Friday, March 16, 2012

Neo-Colonialist' Racist #KONY2012 Video Offends Provokes anger in Uganda -So Invisible Children Video Deliberate Fraud or Stupidity???

"I live in Gulu, a town a mere 60 kilometers away from the village where Kony was born, a town that became famous for the night commuters so prominently featured in Invisible Children’s films. Fifteen years ago this was a besieged and isolated little corner of the map. Fifteen years ago, this town had been abandoned and forgotten by most of the outside world. But the same cannot be said today. Today, Gulu town is by far the most prosperous, developed and rehabilitated spot in the Acholi subregion. Many communities here have yet to recover from the crippling effects of the LRA conflict; you don’t bounce back overnight from two decades of war. But Gulu town is full of Internet cafes and its bus park is teeming with buses that travel from here to every major city in the country. Gulu is connected (albeit imperfectly) to the rest of the world. It is also the headquarters of Invisible Children’s Uganda operation." Quote from A Letter From Uganda on #Kony2012 by Sara Weschler, Truthdig,March 14, 2012

       As the writer above  points out this now prosperous town of Gulu in Uganda is where the head quarters of the group behind #KONY2012 The Invisible Children so it would appear that they should know better than other westerners that the Kony issue is an old one and no longer urgent. So did they deliberately mislead their audience which is now over 100,000,000-that is one hundred million views on the net of their video. Is this therefore a case of fraud since the group knew the actual facts and yet failed to tell their viewers or fans.

So I believe these 100 Million viewers of the KONY2012 film should demand a response to questions about the inaccuracies and misleading and overly sensationalized facts in this case. One has to wonder if Invisible Children were or are running a scam or do they have a hidden agenda such as using the story to allow for more military and corporate or even more Religious Right Evangelical Proselytizing in Uganda???

For further insight on the #KONY2012 campaign by someone in Uganda here is an article analysing the issues dealt with in the #KONY2012 video and what is accurate and what is misleading and mere sensationalizing in the video.

As the writer points out Kony and his army the lord's resistance Army has been around for 26 years and has has not been a major threat since about 20005. The writer points out that anywhere from about 30,000 to 60,000 children were abducted by Kony's army but this occurred over the last twenty years and not merely over the last five years or so. The problem with this video and campaign is not just misleading and inaccurate but is to Ugandans and other Africans is rather patronizing and assumes a form of neo-colonialism and at worst comes off as arrogant and racist .

The video presumes to claim that little or nothing has been done about Kony and the LRA over the last two to three decades which is blatantly false. The International Criminal Court issued warrants for Kony's arrest in 2005 so those involved in human rights issues including various NGOs and governments have been aware of the Kony issue for at least some seven years or more.

A Letter From Uganda on #Kony2012 by Sara Weschler, Truthdig,March 14, 2012

The statistic cited for the number of children in Kony’s army comes from legitimate U.N. reports, and is in fact on the low end of estimates concerning LRA abductions (many sources put the number closer to 60,000). However, this count represents the total number of LRA abductees since the army’s inception in the mid-1980s. In its current state, the LRA is believed to consist of only a few hundred soldiers. This is not to say that it has ceased to be a threat. In the years since the Juba Peace Talks, the LRA has killed hundreds upon hundreds of civilians and forced the displacement of hundreds of thousands more. But the fact remains that the video distorts and sensationalizes the truth.

In addition, the claim that all attempts at peaceful negotiations have failed because of deceit on the part of the LRA is erroneous and one-sided. On several occasions—most notably at the end of the 1994 talks spearheaded by Betty Bigombe—it was unilateral acts of bad faith from the Yoweri Museveni regime that sabotaged the peace process.

Finally, we come to the central conceit of the #StopKony campaign: that the LRA continues to exist because it is utterly unknown; that spreading awareness is all it would take to put an end to this conflict.

Jan Egeland, former United Nations undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, once referred to the LRA conflict in northern Uganda as “the worst forgotten humanitarian crisis on Earth.” Such a statement would seem to corroborate IC’s assertion that “99 percent of people” in the world have no idea who Kony is. The problem is, Egeland made that assessment nearly a decade ago.

The claim might even have rang true as late as early 2005. But ever since July of that year, when Kony and four of his subordinate commanders became the targets of the first arrest warrants ever to be issued by the International Criminal Court, the LRA has been, if not a household name, at least a term well known to politicians and policymakers across the globe.

The sort of mass “awareness” that this campaign is now spreading does not serve to further an international understanding of this issue. Instead, it misleads people and leaves them with a dangerously convoluted impression of the LRA conflict and what it would take to end it.

Ugandans are in fact disturbed and alarmed in large part because the video encourages military intervention on the part of the West and especially the USA. And as many critics point out US military intervention almost always leads to a worsening of the situation rather than resolving the issues. Besides the USA and Western powers are motivated in these situations more by their own self-interests such as plundering these Nations of their wealth. If there is no plunder to be had or other positive outcome then they are not really interested no matter how bad things are for a good example check out the lack of action in the West and in the USA to the Rwandan genocide. Few cared about Rwanda mainly because it was an impoverished country which lacked an abundance of natural resources to be plundered or stolen from Rwanda.
But such is the way when Real Politic and a Machiavellian winner take all ideology reigns supreme as it does in America and in the West in general.

Kony 2012? Critics Alarmed by Aid Group's Call for Foreign Intervention
Slick viral documentary calls for US forces in Uganda
- Common Dreams staff ,March 10,2012

...Many have highlighted the poor timing of the campaign; northern Uganda has seen relative peace for six years, as Kony does not operate there anymore, and the LRA have not attacked since:

Ugandan writer Angelo Izama wrote on his blog: "To call the campaign a misrepresentation is an understatement."

He said while it draws attention to the fact that Kony is still on the loose, "its portrayal of his alleged crimes in Northern Uganda are from a bygone era."

Ugandans are now more focused on rebuilding their country. Inciting more conflict in the area will only set back the efforts of Ugandans who just want to return to normal life
Many, like Ugandan journalist Rosebell Kagumire, point out that since Kony and the LRA was pushed out of Uganda six years ago, life there has been stabilizing.

"This paints a picture of Uganda six or seven years ago, that is totally not how it is today. It's highly irresponsible," Kagumire said this week.

She says Ugandans are now more focused on rebuilding their country. Inciting more conflict in the area will only set back the efforts of Ugandans who just want to return to normal life, she suggested. [...]

"Suggesting that the answer is more military action is just wrong," Javie Ssozi, an influential Ugandan blogger, said this week on his blog.

"Have they thought of the consequences? Making Kony ‘famous' could make him stronger. Arguing for more U.S. troops could make him scared, and make him abduct more children, or go on the offensive."

The campaign calls for increased US presence in the region, including Ugandan military training and advice; however, many have been quick to point out that the Ugandan government and its military have committed the vary same war-crimes as Kony. CTV adds:

"When you go to northern Uganda and speak to people, they will be clear that atrocities have been committed by the government of Uganda as well," [Mark] Kersten said.


In intensified blowback to the video this week, many Ugandan bloggers and online activists have expressed concern that Invisible Children reinforces notions of the 'White Man's Burden': that the campaign reinforces "the old idea, once used to justify colonial exploitation, that Africans are helpless and need to be saved by Westerners," writes Robert Mackey at the New York Times:

In a critique of the campaign posted on YouTube, Rosebell Kagumire, a Ugandan blogger, observed that the filmmaker behind the Kony 2012 viral video calling for action “plays so much on the idea that this war has been going on because millions of Americans” and other Westerners, “have been ignorant about it.' [...]

Kagumire continues:

I think it’s all about trying to make a difference, but how do you tell the story of Africans? It’s much more important what the story is, actually, because if you are showing me as voiceless, as hopeless… you shouldn’t be telling my story if you don’t believe that I also have the power to change what is going on. And this video seems to say that the power lies in America, and it does not lie with my government, it does not lie with local initiatives on the ground, that aspect is lacking. And this is the problem, it is furthering that narrative about Africans: totally unable to help themselves and needing outside help all the time.

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