“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.
Visible Children- Kony 2012 Viewed Critically
KONY 2012, Invisible Children’s Pro-AFRICOM and Museveni Propaganda
Aaron Klein: Why U.S. military in Uganda? Soros fingerprints all over it! Obama’s billionaire friend has interests in African country’s oil (written October 2011)
Guyism: That Kony 2012 viral video is a scam, FYI
The Kony 2012 Scam and Why You Should STOP Supporting Invisible Children
Oil Bribes Linked to Obama Man (more on the Soros-Obama connection to Ugandan oil)
BBC: Joseph Kony campaign under fire
Child Soldiers and Uganda in Newsweek