Kony 2012

Most likely you will, by now, have been made aware of Kony 2012 – a video-led awareness campaign which is pinging around social media sites at a rate of knots and gaining millions of views. It’s highly emotive stuff and the short film at the forefront of the campaign has definitely polarised opinion. A lot […]

Kony

Most likely you will, by now, have been made aware of Kony 2012 – a video-led awareness campaign which is pinging around social media sites at a rate of knots and gaining millions of views. It’s highly emotive stuff and the short film at the forefront of the campaign has definitely polarised opinion.

A lot of people – rightly horrified by what the filmmaker is casting light on – are championing the charity’s cause. But there is also a widespread backlash from others criticising the spending practices, the proposed strategies and the validity of the information of the charity Invisible Children (who are behind the campaign).

The truth is that there is a little more to the Kony situation than their video makes out. Writer Jane Bussmann started writing about Kony years ago – even before he trended on Twitter- including a shocking (and brilliantly funny) book on the subject, The Worst Date Ever. Here’s what she had to say on the matter:

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Making 27 million people aware of Kony in one go is brilliant.  I couldn’t pull this off and I spent years schlepping round the world doing talks, writing articles, a book, a stage show and scripts when I should have been making money writing rom coms.

But to stop Kony you need to understand he’s a con.  Uganda has one of the toughest armies in Africa. 40,000 troops to Kony’s 200-250. And they can’t stop him?  Not enough money or equipment? Uganda’s President Museveni just bought a $750million fighter jet. If he cared about stopping Kony he would have spent it on military equipment for flushing Kony out the jungle.

Look at the facts.  Kony’s been doing this for 26 years?

How awful.  Who was the poor person supposed to stop Kony for 26 years?

Uganda’s President Museveni.  Poor chap, he probably didn’t have the money. He is African after all.  He’s probably living in a hedge.

Hang on, what’s this two billion pounds he’s had over the last few years?  Perhaps he stole it. He is African after all.

Hang on, it came from the UK government. Where did they get it?

From you, the British taxpayer.  You paid for Kony NOT to be stopped for 26 years.

No wonder Museveni didn’t stop Kony, it was worth two billion quid from Britain alone (the USA committed another $250million in 2010) to act the helpless African leader who couldn’t stop this evil African monster.  Forget about cliches for a minute. A fat chunk of UK aid is specifically earmarked for ‘reconstruction’ ie cleaning up after a man who was conveniently still making a mess.

Why do Britain pay a fortune to Museveni?  Because he’s their official success story in Africa. The fact he’s turning into a three term dissident-shooting nightmare for Ugandans is hushed up, especially as his supposedly incapable army are the ones kicking arse on our behalf in Somalia.

I totally believe the State Department want their 100 advisers to stop Kony. I’ve met Yanks, they’re nice. I’ve lived there for 11 years. They hate kids being tortured as much as the Ugandans do.  But Ugandans know the full picture.

So let’s stop being conned. Kony is a Con Trick if the people supposed to stop him don’t want to stop him.

In 2008 the Americans helped the Ugandans launch a massive surprise attack on Kony. Kony escaped at the last minute. Well, I expect he used some kind of weird African juju.

Or a Nokia.

Because the Ugandan army LEAKED THE INFORMATION THEY WERE COMING so he could escape in time. It’s not me saying this, it’s the most respected source in African journalism, Africa Confidential Vol 52 – N° 23.  (subscribe now)

The ‘hunt’ for Kony is a convenient excuse to build up a military state.  Museveni’s brutal election campaign in Northern Uganda and cold blooded murder of protestors (HRW reports galore) was military enforced.  It’s Egypt but the people are too sodding poor to sit in a square till he goes.

The obvious western/Africa arguments are there for others to make. Very pleased “bring him alive not dead” is upfront as a Bin Laden-style assassination would be a lot more convenient to the US’s most useful friend in Africa, the man who never catches Kony, President Museveni of Uganda.  Dead men don’t tell tales about human riots violations by golden boy presidents etc.

We need a second movie called Museveni 2012.  Make Museveni famous. Whose job is it to Stop Kony? Museveni. If he hasn’t it’s because he didn’t want to.

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