Kony 2012: The Invisible Children Advocacy Campaign to Catch Kony

The montage used as one of the lead themes for the Kony 2012 campagin, showing Kony with his 'thousands of captured children'. Research says that most of the LRA soldiers are adolescents or young adults. (Photo: Invisible Children)

Yesterday evening, a Youtube video by Invisible Children on Joseph Kony, the Chairman of the Lord’s Resistance Army, started popping up in my Facebook newsfeed. I didn’t think much of it as my newsfeed is usually pretty full with articles and reports from Uganda, as I follow many different organisations working on the LRA. Since I am going through all LRA related news on a daily basis anyway, I watched it during my evening workout, and it left me impressed. It is a superb example of an advocacy video that is very touching while giving you the feeling that you can make a change.

The video describes, in sketchy details, how the Lord’s Resistance Army has been abducting children for the past 26 years in order to fill its ranks and to wage an apparently causeless conflict in which it mutilates civilians (not my opinion but the way the conflict is presented). The narrative is as simple as it is powerful: Kony is the bad guy who has abducted thousands of children and needs to be stopped. Jason Russel, one of the founders of Invisible Children Inc., his little son, and all of us are the good guys whose mission should be to stop Kony. The means: mobilise as many people as possible to lobby influential artists and politicians to stand up for the cause to ‘remove Joseph Kony from the battlefield’. This in turn will make sure that there is enough awareness and civil society pressure surrounding the LRA conflict that the 100 combat equipped US troops deployed by the Obama administration in autumn 2011 stay until their job to help catching Kony is finished.

The hits our blog received so far today demonstrated to me how effective the message has been: we had nearly 9 times the traffic we would have on a normal day around noon. Most people found the site searching for ‘Kony’ or ‘Joseph Kony’, our articles on Uganda being by far the most read ones. It is both assuring and scary how many people can be mobilised within 24 hours by publishing a well-made advocacy/documentary clip.

Don’t get me wrong, I do think a lot of good things can come out of this. It is true that the security interests of the US in engaging the LRA are minimal. It is also true that the troops will be withdrawn from Central Africa if they are not successful relatively soon, and that the public pressure to keep them there is not strong enough.

It is also true that Invisible Children has done some good work in northern Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The most recent and maybe most relevant example is that Invisible Children has opened up a reception centre for abducted children and adolescents who escape the LRA in the DRC. It is the only reception centre in the DRC so far, and its opening can be expected to have a real impact since people who fled from the LRA have really nowhere else to turn since the rebel group left northern Uganda with its reception centres. Advocating to keep US troops in Uganda and donating some money to Invisible Children’s ‘TRI’ programme is thus not a bad idea.

One of the child soldiers forcibly recruited into the LRA. They are the main victims in Invisible Children's narrative, waiting to be rescued (The Children of the Nile)

Yet, there are several caveats and points of criticism that arise when having a closer look at the advocacy campaign and the local context in Uganda, DRC, the Central African Republic and Southern Sudan. Let me first just briefly point out the typical ‘tricks’ used in advocacy videos to generate a maximum of indignation and mobilise as many people as possible. The video shows posters apparently printed for the Kony 2012 campaign that display Kony together with Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden. It is ridiculous to compare Joseph Kony with the worst mass murderer in history (only Josef Stalin could come close to challenging Hitler for that title) and America’s now defunct public enemy number one. Kony’s relevance is completely blown out of proportion by these comparisons and they only serve to brand him as the pure evil.

The same is true for the comparisons made with the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide in the video. Last but not least, Joseph Kony is depicted as number 1 on the list of International Criminal Court suspects, suggesting that he is the worst on the list of the court and that this was the reason why the court indicted him first. The truth is, Joseph Kony is number 1 on the list because he happened to be the first person indicted because the ICC saw him as an easy target, a convenient first case to arrest and convict quickly to show the world that the Court could deliver.

But let me get to the point. The advocacy campaign to stop Kony is a step in the right direction, but it does not address the real problems on the ground and it does not offer the right solutions. Firstly, Kony fled into the bushes of the DRC and CAR after refusing to sign the peace agreement negotiated during the Juba talks between 2006 and 2008. It would go beyond the scope of this article to trace the reasons for that, but his fear of being arrested by the ICC after signing played a role in it. Former LRA officers have convincingly assured me that Kony is now in the bush mainly to hide from the ICC and a number of states, now including the US, who want to capture or kill him. According to their words Joseph Kony is using his remaining men and the abducted children and women as human shields to protect him from being captured or getting killed. So the very pressure to arrest Kony generated by advocacy campaigns like this is actually contributing to him keeping up a steady stream of abductions.

Kony, Bin Laden, Hitler... really? (Invisible Children)

Secondly, as I have described elsewhere, the US troop deployment might actually help to arrest Kony, but not in its current form. The US strategy to remove Kony from the battlefield needs to refocus towards helping to protect the vulnerable civilian population and it needs to supply the regional armies, headed by the Ugandan People’s Defence Forces, with the necessary transport helicopters to be able to follow Kony through the jungle and catch him as quickly as possible once he has been pinpointed.

Thirdly, the advocacy campaign is once again only targeting the symptoms of a deeper problem. Joseph Kony and the LRA exist because the marginalisation of the people of northern Uganda sparked a number of rebellions in the late 1980s, among them the LRA. They could not be defeated for two decades because the Government of Uganda continued to marginalise and displace the population in the north instead of protecting civilians in order to gain their trust and support in the fight against the LRA. Kony is able to wage his brutal campaign until this very day because large patches of south-western CAR, north-eastern DRC and Southern Sudan are ungoverned, do not have any infrastructure, and can only be described as one big security vacuum. Once Kony is removed from the battlefield, armed bandits or other rebel groups will sooner or later his place and the slaughtering in this part of the world will just go on as long as the real problems are not tackled.

It is like taking painkillers instead of treating the cancer. I could fill half a page with the acronyms of rebel groups that have been active in the region during the last decade alone. By the time the next rebel group terrorises the region, Invisible Children will probably have found another war theatre that is more en-vogue and has a new enigmatic villain, like Kony, who is the perfect target for advocacy campaigns.

To conclude, the Kony 2012 campaign is a reminder why we should see advocacy campaigns to interfere in conflicts with some scepticism, no matter how good the cause (remember the Save Darfur campaign that managed to completely distort the facts on the ground and the causes of the conflict?). It also challenges us to think of ways how to design advocacy campaigns that mobilise many people (Kony 2012 seems to be very successful in that) without dumbing down the problem and its purported solution.

