Kony 2012 - Dodgy as f*ck?

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silvermoon
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Mar 7 2012 03:23
Kony 2012 - Dodgy as f*ck?

Kony 2012 has suddenly exploded all over my social media - Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, and all from a standing start.

Video is here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4MnpzG5Sqc

Very emotive, very powerful, but totally lacking in facts or analysis. White narrator with pretty blond child, and lots of white activists - few african voices (which are subtitled), and an appeal to celebs and big name politicians. Main demand appears to be for US intervention in Central Africa. Kony is now in the Congo, which is a powderkeg with the dodgy re-election of Kabilha, but a very rich powderkeg.

Having read the thread on Reddit I'm super dubious. With Saddam Hussain and Osama bin Laden gone to meet their maker, I'm wondering if this is the latest bogeyman designed to distract us with past evils while the West commits current ones.

Discussion on Reddit - long but well worth a read
http://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/qk0pd/kony_2012_help_raise_awareness_and_stop_joseph/

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ElusiveElla
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Mar 7 2012 04:50

I stole this from somewhere else but here we go

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The problems with the 'Kony 2012' campaign: Ok so let's get this out of the way first, the basic idea of the campaign is great, to raise awareness of a war criminal that uses children as soldiers and sex slaves. Unfortunately the whole campaign seems to be missing the bigger political picture, I think this is nicely demonstrated in the statement of its second goal:

'That the U.S. military advisers support the Ugandan Army until Kony has been captured and the LRA has been completely disarmed. They need to follow through all the way and finish what they have started.'

This statement not only suggests that the campaign is in favour of U.S. intervention but is completely uncritical of the Ugandan Government and its army, both of whom are by no means 'the good guys' in this. I can't be bothered going into too much detail but here are a few key points:

1) The Ugandan Government is a dictatorship with Yoweri Museveni as the president since 1986. Among many of its human rights violations the regime tortures prisons, oppresses other political parties and the press and also wishes to introduce a bill that would have 'convicted homosexuals' put to death.

2) In the civil war in which Yoweri Museveni gained power child soldiers were used by his army (National Resistance Army) which is now the army of Uganda but under a different name. (http://www.teachkidspeace.org/doc315.php)

3) The Ugandan army, or rather its high ranking officers have being using 'ghost soldiers' (soldiers who are no longer on the pay-roll) to siphon off funds, making the war even more profitable for them than usual, giving them a vested interest in its continuation. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3514473.stm)

4) (kinda the same point again) War is profitable, especially for large arms economies such as the U.S. and the UK. 'U.S. Military adviser support' may as well say 'we want to US and its arms manufactures /dealers to sell the Ugandan Government shit tons more weapons'.

I'm sure there's many more points that could be made, and this is still a really basic explanation that barely goes into any detail, but even a single one of these points is enough to be critical of the campaign and its support of the Ugandan army. If the campaign really wants to be truly supportive of human rights it needs to recognise that Kony is not the only war criminal, all warmongering is a crime against humanity.

criticalmess
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Mar 7 2012 07:26

You are both raising valid points, but what is important is that a grass roots campaign like this can show kids and adults that you can make a difference in this world by getting involved.
There are many other problems this planet faces and this campaign and its success could educate and empower people. It could serve as a blueprint on how to approach other issues and that is why I support it.
Plus - to get the support of the masses, you need to offer a relatively easily digestible message. People then can research and make up their own minds.
Watching the movie and reading your comments has educated me and started a dialogue. It also will open up millions of eyes to the fact that there are different countries on this planet, that a court for human rights exists, etc.
All good things.

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Railyon
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Mar 7 2012 10:11

So you support warmongering because it's a "grass roots campaign"?

I'm speechless.

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Arbeiten
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Mar 7 2012 13:05
criticalmess wrote:
You are both raising valid points, but what is important is that a grass roots campaign like this can show kids and adults that you can make a difference in this world by getting involved.

Getting involved as in getting involved with a dictator and his private army? NO, NO, NO, NO, don't treat people like idiots! If these allegations are true, then it is not enough to just sweep them under the carpet and say 'oh well, at least it has gotten the herd [cough, grass roots] to move slightly'. The idea that people need an 'easy digestible message' is highly condescending and really highlights the condescending nature of this sort of liberal paternalism.

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jonthom
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Mar 7 2012 15:04

http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com/

Quote:
The group is in favour of direct military intervention, and their money supports the Ugandan government’s army and various other military forces. Here’s a photo of the founders of Invisible Children posing with weapons and personnel of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Both the Ugandan army and Sudan People’s Liberation Army are riddled with accusations of rape and looting, but Invisible Children defends them, arguing that the Ugandan army is “better equipped than that of any of the other affected countries”, although Kony is no longer active in Uganda and hasn’t been since 2006 by their own admission. These books each refer to the rape and sexual assault that are perennial issues with the UPDF, the military group Invisible Children is defending.

