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The Internet, Joseph Kony, and Invisible Children


Off-Topic Discussions

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Andoran

Today tumblr* exploded with reblogs concerning Joseph Kony, his Lord's Resistance Front, and an organisation known as Invisible Children. Most of them featured a video compiled by members of Invisible Children.

When I watched the video, I tried to suppress my scepticism. A national movement is based in optimism, not pessimism. I boosted the message on all the hella platforms I'm linked the f*!# into.

Anyway, thoughts?

here are some links I found

I'm quite surprised there aren't any threads about this yet.

*and some other things I don't care about


I have very little to say on this subject!

The world's a f#!@ed-up place...

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The Ugandan gov't is just as evil.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I was totally with the video until about the 18 minute mark. I thought it was great at first; a guy who didnt like what was going on in a far-away country and organized a group of people who VOLUNTARILY gave of their time, effort, and money to rid the world of an evil vile scumbag P.O.S. However, after that point, the video switches to pressuring lawmakers into entering OTHER people's time, effort, money, and kids into an armed conflict in which we have no stake. Chalk one up for more illegal foreign involvement! a relevent article that I found

Qadira

My son posted that link on his FB page.


TheWhiteknife wrote:

I was totally with the video until about the 18 minute mark. I thought it was great at first; a guy who didnt like what was going on in a far-away country and organized a group of people who VOLUNTARILY gave of their time, effort, and money to rid the world of an evil vile scumbag P.O.S. However, after that point, the video switches to pressuring lawmakers into entering OTHER people's time, effort, money, and kids into an armed conflict in which we have no stake. Chalk one up for more illegal foreign involvement! a relevent article that I found

I think the link you posted posits an argument based on perfectionist fallacy. Since basically all military is bad and corrupt and does horrible things, especially in this region of Africa, no one should support efforts to stop a despicable warlord? I mean...lolwut?

I mean look, s#&& is complicated and no one is denying it, least of all the filmmaker. However, the film and the organization in question are basically saying that "it's complicated" isn't a good enough excuse to do nothing. You have to start somewhere.

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.

And so we start as soon as we find oil there, oh wait.


Communist propaganda alert


meatrace wrote:
TheWhiteknife wrote:

I was totally with the video until about the 18 minute mark. I thought it was great at first; a guy who didnt like what was going on in a far-away country and organized a group of people who VOLUNTARILY gave of their time, effort, and money to rid the world of an evil vile scumbag P.O.S. However, after that point, the video switches to pressuring lawmakers into entering OTHER people's time, effort, money, and kids into an armed conflict in which we have no stake. Chalk one up for more illegal foreign involvement! a relevent article that I found

I think the link you posted posits an argument based on perfectionist fallacy. Since basically all military is bad and corrupt and does horrible things, especially in this region of Africa, no one should support efforts to stop a despicable warlord? I mean...lolwut?

I mean look, s#~# is complicated and no one is denying it, least of all the filmmaker. However, the film and the organization in question are basically saying that "it's complicated" isn't a good enough excuse to do nothing. You have to start somewhere.

I agree with you 100%. If YOU want to support the the end of Kony's reign terror, that's great. Kony is scum and a bad bad man. However, I do not agree with FORCING others to support this by sending their money/children to be thrown away on another absolutely-nothing-to-do-with-national-defense war.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Gark the Goblin wrote:

I'm quite surprised there aren't any threads about this yet.

Well I for one am not interested in this sort of thing, so I won't waste my time watching such a video. Reading forums for hours on the other hand.... :-)

Andoran

The Ugandan government forces aren't much better. And the LRF's an organization with history (and a lot of members with nowhere else to go) at this point, so killing the leader likely won't cause it's sudden collapse, or an end to its recruitment tactics.

Kony is evil, and killing him would be a just act, but likely not a very useful one, all things considered. And thus probably not one the US government should get too involved in, though I gues we could put some kind of large bounty on him or something.

If you really want to make things better for people in Africa, donating money, time, or effort to disease prevention and treatment is a much better way to direct your energies.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Both sides are bad huh?

People do realize we already have troops involved with this right? Also this is a multinational effort in Africa to find and dispose of this guy.

Ending Kony will give Uganda less room to maneuver on their own human rights abuses.

