Several “experts” on Executive Outcomes (EO) have again recently surfaced and are working hard at continuing their disinformation campaign against the company – despite the company having closed its doors many years ago.
I am still amazed at how those who call so loudly for peace work so hard at trying to prevent it. But I also know the aim is a feeble attempt to discredit me in the hopes that African governments will cease talking to me. As mentioned before, war is bad for business and the longer the flames can be fuelled in Africa, the more money is to be made by some who claim they want a “peaceful Africa”. Their way of achieving this “peaceful Africa” is by dispensing bad advice, selling obsolete and/or irrelevant equipment and by supporting both sides of a conflict.
When it became known that STTEP had been contracted to train a Special Operations Group (SOG) for the Ugandan armed forces (UPDF), all hell seemed to break loose again. Back were those who felt that I and whatever company I was now part of had to be stopped. To achieve this, the lines had to be blurred between EO and STTEP and create the perception that it is the same company.
Tweets were generated and sent forth, articles appeared condemning both the Texas philanthropist and the UPDF along with the journalist who wrote the story. Shock and horror was expressed that the truth was written and those who wanted to stop the LRA’s slaughter were visited by the FBI. STTEP and myself became the ”bad guys” and again it seemed a repeat of EO days. STTEP must be stopped and it appears the instructions went forth: do not let the truth get in the way of a good lie.
So it was that a blog posting penned by Assistant Professor Chris Blattman appeared condemning efforts to stop the LRA. (See my postings on this matter as well as his posting http://chrisblattman.com/2013/10/30/is-the-newyorker-publishing-puff-profiles-of-mercenaries-executive-outcomes-now-its-joseph-kony-related) I entered into correspondence with Blattman who admitted he did not do any research. We agreed to disagree on stopping conflicts and the senseless slaughter of civilians in African war zones.
Those we trained in the SOG went on to prove beyond any doubt that they were stopping the LRA. This was, however, to be short-lived as soon after STTEP was forced to leave Uganda, the SOG was sent to Mogadishu. What an absolute waste of money: Men trained in jungle warfare with donor funds were sent to conduct urban operations!
Then, one of the blog readers (Mike Da Silva) pointed me back to Blattman’s blog and in particular to a response on his condemnation of EO/STTEP/the philanthropist and the journalist.
The comment to Blattman’s post by Kambale Mawa reads as follows:
You sir, have no idea what you are talking about.
For goodness sake, ….. You have as much life experience as a potatoe. You have seen nothing of the world but HBO and MTV, and heard of your cohort’s accolade.
You sir killed my family. You came and cut my father’s hands off, smashed his foot with a truck, and laughed about it. Then while he we were tied to posts my sisters and mother was raped repeated till they bled to death. Then they were burned alive.
You did that sir. I was there and watched you do it. Maybe you had a different face, and skin color – but might as well been you. It was your and your buddies’ words that let the beasts loose. You think you know better.
I will never forget those years I spent in slavery because of you and your ilk. Every day I wake up and do not look into the mirror. I scare little children on the street. You did that to me.
When EO was here, we were safe. They came through; they were real *gentlemen*. You sir, do not have the right to even mention their names without prostrating. Narcissism is an illness. You should have that looked at as it spreads.
I recall many letters written to me/EO in days past by the victims caught in the conflicts thanking us and writing about their plight, the torture they had to endure, the hunger, the constant smell of death and fear, the boiling and eating of new-born babies and the many, many harrowing experiences they had to live through. I shall never forget when I showed this to some local and foreign journalists how they told me that such letters were “not in the public interest”! The truth was of no consequence – their lies, however, were.
Despite Kambale Mawa’s comment being written years after the fact, it is encouraging to know that people we tried to help still remember those few who turned the tide in Angola and Sierra Leone. Many countries I travel to have heard about EO and STTEP. I am warmly welcomed and constantly thanked for the work the men of EO did – and what STTEP is doing - for Africa.
Those who are so keen to condemn EO, STTEP and myself ought to visit the areas we have worked in and discover the truth for themselves – not make it up to suit the agendas of those who pay them.
Maybe then they will tell it like it is.