Still, the bulk of Invisible Children’s spending isn’t on supporting African militias, but on awareness and filmmaking. Which can be great, except that Foreign Affairs has claimed that Invisible Children (among others) “manipulates facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders and emphasizing the LRA’s use of innocent children as soldiers, and portraying Kony — a brutal man, to be sure — as uniquely awful, a Kurtz-like embodiment of evil.” He’s certainly evil, but exaggeration and manipulation to capture the public eye is unproductive, unprofessional and dishonest.

As Christ Blattman, a political scientist at Yale, writes on the topic of IC’s programming, “There’s also something inherently misleading, naive, maybe even dangerous, about the idea of rescuing children or saving of Africa. […] It hints uncomfortably of the White Man’s Burden. Worse, sometimes it does more than hint. The savior attitude is pervasive in advocacy, and it inevitably shapes programming. Usually misconceived programming.”

Still, Kony’s a bad guy, and he’s been around a while. Which is why the US has been involved in stopping him for years. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has sent multiple missions to capture or kill Kony over the years. And they’ve failed time and time again, each provoking a ferocious response and increased retaliative slaughter. The issue with taking out a man who uses a child army is that his bodyguards are children. Any effort to capture or kill him will almost certainly result in many children’s deaths, an impact that needs to be minimized as much as possible. Each attempt brings more retaliation. And yet Invisible Children supports military intervention. Kony has been involved in peace talks in the past, which have fallen through. But Invisible Children is now focusing on military intervention.

Also:

Stop Kony, yes. But don’t stop asking questions

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Mar 7 2012 14:59

Aload of tripe, US et al have been trying to kill him for years according to wikipedia

http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com
for some background on how dodgy the charity is.

Still there might be something in this postering up cities strategy, remember that time when that poster flew to Pakistan and lodged itself in Osama's throat, asphyxiating him, just before the special ops burst in to take the credit?

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the button
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Mar 7 2012 15:08

That pic is clearly photoshopped, cos you can't see their erections.

wojtek
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Mar 7 2012 15:52

There's been a few people trolling Akala's FB page with this kony stuff. His twitter responses:

Quote:
The original Scramble for Africa was justified by Europe apparently desiring to rid Africa of its unjust leaders and 'help the people'

That 'freeing the people' did not work out too well did it?

If you think western military presence is designed to help ppl of the south perhaps you should read some more history

Was there ever a call for western military intervention in Apartheid SA or Rhodesia? Or was that fully supported?

Where do all these 'dictators' in the south get their weapons? From the moon?

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Steven.
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Mar 7 2012 19:21

Can anyone recommend the best critical article on this? It would be good to get one up on libcom news ASAP! If someone finds a good one please post it

snipfool
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Mar 7 2012 19:37

not sure, but the bits from various sources posted in this thread have been useful on facebook today, thanks all!

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the croydonian ...
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Mar 7 2012 19:42

I think this is the best one Steven
http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com/

the croydonian anarchist's picture
the croydonian ...
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Mar 7 2012 19:51

It looks like Im going to spend the rest of the night arguing with my friends about this, Im sure some are in the same boat tongue

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Mar 7 2012 19:52

Also
http://justiceinconflict.org/2012/03/07/taking-kony-2012-down-a-notch/

and

http://blog.joerenken.com/2012/03/07/invisible-children-and-kony-2012-exposed/

mofer
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Mar 7 2012 20:33

tastybrain
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Mar 7 2012 21:09
Puzzled_individual wrote:
Aload of tripe, US et al have been trying to kill him for years according to wikipedia

http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com
for some background on how dodgy the charity is.

Still there might be something in this postering up cities strategy, remember that time when that poster flew to Pakistan and lodged itself in Osama's throat, asphyxiating him, just before the special ops burst in to take the credit?

LOL who are those guys in the pic?

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jef costello
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Mar 7 2012 21:27

The founders of Invisible Children

http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com/post/18890947431/we-got-trouble

radicalgraffiti
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Mar 7 2012 22:02

This is good - http://whitthef.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/kony-2012/

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Shorty
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Mar 7 2012 23:12

Try and post a link to the visiblechildren tumblr in the comments section of the youtube video. It won't allow it.

The rhetoric of this video is really interesting though. There's this whole internet, networked change coupled with this corrupt democrats and republicans won't do anything (which obviously isn't true but plays into a current mindset), but being utilised for warmongering.