You don't win this sort of battle by trying to take them all out at once, you get what you can and try to lead the rest to better choices.

Getting rid of Kony is a good thing, and should be supported. It involves us the same way that it involves every human being, we should not be indifferent to our brothers' plight.

As to not 'forcing others to get involved' -- I'm sorry that's the way democracy works. Sometimes I get forced to do something I don't want, sometimes you do. We vote (or have our representatives vote) and go with what passes -- I believe the line used all the time when I didn't want to see us going into Iraq is, "If you don't like it leave!"


If it's our job to get rid of every bad person on Earth, we have our work cut out for us. People -- even mean people -- reproduce faster than we can possibly kill them off, short of just nuking the entire planet. At some point we need to stop intervening against every dictator on Earth, until one of them actually becomes a direct and verifiable threat to us.


I'm on the fence about this whole thing.

I mean, I feel personally convicted about this issue from a humanitarian standpoint, so I can't help but want to support it. Yes, I agree that is is a limited (and potentially naive) view of the bigger problem, but it is a problem that I believe needs to be fixed. This is a man victimizing children and families who obviously can't protect themselves. Will eliminating him fix the problem? Probably not, but it will send a message to the people who would fill that void. That in itself is worth the effort, I would think. And just because we can't fix the whole problem doesn't mean we shouldn't' at least start with the smaller problems, right?

But the question of the government's appropriate role is a valid one. What is the role of the government in general? Is it to protect its people? Or to protect it's people's interests?

If the former, then involving ourselves in every foreign affair (regardless of how tragic) is a self-destructive position. If the latter, then the government should step in and act on what this much of the populace proves is worth stepping into.

I came to these boards to laugh, people… TO LAUGH! Not to have to wrap my brain around this heaviness.

My tiny green communist friend knows what I'm talking about.


I was under the impression Kony hadn't done much sense 2004 and that no one knows where he is.


cranewings wrote:
I was under the impression Kony hadn't done much sense 2004 and that no one knows where he is.

Kind of -- we do have a general sense of where he is -- however he's still got a lot of armed thugs running around in a rather remote corner of the world (so to speak).

To build to scale it's like saying we don't know where the guy that took the people in a house hostage -- we know he's in the house, and we know some parts of the house he's not in, but we don't have an exact location and can't simply through a bunch of people in the area until he turns up since he and his will shoot them on sight.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Me personally, I feel the same as I do about Saddam.

Why stop at one?

If you are not willing to commit to hunt down every war criminal, dictator, murderer, etc. then you should not support the hunting of this one.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
TriOmegaZero wrote:

Me personally, I feel the same as I do about Saddam.

Why stop at one?

If you are not willing to commit to hunt down every war criminal, dictator, murderer, etc. then you should not support the hunting of this one.

Is that like giving up on a diet because you got some chocolate in your mouth? We aren't capable of killing every dictator and jerk-off in the world anymore than the Byzantine Empire could retake the Mediterranean, but we are capable of cherry picking easy and helpful fights (Lybia).


I have to agree that TriOmegaZero's stance seems like a defeatist attitude. Sometimes making a dent is worthwhile.

Andoran

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

It's defeatist to say 'never stop fighting evil' Eben?

cranewings wrote:
Is that like giving up on a diet because you got some chocolate in your mouth? We aren't capable of killing every dictator and jerk-off in the world anymore than the Byzantine Empire could retake the Mediterranean, but we are capable of cherry picking easy and helpful fights (Lybia).

More like not quitting the diet one month in just because the life change is hard or inconvenient.

To me, you sound like someone wanting to go after the low-hanging fruit, wanting the fight against evil to never require personal sacrifice, and willing to lay down the sword when victory isn't assured.

I'm conversant with the arguments for and against. I've been living the consequences of our choices since 2002. I just feel differently than you do.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
It's defeatist to say 'never stop fighting evil' Eben?

Ah, I see I misread what you wrote. I thought you were saying this isn't worth-while because it doesn't target EVERY bad guy out there. Kind of a "why even do it if you're not going to do it to everyone?" thing.

You're instead saying, "I don't like that video/movement because it's too narrowly-focused"?

And a follow-up question. You said, "I've been living the consequences of our choices since 2002. I just feel differently than you do."

Are you in the military? And if so, do you think this initiative is bad, or just that people don't have the proper perspective to make an informed choice (given that we don't have "skin in the game", so to speak)?

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

More that if/when they succeed, they'll all go home and forget about the rest of the world again.

Edit: Yes, I am in the military, and was prior to 9/11. I support the initiative (skeptical as I am of its effectiveness) but wonder if those behind it have the resolve to stand against all evil rather than 'easy targets'.


Ah, that answers the question I edited in after the fact.


Tri, my apologies, I read into your post wrong as well.

I am a fan of low hanging fruit. It should all get picked before it rots.


As for personal sacrifice, for me there won't be any. I've never served. So far, ALL of my friends that have been deployed or joined up have always come back. None of my family has served sense world war 2. I doubt I'd get taken even if there was a draft. They would take one look at my flat feet, wrist injury and history of back injury and tell me no thanks. Through both wars, the only thing I have personally sacrificed was some of the value of my dollar. I've never even been unemployed.

So when I talk about war, I'm fairly conservative with what I will support because it isn't my butt on the line. Asking our people to go and die for their people is bullcrap if their people aren't doing most of the fighting.


We have all of about a hundred troops in right now (that I'm aware of/officially) that are from my understanding mostly providing technical and logistical support/ training so the African forces can do this themselves in the future without our help.

It's the whole give a man a fish/ teach a man to fish thing. Which I think is about the best way we can really go about this. We can't be everywhere at once, and we really don't want to have to be. However if we can help educate, elevate, and improve our fellow man I am all for it.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
cranewings wrote:
I am a fan of low hanging fruit. It should all get picked before it rots.

Word. :)


First let me say thanks. I don't know enough serviceman… a personal failing of mine, i know. :)

I appreciate your candor here. For transparency, I'm probably one of those sheltered people who don't have the world awareness to realize the naivety of my own perspectives. I hope this is one step on the road to changing that.

At first I was shocked by how much negative reactions this whole Kony 2012 movement has gotten. More and more I'm realizing that not much of that push-back is actually attacking the effort itself; more like people who believe in this "bigger picture" mentality, and think the Kony thing is -- as you said -- too much grabbing low-hanging fruit.

I think you're generally right but am hoping (praying) that you're wrong. I want to believe that everyone behind Invisible Children, all of America, and myself have what it takes to continue the fight should this one initiative come to fruition. (Again the question of 'what's the government's role in that' comes up, but that's a separate issue for our purposes.)

I don' know.. at this point I'm afraid I'm rambling. In the end, I think it's a good cause, and I hope this initiative doesn't just stop if it's successful. But even if it doesn't, at least we've made a dent. And hopefully raised a few peoples awareness.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I would love to be proven wrong, and I agree that the negative reaction is sad. My reaction isn't meant to be negative, just reserved.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What is the definition of "dent" in this instance? Anything involving the military is not small, but rather a sizable undertaking. If the effort is going to go so far as to involve the military, then we can't just mess around with doing so. It's the half-hearted use of our military that has brought us to where we are now, with the nation decidedly weary of the whole thing because no matter what we do, it never brings about any long lasting good results. The US military has been playing at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, but those we face do not. I say 'play' because we are never allowed to go in and fight at our fullest capacity. Any attempt at doing so ends up being hamstrung by politicians who don't know squat about what it takes to run a proper military campaign. And when things go bad as a result of political meddling, then we should pack up our forces and leave because we didn't get the job done like the politicians wanted.

TriOmegaZero, I understand your feelings all too well.


I specifically meant that the effort to remove Kony (if successful) would be making a dent in the large amount of evil in the world.

I wasn't specifically talking about the role of the military involvement. I think i've proven I'm no authority on military efforts, involvement, or anything related.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I always seem to take too long at editing my posts to provide a proper response. It would seem that you've already clarified your position, which I fully support.


Yah, I really wish I could have this conversation with you guys face to face. So much is lost when we only have this window to type through.

Plus, Tri seems to be a guy who'd be good to have a drink with, anyway.


You know I never understood what people have against low hanging fruit -- it doesn't taste any worse for being easy to pick.

It's like we got this funky idea somewhere that achieving something has no meaning if you don't suffer for it first. Life isn't like that -- somethings are of course worth suffering for, but if you can achieve the same ends with little to no fuss then that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it that way.

It's like getting upset because the guy growing your food plowed his field with a tractor instead of a hand plow.


BUT THAT HAND-PLOWED S#+! IS JUST PLAIN BETTER!

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Not much of a drinker but I'd gladly buy you a soda at PaizoCon. :)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I pretty sure that he is. Sadly, I don't drink anymore (but when I did, it was mostly vodka for me). Traded it for smoking it seems (not that I mind but others might).

Edit: Guess not. My bad...

As for low hanging fruit... I've got nothing against it myself. It's just I've always found it more satisfying to do the hard thing before doing the easiest.


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If we are serious about cleaning the world of evil, I suggest we start with the following low-hanging fruit: Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, etc., etc., etc.

US, get your bloody hands off the world!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I was wondering when our socialist firebrand was going to appear.


We talking all politicians or just political celebrities?


We only know what the news agencies have shown us. Kony looks real bad. I'll also argue that entering a soveriegn (and resource rich) state with our military is real bad too.

Plenty of horrendous things are going on world wide. We only enter the situation when there is "interest" in it. The public isn't invited to know what causes this mysterious "interest" to occur.

Kony didn't get this way without serious help. What events/conditions led to this mayhem? Who is to gain from the situation long term?

We will be rid of Kony soon, but at what cost? Those children's future may be bought with total regime change.

Uganda has Uranium, Gold, oil, copper, tungsten, you name it.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

If we are serious about cleaning the world of evil, I suggest we start with the following low-hanging fruit: Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, etc., etc., etc.

US, get your bloody hands off the world!

Did you hear that Cheney is afraid to leave the USA to travel to Canada now? Here you go.

@ Suvious -- you are aware that we (The USA) have military personnel on the ground there already at the invitation of the government to help multiple African countries handle this problem right?

His path to power is pretty easy to follow -- weak and small ineffectual central government couldn't stop itself from being corrupt so he obtained arms (technically illegally) and got himself followers that were worse than the government then started kidnapping at gunpoint before using the kids he kidnapped as both soldiers and rewards for other kids he kidnapped.

I'm sorry but it doesn't require a government to be involved for bad people to become worse people.


Abraham spalding wrote:

Getting rid of Kony is a good thing, and should be supported. It involves us the same way that it involves every human being, we should not be indifferent to our brothers' plight.

As to not 'forcing others to get involved' -- I'm sorry that's the way democracy works. Sometimes I get forced to do something I don't want, sometimes you do. We vote (or have our representatives vote) and go with what passes -- I believe the line used all the time when I didn't want to see us going into Iraq is, "If you don't like it leave!"

Well then its a good thing that we are not a democracy, nor have we ever been, nor should we ever aspire to be. You, yourself, have illustrated it pretty aptly. Do you think the attitude you received for the Iraq war was correct, or did you think "Hey George Bush, if you want Saddam so bad, why dont YOU go get him, instead of dragging the whole country into it?" Just because one president decided to be an asshat and decided that the US should be the undeclared policeman of the world (Truman), doesnt mean that its ok for every president thereafter to do so.

Once again, giving of YOUR time, money, life to get Kony is a noble effort. Forcing others to do so, not so much so.


Abraham spalding wrote:
Did you hear that Cheney is afraid to leave the USA to travel to Canada now? Here you go.

Yes, I heard Comrade Hawkshaw left him a nasty message and now he can't go to Toronto. Hee hee!

(Actually, I don't recall if Comrade Hawkshaw lives in Toronto or not, but I hope so.)


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Communist propaganda alert

I'll just repost this here. The second section has the relevant background info to give you some idea of how foul the Museveni gov't is.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

If we are serious about cleaning the world of evil, I suggest we start with the following low-hanging fruit: Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, etc., etc., etc.

US, get your bloody hands off the world!

See also: my latest "Government folly" post.

Andoran

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Communist propaganda alert
I'll just repost this here. The second section has the relevant background info to give you some idea of how foul the Museveni gov't is.

I delivered him room service once.


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Well considering I'm putting my life on that line instead of just my time here is my answer:

We as a society decide things. People don't like them -- that's fine, they have a choice: Break the social contract, or bend to what has been decided. They don't have to break themselves, they can still argue against it and try to change minds -- but in the mean time they have to keep playing by the rules. What you are suggesting is that in the team sport that is governance that you should be allow to cry foul because you don't like the rules or results and basically take your ball and go home. It's intellectually dishonest and quite frankly childish in the extreme.