*UPDATE*: Invisible Children has recently posted an answer to much of the criticism of its campaign raised by various people. It also answers some of the criticism raised in this post. For reasons of balance I would like to link it here.

*UPDATE*: Also check out my recent post on the media reactions Kony 2012 provoked here

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About Patrick Wegner

PhD student at the University of Tübingen and the Max-Planck-Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. Working on the impact of International Criminal Court investigations on ongoing intrastate conflicts.
This entry was posted in Advocacy, Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of Congo, Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), Osama bin Laden, Uganda and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

119 Responses to Kony 2012: The Invisible Children Advocacy Campaign to Catch Kony

  1. Bladeybug says:

    Thousands of people wouldn’t be here reading your blog (and today’s post wouldn’t exist) if it weren’t for that viral video. I think that IC are successful in that they have started a very large dialogue. Many of us weren’t discussing this last year, least month, or last week, so whether or not you support the way they went about it, I think that the effect is a good one.

    • I agree, I think I made it clear in the post that I do not disagree with the main thrust of the campaign and that I am impressed about its effectiveness. I just think the next step would be to discuss what really should be done to make a difference. That is why the post exists.

      • Christina says:

        Agreed, what happens now? The video gone viral has served its purpose in itself. The last thing we need is another movement with people who havent done their homeweork and although Kony 20-12 has brought awareness, Frankly the United States has problems of its own to handle than police forcing the rest of the world. This post had great points, just wish more people would do their research on their cause on all sides before joining a movement.

      • Scott Callaghan
        I inadvertently deleted my post yesterday but I think it bears repeating…
        After watching Kony 2012 on youtube (which I recommend to everyone…it’s well worth 29 minutes of your life…), I was reminded of a Sociology lecture I attended some 25 years ago while attending U.W.O. by Dr. John Kunkel. Dr. Kunkel was on a research/anthropological mission in Uganda that was to last six months. Upon his… arrival, Dr. Kunkel was approached by a severely emaciated, bloated-bellied and near- death young boy who, for these purposes, we’ll call “Jacob”. The doctor befriended this young man and hired him to be his guide and help look after his small children. After 3 or 4 weeks, young Jacob began to grow stronger and eventually flourished into a “happy”, regular kid, as happy as one can be amid devastating and wretched poverty and starvation. He would take his extra money home and feed his younger siblings and their extended family and they too grew stronger and healthier month by month. Alas the day came that Dr. Kunkel and his team had to leave. Jacob was nowhere to be found. With panic in his heart, the doctor frantically searched for Jacob and finally found him in one of the empty tents of the deserted encampment. He was sobbing uncontrollably and full of rage and hate. When Dr. Kunkel was able to calm him down enough for him to speak, Jacob cried “You bastard !!! My brothers and sisters and I were almost at the Promised Land when you found us.” ( Apparently it takes six to nine months to finally succumb to starvation and abject malnutrition in Uganda.) “Our suffering and pain was so close to being over ! And now you are leaving and we have to start dying all over again…You bastard ! I hate you ! You should have just let us die !” Dr. Kunkel ended the lecture with tears streaming from his eyes and told us that the face of Jacob will haunt him for the rest of his life…we believed him…

        Depressing…yes…Self-fulfilling ?…not necessarily…I think the moral would be this…once they capture this war-mongering, child-stealing, vile waste of humanity, (which I have no doubt they will because of this extraordinarily popular social and viral appeal,) it must be regarded as only a beginning and not an end. We must ensure that we don’t congratulate ourselves, think everything is solved and move on to the next cause that catches our collective conscience. The hard truth is, in my opinion, if we do that, the “Jacobs” of this world may very well be better left alone…

      • Thanks for sharing this interesting though tragic story. And you are right, catching Kony could be a start. But honestly speaking, a successful viral campaig is not enough to catch him. The troops have been deployed since late October / early November, and there have also been attempts to catch Kony with US support before that. There is no guarantee that making him famous equals catching him. That is one reason why the advocacy should focus on adapting the US deployment to the needs on the ground rather than just lobbyign for keeping it there. If the approach is not changed, Kony will just sit it out and avoid capture until the troops are withdrawn sooner or later. It has happened over and over again for the last 26 years.

      • Julie Ballard says:

        ‎”All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke) KONY 2012

    • anthony says:

      our*

    • “The video shows posters apparently printed for the Kony 2012 campaign that display Kony together with Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden. It is ridiculous to compare Joseph Kony with the worst mass murderer in history (only Josef Stalin could come close to challenging Hitler for that title) and America’s now defunct public enemy number one. Kony’s relevance is completely blown out of proportion by these comparisons and they only serve to brand him as the pure evil.”

      One quick point–It is, to the best of my knowledge, recognized that far more lives were lost by the hand of Josef Stalin in the Gulags than by Hitler in the concentration camps. In terms of actual loss of life at the hands of world leaders both Mao (indirectly) and Stalin (quite directly) not only challenge, but surpass Hitler for the dubious title of most murderous tyrant in history.

      That bit aside I like where you are coming from on this, and I agree with most of your analysis. My own studies thus far have been focused more on the social media aspect and global dissemination of information than the ‘facts of the case’, as it were…particularly if something of this nature is the ‘future’ for activism or at least inspiring collective action amongst the youth, but I am quickly realizing that that aspect is far too interlaced with these other realities which must be addressed to really tackle any of this beyond the surface. I hope to keep hearing more from you!youyou.thisanyanytacktaclsepasdgafgsdfhsdghsghdfghdfghdfghsdfghhgfdh

      • Apologize for the bit at the end there…computer was acting up and I can’t seem to edit the post.

      • Thanks for your comment. I think the point why Hitler is widely considered the worst mass murderer in history are not so much the numbers. It might well be that Stalin’s Gulag system killed more people or that more people starved due to Mao’s policies. Yet, the holocaust alone cost the lives of 5,6 to 6,3 million people. At that stage numbers become meaningless anyway. Hitler’s case is exceptional due to his pure, racially motivated hatred and his drive to systematically exterminate entire populations that did not fit into his ideological picture.

  2. Andrew says:

    You make good points in the article. In this day and age of things going viral, they equally get lost just as fast. Where is Darfur at the moment…anyway, that is one concern that I appreciate from your article. What happens after capturing Kony? And yes, why is there no spotlight on the Ugandan Government? In my opinion, the video is laudable, but misses 2 points, one of which you allude to. First, Joseph Kony was on the ICC list due to a self-referral to the ICC by Uganda not because he is deemed the most wanted. If so, while alive, Osama would have been on the list as Afghanistan is a state party to the Rome Statute. Secondly, the American troops could only go in at the ‘request/acceptance’ of Uganda as a state. It is not wholly attributable to the Invisible Children. In conclusion, I am glad they have brought Northern Uganda to the world map but I flag this blog in skeptical anticipation of what will have happened by 31 December 2012.

