Tuesday, March 13, 2012

KONY 2012 Social Media Phenomena - TYT Discussion & Just Another US Atrocity in Afghanistan

US soldier's killing spree fueling anti-Americanism
Is US military responsible for his actions ???
Kony 2012- Invisible Children organization raising awareness or hysteria???

First Afghans see no real difference between this recent massacre inby someone who had "Gone Crazy" as opposed to other US soldiers committing similar outrageous and barbaric attacks under the guise of searching for Taliban.
The Afghan parliament wats the soldier in question to be tried in an Afghan court.

Afghan analyst on US soldier's shooting spree

Uploaded by AlJazeeraEnglish on Mar 11, 2012

US soldier goes on a shooting spree outside military base in southern Kandahar province, killing many civilians. Al Jazeera spoke to Prince Ali Seraj, Afghan analyst and tribal leader.

KONY 2012 Trailer - TYT Discussion

There are those who are critical of the Invisible Children organization because the organization is a little too friendly with the governments of several African countries which have themselves a poor human rights record.

There are also criticisms of the Invisible Children( NGO) for dis tracing Americans and other Westerners from the serious on going issues in some African countries which need to be addressed.

There is also the allegation that the Invisible Children's anti-Kony campaign is in fact just another form of colonialism and fosters the attitude that Africa and the African peoples are in need of salvation by America and the West as a form of the 19th centuries Kipling's notion of The White Man's Burden which lends itself to abuse by Western powers as in cases where they intervene based upon faulty perceptions of what is actually occurring.

It is also odd how America and the West are more often responding to crisis in Africa when they have their own self-interests and agenda to push forward ie resources oil, gas, minerals,or potential new markets for Western goods or for potential cheap labor.

For instance in the case of the Rwanda genocide the US and other Western Nations once informed about the situation did nothing and refused to call the murders Genocide because if they said was Genocide then the UN and other International bodies would have been obliged by International law to act. America for instance was asked because it had the technology to shut down the government controlled radio station which was on a daily basis inciting the violence. Shutting down the station would have cost the US approximately $5,000 a day . The US refused citing concerns over freedom of speech though the speech in this case was "hate Speech and incitement to commit Genocide ".

The problem with dealing with Genocide in Rwanda was that it was a country of little importance to America or to other Western nations and the Western Media obligingly and erroneously characterized the violence in Rwanda as merely another flare up of tribal disputes going back generations and was just the actions of one barbaric ignorant group against another. The other reason or allegation for reluctance to involve themselves in the Rwanda Genocide was the deep seated racism of America and the West.

For instance see article in Al Jahzeera by Adam Branch "Dangerous ignorance: The hysteria of Kony 2012 The video qualifies as irresponsible advocacy by prompting militarisation and detracting from Uganda's real problems." Al Jazeera, March 12,2012

...My frustration with the group has largely reflected the concerns expressed so convincingly by those online critics who have been willing to bring the fury of Invisible Children's true believers down upon themselves in order to point out what is wrong with this group's approach: the warmongering, the narcissism, the commercialisation, the reductive and one-sided story they tell, their portrayal of Africans as helpless children in need of rescue by white Americans.

As a result of Invisible Children's irresponsible advocacy, civilians in Uganda and central Africa may have to pay a steep price in their own lives so that a lot of young Americans can feel good about themselves, and a few can make good money. This, of course, is sickening, and I think that Kony 2012 is a case of Invisible Children having finally gone too far. They are now facing a backlash from people of conscience who refuse to abandon their capacity to think for themselves.

...But, as I said, I wouldn't have known about Kony 2012 if it hadn't been for the emails I've been receiving from the US. And that, I think, is telling. Kony 2012 and the debate around it are not about Uganda, but about America. Uganda is largely just the stage for a debate over the meaning of political activism in the US today. Likewise, in my view, the Kony 2012 campaign itself is basically irrelevant here in Uganda, and perhaps the best approach might be to just ignore it. This is for a couple reasons.

First, because Invisible Children's campaign is a symptom, not a cause. It is an excuse that the US government has gladly adopted in order to help justify the expansion of their military presence in central Africa. Invisible Children are "useful idiots", being used by those in the US government who seek to militarise Africa, to send more and more weapons and military aid, and to bolster the power of states who are US allies.

