Wag the Ugandan Dog

by John Galt
March 13, 2012 05:15 ET


The video “Kony 2012!” has managed to wind it’s way into the hearts and minds of American citizens everywhere, evoking the “We are the World” mentality which is consistent with the American character and creating a further demand for action by the U.S. government to find and capture or kill the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader, Joseph Kony. The question that has not been asked is why this campaign is suddenly receiving massive attention from the U.S. mainstream media.

In October of 2011, President Obama’s team announced the deployment of roughly 100 U.S. Special Forces personnel with drones to the tiny African nation to find, capture, or kill Joseph Kony and terminate the actions of the LRA by assisting the Ugandan military (See VOA article from 2011 at this link). What is not being discussed is the sudden urgency to deploy troops to this region nor the appearance of the video above going viral after being released on March 5, 2012. The Ugandan people actually question this themselves because for decades now the military has maintained a state of emergency against first the Holy Spirit Movement and now the LRA. The Uganda military has used this national emergency to justify incursions and allegations of brutality into neighboring countries but that is ignored by the U.S. media as the video highlights a problem which may or may not continue to exist to a great extent.

The Ugandan newspaper, The Daily Monitor, addresses this question today  in the article:

What Jason didn’t tell Gavin and his Army of Invisible Children

(click on the title above to access article in full)

This portion of the story may tell a larger story:

Now Invisible Children has joined the ranks of those calling for the US to press for a military solution – presumably supported by a mostly children’s army of over 65 million viewers of its video, Kony 2012! What is the LRA that it should merit the attention of an audience ranging from Hollywood celebrities to “humanitarian interventionists” to Africom to children of America?

The LRA is a raggedy bunch of a few hundreds at most, poorly equipped, poorly armed, and poorly trained. Their ranks mainly comprise those kidnapped as children and then turned into tormentors. It is a story not very different from that of abused children who in time turn into abusive adults. In short, the LRA is no military power.

Addressing the problem called the LRA does not call for a military operation. And yet, the LRA is given as the reason why there must be a constant military mobilisation, at first in northern Uganda, and now in the entire region, why the military budget must have priority and, now, why the US must sent soldiers and weaponry, including drones, to the region. Rather than the reason for accelerated military mobilisation in the region, the LRA is the excuse for it.

The reason why the LRA continues is that its victims – the civilian population of the area – trust neither the LRA nor government forces.

Sandwiched between the two, civilians need to be rescued from an ongoing military mobilisation and offered the hope of a political process.

Alas, this message has no room in the Invisible Children video that ends with a call to arms. Thus one must ask: Will this mobilisation of millions be subverted into yet another weapon in the hands of those who want to militarise the region further? If so, this well-intentioned but unsuspecting army of children will be responsible for magnifying the very crisis to which they claim to be the solution.

If the people of Uganda wish to solve this problem without further bloodshed and to calm the situation in their nation, then why the sudden emergency and massive public relations campaign encouraged by the United States liberal mainstream media? Perhaps the answer can be found in another Ugandan newspaper, New Vision, and this article published yesterday:

Oil refinery land set for demarcation

(click on the title above to access article in full)

Uganda has apparently become the latest African nation to see a large oil discovery and gone from the rarely mention back pages of American media to the forefront as a cause celeb not because children have been murdered there for over thirty years now, exploited by militants and the governments alike. No, this is about securing natural resources and the individuals who produced Kony 2012! are simply being used by this government to create a justification for further military intervention to protect the areas in the map from Tullow Oil, PLC:

Until the video was produced then “suddenly” promoted by the mainstream media, I would wager that ninety percent of the U.S. population had no clue as to who Joseph Kony was, where Uganda was on a map, or that there was even an internal conflict there. Yet those in the investing world and with the monies to promote and purchase government influence via political donations understand the competitive nature of seeking and securing petroleum resources. The sad part about this is that it has nothing to do with securing more oil for the U.S. consumer but instead protecting the operations of FINA Total and CNOOC, a French and Chinese oil conglomerate respectively. Thus the sudden sense of urgency to deploy millions of dollars worth of resources to eradicate an estimated 400 combatants brings forward the idea that the U.S. military is being used on “for hire” or mercenary missions at the behest of international corporations instead of their Constitutionally mandated mission of protecting the United States of America.

Perhaps DeNiro and Hoffman can make a sequel to fit the occasion with a title of Wag the Ugandan Dog.

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