Russia: Pussy Riot

The 3 members of the feminist punk-rock band Pussy Riot have been found guilt of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, after being detained for months for their February 21 protest at the Christ the Savior Cathedral.

3 of 7 Female Members of Pussy Riot have Sparked International Controversy after Being Detained by Russian Authorities

Pussy Riot is a 7-member punk-rock band in Russia infamous for staging impromptu performances in public areas demonstrating their disdain for the return of a Stalin-esque era under Putin.  Most recently, the 7 members staged one such performance in the Christ the Savior Cathedral, criticizing the support Putin has received from the church.  The resulting crackdown by police forces after the video went viral represents that return of censorship and repression that has been installed under Putin.  The return of Putin has been marked by continuous protests and demonstrations against the militaristic, hard-lined conservative President notorious for his repressive handling of anything liberal.  So saying, the recent suppression of Pussy Riot serves as another illustration of the dictatorial nature of the President, marking a blow against freedom of expression and the return disproportionate punishment.  The 3 women that were detained for over 5 months have been convicted of charges of hate-motivated hooliganism and sentenced to 2 years in prison.  Moscow’s Khamonvinchsky District Court found 22-year-old Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23-year-old Maria Alyokhina, and 30-year-old Yekaterina Samutsevish guilty on charges of hooliganism committed by a groups of persons motivated by religious hatred, under article 213, part 2 of Russia’ criminal code.  Despite the reported ruling for anti-religion, the group’s activism was aimed at criticizing the politics of the Church and the support it has for Putin.  The claims of religious hatred are fraudulent and mark the corruption of the justice system instituted in Russia, thus signifying the emerging conservative state based upon vague laws and bureaucracy used to control the citizens.  Not only was the verdict unjust and unfounded, but the proceedings of the trial were shameful and dishonest, shaking the belief of any Russians that were still optimistically in support of the faux democracy under Putin.  The judge rejected the defense and refused to hear reports from several witnesses who were in support of the band members, firmly denying all accounts of political activism and focusing solely on the religious aspect of the band’s ‘punk prayer’.  So saying, the trial of Pussy Riot has gained international attention, resulting in a sensationalist fervor in international media that has proliferated the reports of harsh treatment and possible torture while in police custody.  Evidently, the personal vendetta of Putin against the protest movement has resulted in the disproportionate punishment levied against the members of the band, turning the protest into a much more accredited symbolic movement that has gained international support and thus renewed attention on the practices of Putin’s theological rubber-stamping repressive regime.

“It’s clear in this case that the women’s aim was to make a political statement, and it’s also clear that some found their actions offensive.  But there is still a long way to go between an offensive political statement and a hate crime.” – Hugh Williamson, Human Rights Director of Europe and Central Asia division

The trial of Pussy Riot, at first a propaganda show by Putin to discourage further protests by crucifying the members as feminist hooligans of questionable morality, an erroneous judgement based upon their ‘unethical’ attack on religious values; the trial has spun chaotically into an international media fervor in which corruption and repression have become defining headlines for Putin’s return.  The media has seized upon the offences of the regime, intensifying the diplomatic pressure on Putin for the unjust ruling and punishments.  Reports being proliferated throughout the Western world allege that the band members have been forced to sit in cages for 5 days, some days for 10 hours at a time, being denied food and adequate sleep.  The regime has attempted to exhaust the members in order to extinguish their revolutionary fires, fires that have spread throughout the Russian and international public encouraging uproar and condemnation for such human rights violations.  Nevertheless, as the solidarity of the Western masses begin to coalesce into clusters of sensationalist supporters, the severity of the situation is being muddled in the new form of pop culture activism which, despite resonating enthusiasm, is short-lived and quickly turned into a celebration of issues not at central to the real problem being debated.  This is later turned into an exploit of commercialism that ends in the decay of the movement and the loss of a cause based on good intentions.  Pussy Riot embodies the questions about Russia’s degrading political freedoms and civil liberties,  a series of problems that have escalated under the iron fist of Putin’s powers.  In 2010, a Moscow district court found the co-organizers of a controversial art exhibit “Forbidden Art-2006”, at the Sakharov Museum in Moscow guilty of inciting religious hatred, which is considered an extremist offense, and fined them.  In June and July, in the midst of protests against Putin’s election, the newly formed loyalist parliament adopted a raft of laws putting new restrictions on certain nongovernmental organizations that receive foreign funding, on public demonstrations, and on the Internet.  During a winter peaceful opposition protest, authorities arrested demonstrators who were reportedly involved in a clash with police during the mass demonstration.  They were later charged with crimes disproportionate to their alleged actions.  Police have also conducted searches of the homes of opposition leaders that seemed intended to intimidate them.  Evidently, the intensified oppression of liberties and freedom marks the rise of the police state in Russia, centered around a cult of personality that resembles one of the Soviet era.  Putin’s use of force is not aimed at protecting public order and security, but instead, at setting boundaries for political criticism.

