I see the invisible children, do you?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Lysander, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. "Kony 2012," a video posted by advocacy group Invisible Children to raise awareness about the pernicious evil of Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony, has already been viewed over 9 million times on YouTube since its release this week.

    I absolutely agree that Uganda (and, for that matter, other African nations) are in need of more than the arrest of one heinous criminal and "some schools." He and his forces have left a path of abductions and mass murder in their wake for over 20 years.

    But things to keep in mind: 1) Joseph Kony is not in Uganda and hasn't been for 6 years; 2) the LRA now numbers at most in the hundreds, and while it is still causing immense suffering, it is unclear how millions of well-meaning but misinformed people are going to help deal with the more complicated reality.

    Additionally, the LRA does not have 30,000 mindless child soldiers. This grim figure, cited by Invisible Children in the film (and by others) refers to the total number of kids abducted by the LRA over nearly 30 years.

    However there are several issues I have. The reason is, money. Plain and simple. Few in the US have heard about this. The thought of children in this situation grabs attention. People won't question what their told, or where their money is going, even if it goes to military dictators who are just almost as bad (the rest goes into their pockets and other business ventures). It's ignorance mixed with effective propaganda film making, and people who have little to no accountability and huge salaries; small amounts actually going to the charity, portions of that going to military dictators.

    The group is in favor of direct military intervention, and their money supports the Ugandan Government’s Army and various other military forces. The Ugandan army is 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.”

    All in all, I think IC is treading in some rather dangerous waters now. It once was effective and relevant and is striving to maintain this effectiveness for good reasons. Their message is still crucial. However, their allergy to specificity and holistic strategies - essentially to get into the nitty-gritty of a long-term solution to east and central African problems and dig in for the long haul - worries me. They like the "here's something easy" approach too much. Also, their allergy to cooperation with other NGOs and groups like UNDP frightens me as well (in their videos they always look like the only folks on the ground, they may even say that a couple of times). I think that they need to broaden their approach and get away from the superficial blogosphere activism that makes development sound "easy as the click of a mouse."

    If you want to help, these charities are better accounted for:



  2. O.O...I see. I also have just learnt that IC is considered a very shady organization and only 35% I believe goes to there actual cause. I guess when you watch their video you think more with your heart then your head which gets people sucked into giving money, and makes you want to spread the message (Guilty!). Yes so I guess its good to know about him, but there are just as many other atrocities in the world that are far worse, and organizations that are much more trustworthy.
  3. Eh... to be honest it seems like all of a sudden everyone thinks this is a big deal.

    Using children as soldiers has been a major problem in Africa for years. It happened in Sierra Leone in the 90s. It has occurred in the Sudan Military in the early 2000s. Hell, reports are that the Ugandan army has kidnapped and recruited child soldiers. It's not nearly as simplistic as the documentary portrays it. Life is more complicated… and no one is innocent in Africa anymore...

    It's happened before, and it'll happen again... and again... and again...

    According to one source only about 31% of their funds actually went to helping people in 2011. The rest went to salaries, transportation, and production costs.

    IC does not have a good record in terms of transparency. Appearently they are not very forthcomming in terms of where all their money actually goes. Rory listed some links to better charities.
  4. Oh I know this sorta thing has been going on for a long time. If you think about it all through history children have been made or taught to fight in some form. I just thought if someones actually doing something about ti now, why not lend my support? Well I'm not so sure about actually simply donating to them, but making awareness about Kony? I'm going to do that. There is horrible stuff in this world, lets clean it up one criminal at a time.
  5. Kony's old. He's ill. His soldiers and he have been driven to some swamp somewhere. He's constantly being deserted. He no longer has any supplies. He's been doing this for over two decades. All the damage he could've done, he already has done. Now he's just easy to pick off. If someone wants to support the cause, Kony shouldn't even be that big of an issue anymore. It'd be a better idea to support organizations drumming support for rehab centers and overall trying to improve conditions in Africa, rather than trying to address only one or two 'easy issues' like Kony.
  6. You have to start somewhere, why not here? Once people see that you can actually get justice done and make improvements it will lift spirits. As I said start one place at a time, you start with the little things and work your way up.
  7. Yeah, but not with a place where only 31% of the donations go to where they should be going.
  8. True. I'm saying I'll raise awareness about Kony, but not actually donate to IC.

    Also most of what they spend is on getting people to know about it anyway, most of there fees go into making documentaries and being advocates which is good, because it gets others behind them so they can take some real action. It doesn't nessesarly take real action, but if you only had a little money you would spend it on to get more support right? From what I can understand that is what they are doing. They don't really have much backers so what money they get they use to get more donations and/or backers, and a certain amount is spread thin to be given to actually helping people. At least that is what I have heard and understand they are explaining so far, which makes sense to me.

