Good afternoon, everyone. I’m happy to be here to share my views to all of you today. My name is Donny Ko. My purpose today is talk about “Joseph Kony “and “Kony 2012” and raise the awareness about the child army and child kidnap. This presentation will hopefully give you more ideas for this discussion this afternoon. I’ll break down this presentation into three parts: first, the introduction of Joseph Kony; second, the action called Kony 2012; third, the critical problems of this action and my feelings.
Joseph Kony is the most wanted criminal in the world today. He is the head of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a Ugandan guerrilla group. He ordered the abduction of children to become child-sex slaves and child soldiers. An estimated 66,000 children became soldiers and two million people have been internally displaced since 1986. This is the reason why the bulk of Kony's foot soldiers were children. Now, as we know, Kony is a bad guy definitely, and he’s been around a while.
Actually, he was indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court in 2005 on 33 charges including murder, enslavement, rape, pillaging, and forced fighting, he has left Uganda for the bush; his whereabouts are unknown. Therefore, the US has been involved in stopping him for years. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has sent multiple missions to capture or kill Kony over the years. And they’ve failed time and time again, each provoking a ferocious response and increased retaliative slaughter. The issue with taking out a man who uses a child army is that his bodyguards are children. Any effort to capture or kill him will almost certainly result in many children’s deaths, an impact that needs to be minimized as much as possible.
I guess most of you didn’t know who Kony is before I mentioned about this. Just same to me, but how can I know about this? Actually I saw it through the facebook. One day, when I opened my facebook all I saw was everyone sharing this video called Kony 2012. So I decided to check it out because like many people out there I knew nothing about Kony. It is a very powerful and well-made video, was produced by a group called Invisible Children. The goal of Invisible Children is to capture Joseph Kony at the end of 2012. Let’s achieve this goal and make the invisible children to be visible. The coming is a part of that emotional video. Let’s take a look on it.
After watching this video, you should recognize that the purpose is to promote the charity's 'Stop Kony' movement to make indicted Ugandan war criminal Joseph Kony internationally known in order to arrest him in 2012. Do you want to take an action to assist this project after watching it? If you really want to take an action, you may forward this video or news to Twitter or Facebook, order the Joseph Kony Kit, make a donation to Invisible Children fund or just pray for it.
Actually, I’m opposed to the Kony 2012 campaign to such an extent.
However, “Kony 2012” has been trending all day on twitter and Facebook nowadays. As usual when something becomes this popular there is always some controversy that will surround it. There are many critics out there turning this video into a controversy. There is some stuff that the critics are saying about this movie: 1) Less than 50% of Invisible Children’s revenue goes towards the campaign. The majority of the money goes to advertising campaigns, salaries, film production costs and travel expenses. 2) Making Kony famous may be sending out the wrong message
3) Invisible Children are fighting for military action to be used to take down Kony. They support the Ugandan army, which has been known to rape, plunder and kill innocent by standers.
Invisible Children has been condemned time and time again. As a registered not-for-profit, its finances are public. Last year, the organization spent only 32% of their expense went to direct services, with much of the rest going to staff salaries, travel and transport, and film production. This is far from ideal.
The group is in favour of direct military intervention, and their money supports the Ugandan government’s army and various other military forces. Here’s a photo of the founders of Invisible Children posing with weapons and personnel of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Both the Ugandan army and Sudan People’s Liberation Army are riddled with accusations of rape and looting, but Invisible Children defends them, arguing that the Ugandan army is “better equipped than that of any of the other affected countries”, although Kony is no longer active in Uganda and hasn’t been since 2006 by their own admission.
Military intervention may or may not be the right idea, but people supporting Kony 2012 probably don’t realize they’re supporting the Ugandan military who are themselves raping and looting away. If people know this and still support Invisible Children because they feel it’s the best solution based on their knowledge and research, I have no issue with that. But I don’t think most people are in that position, and that’s a problem.
Is awareness good? Yes. But these problems are highly complex, not one-dimensional and, frankly, aren’t of the nature that can be solved by poster-posting, film-making and changing your Facebook profile picture, as hard as that is to swallow. Giving your money and public support to Invisible Children so they can spend it on supporting ill-advised violent intervention and movie isn’t helping. Do I have a better answer? No, I don’t, but that doesn’t mean that you should support Kony 2012 just because it’s something. Something isn’t always better than nothing. Sometimes it’s worse.
Watch this movie, do your own research and come up with your own conclusions. One thing for sure Kony is a war criminal that definitely should be arrested for all the atrocities he has committed.