Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Kony 2012: A retrospective

As if you couldn't tell from my (now deleted) last post, I was swept up on the Kony 2012 bandwagon. It's been less than 24 hours since that post, and upon furthering my research into the organisation Invisible Children I am beginning to regret supporting the cause. Now, before I get jumped on, I have been to unbiased and biased sources to get the full story. First of all, I went to the BBC's profile on Joseph Kony and, the BBC being a relatively unbiased news source, I have to agree with the fact that Joseph Kony is a terrible war criminal who should be punished accordingly if he can be captured in a way that harms as few people as possible- And that doesn't mean execution.

However, I do not agree with the military stance that Invisible Children are taking on this, something which I should have seen in the initial video but I only realised on retrospect. You do not, and I repeat do not fight fire with fire. It is true that Kony has kidnapped thousands of children, horrifically abused them and turned them into child soldiers, and, as many before me have pointed out, if military force is used then thousands of these children, who have had their minds twisted by this horrible man, will end up not rescued, but killed. I don't want to promote military action. I do want to promote capturing a criminal and delivering justice.

And this is where everything comes to an impasse. Because Kony is a military leader. If he is tracked down then, even if those who find him don't show violent intentions, chances are that he will give the order to take those men or women down. Then they will have to attack.

However, I do agree with some of the other things that Invisible Children have done for the affected communities. The radio broadcasts to warn of incoming attacks are a stroke of genius in helping the families keep their children safe, albeit slightly redundant unless they make radio broadcasts more widespread to the nations where the LRA are currently focusing their energies on. And if this movement has done nothing else, it has at least raised awareness to a, lets face it, ignorance riddled youth (including myself) who need to be made more aware of what is going on in the world. Hopefully, this will encourage our generation to pay more attention to the world in which they live in, the world outside of their Facebook and their Twitter account. I know I'll look a little more outside the box now.

But the point still stands. I believe that military action is nothing but a last resort. I want these children to be free and safe again, just as anyone should, but military action is the final line in a case as delicate as this. The video compared Kony's actions to Hitler, but I'm going to compare this to Osama Bin Laden. Capturing Kony will set a precedence, just as killing Osama Bin Laden did; terrorism will not be tolerated. However taking out the leader will only on very rare occasions take out the organisation. If Kony is captured and imprisoned then it will set a wonderful precedence for other war criminals, that those kinds of crimes will not be tolerated and are not justifyable. However, it will not take out the organisation as a whole. That's the whole point behind an organisation. They are organised. Go back to Kony's profile on the BBC, look to where it says 'he and his senior commanders take the pick of the girls they capture' senior commanders. That's the word I want you to focus on. It proves that Kony can be replaced as head of the organisation and that they will more than likely continue the kidnap of children.

I am upset at myself that I didn't originally look at this objectively. I'm a history student for christsakes, it's my job to look at both sides of the argument! I guess that I'm just helping myself to organise my own thoughts and hopefully, help others who are confused about their thoughts on the Kony 2012 movement see things in an objective light.

Because if there is one good thing that the movement has done, it has helped raise awareness about injustice in the world. But in my own, personal opinion, they counter this with the encouragement of the use of military force. There has to be another way to bring this man to justice, and to break his organisation down.

1 comment:

  1. Emotion lead activity is often mis-directed, it tend to cause more problems than it solves. So well done. Keep the passion but use it well.