“The millions of dollars of taxpayer money spent in the last few years on fixing the image of our country abroad have been thrown to the wind.  Our image is getting closer to a medieval dictatorship, although in reality we are not that.” – Tina Kandelaki, prominent pro-Putin media personality

The controversy of Pussy Riot’s performances and messages have allowed for their trail and stance against political takeover to be heard across the world, constructing a solidarity movement of organizations and countries in support of the release of the female band members.  Nevertheless, the hype behind the members is being warped by popular culture.  Kony 2012 is a fit warning for the development of movements dedicated to representing and fighting for the just causes of Pussy Riot.  Kony 2012 brought to light a serious problem – warlords escaping justice in Central Africa – but it was turned into an exercise in commercialism, militarism, and Western meddling.  The intensity of the movement was rampant in the first few months but quickly died away as the message quickly became distorted by public mediums in charge of manipulating ideas and ideals to be readily consumed by the masses.  In Russia, Pussy Riot’s new found Western fans are taking the severity of the cause – fighting against political corruption and infringement on civil liberties and freedoms – and turning it into a celebration of feminist punk music and art.  The attention is being drawn from Putin and the hierarchy that is being installed.  For instance, whilst the Western sensationalist culture stars perpetuate the public fervor in directions other than political rights, there lacks any coverage of the much harsher sentences facing the not so famous and not-female co-protesters.  Along with Arytom Savylov, 12 other protesters have charged with calling for mass disorder and assaulting police officers.  Each of them could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.  This is not to say that there is special attention geared towards Pussy Riot because of their status as women, but their popularity in pop culture has allowed them to become figureheads for the media.  With respect, the media has allowed for the trial and unjust ruling to become a global phenomenon but it also results in a smokescreen for the more nefarious actions being committed but not reported.  The obsessive focus on these 3 women, not for their activism or political dissent, but for their status as female punk rockers, risks drawing attention away from other Russian activists or political prisoners and focusing it instead on the plight of all-women punk rock bands, which is decidedly less dire. Moreover, the message of Pussy Riot is about political action and refusing to stand by and allow for the Russia people to be, once again, enslaved by the President.  So saying, the members would not look favorably on the media distortion of the trial’s unjust ending and the manipulated focus on punk rock and popular items of culture that are not correlated to the activist call that they perpetuate. The consequences of the cultural focus also envelop the ability for Putin to manipulate the coverage by appearing lenient and forgiving towards the bands’ members (as has done by asking for lenient sentencing), while he deals in backrooms for harsher treatment of the other protesters (which was done and said above).

“It shows that the Russian authorities will stop at no end to suppress dissent and stifle civil society.  Each step in the case has been an affront to human rights.” – Michelle Ringuette, Amnesty International

In retrospect, the controversy surrounding Pussy Riot brings to light the re-emergence of the Soviet-era police state under former-KGB member, Vladimir Putin; yet, the overt attention of manipulated media has skewed international perspectives away from the general repression of the Russian people and more towards the popular culture item – a female punk rock band.  The development of cultural hype about the detention of these members is likely to converge with Kony 2012 in a cesspool of yet another failed international propaganda movement.  So saying, Putin has attempted to crucify the members in a general policy of ending future protests to his Soviet-esque power and though this has failed, Putin has succeeded in diverting attention away from the trials and tribulations of other political prisoners being tortured and sentenced to much harsher terms.  The Western world has hoped onto the bandwagon of Pussy Riot-related injustices because of their cultural significance as a punk rock band, their status as female punk-rockers and because of the provocative nature of the name, a multitude of selling points for the profit-seeking media networks.  It is this consequence of cultural hype that must be avoided so as to honor the purpose of Pussy Riot and the many other revolutionary persons in Russia that have braved the repression of Russian authorities to demonstrate the return of totalitarianism in Russia.   It is the mission and its objective of transparency in a faux democracy that should be celebrated in the Western lands, not the unjust sentence of a few female punk rockers.

Kony 2012: American Response Options (Part 3 of 3)

The YouTube sensation ‘Kony 2012’ has resonated throughout the global population, sensationalizing the actions of a relatively insignificant warlord in Sub-Saharan Africa and calling for American-UN military response, but there are no viable options open for American paramilitary operations in the region.

American Response Options in Africa are Slim to None

Despite widespread calls to action against Joseph Kony and allegories relating military options to landing a man on the moon, the organization known as Invisible Children fails to recognize the nigh impossible option for strategic counterinsurgency in Sub-Saharan Africa against the leader of the Lord’s Resistant Army.  Though his actions are horrific and demand attention, the short film has exaggerated the extent of his crimes and his strength.  If Joseph Kony were to be as strong as the video entails, commanding the attention of thousands of soldiers and enslaving thousands more as child soldiers and sex slaves, the US intelligence would then actually consider him a threat deserving of their attention.  As it stands currently, Joseph Kony stands with only a group of a few hundred guerrilla soldiers and only a few hundred child soldiers (though any number of child soldiers is evidently wrong); thus, his status as a threat to even the regions he currently raids is rather minimal.  Moreover, the video suggests that Joseph Kony still resides in Uganda and is their number one threat.  The LRA fled Uganda in 1985 after the military coup that saw the installation of Museveni, who then began to suppress opposition forces such as the LRA.  This being said, the LRA does continuously launch raids in lands ranging from southern Darfur to the northern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo but even the Uganda president does not consider Joseph Kony to be his number one threat or even a priority for the military.  Evidently, with no outside motivation or support, counterinsurgency against Kony is likely to be dead on arrival considering his lack of posing a real threat to the already divided and corrupt region.

“The organization behind Kony 2012 – Invisible Children Inc – is an extremely shady nonprofit that has been called ‘misleading, ‘naive’ and ‘dangerous’ by Yale professor Chris Blattman, and has been accused by Foreign Affairs of ‘manipulating facts for strategic purposes’.  They have also been criticized for refusing to provide information necessary to determine if Invisible Children meets the Bureau’s standard.” – KeepitTrill.com

The escalation of US engagement in Uganda, as well as media coverage, came about in Obama’s sudden announcement in October to deploy special forces unites to help Uganda military operations.  Obama’s statement did not publicize the fact that the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) has had an unspecified number of soldiers deployed in the area to assist the Ugandan army for years.  In late 2008, AFRICOM was even involved in a military push to take out the LRA once and for all.  Known as Operation Lighting Thunder, the military push ended in embarrassing failure as the LRA had vacated the region 72 hours prior to the arrival of the Ugandan troops, meanwhile the Congolese troops never even showed up at the Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Kony had been hiding.  Far from neutralizing the LRA, the operation prompted a strategically effective and ferocious response. In January and February 2009, the LRA abducted around 700 people, including an estimated 500 children and killed almost 1,000. All of this, and the plight of local populations, who are caught between a rebel group with nothing to lose and armies that have not prioritized civilian protection, has been mostly overlooked.  The reactions to Obama’s statement and the Kony 2012 video underscores how little Americans really know about US involvement in Uganda.

“Obama claimed that he decided to act because it ‘furthers US national security interests and foreign policy’.  Yet it is not entirely clear how that could be true, since Kony and the LRA have not targeted Americans or American interests and are not capable of overthrowing an allied government.” – Mareike Schomerus, Foreign Affairs Magazine.

