Friday, March 9, 2012

Fuck It, We Needed Another Conflict - Africa And Kony

Fuck It, We Needed Another Conflict - Africa And Kony

A recent study on NPR showed that men love it when their partners expressed happiness. Women, on the other hand loved it when men expressed anger. Hmm, no wonder we call America in the female possessive.

If you haven't noticed in all your social media pieces, Kony is the latest target of the Facebook/Twitter/Txting universe to unload your "likes" to dislike. Then you're missing out on some excellent Kony 2012 outrage. The message:
KONY 2012
Wait, I'm confused. are we suppose to murder him or re-elect him? I guess I know who I'm writing in on November 6th

But seriously folks.. This is a great piece I saw written that I wanted to share with you;

KONY 2012 and Humanitarian Intervention

Over the past few days, Joseph Kony has become a very famous man. Invisible Children, an American charity based in San Diego, California, has produced a viral video called KONY 2012, which seeks to “make Kony famous”. Their goal? Find Joseph Kony, and try him before the International Criminal Court.

Their drive to bring Kony to justice has had some results: the United States has decided to deploy 100 advisers to the region’s armies, to ostensibly assist them in finding Joseph Kony. But before you start making posters and changing your Facebook display picture, you should probably give some thought as to the history of the region, and the history of US intervention in Africa.

Since the beginning of British colonial rule in Africa, there has been a divide between the North and the South of Uganda. After the fall of Idi Amin in 1979, several groups within Uganda began fighting for power. The Acholi people of Northern Uganda held power for all of six months during this time before being overthrown by the current president, Yoweri Museveni, in 1986. Members of the previous government joined with other disgruntled fighters in the North to create the Lord’s Resistance Army. The LRA, as Invisible Children points out, eventually also began to use child soldiers.

To this day the divide between the North and South of Uganda, strengthened by British development, has not been addressed. The bill outlining US intervention in Uganda, the Southern Sudan, and the Congo, doesn’t mention any of this. Instead it calls for an increased police and military presence from Yoweri’s army. The Ugandan Army was recently indicted by the UN for supporting militias in Congo’s civil war. These militias destroyed infrastructure and tortured civilians in an effort to secure Uganda’s role in that country. But I’m very sure that Invisible Children understands the nature of the conflict right?

The founders of Invisible Children, contemplating the serious and complex nature of the conflict.

The most important question to ask when war is being proposed is the following: why? Joseph Kony is a shadow of his former self. He has just 250 soldiers under his command. There’s no major media push to find Nobel Peace Prize Winner Heinz Alfred Kissinger, who actually has an arrest warrant for helping to organize the assasination of Salvador Allende, president of Chile. He'd be easier to find, as he actually lives in the United States! So why are we chasing Kony? Why is the US getting involved in Africa, again?

Central Africa is one of the most resource rich areas in the world. Diamonds, uranium, tin, gold, copper, and coltan are all found in this region of the world. Coltan is used in cellphones, other electronics, and to finance warlords in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Using “humanitarian intervention” as an excuse to invade Africa is not new: Somalia was billed as a humanitarian intervention, but it too had strategic importance. Not for its resources, but for its key position in the Horn of Africa, near the largest shipping line in the world. There is a reason why there is a NATO naval detachment off the coast of Somalia, and it has nothing to do with stopping foreign trawlers from fishing in what used to be Somali waters.

In conclusion, I would like to applaud the makers of KONY 2012 for making a very impressive video, and for making many people aware of who Joseph Kony is. But I would like to remind everyone that it is important to think critically about the content of your media, and to be wary of any argument for military intervention.
Another really good criticism I have seen was VISIBLE CHILDREN. If you're falling for this Kony 2012 bullshit, please click on that and see more about this. The only response from the Kony 2012 folks to it have been that it was written by a young person..

You know, which is kind of odd since their whole schtik originally was them running off from college to the middle of Africa with absolutely no clue other than to film a "story". which I guess just leads to the following actions

*picks up AK*
Take a pic bro!!
*kissy face*

And that's how I saved the world. What have YOU done kiddo? It's just really strange to see a pacifist with a moral compass similar to that of Judge Death. Especially concerning since according to this report, Ugandan officials say that Kony has less than 100 troops six months ago. Other sources say it's around 500-1000, but you get what I'm saying. It's not much.

It's like, these guys act like they're pacifist in interviews, but then they take a picture of themselves with some badass rocket launcher and these cool ass army dudes like if it wasn't anything special. And this whole movement - Yeah, we're going to kill Kony with kindness, but also mostly with bullets and grenades. Oh yeah, not to mention they'll be providing lots of high velocity kindness to any civilians who object to SHELL oil's new facilities and be especially kind to any elected officials who say anything silly about nationalization or an extraction tax.

