| Kony 2012 - A slick PR campaign aimed at normalizing U.S. military intervention in Africa
San Diego-based aid organization Invisible Children released a slick and emotive campaign video titled Kony 2012
that went viral in a short amount of time reaching 70 million hits in
one week, helping the organization to raise $5m within 48 hours.
The video profiles Joseph Kony, a Ugandan rebel leader of the Lord's
Resistance Army who uses child soldiers, and requests global action to
'stop Kony' at any cost -- primarily by way of U.S. military
The list of endorsers for Invisible Children's
calling for U.S. military involvement in Africa includes: George W.
Bush, Bill Clinton, George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, Rush Limbaugh, Tim
Tebow, Stephen Colbert, Bono, Oprah, Bill O'Reilly, Bill Gates, Warren
Buffett, Harry Reid and Mitt Romney.
it a bit strange that an "aid group" would put out a call for military
intervention (and pose for the photo above with the Ugandan military)?
Invisible Children has been criticized
by a number of observers in the United States and Uganda for working
with the Ugandan government -- which has itself been implicated in a
number of human rights abuses -- as part of its campaign to apprehend Kony. The group responded to this critique on
its website, noting that it "does not defend any of the human rights
abuses perpetrated by the Ugandan government" and "none of the money
donated through Invisible Children has ever gone to support the
government of Uganda," but that nonetheless, "The Ugandan military
(UPDF) is a necessary piece in counter-LRA activities."
Whether or not Invisible Children is a propaganda-producing front group
for U.S. expansionists (like USAID and the National Endowment for
Democracy), they are clearly supported by the establishment, and at
best seem to be naive. One of Invisible Children's partners and donors
is Chase Community Giving who awarded them $1million as a prize for
winning a contest that was mired in controversy and accusations of
fraud. This organization is part of JP Morgan Chase Foundation who are
also listed as one of Invisible Children’s network of supporters. This
organization is also owner of Chase Military, an organization that
offers loans, mortgages and insurance to soldiers that are to be
The United States and its allies are engaged
in an Asian and African offensive, a multi-pronged assault thinly
camouflaged as humanitarian intervention that, in some regions, looks
like a blitzkrieg. This frenzied aggression, still in its first year,
saw NATO transformed into an expeditionary force to crush the Gaddafi
regime in Libya and has yielded a U.S. military presence of some form
in 22 African countries (read), and 5 South Asian countries (read).
In gaining massive public sentiment against Kony, the apparent hope
is to make it easier for the U.S. to continue its military expansion in
But a number of humanitarian organizations with
experience in Uganda, including Human Rights Watch, have come out to
note that Kony hasn't been operating in Uganda for years and that his
army has withered to just several hundred members. Additionally,
Uganda has a dictator (Yoweri Museveni) who has been in power for 25
years, and is supported by the U.S. Museveni admitted, on film, to
using child soldiers himself. It should also be noted that Uganda has
a large supply of oil.
Further, armed interventions in Uganda
to find and kill Joseph Kony have been tried repeatedly over the
decades with no success. Each push scatters the LRA to civilian areas
with terrible costs to those who live in those areas. For example,
Operation Lightning Thunder, which was a joint operation with the
involvement of the US, resulted in the abduction of 700 people and the
deaths of 1,000 civilians.
Sources, and more on this: