Kony 2012: Oil, Lies, Profits, Propaganda
“Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position. As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda, in its most basic sense, presents information primarily to influence an audience. Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus possibly lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or uses loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The desired result is a change of the attitude toward the subject in the target audience to further a political agenda. Propaganda can be used as a form of political warfare.” SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA
Like many people, I was moved by the “Stop Kony” video put out by Invisible Children and I wanted to do whatever I could to help. Unlike many people, I decided to do some further research besides just viewing a slick YouTube video, and what I discovered was chilling to say the least. At best, this campaign aims to raise money and support for the notoriously corrupt Ugandan military (which, just like Kony and the LRA, uses child soldiers) alongside US military forces in Uganda (this is by Invisible Children’s own admission) under the premise of catching a man who is said to be in the neighboring Congo (DRC), but may in fact have been dead for several years. At worst, this campaign is a shady propaganda piece meant to drum up public support for a joint US/Ugandan invasion of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country that has been battling it out with Uganda over the rights to the vast reserves of oil discovered alongside the Uganda-Congo border.
I am not going to re-hash all of the arguments that have been made over the last few days criticizing the inaccuracies in the Stop Kony video, nor will I write at length about the questionable business practices of Invisible Children. That and more information is all readily available through a quick online search. I am however providing a bullet-list demonstrating my reservations about what I perceive to be a dangerous and misleading propaganda campaign, as well as some links for anyone who would like to learn more.
- 1987: An early variation of The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is formed. Their mission is to overthrow the current Ugandan administration, and seize power from President Yoweri Museveni, who has been the leader of the country for the last 26 years.
- 2003: Invisible Children captures footage that will be released 9 years later in their “Stop Kony” video.
- 2006: The current leader of the LRA Joseph Kony flees Uganda with his remaining troops. That same year, a vast amount of oil is discovered near Lake Albert alongside the borders of Uganda and The Democratic Republic of Congo. (SOURCE)
- 2007: Tensions began to rise between Ugandan and Congolese forces stationed alongside Lake Albert. Media outlets began to report on an “Oil War feared between Uganda and DR Congo”. (SOURCE)
- 2008: A National Oil and Gas Policy, proposed with aid from a group funded by US billionaire George Soros (remember this name, it is mentioned again a little further down), is enacted as a general road map for the handling and use of the Ugandan oil. Ugandan stakeholders from Soros’ Revenue Watch Institute meet to discuss the policy. That same year, the Africa Institute for Energy Governance, a grantee of the Soros-funded Revenue Watch, launched the oil-related PWYP group in Uganda. (SOURCE)
- 2009: With US military support, Uganda launches “Operation Lightning Thunder”, crossing the border into the Congo under the guise of defeating Kony and the LRA. The operation fails, resulting in brutal revenge attacks, with over 1000 people killed in the Congo and Sudan. (SOURCE) Also in 2009, Tullow Oil confirms discovery of 800m barrels of oil, worth 50 billion USD, near the Uganda-Congo border. Tullow strikes a deal with the Ugandan government, granting them 8 out of every 10 barrels. (SOURCE) That same year, Heritage Oil, owned by the notorious mercenary fighter Tony Buckingham who has a history of military involvement in Angola during the civil war, announced a sale and purchase agreement with Tullow Oil to sell its two license shares in Uganda. Heritage has signed a PSA with the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq, where its attentions are shifting. (SOURCE)
- 2010: Joseph Kony has still not been seen in Uganda since 2006. Meanwhile, interest in the Ugandan oil continues to grow with full-scale oil drilling expected to begin in the region by the end of 2011. George Soros (see 2008) who has been directly involved in Ugandan oil interests for years, releases a report on behalf of the Soros’ International Crisis Group advising the U.S. military to run special operations in Uganda to seek Kony’s capture. (SOURCE)
- 2011: President Obama sends 100 US troops to the Ugandan oil region under the guise of combating the Lord’s Resistance Army, which has not been active in Uganda for at least 5 years. (SOURCE)
- 2012: “Stop Kony” is released by the Invisible Children NGO. The video is subsequently criticized for being misleading and neglecting to inform the viewers that Joseph Kony has not had any power for a number of years. Opponents point out that the war-torn Kony-ravaged Uganda depicted in the film is not an accurate depiction of today’s relative peace in Uganda. The LRA has been reduced to somewhere around 250 rebels, none of whom are presently in Uganda. It is revealed that the bulk of monies raised by Invisible Children is used towards exorbitant salaries, travel expenses around $1 million per year, and film production. Some of the money that does make it to Uganda is falling into the hands of the current Ugandan administration, which like Joseph Kony, has been accused of war crimes and the use of child soldiers. (SOURCE) While the filmmakers purport to seek to “raise awareness” through the film and social media campaign, they skim over the fact that their goal is to pressure to the US government to continue its US military intervention in Uganda. (SOURCE: INVISIBLE CHILDREN’S OWN SITE) Again, Joseph Kony and the LRA have been long absent from Uganda, the country in which IC wishes to see continued US military presence.
In closing, we do not need any more “awareness” to ensure that US troops continue their campaign in Uganda. With billions of dollars of oil on the line and Obama’s close ties to George Soros, it is highly unlikely that the US will pull out of Uganda before they get their piece of the pie. The majority of the money being made off of the bracelets and action packs is not helping child soldiers; if anything you are helping to support the current Ugandan administration, which itself has a history of war crimes and is more likely to spend their resources on grabbing oil from the Lake Albert area than hunting down a man who may or may not have died 5 years ago. There are worst people and worst threats in Africa than Joseph Kony. By convincing the public that he is the boogeyman, Invisible Children can continue to pull in millions of dollars while advancing their own agenda, the Ugandan military will gain funds and military support that they can use in their conflict with DRC over Lake Albert’s oil reserves, and the US government and the oil companies that they are aligned with will be able to engage in yet another war-for-oil under the pretense of capturing
Saddam Osama Ghaddafi Kony The Bad Guy.
Oil Bribes Linked to Obama Man (more on the Soros-Obama connection to Ugandan oil)
To all of you that think that "Invisible Children" is just a scam
Scam or not, there is without a doubt a problem in Uganda that needs to be put to a stop. Even if Kony is dead, his work is being carried on by his followers and people are STILL SUFFERING from the long lasting, probably permanent, emotional and physical scarring. Take a look at the middle east, Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden may have been taken out, but there’s still acts of terrorism being committed because they inspired others to be the successors to their legacy. THE CRISIS IS STILL GOING ON. Even if Jason Russell and the others behind Invisible Children are pocketing money, awareness of the issue IS STILL BEING SPREAD. A DIFFERENCE IS STILL BEING MADE AND EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS. So just like you all have been telling us, DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE YOU JUMP ON THE ANTI-KONY 2012 BANDWAGON.
Kony 2012: Pros and Cons
Kony 2012: Pros and Cons
So recently, Kony 2012 has taken social media by storm. There have been some skeptics who have released information that Kony is possibly a “scam.” I think that it’s also very important to pick apart the argument against Kony too.
So here goes:
I think what’s important to note is that this is about Kony and not necessarily Uganda, which was a point made in the video. I don’t think acts from the Ugandan government are necessarily the focus of this organization because they also mentioned the list of the World’s Most Wanted Criminals and Kony happened to be #1.
The facts about the actual amount of money going to Uganda is discouraging but at the same time, I think that 25% is still better than 0%, and that 25% here in the US translates to a bigger amount because the US has a higher standard of living. (5 U.S. dollars translates to a lot more in a lot of countries). Also, I think that it’s hard to think that 100% of the profit can go directly to Uganda because of the costs of the materials they are using to spread the word as well as paying the people involved in the organization (they have to make a living themselves somehow too) and also money that is being used to lobby to U.S. political figures.