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  5. Dave Reiffer says:

    I think your message really says, “more involvement needs to be mobilised” that is like Invisible Children, but it has to start somewhere or at least, it has to gain strength and momentum somewhere. If Kony2012 works, then it will be a powerful catalyst to fuel other organizations and millions of people to get involved and show that it CAN BE DONE! The power of that will be AWESOME!!!

    • sara says:

      Agree but most of the people sharing this video and buying “action kits” are just doing it because of moment, so tomorrow Kony is captured and thats it, they loose interest, this should be about telling people to inform themselves and to learn about all the different conflicts that ARE happening in Sudan, Uganda, etc and REALLY compromise and take action doing more than spending 10 bucks and sharing a video, as the blogger said the LRA exist because the marginalization of the people of northern Uganda, THIS should be stopped, and NOT by the USA but by everyone. This is not gonna end after they capture Joseph Kony, and with this whole campain just against him I feel like its just gonna be that, people will forget about this once they capture him.

      • Julie Ballard says:

        so….in the States…..do we NOT catch a rapist or a child molester because there will just be another coming behind them. YES we need to look in sooo many parts of the world for injustice….Yes catching one criminal in the area will not STOP the greater problem. BUT………..this campaign is about JUSTICE the capture and STOP of one criminal for ONE set of crimes……………..

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  7. Simon Johnson says:

    Cashing in on Uganda’s oil boom? the oil was discovered a few months ago, an america wants to sort out a problem Kony 26 years late? Interesting timing i would say? This campaign seems more focused on its unique art style an emotive pictures that cloud possibly hide deeper plans. The video is powerful but are the intentions more sinister than they seem? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15645354 (oil article) Question it, before supporting blindly after watching there lovely video.

    • RWT3R says:

      I’m glad you’re looking deeper into the picture, but I’m afraid your argument is definitely invalid. The Invisible children group has been working in Uganda for many, many years, and this campaign far pre-dates the discovery of oil there. While the video may have come out at this “suspicious” time, it’s important to remember that not all coincidences are conspiracies.
      Also, what’s all this talk of “sinister” intentions??? If nothing else, this video is ALL about good intention, perhaps too much so.

    • Tony Gee says:

      Most discerning and enlightened comment so far. Isn’t it ironical that despite being in Uganda for all this time, IC has suddenly discovered that Kony is a brutal murderer? Isn’t it more likely that IC have been recruited by US intelligence to manipulate US public opinion in support of possible US military intervention in Uganda under the pretext of pursuing Kony, while the real intention is to intimidate Uganda into acceding to American corporate monopolization of its newly discovered oil resources?
      IC would like Kony to be seized and carted off to the Hague for war crimes, but will not make a similar video to mobilise the US to accept ICC jurisdiction over its soldiers committing war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan where drones indiscriminately level whole villages killing thousands of innocent women and children. Are there two different sets of war crimes; those committed by the West and labelled ‘collateral damage’, and those committed by third world people of colour and called crimes against humanity? Shame on those who see this outrageous hypocrisy but still bury their heads in the sand and even actively support it.

      • Thanks for the comment. The hypocrisy of international criminal justice cannot be denied as long as international power politics trump the equal application of international criminal law.
        That said, conspiracy theories are and always have been an easy way out to explain the complexity of our world with some kind of ‘secret masterplan’ followed by the powerful. Yet, conspiracy theories never do justice to the complexities in our real world. The same holds for suggestions that IC could have been ‘recruited by US intelligence to manipulate US public opinion’. Some have claimed that IC are useful idiots for US power interests, but constructing a plot to get to Ugandan oil around that is a bit absurd. As far as I am informed British (Tullow Oil, Heritage Oil) and Chinese oil companies are those involved in the oil explorations in Amuru, not US companies.

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  9. Nicole V says:

    Personally I feel like arguing about Invisible Children’s ethics is pointless. Kony may not be ranked at the same level as Stalin and Hitler but we shouldn’t ignore him just for that reason. I’m glad someone is taking a stance against him. Better now than never.

  10. Harry UK says:

    you see there are too many people, like above, in this world. instead of all of your negative thought processes and pessimistic views that are clearly chipped into your minds why don’t you take a back seat, see what happens and then if nothing does come of it you can wallow and gloat in the fact that humanity is sincerely flawed. It is an unfair comparison to draw him to the likes of Hitler yes, but it doesn’t mean that stopping him shouldn’t get the publicity it has now, and that all of this effort can have a positive effect. Even if after all of these videos and campaigns have finished, what have we lost? Time? Money? Things that all of us have in abundance. And if sacrificing some of mine can help to bring the end of what this monster has been conducting over the last 20+ years, then why shouldn’t we have a little faith?

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  12. Michael Hill says:

    As someone angered by the knee-jerk denunciation of the Invisible Children video and campaign by many of the blogosphere’s development and Africa experts — they denounce anything that aims for popularity, building fences around their turf in the name of nuance — I appreciate this thoughtful post.
    Though I certainly know more than 99 percent of Americans about Kony and the LRA, I am far from an expert. Still, I cannot help but think that his removal from the scene would be a huge help, a necessary step toward making this region governable. The LRA has done real damage in South Sudan as it tries to establish a government for instance, and remains an obstacle in Eastern Congo as there are nascent signs of progress. I cannot help but think of Savimbi whose death was a tremendous step toward peace in Angola — though again there were many who would argue that the political situation there was full of nuance unappreciated by the masses.
    So more power to Invisible Children in making Kony a well-known villain on the world stage. I think the Osama comparison is apt simply because the US put so much effort into getting Osama and so little into getting Kony though Kony is certainly responsible for more deaths.
    No, his elimination will not bring the age of Aquarius to this region. But it will help. Do not let the perfect be an enemy of the good.

    • Julie Ballard says:

      love the Age of Aquarius refferrence…………why does the answer to a problem have to be the ANSWER to a greater evil

  13. I agree with Christina. Sure, raising awareness is good but people need to do their homework on the bigger picture before mindlessly following every trending topic they see based on their emotions and good intentions. Look at all aspects of an issue and do the research.

