After Watching “A Brilliant Genocide" College Students Say U.S. Was Accomplice to Gen. Museveni’s Crimes

Gen. Museveni
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Ugandan military dictator Gen. Museveni. Photo: Facebook.

After Students at John Jay College of Criminal Justice recently watched “A Brilliant Genocide,” Ebony Butler’s award-winning documentary on crimes committed by Ugandan dictator Gen. Yoweri Museveni’s military against civilians between 1986 and 2006 in the northern part of the country, they weighed in with their observations in response to an exam question. Here’s a sampling below:

1. In “A Brilliant Genocide” we see state terrorism against Ugandan civilians by Gen. Museveni’s soldiers, using atrocities by the LRA as an excuse for his brutal agenda against the Acholi people. The U.S. is just as guilty of the actions committed by Museveni because international organizations such as Human Rights Watch have gone as far as documenting the events in northern Uganda, yet the U.S. continued supporting, aiding and abetting Museveni. The U.S. turned a blind eye in order to continue reaping off the benefits which are Uganda’s natural resources—and still continues to do so. In the same manner, Museveni is power hungry and is willing to do whatever it takes to maintain that power. Both parties are causing inexcusable harm just to accomplish their own agendas. Without support from the West Museveni’s reign would have ended a long time ago. 

2. The United States is just as guilty of the crimes committed by Museveni because his regime wouldn’t survive without our support. In the United States, if you are supporting someone or in someone’s presence while a crime is committed you would be deemed as an accomplice or an accessory. Why should it be any different because it’s overseas? If the United States can throw themselves into war over opposing “ideals” then why wouldn’t they use their power to stop Museveni? For some reason the United States benefits from having Museveni in power, so the blood of all those senselessly slaughtered by him are on our hands. 

3. Museveni is a man who has tortured his people greatly. From the spread of HIV to the andaki holes that they would roast individuals in. The United States is using Museveni as a way to get what they want fully knowing the horrible acts he is performing. If the United States was not getting anything in return for ignoring his crimes he would be called a warlord dictator. The United States would be hunting him instead of shaking his hand. The U.S. is responsible for his actions.

4. The most shocking atrocities carried out by Museveni’s military was when they would kill women and children and then dispose of them in a river. Moreover the military would rape women and men; the worst part is that they had HIV so it would spread and kill civilians. I felt bad for one of the people because he was beaten and raped and was thrown in the bush. He said he could not walk and he’s traumatized for the rest of his life. 

5. Some of the most shocking atrocities carried out by Gen. Museveni was that Museveni had soldiers that were HIV positive rape men and women. This eventually led these men and women to become HIV positive. Another atrocity carried out by Museveni was burning people alive and killing pregnant women. Lastly, the third atrocity was forcing the Ugandan people out of their homes into the camps. While the Ugandan people were in these camps they were living in terrible conditions—there was lack of food, sanitary items, and because of these conditions the people started dying from diseases, etc. 

6. The U.S. was guilty of the atrocities that Museveni committed. Without the financial and political support of the U.S., Ugandan civilians wouldn’t have experienced such a tragic genocide. By giving Uganda such power and praise, Museveni was reinforced by the U.S.’s affirmations and public recognitions. The U.S. has been guilty of acting upon manifest destiny and although Uganda was not a U.S. territory, it was funded as one. Although Museveni commanded his soldiers to commit the genocide the U.S. was complicit to the crimes and twisted his leadership to fit the needs of the U.S., not the Ugandan citizens.

7. I think that the U.S. was just as guilty of the crimes committed by Museveni because they were negligent. They publicly gave their support to Museveni and gave him all of the resources that he asked for. Despite the many claims of evil acts that Museveni was committing they never even looked into it. The U.S. is known as a global power and most people wouldn’t mess with them or their allies—because of this, Museveni was untouchable and did whatever he wanted. 

8. The U.S. is just as guilty as Museveni for his crimes because the U.S. politicians who support Museveni are fully aware of his actions. Museveni uses LRA actions to justify his own, but terrorism can never be justified. If terrorism can be justified by terrorism it’ll create an endless cycle like we see in Uganda. Even if terrorism could be justified locals have stated that Kony only started committing terrorism after Museveni did it first. Countless times in history accomplices and supporters of criminals have been considered criminals themselves. This should be no exception.

A shorter version of the documentary "A Brilliant Genocide" was broadcast by RTN.

 

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