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Anorak | Kony continues to evads Internet and Kim Kardashian

Kony continues to evads Internet and Kim Kardashian

by | 14th, March 2012

KONY 2012: The premise for war can be simple: go after the bad guy who rapes and murders. It’s the explanation Tony Blair used to attack the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Serbs and Saddam Hussein. The message became mired in oil and politicking. But the bad man was dealt with by the good guys. Kony is a baddie.

Daniel Finkelstein writes in the Times:

The Kony 2012 campaign is easy to mock, but it shows that there is no longer such a thing as a faraway country

Are you an advocate of awesome? Kim Kardashian is. So is Oprah Winfrey. It’s not too late for you to become one as well. Unfortunately, the action kits with everything you need to take part have sold out. But you can still buy “the ultimate accessory”, a double-sided bracelet, so durable you need never take it off. As soon as it arrives, you will be ready to intervene in the politics of Northern Uganda. A bargain for only $10.

Despite the serious subject matter it was hard, at moments during the film, to suppress laughter. I found a fake newspaper headline — “World agrees Kony is the Worst” — particularly amusing, the language of classroom spat applied to international affairs. Others shared this initial reaction. “Did the internet catch Joseph Kony yet?” tweeted the managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine at the weekend.

But:

Kony 2012 is, essentially, a “Start the War” march. Millions of idealists are gathered on the internet shouting “not in my name” at Joseph Kony and calling on America to send military advisers. Just advisers? That’s what John F. Kennedy sent to Vietnam.

Peter Foot:

Any single issue simplifies and by that fact alone risks making the problem worse.  But the alternative, something like the venerated but frequently ignored, hard to define ‘Comprehensive Approach’, lumps so many things together that movement on even one element is constrained by all the other problems that surround it.  Arms control experts have a better sense of this than the peacekeeping fraternity – what to include and what to leave out is their constant question.

Charlie Beckett:

 1. The campaign misrepresents reality – in other words, it distorts the truth for its own ends. Kony is not in Uganda. The issue is much more complicated and the use of American force may make it worse.

2. The campaign reinforces the idea that ‘the West’ (or just America really) must ‘save’ Africa where people are helpless victims of Evil Men

3. It is misguided – this is not a good target – there are worse current human rights offenders and he is a spent force

4. It will distract from real problems and disappoint people who have signed up. If it fails will people trust human rights campaigns in the future?

So. What to do? And who does it?

 



Posted: 14th, March 2012 | In: News Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink