Kony 2012: Pushing for more African imperialism under the guise of humanitarianism
The Kony2012 film- from the producers of Invisible Children - is already spurring on the internet with over 30 million views. The film makers main objective is an international effort for the arrest of Joseph Kony and the disarmament of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).
The tragedy in Uganda is no doubt a massive human rights issue yet films like these and other movements to stop the LRA have one big problem. They fail to mention the real reason for the major displacement and genocide in the region. The forced relocation of thousands of people into refugee concentration camps was actually carried out by the US backed dictator, Yoweri Museveni, in the guise of protecting the people from the LRA and Kony. Relocating people into refugee concentration camps also allowed Museveni to gain control of major resource rich locations that will ultimately be plundered by his Western backers. According to the World Health Organization these refugee camps are responsible for around 1,000 deaths a month because of neglect (lack of medical facilities; lack of adequate food; dehydration, and; lack of sanitation and toilet facilities). For the 20 years they have been operating, that number far outweighs the crimes of Kony at around 500,000 deaths. The camps are also plagued with poverty, rapes and gang figthing. We are witnessing a slow motion genocide being perpetrated by the West, yet being blamed soley by Kony.
Museveni's western backing has dramatically increased in the last several years receiving $431.2 million in US aid in 2008, $416.9 million in 2009; $456.8 million in 2010 and in 2011, a total of $480.3 million. He is also backed by the Pentagon and the CIA in military operations in the region. Furthermore he receives international support from IMF and World Bank loans. With all of this Western funding it now becomes obvious where this Kony2012 movement is coming from, and it will only serve to strengthen continuity of the Museveni's puppet government and give more control of the resource abundant region to western imperialists.
By no means does this mean Joseph Kony is a good guy. Kony and the LRA have added to the horrific strife in the region, but the fact that the West has used his crimes as an excuse to commit a massive genocide over the span of 20 years in order to gain control of Uganda's resources, discredits the entire film. The producers of the film only offer a solution that will lead to more African Imperialism and military intervention by Western powers. In fact, there is a clip in the film showing hardcore neo-conservative James Inhofe calling for military intervention which normally would appall most Liberals.
The United States is in no position to act as a moral authority after supporting dictators in the Congo for decades, such as Museveni and Kagame (perpetrator of the Rwanda genocide). In order to free Uganda from this peril we should not support more intervention, which has already produced this mass genocide in the first place, but demand we stop funding and supporting dictators in Africa!
The several articles below document the real Uganda genocide:
Northern Uganda Indigenous Land Evictions by Museveni_Mahdvani
Last October, President Obama sent 100 Special Operations Forces into Uganda's northern region to, he said, help the Ugandan Army protect the people by hunting down Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, commonly known by its acronym, the LRA. Now, however, many Acholi and other indigenous people of Northern Uganda say that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's attempt to evict them from their land is what really threatens their survival. KPFA's Ann Garrison has the story.
KPFA/Ann Garrison: On February 12th, Ugandan American Black Star News Editor Milton Allimadi published "Uganda: Museveni's and Madhvani Group's Acholi Land Grab Would Amount to Second Genocide." A vicious land grab, Allimadi wrote, is being carried out in Uganda, pairing the country's dictator with an "investor," and the targets are the Acholi, genocide survivors who live in the northern part of the East African country, on abundant, fertile and mineral-rich land. During Museveni's 26-year rule, since 1986, his army drove 90% of the Acholi people into refugee camps, where many died of starvation or disease, or committed suicide, though Museveni justified the refugee camps by claiming that he was protecting the Acholi people from the LRA.
Allimadi also cited documents attributed to President Museveni by American scholar Todd David Whitmore which show that he was all the while eyeing Acholi land for mechanized agriculture. In recent years, Allimadi wrote, the land contest has intensified, as rich oil fields have been discovered in the region.
One member of a Northern Ugandan community which sustains itself by traditional, clan based agriculture said, in the video "Shooting Us All Down" made by the Kampala, Uganda-based Refugee Law Project, that many Northern Ugandans say they are ready to die to stop the land evictions:
Northern Ugandan Speaker in "Shooting Us All Down": Everywhere you go, you ask, talk about land. Aiyyiyi . . . Don't take the only resource we have left. For land, I'm ready to die. I'm ready to shed blood.
KPFA: Milton Allimadi and others have said for several years that Museveni and the U.S. government are using the infamous LRA militia as an excuse to send in troops to secure oil and other resources in Uganda, Congo, and South Sudan.
"In 1971, there was a military coup in Uganda. The International Media called Idi Amin, the leader of the coup, 'a gentle and harmless giant' for about two years, when, in fact, Amin's reign of murder and terror began on the first day of the coup. The international community and the Human Rights Organization took the cue from the media and, with the exception of Tanzania and Zambia, also saw nothing wrong with Amin's murder and terror. Amin's crimes were therefore effectively concealed for two years. Today, Uganda, under Museveni's militarist regime, has had a state of genocide since 1986. However, Africa and the rest of the world speak a language which Ugandans, who have been and are in the throes of massacres, find it difficult to accept as human language; the language which cleanses Museveni and his militarist regime. The objectives of these Notes are to place on record the evidence of the concealment of the genocide by the international community, media and Human Rights Organizations."
These words were written by Milton Apollo Obote, Uganda's first post-colonial leader, a nationalist and Pan-Africanist. They are the introductory sentences in his magnum opus, "Notes on The Concealment of Genocide in Uganda." Obote was overthrown by Amin in 1971. He was returned to power in 1980 after disputed elections; he was again overtthrown in 1985. He wrote "The Concealment," while exiled in Zambia, where he died.
Obote's opus is at once a lament --after all his army drove him out, partly after tiring of fighting Museveni's guerrillas-- and also a monumental documentary brief and indictment, complete with exhaustive sourcing, of the U.S.-backed and financed Museveni terror regime in Uganda. Obote shows, in "The Concealment," that Museveni has caused several times more deaths of Ugandans than Amin ever did. But whereas Amin was buffoonish and dared to insult and defy Western powers, Museveni has made himself beholden to Western governments and institutions like the World Bank, the IMF, the Pentagon and the CIA--and this has earned him protection of the Western media, including corrupt newspapers such as The New York Times and outlets such as the British government mouthpiece, the BBC.
Notwithstanding the fact that President Barack Obama delivered an eloquent and damning indictment of African dictators in August 2009 while in Accra, Ghana, the United States remains the main sponsor of the Ugandan despot, who has been in office for 25 years and is poised to again steal elections on February 18, unless the people this time let him know enough is enough, as civilians are now doing in Cairo, Egypt to another U.S.-sponsored despot.
For decades General Museveni has been falsely advertised as a "new breed of African leader"; when in fact, Ugandans, Rwandans, Sudanese, and Congolese know him to be the mass killer that he is. So how can a man be glorified in the West on the one hand while committing genocide against Africans at the same time? Obote's "The Concealment" offers many answers and is a worth read by any serious student of Africa and of Western hyprocrisy and duplicity.
"On 28th February, 1990, an academic from Oxford University and I exchanged views on some agonizing and distressing events which have been and are still the lot of Ugandans as well as on the attitude of the international community, media and the Human Rights Organizations. During our conversation, I learned of the International Symposium on Uganda due in May 1990, at Queen's University, Ontario, Canada, and that the sponsors were World University Services of Canada -Queens Local Committee. Ten days later, a Ugandan living in Zambia brought to me the Prospectus of the Symposium," Obote writes. "It is to be hoped that the organizers of the Symposium will succeed in their aim: 'The Search for Peace in Uganda' and that they would be able to confirm or reject, to quote the Prospectus, 'the myth that with the departure of Idi Amin and Milton Obote everything in Uganda is now fine.' The organizers have an uphill task: Africa and the entire International Community, since January 1986, have been saturated with propaganda, biased reportage, and down-right disregard of the facts of the situation in Museveni's militarist Uganda."
The same hyprocrisy that Obote exposed more than 20 years ago is exercised today. The United States, for example, still considers Museveni to be an "ally" --much in the same way as Egypt's Hosni Mubarak was praised until two weeks ago-- because he acts as an American proxy in Africa, by stationing troops in Somalia, to prop the U.S.-sponsored government there, which uses child soldiers to maintain power.
So what that in 2005 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found Museveni's troops liable for war crimes --massacres, mass rapes of men and women, pillage of Congo's wealth, and burning of people inside their homes-- in the Democratic Republic of Congo during Uganda's occupation of that country and awarded Congo $10 billion, not a dime of which has been paid? So what that the International Criminal Court (ICC) also then opened up an investigation of the same massacres--only to be stymied by the ICC's corrupt Prosecutor, the accused rapist of a South African journalist, Luis Moreno Ocampo?
Listen to Milton Obote: "The International Media and Human Rights Organizations such as Amnesty International, Minority Rights Group and International Alert have painted and continue to paint Museveni and his regime in glowing colors that to them there is no myth. According to them, Uganda, under Museveni, is rapidly recovering from the agonies of the past and there is much improvement. These Notes present the opposite view that Uganda, under Museveni's regime, is a Police State where:
Genocide has been and still reigns even as I write; Entire villages have been and continue to be destroyed by soldiers of the regime as legitimate and proper action against 'rebels'; Foodstuffs in the fields and in granaries in the so-called 'war-zones' have been and continue to be uprooted, burnt or destroyed allegedly to deny succor to 'rebels'; Water wells and boreholes in the 'war-zones' have been either poisoned or dismantled; The entire livestock in several Districts have been looted by the National Resistance Army (NRA), the soldiery of the Museveni regime; In the Districts of Gulu, Kitgum, Lira, Soroti, Kumi, a large part of Tororo and now Kasese - (population 2.8 million 1979 census) - where the NRA soldiers have wrought their greatest havoc, those not massacred, arrested or detained are forced by the soldiers to go to Concentration Camps where many die on various accounts of torture, and from lack of food, water, medication and protection against inclement weather; Women in the Concentration camps and in the 'war-zones' are at the mercy of the NRA soldiery to abuse as they fancy."
In fact, a 2005 survey by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that more than 1,000 innocent civilians were dying in Museveni's concentration camps, referenced in Obote's "The Concealment." That's the equivalent of 52,000 deaths per year under Museveni's slow motion genocide, or 520,000 over a 10-year period. The camps have existed for more than 20 years.
"Soldiers known to be infected with contagious diseases including the deadly HIV are posted to these Concentration camps where they are free to mix and abuse the female inmates," Obote writes. "The Concentration camps are in fact cauldrons of genocide where the vulnerable groups --the children, pregnant women and the elderly) are taken to die."
Later, the use of rapes as a weapon of mass infection, referenced by Obote in "The Concealment," resulted in the rapid spread of AIDS in the northern part of Uganda--even men were raped, which was previously unheard of in Uganda. When Museveni's troops occupied eastern Congo, reports also emerged that for the first time, men were also being raped. The Congolese men must have been perplexed; Ugandans who were infected with HIV/AIDS by Museveni's soldiers would have understood the objective.
"To dare to point out any shortcoming or crimes of the NRA is to 'criticize the NRA' and that in itself is a serious and greater crime than, say, if the NRA had buried people alive or herded them in houses and then burnt the houses which genocidal practices are quite common in the so-called war zones," Obote writes, referring to Museveni's army, the National Resistance Army, which has, since Obote's searing indictment in "The Concealment," been renamed the Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF). "The walls of protection which the international media and Human Rights Organizations have erected to protect the regime are such that Museveni, like the mythical James Bond, is thereby licensed to kill and to do whatever he likes with the lives of the citizens of Uganda."