During the past decade, US-based activists concerned about the LRA have successfully pressured the Bush and Obama administrations to take a side in the fight between the LRA and the Ugandan government.  In their campaigns, such organizations have manipulated facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders and emphasizing the LRA’s use of innocent children as soldiers, and portraying Kony, a vile man undoubtedly, as uniquely evil.  Nevertheless, they rarely refer to the Ugandan atrocities or those of Sudan’s People’s Liberation Army, such as attacks against civilians or looting of civilian homes and businesses, or the complicated regional politics fueling the conflict.  Many of the regions’ religious leaders openly oppose US engagement in the region and reports about growing fatigue within the Uganda army are not welcoming.  Of the more than 4,000 Ugandan troops that were originally sent to LRA-affected areas, less than 2,000 remain.  To just break even with those losses, Obama would have to send far more than the planned 100.  Any high expectations in Uganda for new US soldiers, meanwhile, can also be dashed as information from Washington has stated that the troops are to remain in Kambala and to give advice, rather than go into combat.

“Even if all these concerns could be set aside – assume, for a moment, that the military intelligence is good; the lessons of the past have been learned; mechanisms to protect the population will be put in place; the armies of Uganda, Congo and South Sudan are controlled; and the US special forces are able to find and kill Kony – would the effort bring peace? The answer is probably not.” – Tim Allen, Foreign Affairs magazine

Though Kony’s death would be welcomed at home and abroad, the mission would not be entirely satisfactory if troops killed him instead of bringing him to trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC).  Such problems have been seen in Libya where domestic forces killed Moammar Qaddafi before trial and are now calling for the death of his sons, despite ICC mandates for their arrest and trial.  This division is in Uganda too, as the international community wants to see justice be brought forth and not an executioner’s blade, as desired by the Ugandan government.  Beyond the details of dealing with Kony, the political challenges of the region are also simply too massive for Obama’s new operation to yield to fruition.  The violence in Uganda, Congo and South Sudan has been the most devastating in the world since the mid 1990s.  Some estimates have placed the death toll in the millions and the LRA is more so a symptom of this than a cause of the endemic violence.  If Kony is removed the LRA fighter will merely join another group or act independently.  Clearly, the options open to counteract Kony are few, if not entirely nonexistent, because of the wide range of obstacles that are inherent to the corrupt and impoverished region of Africa.

“According to local sources, the LRA has already announced that it is ready for a fight, and it said to have called on its members to gather and ‘celebrate’ Christmas and New Year’s – a reference to the string of retaliatory attacks it carried out on December 25, 2008 and in the days that followed.” – Koen Vlassenroot, Foreign Affairs magazine

In retrospect, until the underlying problem of the regions’ poor governance is adequately dealt with, there will be no sustainable peace.  Seriously addressing the suffering of central Africans would require the engagement of a much larger order and a huge deployment of peacekeeping troops with a clear legal mandate.  Such extensive and risky actions would not b supported by domestic forces at home and thus, with not political agenda serving as motivation, there is not reason for such US involvement.  The only source of reason for international involvement is the discovery of oil in Lake Albert, but even so, the risks far outweigh the gains.  It would require a long-term commitment and would be targeted not only at chasing the LRA.  Moreover, the deployment of such a force would need to emerge from concerted efforts of various international groups – including the African Union, the United Nations, the ICC, and governments in the region – not as knee-jerk reactions to media splashes.  If achieving stability and relative prosperity to the blighted region of Africa is the real objective, devoting efforts solely on the LRA will obviously not be anywhere near enough.

Kony 2012: Misleading? – Corporate Interests (Part 2 of 3)

The new viral sensation entitled ‘Kony 2012’ has beguiled the masses through its depiction of corrupt innocence, luring the sincerity of the masses into a campaign that may express elements of corporate duplicity.

