Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Joseph Kony

The Internet is ablaze! There's a murderer and slaver on the loose! Get him!

Except there's a little more to the story than that.

Joseph Kony is an African warlord, he leads a group called the Lords Resistance Army. Their activities include rape, kidnapping, pillaging, and the use of child soldiers, to name but a few. Not exactly the nicest neighbour.

Over the past few days a group called "Invisible Children" has started a KONY 2012 campaign to make him famous, in that they have been wildly successful if my Facebook newsfeed and the questions I'm receiving every ten to twenty minutes are any measure.

But Kony has been committing these crimes for over two decades, and there has never been anywher enear this kind of attention paid to this issue! This "Invisible Children" Group must be saints!

Except maybe not so much. Less than a third of the groups revenues ever end up fighting against Kony or helping his victims, most are spent on salaries, benefits, and video production. Of the third that does get to Africa, some has been well used, it's created a radio network for local villages, enabling them to keep track of the LRA's movements.
The problem though is that this funding is going through and to the Ugandan army, which is not above doing it's own bit of rape and pillage on occasion.

Oh, and Kony? He hasn't really operated in Uganda much since 2006.

So what would these folks at "Invisible Children" have us do? Military intervention of course! We must end this tyrant's oppressive rule with the might of our armies!

Just a slight issue with that though, how many other wars have we gotten involved with on that basis? Maybe we should step away from the keyboard and take a moment to think before we ask our government to embroil us in another foreign war. And who would our forces be fighting against?  Oh that's right, they'd be shooting at Kony's child soldiers, the ones he abducts from their homes and brainwashes.

Remember, the situation is often more complex than it first appears, sending more troops may just create more bloodshed.

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