Basically the last 10 minutes of the video, fuck. Is this the new ideology of late capitalism?

bzfgt
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Mar 7 2012 23:17

I 'upped' critical mess's post but I have to admit it's because he had 15 'downs' and no 'ups,' not because I agree with anything he says.

So you see, I'm a liberal at heart...

slothjabber
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Mar 7 2012 23:39
Railyon wrote:
So you support warmongering because it's a "grass roots campaign"?

I'm speechless.

Railyon, that poster joined today and has made one post.

I think we can guess why they support warmongering, and really you shouldn't be so speechless. Do I smell spook? Or is it just crazy freelance right-winger?

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Def
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Mar 8 2012 00:50

https://www.facebook.com/MGP

Here's a more direct action response. Rather than giving his money to a bunch of bleeding heart neocons, this guy just went in the jungle himself and carried out armed raids against the LRA. They've made a shitty film about it but apparently it's a true story.

silvermoon
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Mar 8 2012 00:51

If we want to start chasing after war criminals, why dont we start with our own?

http://www.2ndcouncilhouse.co.uk/blog/2012/03/07/the-pursuit-of-war-criminals/

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Mar 8 2012 01:59
Steven. wrote:
Can anyone recommend the best critical article on this? It would be good to get one up on libcom news ASAP! If someone finds a good one please post it

I think this is what you are looking for.

http://demandnothing.org/making-the-invisible-visible/

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Juan Conatz
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Mar 8 2012 03:43

this is pretty good too http://i.imgur.com/K3mgn.jpg

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no.25
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Mar 8 2012 07:08
tastybrain wrote:
Puzzled_individual wrote:
Aload of tripe, US et al have been trying to kill him for years according to wikipedia

http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com
for some background on how dodgy the charity is.

Still there might be something in this postering up cities strategy, remember that time when that poster flew to Pakistan and lodged itself in Osama's throat, asphyxiating him, just before the special ops burst in to take the credit?

LOL who are those guys in the pic?

From what I've gathered thus far, useless profiteering hipster scumbags that further the agenda of imperialism, while being in possession of highly useful artillery.

LOL AT DUDE IN MIDDLE.

Oenomaus
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Mar 8 2012 09:16

Not too surprising that the celebrities have already jumped on this warmongering bandwagon (as silvermoon already pointed out): http://www.eonline.com/news/kony_2012_george_clooney_angelina_jolie/299424.

Celebrity #1 from the US: "I'd like indicted war criminals to enjoy the same level of celebrity as me."

Oh no, there's no need for them to. You're usually already sitting right next to them and giving them millions of dollars, after all...

AnaMore
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Mar 8 2012 08:55

The Kony 2012 people kind of make me sick. advocating military intervention? donating money to a group that rapes and kills? in a country that Kony has been out of since 2006? real fucking humanitarian of you. awareness doesn't do anything, you don't understand the issue (I don't either), and your action plan is a piece of shit that will get more people killed than Kony has ever affected.

wojtek
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Mar 8 2012 09:03

A really good article by John Pilger from October last year:

The Son of Africa claims a continent’s crown jewels

Antonio de cleyre
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Mar 8 2012 09:27

"Why stop at Kony? #Obama2012"

http://www.facebook.com/WhyStopAtKonyObama2012

za.mrefu
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Mar 8 2012 09:28

In 1986, Yoweri Museveri came to power in Uganda through the use of child soldiers.

During his quarter century as dictator of Uganda, Museveri perpetrated an invasion that led to the Second Congo War, the most deadly war since World War II, during which almost 6 million people died. In these grotesque times, many sections of Museveni's MLC army were comprised of child soldiers, a tradition that Museveni continues to this day, in almost all military campaigns, including his war with Kony's LRA. However, on the issue of the Ugandan state's use of child soldiers, Invisible Children chooses to remain silent. Why is this? Because in all this time, Museveni's power has been ensured by the U.S. government!

Invisible Children directly promotes AFRICOM and a US coalition with the Museveni's army in Uganda. However, we have seen that the only difference between Kony's army and the Ugandan army (UPDF), is that the UPDF has the U.S. State Department's silent permission to use child soldiers and its efforts are being assisted by this imperialist "awareness" campaign.

US Imperialism in Africa often comes packaged as an appealing and moral cause for social justice. I'm glad we have remained vigilant. There is little doubt that despite IC's obvious imperialist agenda, many liberal fools will ignorantly begin "getting involved," and will thus continue their eternal tradition of giving preferential treatment to state sponsored violence in the name of morality. God help us all.