Kony 2012 Could be Another Imperialist Search for Oil

The purpose of this post is not to claim the inherent deceitfulness of the seemingly sincere campaign being head by Jason Russell; rather, it is to impress upon the open-minded and skeptical the very real likelihood of corporate opportunism that could manipulate the charity into yet another example of american imposition of corporate interests abroad.  To begin, the sensation that is Kony 2012 has been propagated throughout every social media asset and has over 1 million pledges for its ‘Cover the Night’ event on April 20th.  The crimes and atrocities being committed in Sub-Saharan Africa are horrendous and dehumanizing, but the idea of forced intervention into foreign lands for ‘crimes against humanity’ is not isolated to this event.  The charity calls upon the people to encourage an action that can be defined as Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “White Man’s Burden”, in which it is suggested that the duty of the White people is to help rescue the savage peoples of the world from their un-Christian ways.  This theme was and still is a political phenomenon that influences foreign policy in lands that are now opposed to America because of the exploitation of its people and resources, as well as the destruction of their infrastructure that was left in the American wake.  Ranging from corporate sponsored CIA operations in Panama, Guatemala, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and Vietnam, there was has always been ulterior motives for invading these countries.  The Middle east is the most evident example of blind patriotism in which American lives have been lost for the purpose of securing oil in Iraq, opium in Afghanistan and the general Iran-Contra scandal was a blunt enough demonstration of the corruption behind the CIA.

“Invisible Children helps fund the Uganda People’s Defense Force, better known as the Ugandan army.  This force not only has an enlistment age of 13 (therefore making them a force who employs child soldiers), but has also been known to free children that Kony has kidnapped and in lieu of providing them with counseling and care, instead brainwash them to fight for their side.  This makes them no better than Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army.” – Brian Westrick, journalist for The North Wind

So saying, with a variety of examples depicting American mistakes in land abroad, the American people are tired of war, tired of death and tired of making enemies in other lands.  With a domestic agenda opposed to the utilization of force for the supposed interests of national security and defense, the leaders of the American government are realizing that the populace will not tolerate further imposition of corporate interests on their lives.  On that note, the national interest is heterogeneous in that it is dependent on the leader and groups that are in control at the time, leaving a strong subjective component in which any ambiguous statement of national interest will actually fit into the interests of some special interest group.  With that inherent support always available, with the press corpse and sensationalism of the media running the conveyor belt society along a predetermined path, a sudden resurgence of wakefulness to foreign events within the domestic populace will not frighten corporations away from pursuing their materialist nature in other lands.  Those who would kill for their power, would not hesitate before any option that offers the opportunity to expand their power farther and wider.  Yet, as said before, the wakefulness of the people does mark an obstacle in which the corporations of America must discover new tactics and strategies in which to deceive the masses.

“Obama claimed that he decided to act because it ‘furthers US national security interests and foreign policy’.  Yet it is not entirely clear how that could be true, since Kony and the LRA have not targeted Americans or American interests and are not capable of overthrowing an allied government.” – Mareike Schomerus, Foreign Affairs journalist

Blind passionate and unceasing support is their key to the tax dollars that fund their wars.  Evidently, the scenes being demonstrated in Kony 2012 demonstrate such passionate and devoted support.  The film is a call for an African invasion, using the cover of sincerity and humanity to secure their inspirational hold of the millions of people who have already signed onto the campaign.   If they were to have a military presence in Africa, such as the 100 Special Forces sent to Uganda as military advisers in October 2011, they would need the full support of the public.  With 80 million and counting, the video has truly demonstrated that the public-will is behind such militarily presence, ensuring that the possible ramifications are understood and tolerated by the public.  The people both in corporations and government know how to manipulate people in society to their liking, and having years of experience does nothing to limit their resources and cleverness in the endeavor.  Like the puppet masters they are, the elites are able to use tv, media and mass movements to play the people to the dance of their dominant global takeover.  The key to their manipulation is the information gap and elite consensus, in which the people use heuristics to learn of global events and the stance they should have.  With politicians and businessman of the world framing such news to their bias interpretation, they are able to frame the consensus for the rest of society to conform to.  Kony 2012.  The short film describes the horrors of Joseph Kony’s actions in Uganda, despite the fact that the LRA has not been in Uganda since they were forced to flee Museveni in 1985.  What has been in Uganda since 1985 and still is there, is oil.  Under Lake Albert there are reserves that some reports estimate to be larger than those in Saudi Arabia.  With China the special recipient of oil reserves from Ethiopia, Africa has now become a battlefield for the fiscal superpowers of the US China over the black gold of the world, the one resource that truly determines hegemony.  The US, long-standing ally of Uganda, will undoubtedly ensure that no corruption or exploitation of the oil comes to be, for the cheap price of most favored nation status in trade with Uganda for the majority of the oil reserves that are drilled.

