In a comment on this blog from January 10, 2009, the author Peter Eichstaedt refers to his book, ‘First Kill your Family: Child Soldiers of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army’. It was the first comment on any of the posts on Kony and three had been written prior to that one. Therefore, having not checked visitors to the post, it is by January 10, 2009 at the latest that at least one other person knew that this blog’s author knew about Joseph Kony and knew that Joseph Kony was an evil cruel bastard. Which, of course, at least means that the author is not one of the 99% who the Kony 2012 campaign are referring to as never having heard of Kony.
Nevertheless, on watching the Kony 2012 campaign’s film, ‘Invisible Children’ a number of thoughts went through my mind. When they say that the criminal is Kony and that if if he is stopped “we solve all the problems”, is it really that simple? What about Laurent Nkunda, Bosco Ntaganda and, yes, an array of Presidents including, Francois Bozize of the Central African Republic, Uganda’s Musevevni and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame? Larurent Nkunda has not been rotting in prison, as we might expect, after his “arrest” by Rwandan authorities, but rather is sitting rather comfortably under house arrest in Kigali with no criminal charges pending against him and Bosco Ntaganda, the direct beneficiary from Nkunda’s “arrest”, continues to terrorize Congolese civilians with Rwandan help.
Indeed, while Kagame bans free speech and persecutes the opposition at home, he has never fulfilled his pledge to route his “genocidaires” from eastern Congo and in the meantime, the obviously not short-sighted, Museveni, finds himself taking precautionary measures in regard to his own crimes by accusing the ICC of targeting African presidents. Of course, the evidence would appear to suggest that Yoweri’s main concern should be making sure that he remains America’s friend.
That, to some extent, is why there might be something sinister in the film’s proclamation that the United States won’t get involved in a conflict where “its national interests are not at stake” and then implies that Washington has bent to pressure and decided to intervene military to protect the civilian population. However, more important is the fact that the negative effects that the film’s endorsement of increased US military involvement in the region, will very problably outweigh any positive effects. It might be that American oil companies, in particular, have been depending on Ugandan and other African forces to protect their interests but that they now feel it is time for their own military to become more directly involved in the proceedings. It is most certainly the case that this deployment is part of a wider strategy to impose AFRICOM, the US Defense Department’s tenth unified combatant command, on Africa. That strategy is not about helping the people of Rwanda, Uganda. the DR Congo and elsewhere in Africa. Then, it never has been about helping the people of the region, in the 1990s Bill Clinton said that he was going to help the people of the Congo; at least six million have died since.
Finally, while the removal of Kony is something we all want. There is something fundamentally wrong with a campaign that appeals to known Zionists, Christian fundamentalists, indeed, it has been suggested that Christian fundamentalism is the motivating force behind the film, and, yes, war criminals; aka George W Bush, Susan Rice, etc. moreover, galvanizing support from criminals and sending criminals out to catch the criminals stinks and it stinks all the more so when even Joseph Kony’s horrific crimes are at least on a much smaller scale than those of the mass murderers who are ostensibly out to get him. Still, we can be sure of one thing, if the film fails to achieve its goal of garnering support for American foreign policy in the region, the directors of ‘Invisible Children’, who have bought themselves nice houses and cars and pay themselves a basic minimum salary of $89,000 each, won’t be deterred from their next project …. what about raising awareness for the need for a revolution in Zimbabwe or Sudan, or, indeed, anywhere on the planet where a particular tyrant does follow the Washington Consensus?