  14. Gabriel Rezende says:

    I agree with you, Patrick. Yet the civil society movements like IC are not supposed to adhere to this level of critical analysis. They are doing there jobs when they push ahead their plans resorting to political pathos in general. Exaggeration seems legit to me in those cases: the public opinion should reach a consensus on their reliability instead – like we’re doing here by the way.

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  16. Frances says:

    I understand the cautionary advice about wide-eyed do-gooders; however, I cannot help but feel that any light shed on the plight of any group – such as the children forced into what amounts to slavery in the LRA – is a positive step. This video, like none other, has opened my eyes more in one 30 minute span than anything before. The more light shed, the more good will come of it – we can only hope.

    • Matt says:

      A couple if thoughts:
      1) if Facebook can mobilise millions of people to do things then let the things be more positive than lolcats.

      2) Yes. that means dumbing down that’s why the worst news channels have the highest ratings … most people need a clear bad guy and an obvious ‘right’ action, then those who seek more depth will end up on a website like this one

      3) Websites like this one should be more appreciative of the work done by the likes of IC… I know you said some positive things but really your post could try harder to not stomp on peoples enthusiasm: rejoice that people are visiting your website, encourage them, then give them more depth than such an accessible video can possibly do… otherwise you just look a little bitter. You did these things you just could have done it with more of a smile ;)

    • Julie Ballard says:

      GOD bless the naive and the wide eyed do gooders….we could use more of them

  17. Nick Palchanes says:

    Very nice article. I was wondering the same thing myself when I first watched the Kony video last night. Sure, it made good points that Joseph Kony is an evil man, but what about genocide as a whole? What should’ve been done is a viral video to rally the world to hear the cries of the starved, the beaten, and the imprisoned to bring aid to those who have been victims of genocide. This campaign is being processed like a manhunt. We’re out to get one person… when the matter of fact is this is all across the world, and until we can lend a hand to all victims everywhere, this campaign is going to be dead in it’s tracks after Kony is gone. Yeah yeah, call me the devil, but that’s the way I see it. That’s the way I’ve been seeing it since I first watched Darfur on the news. Everyone here at home is complaining about their nails or their hair, and I’m just god damn worried about the people overseas, and what I could do to stop their starvation, their torture. We are all humans, and whatever race, gender, political or religious views others have should not discourage that fact.

    Good article, anyways :)

  18. JinCanada says:

    I think this article makes a number of interesting points. However, the fact that in pure numbers this doesn’t rank up there with some of the greatest atrocities in history is not a reason not to intervene. (Conceivably if Kony had the resources to do so there would be nothing to stop him from taking his crimes against humanity to another level). I don’t think we should be criticizing the use of social media in this case, but we should be encouraging other causes to take best practices from this case and make them their own. And a single crime against humanity is enough justification to intervene – this group should be applauded for motivating decision makers and mobilizing the public.

    • Agreed, the only catch is that attention is a zero sum game. If thousands of people are wearing Kony 2012 bracelets and talking about the LRA on the internet, less people are engaging for other situations that are claiming more lives (the local conflicts in eastern Congo, Syria). The IC campagin takes the LRA / Kony problem and blows it out of proporitions because it is a ‘sexy’ conflict. A lunatic ostensibly leading an ‘army of child soldiers’, fighting for the ten commandments and possessed by ghosts? WOW, that is who I want to fight.
      Local militias who are recruiting child soldiers and killing and mass raping civilians in the DRC while exploiting conflict minerals that can be found in every laptop or mobile phone we use? Boring !

      • Tony Gee says:

        Precisely..and the lack of focus on similar if not worse atrocities committed by Western armies in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Hypocrisy personified.

  19. Kass OZ says:

    I think it is amazing that many of you are analysing and critiquing the approach of Invisible Children Inc and the Kony 2012 Campaign. Opinions are good, but it’s the effort, the doing, that brings about change. I ask this question – What are YOU ‘doing’ to help change this world to be peaceful place???

    Did you consider that maybe the comparison to Hitler and bin Laden is intentional in order to open the hearts of society? We have desensitised to such inhumane acts… unless we know someone affected. So the campaign is driven on how society will best relate to it. It seems that society tends to show compassion post tragedy, while it’s beautiful to see, the people lost in the tragedy didn’t get the opportunity to see it. So yes, it is about being compassionate now.

    It’s about opening your hearts, caring and positively contributing to save these invisible children – the ones that can be. Not because the law says you have to, but because you want to. To give them a chance for a peaceful life.

    Do they matter to you?? Does human life matter to you? If so, what exactly are YOU doing about it?? If Invisible Children Inc can bring about change and bring peace and justice to a part of this earth, then all power to them, I say!

    It’s about, the children. Human life.

    • Lorelai says:

      The point of this article is that the conflict in Central Africa is far more complicated than capturing a single man. It is a social and political issue, and one that won’t simply cease with one person out of power. The efforts of Invisible Children, while well meaning, are just plainly not well thought out. Not to mention that of the millions of dollars the Invisible Children receive in donations, only about 1/3 are actually used to help people. The rest is used for things like company salaries, advocacy campaigns like the half-hour long video they just produced, and sending wealthy white teenagers to Africa to try to fix problems that are more complex than they can even fathom. To answer your question, yes. Human life matters quite a deal to me, and others who are also skeptical of the IC campaign against Kony. It breaks my heart that human beings would treat other human beings in such a manner, and these heinous crimes absolutely need to stop. But this appeal to emotion doesn’t trump logic, and logic says that more needs to be done than the “Stop Kony 2012″ nonsense.

    • emlin says:

      It’s about opening your wallet.

    • Dana says:

      Did you even read the article?

    • IF they can bring about the change and peace and justice. So far the military approach IC is advocating has prolonged the conflict for 26 years and every attack on LRA troops kills first and foremost innocent abductees. I am not saying you should not do anything, I am saying people should think first and then act.
      Do the human lives matter to me? Yes, I have personally met many people affected by the conflict, so these people have faces and names for me. And I know for a fact that many of them do not want a military intervention by US troops because they are afraid the conflict will be prolonged. But for us in the West it is always easy to decide for others what is best for them.

      • Kass OZ says:

        I understand your views. The problem with logic – ‘think first then act’ is it differs with every person, it’s learnt throughout our lives shaped by upbringing, peers, lifestyle, family, community etc. That is what our opinion is – our own logic. 

        Compassion and humanity are the same amongst us all and that is what is powering the IC movement for the greater good. 

        All I am pointing out is that we can sometimes focus and have an opinion on the unimportant subjects (eg IC structure, Kony 2012 campaign format). 

        What IC stand for and what they are raising awareness to, is what is of importance. Getting weighed down in the ‘unimportant details’ is how you lose sight of the bigger picture. IC are doing great work, they have devoted their careers/lives to this, those in support are, yes, contributing by way of time, skill and monetary forms… Nonetheless that requires an individual to have an inbuilt characteristic of selflessness, to tjink outside their own needs, which defies some people’s logic.

        Remember the big picture guys.

      • I do not consider it an unimportant detail if abducted civilians are being killed in military interventions. If you want to advocate for a military intervention you should do it in the right way, argue for an intervention that puts the protection of the civilian population first, not capturing Kony no matter how many innocent become ‘collateral damage’

      • Kass OZ says:

        That is not what I am saying at all Patrick. That’s your opinion and intepretation based on your logic, not mine. Any effort on my behalf will be to support IC on their mission constructively, to collaborate, with compassion and humanity. Using my heart, not my brain, I’ll contribute to help those children however I can, as well as any children and adults that I cross paths with that are in need.

      • It is my opinion based on the facts on the ground. It is a fact that the military attempts to stop the LRA have so far mostly killed those recently abducted, for the last 26 years.

        All I am asking is to use your brain AND heart in these issues. That’s the only way to really move something and make a positive change in people’s lives.

      • Kass OZ says:

        Yes, what you state is important. Changing lives positively is important. That’s the big picture. One can criticise the positive efforts of IC, pointing out what they are doing ‘wrong’ and what might occur as a result of their approach. Perhaps you have an opinion on alternate approaches and solutions that will address those concerns, as well as raising awareness and positively changing people’s lives? I’d be very interested in your opinion on how and what IC should do, what you believe I should do, to avoid the occurrences and scenario you speak of.

      • 1) Involve African voices in their advocacy. Many African bloggers and journalists are seeing a neo-colonial thurst behind the IC campaign and you cannot make a change on the ground if you do not reach the people who are actually living with the conflict and its consequences. For them its a bunch of hysterical white people again meddling in African affairs without having a clue.

        2) Advocate for a smarter, better equipped US support mission in the region. Above all, one that supports the Ugandan army with the necessary transport capability to react quickly if LRA commanders are pinpointed. You will find details on what exactly is needed in this Enough! report here: http://www.enoughproject.org/publications/ensuring-success-four-steps-beyond-us-troops-end-war-lra

        3) Advocate for more civilian protection. The focus on capturing Kony is not the smartest approach. He has repeatedly dodged capture for the past 26 years, and this is not the first time the US are supporting efforts to get hold of Kony either (Operation Lightning Thunder in December 2010). For the victims on the ground protection matters most for immediate results. This includes efforts to avoid killing abductees during attacks on LRA groups.

        4) A 30 minute video cannot offer the information necessary to understand the issues on the ground. IC should make clear that their documentary is simplifying things and encourage people to both inform themselves AND act instead of engaging in blind activism.

        Those are four points off the top of my head that IC could have done better, without too much effort I might add.

    • mr. somebody says:

      For some of us it seems to be more about getting our feel-good slacktivist vibe on. Great speech, but in turn, what are *you* doing other than buying your “action kit” and waxing rhapsodical in a comment section? Bringing awareness to the Kony stuff is great in its own right, but the way they’ve gone about it less so. Look how many people are upset at, or even actively hostile to, the idea that there’s a greater context to be considered. Suppose them being introduced to this in such simplistic terms (Kony history’s worst monster; must kill Kony) has anything to do with that?

      IC has been around for almost a decade and this is their 11th awareness-raising film. Kony has been out of Uganda for half a decade. Given that, it’s a bit much seeing all this florid language about compassion and understanding and “What are YOU doing?”, especially when it’s directed at people who have actually been studying this issue for longer than 72 hours.

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  21. ssaras says:

    I think that if anything it is inspiring to see some one’s vision mobilize such a large group of people. It is true that raising awareness is only one step, but sad as it is, here in North America there are only so many steps we can take. I cannot exactly go to Uganda today and tell everyone to stop fighting and love one another. What I can do is care, donate and talk about the issue.

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  23. Liesel says:

    Such interesting comments. I don’t know the details about everything in Uganda but I have known about her child soldiers for years. I also know that children who witness and are a part of such atrocities will never be the same again – trauma runs very deep, especially when it affects the whole community.

    There’s a movement to see justice, to see the children protected … as long as they aren’t challenging the injustice in “my town”. Living justice is difficult.

    Too many words. Not enough action. Don’t speak about wanting justice in the world until you live justice in your own town. Don’t speak about the value of children in Uganda until you adopt or care for traumatized children in your own town (many people live like they’d prefer for them not to exist). I, for one, won’t speak about it until I know first hand the price of living it. It costs your life and your rights. Once you’ve done that, by all means, learn about international issues and weigh in on the conversation. And yes, then bring justice to the world because you will have some clue about the issues involved and what is required.

    Conflict is extremely complex. Naivety about this is not our friend. Thank you for raising awareness to this. I appreciate the post.

  24. Nana says:

    Well said Kass

  25. Steph says:

    Your blog has the tendency to discourage, rather than encourage, people about the fight against Kony. Yes, you very well do have a few good points, and in as much as you ‘tried’ to aknowledge the IC doing something good, you very clearly seem to be speaking (so to speak) against them. This should be ‘one fight’. We all fighting against him. Whether he can be compared to Osama or Hitler is not the case, his actions are inhumane and disgusting and thus falls in the same category as Osama and Hitler. I watched the movie Machine Gun Preacher which was about the LRA and Joseph Kony, and it had me in tears. There’s no need to hit at the IC as much as you did. Watch that movie and then answer the question asked at the end of the movie. Maybe your blog will be a bit lighter about what the IC has taken upon themselves to do.

    • The idea of the blog is actually to encourage people to think about issues of justice in conflicts. I do not think I have in any way discouraged people from doing something. I just suggested that the action should be more informed. Every single one has the power to get that necessary information from different organisations on the internet that have written a lot of well researched reports on the conflict.
      And with all due respect, I do not think I have to watch a hollywood drama/action movie loosely based on the LRA conflict to get a better understanding of what is going on there.

      • Ian says:

        I appreciated reading your blog, but also felt a subtle persuasion towards discouragement of the movement in lieu of gathering more information. As a writer you garner attention by expressing a position, and in this case have been very affective in your position pointing out flaws with the Video and it’s impact.

        For some of us your words are a welcome, reasonable and logical approach to global issues and are to be applauded. But in terms of the viralness (word?) of the video and the issues at hand, one must take into consideration the divided attention of the general public. Keep in mind the desire of the general population to do good in the world but without the resources, time and know-how to gain that information – and then to effectuate change afterwards (when clearly there are already well informed people in the world such as yourself – and still change is needed).