But hey, this isn't the first time someone's wanted the dude dead. Let's jump back to around October when this was making its rounds....

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
For more than two decades, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has murdered, raped, and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women, and children in central Africa. The LRA continues to commit atrocities across the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan that have a disproportionate impact on regional security. Since 2008, the United States has supported regional military efforts to pursue the LRA and protect local communities. Even with some limited U.S. assistance, however, regional military efforts have thus far been unsuccessful in removing LRA leader Joseph Kony or his top commanders from the battlefield. In the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009, Public Law 111-172, enacted May 24, 2010, the Congress also expressed support for increased, comprehensive U.S. efforts to help mitigate and eliminate the threat posed by the LRA to civilians and regional stability.
In furtherance of the Congress's stated policy, I have authorized a small number of combat-equipped U.S. forces to deploy to central Africa to provide assistance to regional forces that are working toward the removal of Joseph Kony from the battlefield. I believe that deploying these U.S. Armed Forces furthers U.S. national security interests and foreign policy and will be a significant contribution toward counter-LRA efforts in central Africa.

On October 12, the initial team of U.S. military personnel with appropriate combat equipment deployed to Uganda. During the next month, additional forces will deploy, including a second combat-equipped team and associated headquarters, communications, and logistics personnel. The total number of U.S. military personnel deploying for this mission is approximately 100. These forces will act as advisors to partner forces that have the goal of removing from the battlefield Joseph Kony and other senior leadership of the LRA. Our forces will provide information, advice, and assistance to select partner nation forces. Subject to the approval of each respective host nation, elements of these U.S. forces will deploy into Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The support provided by U.S. forces will enhance regional efforts against the LRA. However, although the U.S. forces are combat-equipped, they will only be providing information, advice, and assistance to partner nation forces, and they will not themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self-defense. All appropriate precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of U.S. military personnel during their deployment.

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 U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive. I am making this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148). I appreciate the support of the Congress in this action.

Nobel Peace Prize winner
Barack H. Obama
# # #
Seems like Obama and this douche have many things in common. Mostly how they're pacifist, but they both think that we must carpet bomb the shit out of them - you know, just to make sure.

I do like how they're now using "Remove them from the battlefield" instead of killing or neutralizing or whatever other lame word they made up to soften the blow. I guess we're just working our way from the horn on through, Next stop: Nigeria! I hear those prince like to scam Americans out of their money.

Maybe I should remind you folks, In Uganda, you can go to prison just for being gay, and, they have tried, and are trying to raise the penalty to death for being gay, Kony is simply a terrible man raised in a terrible country. Because really, whatever cash you donate and they collect, around 33% of it goes tot he army there. And really, that's no more of a better situation than that shitty video.

I mean, let's be real. How can someone watch that terrible goddamn video and NOT immediately feel like they're being inducted into a cult? It gives off a creepy, brainwashy vibe. But worse than that, the whole thing that pisses me off the most is now I know a lot of people emotionally attached to this stupid video's propaganda and it will be especially difficult for them to disabuse themselves of this crap.

The scariest thing about the Kony video is how it pushes this line of "We can change the world! Our ideas matter! We're turning the system upside down! People dominate!" While directly appealing to "culture makers" including billionaires, athletes and musicians to get any publicity. It's carefully posing as this emancipatory revolutionary movement when it actually strengthens the very structures it apparently chastises.

It's terrifying because it spends so long dictating what social change and activism is. It's full of shots designed to make you feel empowered while telling you exactly what you have to do to be part of a broad movement led primarily by a western NGO, governmnet and celebrities.

And of course ultimately it'll be successful because even if you are able to demonstrate this, the desire to do 'something' in relation to Kony is too great. It pushes the viewer into a binary decision so they can basically say "well, I'm in!" regardless of what the video actually is trying to convey.

I really worry about stuff that propagates this kind of nonsense. It's dictating what activism should be in the worst possible way. And really, I'm kind of trying to figure out what the odds are that at least one or more key people in this organization are CIA. Though judging by the "chucklefucks with an RPG" photo above, I think they may have cheaped out and contracted this one to Startfor.

I guess what also annoys me is that people who have never even heard of the IRA specifically or give half a shit about Africa in general are going to be so insufferably smug when he eventually turns up dead in the DRC and genuinely feel they made the world a better place because they paid some young white Americans $30 for a bracelet and bumper sticker that one time.

Maybe, now this is just a thought, but maybe we should give Ugandan children guns so they can defend themselves from Kony.... Just a thought I had, you know.

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