    Anyways I'm raising awareness about Kony, im not giving money to a charity, besides I have no money to spare.
  9. justice would be the bastard catching a bullet.

    it'd be cheaper than trying to arrest him too.
  10. Have a wee look'see at this (open)

    See those three Americans? Those are the founding members of Invisible Children posing with members of the Ugandan Army, an armed force routinely accused of raping and stealing from the people they are supposed to protect. IC frequently gives sums of money to this army, justifying it by arguing that they are the only force actively trying to stop Joseph Kony.

    These are not smart people. They cause more harm than good.

    It's great to see so many people taking an interest in helping out in Africa. Seriously, kudos to all, long may that continue. But let's put this into perspective.

    Kony is old fucking news.

    There, I said it. He's a failed guerilla leader currently starving to death in the jungles of the Congo. A peace treaty currently exists between the LRA and the Ugandan Army, and it's holding (fingers crossed). Invisible Children is not trying to raise funds to aid in the saving and reconciliation of child soldiers. That would be a cause worth donating to. These guys are inciting a witch-hunt after one single guerilla leader. This will achieve sweet fuck all when it comes to helping child soldiers and Africa as a whole.

    Joseph Kony is a bastard, don't get me wrong. But he's one of many, and compared to some he's a pretty minor bastard. There's a man likely guilty of attempted genocide and countless other war crimes sitting in the President's office of Sudan. Why aren't they going after him? There is a terrorist organisation in Somalia killing the populace and dragging out a long and brutal civil war. Why aren't they going after them? What about Mugabe? Or any of the many warlords who utilise child soldiers every day? What will bringing down this one solitary figure do to help them?

    Absolutely fuck all, that's what.

    Some things are worse than doing nothing. The activities Invisible Children engage in are such an example. Wide-eyed idealism to the point of naivety will not help the highly complex and turbulent situation in Uganda, it will just make it worse. Give your money, time and support to a more worthy cause.
  11. Ya this does make sense. And the truth is I am naive in this area. All I know is being fed to me from someone else so I really have no clue. I guess its true that Kony is old news, but I'm just hoping if enough people get behind it you get him arrested/killed; their will be more support to actually do something worth while. Most of my enthusiasm came from watching a well filmed documentary and that ran out about an hour after I watched it. Pretty much no matter if they are trying to do good (I hope they are) , or they are doing it on purpose, all they are doing is makeing to worse.

    Btw, I just like to argue a point into the ground until I feel justified to change my view, just so I feel like there is solid fact for it to be wrong. And I freely admit, that I thought they where good, but I am wrong they are just making it worse no matter there intentions.
  12. Kony 2012

  13. [video=youtube;7DO73Ese25Y]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DO73Ese25Y&feature=share[/video]
  14. Re: Kony 2012

  15. Finally, some people who can think before jumping on a mindless bandwagon trend...
    IC have created one of the most manipulative and almost near hypnotising video in the history of the internet.
    No offence but it shows how easily people can be led with just a few slim facts and a sad face, Freud would be impressed.
  16. Ya the truth is that when someone tries to face me head on I'm as stubborn as a rock and you would have better chance of cutting a diamond then breaking my will, but I'm easily manipulated. :P

    Especially when my emotions come into play. I have a very strong sense of wishing to protect people so when I see someone getting hurt I tend to be the first person to step in; the thing is that I tend to go to far and end up being the bully to bullies, or end up going to far and getting in trouble. I'm quite impulsive.
  17. It's emotional blackmail. A lot of charities practice it, but Invisible Children have really shown how powerful it can be (or if you're feeling cynical the herd-instinct people tend to demonstrate).

    The problem with anyone coming from a Western culture is that it can be difficult to wrap our heads around just how different Africa is to what we're used to. That continent is more varied, diverse and complicated than many will ever realise.

    And let's not forget, IC advocates direct military intervention in this situation. Stop and consider for a moment how fucking stupid an idea that is. Yes, let's lobby the Ugandan Army to attack Kony, possibly risking an international incident because the bastard's now in foreign territory. Yes, let's attack the guy who uses child soldiers, putting the lives of the kids these guys are supposedly out to save at extreme risk. Yes, let's risk reprisal attacks if the attempt on Kony's life fucks up as it has in the past.

    And what about the rumours that the Ugandan Army has itself used child soldiers? Why would you give such a group money? They sound like they're as corrupt and unpleasant as Kony is. Fuck me, at least the LRA are honest bastards.

    As the girl in Rory's video rightly says, don't let yourself be swayed by high-quality emotional blackmail.

    Research the topic.

    Weigh up the evidence.

    Form a balanced and sensible opinion.

    Maybe having done that you'll still be up for KONY 2012. I'd like to hear your reasons for this, sure, but at least then you can say that you came to that decision on your own.

    Don't be a fucking sheep.