The hunt for Joseph Kony is the perfect excuse for this strategy - how often does the US government find millions of young Americans pleading that they intervene militarily in a place rich in oil and other resources? The US government would be pursuing this militarisation with or without Invisible Children - Kony 2012 just makes it a little easier. Therefore, it is the militarisation we need to worry about, not Invisible Children.

Second, because in northern Uganda, people's lives will be left untouched by this campaign, even if it were to achieve its stated objectives. This is not because all the problems have been resolved in the years since open fighting ended, but because the very serious problems people face today have little to do with Kony.

The most significant problem people face is over land. Land speculators and so-called investors, many foreign, in collaboration with the Ugandan government and military, are grabbing the land of the Acholi people, land that the Acholi were forced from a decade ago, when the government herded them into internment camps.

and he concludes insisting Americans and other Westerners need firstly to be better informed about the situation in Uganda and in Central Africa before taking any action and secondly

In terms of activism, the first step is to re-think the question: Instead of asking how the US can intervene in order to solve Africa's conflicts, we need to ask what we are already doing to cause those conflicts in the first place. How are we, as consumers, contributing to land grabbing and to the wars ravaging this region? How are we, as US citizens, allowing our government to militarise Africa in the name of the "War on Terror" and its effort to secure oil resources?

These are the questions that we who represent Kony 2012's target audience must ask ourselves, because we are indeed responsible for the conflict in northern Uganda - responsible for helping to cause and prolong it. It is not, however, our responsibility, as Invisible Children encourages us to believe, to try to end the conflict by sending in military force. In our desire to ameliorate suffering, we must not be complicit in making it worse.

US soldier kills Afghan civilians in Kandahar Just another US Atrocity

The lone soldier who is allegedly solely responsible for this atrocity served 3 tours of duty in Iraq before going to Afghanistan to serve a 4th tour of duty. It is possible that his mental breakdown was predictable and should have been kept out of any more combat duty after serving so long in war torn Iraq. It has also become known that while in Iraq this soldier suffered from a head injury having been in an accident in which the vehicle he was in crashed and rolled over.

So we can surmise that he probably suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder combined with a head injury. Once again we see that the US military is quite often dismissive of PTSD on the one hand and is also dismissive of concerns over head trauma. Combine this with the frustration of a confused and often contradictory roles and goals of US occupation in Afghanistan or Iraq and it is predictable that incidents like this one would occur. We also have to add to this an environment in which the deaths of civilians is common and is treated far too lightly . The US military still refuses to take seriously the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians killed on purpose or accidentally.As we have heard and seen on numerous videos and read in admissions by US soldiers still in combat and by veterans of these two wars that soldiers were trained to kill civilians without hesitation and to view all Iraqis and all Afghan citizens as potential terrorists.
These pervasive attitudes in the US military has taught soldiers to justify committing various atrocities knowing that even if brought up on charges because of media and public out cry they would either be acquitted or given a slap on the wrist for instance fined a couple of thousand dollars for each civilian murdered or they might be demoted or immediately discharged from the military or given six months in the brig as it were.

The irony of all this is that the American public, the US Media and the military and even government officials have often repeated the notion that the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan and all Arabs and Muslims in general do not value human life as Americans and Westerners do. As it turns out as our friend Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks would say this is once again another case of psychological projection. We accuse others of having a negative trait or character flaw which we have but refuse to acknowledge but then project on others especially if they are seen as our enemy .

also see: US soldier could face death for killing spree Defence chief Leon Panetta says execution could be considered in case of soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers. Al Jahzeera, March 13, 2012

...Afghan President Hamid Karzai has described the shootings as "unforgivable," and the Afghan parliament declared that "people are running out of patience" over the behaviour of the 130,000 US-led NATO troops deployed in the country.

The Taliban has threatened to take revenge against "sick-minded American savages".

The Afghan parliament on Monday demanded that US officials "punish the culprits and try them in a public trial before the people of Afghanistan," then closed for the day in protest.

Al Jazeera’s Daniel Lak reporting from near Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington, where the soldier was deployed from, described the mood in the area as “shock”.

According to unofficial sources, Lak said, the soldier might have suffered minor brain trauma in a road accident during one of his three deployments in Iraq, but was cleared for deployment in Afghanistan last December.

Lak said that the soldier was sent to Kandahar in February as a sniper, however, he added that what details were available were being released in an “unofficial and unusual way and we’re still awaiting official confirmation".

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