You have your right to that of course -- but don't expect me to give the position the time of day, because it doesn't deserve it.

What I like is that you play this off as unilateral action by the presidents -- which it isn't. They may have helped spread the word and influence us to these actions but that doesn't mean that as a country we shouldn't accept them. This has wide spread support in congress and has been a bipartisan (I would suggest non-partisan) issue that the people we elected to decide such things agree on. I happen to agree with them on this.

Now I didn't like us getting into the Iraq War. I didn't think there were WMDs there, and quite frankly I didn't think we needed to be there. But my side of the argument lost. I don't stop paying my taxes in an adult form of "Hold my breath until you give in" -- I pay and hope and wish for the best for those that are sent to it. Once we were there my position has been, "We broke it, we bought it." We have an obligation to the civilians and people of Iraq to stand by them until we have helped them repair what we broke.

Also we were asked to get involved. This wasn't the USA butting in, this was our allies asking us to help. Much like Libya we didn't just jump the shark -- it's funny to me that in situations where people ask us we (as a country) stall but when it's just us going it alone with little to no international support we are balls to the wall about it.

Again we were asked to get involved, by people that we want to influence into treating their own people better and by our allies (because it's the right thing to do). What do you do when a friend asks for help -- especially when that help isn't a battalion or a large chunk of change but instead simply a bit of technical expertise in locating the guy? You help.

Do you realize the sheer scope of getting Congo, the CAR, Uganda, and Sudan (who originally helped arm the LRA) to all agree and work together to take him down? And then they asked for our aid too -- not for us to do it for them, but for us to provide support. This is something that shouldn't be overlooked, if we want to continue to stand for the betterment of humanity. If that is a position we wish to stand for as a country then when we are asked to help stop atrocities we need to be ready to step up when asked -- as those are the easiest times to prove our position. Especially when they aren't asking for a lynching but instead for us to help turn him over to the Hague for his crimes.


Abraham spalding wrote:

Well considering I'm putting my life on that line instead of just my time here is my answer:

We as a society decide things. People don't like them -- that's fine, they have a choice: Break the social contract, or bend to what has been decided. They don't have to break themselves, they can still argue against it and try to change minds -- but in the mean time they have to keep playing by the rules. What you are suggesting is that in the team sport that is governance that you should be allow to cry foul because you don't like the rules or results and basically take your ball and go home. It's intellectually dishonest and quite frankly childish in the extreme.

You have your right to that of course -- but don't expect me to give the position the time of day, because it doesn't deserve it.

Please point out to me where I said that. You say I have the right to argue and try to change peoples minds. Im not even trying to do that. I say go for him. But forcing people to fight for causes that have nothing to do with them is not a good thing, IMO.

Quote:
What I like is that you play this off as unilateral action by the presidents -- which it isn't. They may have helped spread the word and influence us to these actions but that doesn't mean that as a country we shouldn't accept them. This has wide spread support in congress and has been a bipartisan (I would suggest non-partisan) issue that the people we elected to decide such things agree on. I happen to agree with them on this.

Please point out to me where Ive played this as a unilateral action by the President. Im well aware that wars are quite popular in our ruling class.

EDIT Ah, upon re-reading, i get where you got this from. I was ranting about the Iraq war with the truman etc reference.

Quote:
Again we were asked to get involved, by people that we want to influence into treating their own people better and by our allies (because it's the right thing to do). What do you do when a friend asks for help -- especially when that help isn't a battalion or a large chunk of change but instead simply a bit of technical expertise in locating the guy? You help.

Thats right, I help. What I dont do is hold a gun to a starngers head and force him to help and then act like I am the paragon of liberty and freedom.


A) Did Museveni tip well, Citizen HD?

B) What are you blathering on about, Citizen Spalding? Not so much the situation itself, but the stuff about taking your ball and going home, being intellectually dishonest and quite frankly childish? I mean, it would be one thing if Whiteknife was advocating tax resistance (which would be pretty cool, actually) or smashing imperialism (but, alas, I am the only who does that--Smash imperialism! Vive le Galt!) but since he isn't, what are you blathering about?

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