuals. According to the Global Post, Museveni confessed that he had been urged against the bill by Hillary Clinton (USA) and Gordon Brown (UK).
So, it seems that if Hillary Clinton does indeed have any connection to "The Family" she is putting it to good use at effective diplomacy. But lest you think she's merely catching flies with honey in Uganda, let me remind you who Yoweri Museveni is dealing with:
Raw Hillary Power Unleashed
As per usual, one nation has gone much further toward protecting human rights in Uganda than the United States has, and that would be Sweden. Sweden directly and publicly threatened to cut off all aid to Uganda if the bill becomes law. President Obama could withhold PEPFAR funding from Uganda under the same conditions but a smarter approach might be to first restrict Uganda from using the funds for anything except direct medical care. As of right now, the loosely regulated millions go toward everything from infrastructure and religious education to law enforcement.