        For me the point of the video and it’s going viral has more to do with the sense of helplessness in the world – that we want to be part of a solution but by our isolation from positions of power we are incapable. This video strikes at the heart of America’s anger toward its own imposed apathy.

        It might be true that there are other things to be done which would accomplish a greater amount of good by focusing elsewhere – but can you get a viral community organized around those? The more complex the solutions, less involvement by others will be available due to confusion and conflicting interest.

        By starting with one simple issue such as children in pain, one with a strong emotional appeal, the expanding technological world can be crafted, better honed to connect the world and affect more change on other topics. This is a starting place. That’s all.

        The idea that large numbers of people could gain knowledge spontaneously without such a venue seems unrealistic. Gaining knowledge requires institutions to guide that knowledge growth. In the online community the institution is self created by the informed users. You are part of that institution with this blog post, as am I with this reply, but ours are small voices next to the impact of such a video by someone very proficient in orchestrating an emotional appeal. More needs to be done, yes. But what?

        Good on you for pointing out the weaknesses of the video – but by channeling your criticisms to include input on how best to address the problems in Uganda or elsewhere would be a powerful way to spread knowledge and would be far more influential as we move forward.

        And hey, you at least are doing something, and that is worth a whole lot more than I have done. So again, kudos to you.

      • mr. somebody says:

        Ian, you seem to be seeing what you want to see. There was no “subtle persuasion,” he’s overtly asking people to learn more before making their minds up. Kony has been around for 25+ years, IC for almost a decade. If everyone who took the 30 minutes to watch the video would take an equal amount of time to read articles like this *before* making up their minds, my guess is fewer people would come in here looking for ways to characterize Mr. Wegner’s posts as attempts at discouragement and the like.

        “This video strikes at the heart of America’s anger toward its own imposed apathy. ”

        And then reinforces that apathy by telling people that all we need to do is buy an action kit and get Kony taken out. Look at your own response (among others) to the suggestion that you learn more; you’re looking for ways to interpret this as Mr. Wegner trying to discourage people and so forth, when all he’s asking is that you invest a bit of your time in learning more.

        “This is a starting place. That’s all.”

        And when the starting place involves using donation money to lobby the US Government to arm the Sudanese and Ugandan armies, who are also known to engage in rapes, looting, and even the use of child soldiers, what will the next step be? Will there be a Museveni 2013 campaign? How will IC make a simple, emotionally-impactful video that explains to people that the next thing we’ll need to protect the Acholi from are the same group IC is currently throwing its support behind? If you look at IC’s response to some of the criticism they’ve received, they admit that the Ugandan military and government are responsible for terrible human rights abuses, but essentially say, “But they’re the best equipped to catch Kony! Waddyagonnado?” When they oversimplify the issue to this extent, yes, that can be a problem.

        “by channeling your criticisms to include input on how best to address the problems in Uganda or elsewhere…”

        Did you read the post? Because that already happened.

      • Ian says:

        I came here to do exactly what Mr. Somebody has accused me of not doing – that is I came here to learn more before making up my mind. FYI – sense I feel attacked – I had posted links to this page so that others might do the same, because I found the input valuable.

        Considering the response I received I suppose my intentions were not clear. I posted my comment in order to share with Mr. Wegner that Steph was not the only one who felt discouraged by his post. I went further to explain why. That should be valuable input for any writer.

        To Mr. Somebody – and I hesitate to reply directly to any user who won’t link to any identifying website – you have made some very excellent points. You have shared some valuable and well learned information. It is unfortunate that you also do not provide any alternative action.

        This video has generated a need to act in a large number of people. And Mr Wegner suggests, quite rightly, that we should stop and be sure of what we are being motivated to act on. It is a great suggestion – and in this day-and-age of technology many are already questioning the messenger. Why do you think there are so many hits and links to this site? We know we should learn more – that’s why we are here.

        Butt it isn’t enough to simply suggest that we think first.

        We all have our own lives, many of us are trying to make the world a better place with all it’s many details and complications, each in our own way and with our own expertise. Yet still, this video motivated millions of people to step beyond their own world to reach out and make something better. That is powerful stuff.

        And because we are cautious we come here seeking clarity and answers, and an alternative action should be available other than “learn more”. Without a call to action, the message of “learn more” is a call to inaction; discouragement. That is the point.

        Your own response, Mr. Somebody, was, to use your own words, “What next”? It’s the same as saying I don’t understand. It is the same as saying we can’t fix the problem by getting this one guy. And you are probably right. Matter of fact, I know you are right, and I knew it before you said it, before I even came here I knew it. That’s why I came.

        But by asking that question you are by default asking us to stand by and do nothing, unless you are stating an alternative action. It is discouragement. Discouraging us from doing something because there are too many variables involved. And I believe there are. But at least the video wants me to do something, at least the video is asking me to do something. I haven’t bought an action kit but I don’t blame anyone who does because at least it is doing something.

        And it isn’t to reinforce our apathy – how ugly of you to suggest such a thing, for what is the alternative? To climb aboard a plane bound for Africa? To seek a Phd, to learn and study and write thesis papers? We know there are learned people like yourself in this world, and still the problems exist. Why is it that if we learn more that somehow the problems will go away?

        Your response to me was not helpful. It does not reflect well on this. It does not make me want to go viral with what you have to share. I might suggest you find another approach to generate grater participation from the people who do wander into this sight seeking more information.

        Good luck making a difference.

      • Nick says:

        Come on Ian, we have said multiple times to support those who are victimized by the events there, and THEN take action. Why should we fuel a manhunt instead of helping the victims? Once they take Kony out another will just step in his place.

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  29. islc says:

    Doing some home work about the LRA and Joseph Kony. I found a number of articles on the Unicef website. This is a link to one of them. http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/sudan_57954.html

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  31. kris russell says:

    let’s stop this evil man as we must feel that.children everywhere should have the same opportunities we can only hope that the conflict in africa can be top priority. i hope they take out this war crimminal joseph kony

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  34. David says:

    I find it shocking that you are questioning the ‘right’ IC have for comparing Kony to BL and Hitler based on the numbers of deaths. Sure the death count might be lower but that does not detract from the qualatitive issue here: hate.

    You might share a different perspective to the IC’s but at least they’ve managed to get something started. For you to sit back and criticise on your shit blog is just making you look like the uptight morons that you are.

