It's not often I get touched by a film/documentary but the Kony 2012 video certainly got me.
Kony 2012 is a film made by an organisation called Invisible Children. The film was released on YouTube three days ago and since then, has been viewed over seven million times. Kony 2012 has also been the number one trend on twitter for the past 30 hours. The aim of the film is to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and to set a precedent for international justice.
Joseph Kony is the leader of an Ugandan rebel group called the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). In 2005, he was #1 on the International Criminal Courts world’s worst criminals list. For 26 years, the LRA has been kidnapping children; turning the females into sex slaves and the boys into child soldiers. Numbers suggest that in this time, there has not just been a few kidnappings, but over 30,000 children have been kidnapped by the LRA.
How lucky we are. We go about living our daily lives without having to think how hard others have it in countries such as Uganda. We don’t have the troubles of going to sleep and not knowing if our children or grandchildren will be there in the morning. We have enough food to feed our population and most importantly we have clean water. I have already taken the step of purchasing a supporter kit which includes a t-shirt and posters. One person does have the power to change the world; right now that person is Joseph Kony. Tomorrow, I know it is Drew Patchell.
Take the time (30 minutes) to watch the film!
The man is a monster. The African continent produces no end of them. I have friends who fled Uganda many years ago. The two of them are all who remain of their extended family who were savagely cut to pieces with machetes. Their own domestic staff, men and women, who had been treated as members of their family, were involved in the cowardly slaughter.
I don't know anything about Invisible Children, the group sponsoring this viral campaign. Maybe you know more about that.
However I must say that I have deep ethical, moral and other reservations about sponsoring private intereference in another country. I do not believe that the end justifies the means. Has anyone considered the risks and unintended consequences? This is a well-meaning but naive precedent that could end in tears.
I do not set out to rain on anyone's parade, but as a long time student of international diplomacy and history I must voice my concerns. This strategy really needs to be thought through.
The alternative is to lobby our own government for international action.
Deep social and economic problems and noxious traditions and beliefs cannot be resolved easily.
To be blunt, what if the monster who replaced Idi Amin (or now Kony) had the benefit of better technology and M16s?
Having not heard anything about this Kony 2012 before, I've done a little reading up. Far from wanting to be a wet blanket, but I think I need to know a bit more about the people behind the film....as well as other background info. eg...US involvement.
Some interesting information surfaced.
People need to be careful before pulling out the credit card.
The organization behind Kony 2012 — Invisible Children Inc. — is an extremely shady nonprofit that has been called ”misleading,” “naive,” and “dangerous” by a Yale political science professor, and has been accused by Foreign Affairs of “manipulat[ing] facts for strategic purposes.” They have also been criticized by the Better Business Bureau for refusing to provide information necessary to determine if IC meets the Bureau’s standards.
Additionally, IC has a low two-star rating in accountability from Charity Navigator because they won’t let their financials be independently audited. That’s not a good thing. In fact, it’s a very bad thing, and should make you immediately pause and reflect on where the money you’re sending them is going."
Let’s not get our lines crossed: The Lord’s Resistance Army is bad news. And Joseph Kony is a very bad man, and needs to be stopped. But propping up Uganda’s decades-old dictatorship and its military arm, which has been accused by the UN of committing unspeakable atrocities and itself facilitated the recruitment of child soldiers, is not the way to go about it.
The United States is already plenty involved in helping rout Kony and his band of psycho sycophants. Kony is on the run, having been pushed out of Uganda, and it’s likely he will soon be caught, if he isn’t already dead. But killing Kony won’t fix anything, just as killing Osama bin Laden didn’t end terrorism. The LRA might collapse, but, as Foreign Affairs points out, it is “a relatively small player in all of this — as much a symptom as a cause of the endemic violence.”
Myopically placing the blame for all of central Africa’s woes on Kony — even as a starting point — will only imperil many more peoplethan are already in danger."
Just my opinion, but I think it better to leave this sort of stuff to the experts, rather than a group of potentially shady individuals, about whom we know very little.
Hi Koko,I had written a huge reply and then accidently hit the reload button! Doh!The gist of it:I agree that reserch is essential when pulling out the credit card. The campaign is different to aid-agency campaigns which everyone is comparing it to. It is a Television Ad compared to an internet ad, all about the impact and getting action (similar to what GetUp do). Do you remember someone who has fallen out of the spotlight called Robert Mugabe? If you remember, the US did not take action and he is still in power. Any of these experts who say removing a person like Kony, who WAS number 1 on the most wanted list in 2005, must be out of their mind. Send their kids over to Uganda and see how they feel leaving them in the same circumstances.
Sure, there may be more important matters such as Libya right now, but they are all important matters and this video has had a great impact and brought to light a person who needs to be brought to justice.
Thanks Drew. I'll reserve judgment for now.
Not a big fan of GetUp to be honest.
Charity begins at home..........let's get this place right then maybe it is time to help others.
I also know nothing of this but will read up on it