I’m not saying to disregard the other side. But I think it’s also important to note that the other side may carry biases in itself too. Just because it’s refuting the first, doesn’t mean that it carries 100% objective comments.
And at it’s very core, I think Kony 2012 is successful in that it is raising awareness of injustices outside of the U.S. I think the quote that stuck out to me the most was “Where you live shouldn’t determine whether you live.” The fact that we are talking about this issue, AND ARE NOW INFORMED (Did you know about Koney three days ago?) in the first place, is a success.
IF this whole thing does turn out to be a scam, I think I can live with myself knowing that I gambled 30 dollars in the hopes of a better world.
Before you rant and rave about “Stop Kony”, actually study and understand what you are promoting. Of all the money that Invisible Children receives, 31% of it actually goes to the children of Uganda. The other 69% goes to campaigning, movie promotions, travel expenses, and personal profit. The Invisible Children producers and owners make 90,000 dollars annually from the profits that people graciously donate, while our own economy is struggling. That’s a large sum for a charity. The cause is fantastic. We should raise awareness and try to stop Kony for good. He is a horrible criminal and should be put to justice. But do not donate to Invisible Children. You are wasting your money.
Kony 2012: It's All About Oil (The JP Morgan-Tullow Oil-Invisible Children Connection)
I just came across the blog which makes a lot of the same points that I did in my last post, “Kony 2012: Oil, Lies, Profits, Propaganda”. Remember how I brought up Tullow Oil? The first comment on this blog makes an interesting point:
“What does Tullow Oil and KONY 2012 have in common in Uganda? Both backed by JP Morgan, which is not to say I condone Kony, but come on people, follow the money!! JP Morgan Chase gave $1 million to Invisible Children. JP morgan don’t give two shits about the kids, it’s about resources people oil, gold , hydro carbons.”
“ People share links to news articles. People share various things that come to their attention. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again.. No one pops out of their mom’s uterus with knowledge of the world. Some people are learning about this for the first time and they shouldn’t be given heat for wanting to help. It’s all about spreading awareness. It’s not about claiming the title of ‘humanitarian’ but rather having a heart at all. If people want to hit a share button, so what? If people want to help, I don’t see what the big deal is. Better to give attention to a contemporary issue than ignore it altogether.”- Girl i do not know on facebook
The Kony Scam?
It upsets me that all of you are reblogging this person saying the movement is a scam. A simple picture or someone uploading a PDF file is all it takes to persuade you? Instead of focusing on a scam that says you’re being ripped off, why don’t you go research the project. Or find other ways to contribute to the Kony project. Regardless of the money situation, there are kids out there that are being BRUTALLY abused and killed. Fuck your money. Half of you haven’t donated anything, so what all do you have to be pissed off about? Focus on what we can do to change what’s going on overseas. We can make a difference, but sweating over things that you don’t know the complete truth about isn’t going to get you anywhere. Let’s focus on what we can do, so we can try our best to make a difference.
A couple of days ago a documentary was posted on youtube entitled Kony 2012. Joseph Kony has had his face and name plastered all over every website since then. For those who don’t know, this motherfucker says he is filled with the holy spirit so he runs around Africa stealing children to make them fight for him. But at least he gives them a cross with holy oil on it, so that’s good, because as we all know God beats bullets. My question is why has this only been big in the media for two days when this guy has been kidnapping, killing, raping and plundering since 1986? I say follow the money. He has been marketed better than fucking Justin Bieber. Every website I go to is flooded with people talking about making him famous as a movement to stop him, and stupid bullshit Facebook groups like “wear red to stop Kony” are popping up. How the fuck is wearing a red shirt going to stop this guy? Like Kony is going to have some sort of epiphany and cut this shit out because some people on the internet decide to color coordinate. But anyways, I would bet that this Invisible Children non-profit organization isn’t as non-profit as they seem to be. I’m all for raising awareness because what he is doing really is awful, but something about the organization doesn’t sit right with me. I guess I just get suspicious when a non-profit organization is selling more graphic tees than Hot Topic.