    There will always be bigger and more pressing issues – there will always be a bigger picture. If you want to criticise IC based on the ‘small’ scale of the problem they are tacking, then you should stand to be criticised for the ‘small’ contributions you are making in comparison.

    IC have done a great job of utilising the web to their advantage, and managed to produce a truly viral video. They’ve done amazingly well and should be commended – not criticised.

    • I did not deny IC the ‘right’ to compare Kony to Hilter and Bin Laden, and I wasn’t criticising IC for the ‘small’ scale of the problem. Your comment seems to be pointless apart from getting offensive.

      • Vanshika says:

        I do agree with your opinion on David’s comment.It is offensive and pretty useless.But at the same time I quite frankly do not understand the comparison of Kony with Hitler and Bin Laden. What IS point of the comparison?

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  38. Johnny Davidson says:

    RE: It is ridiculous to compare Joseph Kony with the worst mass murderer in history (only Josef Stalin could come close to challenging Hitler for that title) and America’s now defunct public enemy number one. Kony’s relevance is completely blown out of proportion by these comparisons and they only serve to brand him as the pure evil….
    Didn’t know there were varying degrees of war criminals. Glad to see you think a man responsible for 30000 deaths is all around a better person than Hitler. You think that some people, such as yourself, could appreciate that aid can be brought to Africa thanks to social media. International ‘Justice’ is only administered when the cause can be profitable (Iraq) or when there is an enormous public awareness that demand justice (911). So to see justice brought on by social media is a great step forward in human rights around the world. Maybe one day north Americans will wake up and see that the world isn’t such a happy party.

      • Kyle360 says:

        I want to ask the people who read this comment why is it rediculious to compare Joseph Kony to Josef Stalin and Hitler….?
        from my research on Kony he lutacrisly took children from the familys against their will, recrited them into the war, and once they were recruited made them shoot their parents? am i correct or reading the infromation all wrong…?
        the comparison is that they all recruited the young generation to thier unethical, and unfathemable rules to shape “their future”
        Yes Seyria may not want us to get involved with this issue as i have been reading in other posts but this is out now, and this is totally not right. They should be able to deal with this on their own, we should help to find Kony and help to see that justice gets served.

  39. Zero says:

    There are several good points made throughout this blog and by no means do I think it is either an intention to encourage or discourage the recent issues involving Kony. The main point is people should be basing their opinions on experts and not those of a 30 minute video gone viral through social media. The video promotes good messages and it’s truly great to see young people so motivated to make a change in the contemporate political world, which is what I think Dr. Wegner is ultimately trying to say.

    A few issues arise from viral campaigns such as Kony 2012. One being the fact that people have watched this video and now feel as though they are informed enough about the conflict to intervene, whereas we’ve had doctors studying these issues for year who are much more knowledgable on the situation which is who we should be turning to when these campaigns arise. Second, what does this video implicitly state? It states that you’re either in for or against child soldiers in Uganda which is ridiculous because what decent person with morality would be in support of this claim? There’s much more to humanitarian intervention then what is portrayed in this video which is why we need the knowledge of our experts in order to accurately evalute the issue, thus his reasoning in stating to think before you act. If people are basing their knowledge on this 30 minute video and not on the evidence and facts presented by experts, then this campaign will only take longer to become successful or fail altogether.

    Overall the efforts done by IC are extremely impressive and also for a great cause. It’s amazing to see how an issue like Kony can become so compelling over night and hopefully as a result of this justice will be served to the Ugandan people.

    • Julie Ballard says:

      For a percent of viewers….this video will make them knee jerk the issue….see KONY as an evil entity and create for themselves a belief system with no more informatio….
      they are right….KONY is a man perpetrating evil acts….nuff said…….
      another percent of viewers will see the video and spend countless hours reading reading reading all differing views ……………….
      neither OF THESE WOULD HAPPEN TO THESE GROUPS WITHOUT THIS AMAZING WORK ON FILM………….
      SUCCESS

      • Zero says:

        I’m not exactly sure what you mean by neither groups would have been investigating this issue. Yes, indeed it is great that he is now a known warcriminal but like I said now it’s in the hands of experts in order to fully lead this campaign with facts and information. To say that no one has been looking into this issue is a direct insult to the doctors who have been studying these issues for years. It is now brought to contemporate attention of his offenses which, like I said, is a great thing. But, as stated in my conclusion, we need the opinions and facts presented by our experts in this area in order to successfully execute this campaign or it will go nowheres.

  40. kay says:

    why should it matter if they compare him to hitler or stalin or peter pan? All evil is evil, none is worse or better. If you kill 1 person or 1 million you’re garbage. You’re getting lost in semantics and missing the point!

  41. what i think about this is that we all need to get posters and shirts and go around posteing them we need all the help we can get this is not right and something needs to be done about it i think if we do this it will help all those kids that are doing something but is forsted too do that.That i think is wrong so will all the people out there help and people that think this should be taken care of and kids should not have too do this help us post posters and get bracelets shirts and we can all help get this over with as a team.. really though think about:) ……………..

  42. CK says:

    Something I find fascinating about this video is that IC seems to be breaking down borders between countries, political views, races, opinions, etc. at an fantastic rate. I have noticed in the past that IC has promoted quite a few international trips to Uganda (ie the person/team that raises the most money for IC fundraising wins a trip to Uganda). I once questioned that strategy, wondering if the money spent on travel plans for those in the western world could be better used to serve the children of Uganda directly. However, I now realize that many of the people who advocate through IC have a name and a face from Uganda whom they call a friend. This social experiment (as referenced in the video) may serve as a model for furthing progress in other social/human rights issues by bringing a personal connection between those in crisis and those in a possible position to help.

  43. Vanshika says:

    Hey Patrick.
    I just had a few questions.
    You say that Kony was seen as an easy target by the ICC. What do you mean by that? Im sure they wouldn’t have been so naive so as to think that stopping something which had been going on for 2 decades was going to be a piece of cake! Also, you said that the most of these rebel groups were started to fight the marginalization. Have the researches found any answers as to how this rebel group has turned out to be an enemy of it’s own cause?

    • From public comments made by ICC members it is pretty clear that they were very confident they would find an easy case and make quick arrests. To be fair, the people working at the ICC are lawyers. They investigate and prosecute war crimes. It is not their work to do accurate conflict analysis or arrest the people they indict. The ICC has no army or police force to enforce its warrants.
      Concerning the developement of the LRA: The version of Kony and his commanders is that the elders of his Acholi people asked him to fight the Government of Uganda on behalf of the people. Kony says the civilians then turned against him by cooperating with the army, so he punished the civilians by starting attacks, mutilations and abductions.

  44. Julie Ballard says:

    I have now read several articles on this issue. Two of which I was able to access through your page and I have one comment that I think will sum up all that I have to say. Simply…..READ that first sentence again. “I have now read several articles on this issue”.

    A campaign like the “KONY 2012″ campaign is as far as I see it successful if it means that an issue of international justice ANY issue of international justice is being discussed on a wider stage than it was int he past. As far as this goes…..WELL DONE!

    I have posted great deal about this issue to my FB page in support of this campaign. And after reading a great deal of criticism of it I remain undeterred in my support. So far, the major criticisms I can glean from my reading (which is not yet complete I admit) is that the KONY 2012 campaign suffers from a degree of naivety of the issues facing the region beyond the actions of this one criminal…a failure to understand what created the man they are declaring as evil. My answer to that is BLESS THE NAIVE AND THE TRUE IN SPIRIT ………. WHO CARES! There does not seem to be any question that this man (KONY) has been abducting children in the region for decades…that he has forced these children to commit atrocities and that he has used them to his own ends violently and sexually. For me this makes the label EVIL fit just fine. And no manner of OJ Simpson-like glove stretching can change the fact that his actions have made him a wanted man for injustices against the most innocent and vulnerable in our world. I have used and ADVOCATE the comparison of this man to Hitler,( though not Bin Laden as I see his religious fanaticism as a separate category of evil). Hitler in his time waged a war on innocence….in doing so he deprived he greater world of the artists, poets, scientists, lay people, farmers, and in general MINDS of the people he victimized. I do not give a RAT’S ASS THAT KONY IS PERPETRATING HIS CRIMES ON A SMALLER SCALE. He too is robbing the world of a resource of thought, invention, beauty and WORTH as represented in the CHILDREN he is corrupting and stealing from us all. The world sat by in the time of Hitler. People, governments and churches KNEW that he was perpetrating innumerable crimes against us all ….. and they turned their heads. They turned there heads because they did not see the fight against atrocity as THEIR fight. Thanks to this ONE viral campaign that you choose to criticize it is MUCH harder now to turn our heads and not see the EVIL (yep I said EVIL again) that is happening in our world.

    I have read criticism that by using his own son in the video the filmaker is giving us a young white boys voice and not the invisable children’s voice. I think you may have missed a point. The innocent of this little boy in contrast to the lives led by the children KONY has corrupted for his own gain brings the message home with such clarity……THESE ARE OUR CHILDREN WORLD…OUR RESPONSIBILITY…….WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THE SAME CRIME WAS PERPETRATED HERE….OR IN EUROPE…………We would go NUTS with our fervor to catch such a criminal!!

    In conclusion, Joseph Kony removed from politics, from any consideration of what MADE him is a thug. He is a simple criminal on the world stage. He is evil. He is Hitler and the many who are out there like him now and who have soiled the history of our world. HE DESERVES his INFAMY……..He deserves to feel he must hide under the rocks to avoid facing an international justice. THANK YOU to the young and NAIVE people who have spearheaded this campaign. You have helped one housewife in Tennessee to look upon a wrong and fervently wish to right it……..and in this you are a blessing to us all.

    • Justin Meyers says:

      Yeah, Kony has to hide under a rock because of the Kony 2012 campaign. He also had to delete his Facebook, google+ and hotmail accounts because he was receiving so much hatemail online. Plus he can never set foot on a street in Europe or the US again. Oh wait, Kony doesn’t have an internet connection, and he will never come to Europe or the US to be lynched by a mob of scandalised white teens. Guess what? He is hiding in a jungle since decades and chances are he can do that for many years more and if you think some online rage will change it…. well, think again.

      • Gui says:

        above, it is over in Uganda now.) While I do believe that Kony shloud be brought to justice – along with Museveni – this is not a productive thing to focus money and efforts upon if you really want to help people. It is also worth exploring the effectiveness of awareness campaigns in general. For example, someone mentioned the ethnic conflicts in Sudan. It has been well documented that the Safe Darfur campaign had a lot of failures and that the awareness campaign actually hurt Darfur in some ways. Again, it is an organization that did not fully understand the complex politics, culture, and economic situation on the ground so that funds were often used poorly and the huge awareness included requests to Congress that they do something. The somethings they often chose were usually highly visible to make constituents happy, but the completely wrong thing to do for Darfur. If you want to learn more, I suggest the book Fighting for Darfur. All of this doesn’t mean that you shloud stop caring or become a total cynic. You don’t have to agree that aid and development are neocolonial enterprises or are pointless. I think aid can do great things. Just recognize that some do more good than others and it is up to you to do your research and figure out where to put your donation so it can do the most good. Academics of aid and development agree that the place that can do the most good is focusing on health and education. When people have access to clean water, schools, and basic health services issues such as ethnic tensions that cause the kind of horror that happened in Uganda tend to calm down and dissipate. That is why sending your money to help with malaria not only saves more kids now but might give the kids a future to look forward to.

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  59. someone says:

    why wont he stop

  60. You actually make it appear so easy with your presentation but I in finding this topic to be actually one thing that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am having a look ahead for your next post, I’ll try to get the hold of it!

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  62. Debbie Munns says:

    I’m using this article in my 8th grade current events curriculum. Thanks, D. Munns; Idaho Teacher

  63. Just a Teen with an opinion to share... says:

    Invisible Children Inc. is a charity of awareness, not of action. They are seeking to make us as a population get things done and pressure our government into stopping genocide in a specific part of the world. You had suggested that they include more reports from people that live there. Yes they would have given more detail, but the problem is that it is difficult enough to get people to sit down and watch a half-hour, too much longer than that and there will be no viewers, and therefore no awareness. The “hysterical white people” as you put it, are drawing attention to a problem. I do not need to know every detail going on down there to know that abducting children and forcing them to kill, is wrong. If these “hysterical white people” continue to raise awareness, they will catch the attention of powerful white people who DO know the details of what is going on down there, and the powerful white people are more likely to make a difference than before. This does not directly capture Kony, but it does lead to the awareness of people that have the power to make that happen.

    I agree that people should look more into the issue and become informed about it, and I also agree that KONY 2012 doesn’t do that as well as it could, but it plants a seed, and a hunger for knowledge.

  64. kenny says:

    woodbury jr/sr high supports catching kony!!!!!!@

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  67. casino says:

    Amazing things here. I am very glad to look your article. Thank you so much and I’m taking a look ahead to contact you. Will you please drop me a mail?

  68. hhhh says:

    why did you start?

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