“When the West and the corrupt interests that run this country say they want to invade an area to stop a human rights’ disaster, I have examples from just last year from the Ivory Cost of Africa.  , where the UN admits to having killed thousands of people to overthrow the elected government there in the Ivory Cost.” – Alex Jones, Nightly News

In retrospect, with enough money anything can be bought.  With enough people on board, everyone else will jump on board because they see everyone else doing it.  Like band-wagoning, the people begin to think alike and enter into what psychologists term as ‘group-think’.  As is oft said, the tinkerers of the world will sing the same tunes and march to the same beat, homogenized in their perceptions of the world.  Kony 2012 could become this corporate tool to deceive the people into fomenting militant action in Africa for the materialist purposes of America.

Kony 2012: Ranks of the Masses Rising (Part 1 of 3)

The Non-Governmental Organization known as Invisible Children has become a viral sensation, commanding the attention of more than 80 million people with the 30 minute short film entitled, ‘Kony 2012’, and have thus become the most viewed short film to be yet made.

Kony 2012 is a short film created by the Invisible Children Inc, intended to promote the charity’s ‘Stop Kony’ charity which aims to arrest the indicted Ugandan criminal on crimes of murder, child abduction, rape and crimes against humanity by December 2012.  Invisible Children first began its work in Uganda in 2005.  Based in Gulu, Invisible Children Uganda (ICU) began by working alongside local reformists and activists who identified the northern regions of Uganda as those in greatest need.  Relying on such guidance and expertise, ICU worked to develop programs on the ground.  The evolution of this movement into the stirring global campaign known as ‘Kony 2012’ is attributed to the emotional propaganda video retelling tales of the atrocities of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the personal experience of a Uganda dissident, Jacob.  The atrocities of the LRA span multiple countries, ranging from the lower Sudan to the northern most regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The events have been a global phenomena, fueling the masses with the need to cease the clearly horrific scenario that is unfolding in Sub-Saharan Africa.  The knee-jerk reaction of the American populace, though sincere, comes at the beck and call of the NGOs expertise of such promotional videos in which they have introduced the relationship that exists in Africa between the innocence of childhood and the cruelness of violence being forced upon them.  With such juxtaposed imagery of purity and youth intertwined with abuse, death and sex slaves, the masses of the world have risen to the occasion.  Blanketing the streets with posters and banners, the infamy of Kony rises and the masses stir the call to action and prepare for their launching night on April 20th.  On that night, the street teams of the Kony 2012 campaign will paint the towns and cities with pictures, banners and fliers of the detested warlord Kony and illustrate with persistence the overwhelming need for action.

“He was born into a pretty complicated world and as a dad, I want him to grow up in a better world than I did.  And because of the course of events of my life, I see a way to get there.” – Jason Russell, Kony 2012 creator and Invisible Children Co-Founder

With the call to action ringing across the world, Jason Russell has appealed to the masses through the social networking devices of modern media, mainstreaming a cause to which the people have now bonded with.  At the focus of this global campaign is the Lord’s Resistance Army and its warlord Joseph Kony.  The LRA came about in Uganda in 1985 when the government of Tito Okello was ousted by Yoweri Museveni.  Targeting the Acholi population, Yoweri Museveni used military forces to suppress opposition and ensure stability but among all the opposition forces, the LRA was the only one not silence.  Fleeing into neighboring countries like South Sudan and DRC, the LRA has been continuously on the run since 1985 despite various global operations to stop them.  Despite combined efforts of the Ugandan military, the USA and the EU, the guerrilla forces of the LRA remain about.  The LRA has received significant support from Sudan and because of its domestic expertise and guerrilla tactics, has been able to avoid large infantry movements of the Ugandan military.  Moreover, from the perspective of Joseph Kony, the use of ‘kid-soldiers’ is strategically smart because of their ability to hide and be overlooked in the forests of Africa.  The only operation to come close to capturing Kony was Operation Lightening Thunder in 2008 but the Ugandan military used noisy helicopters which allowed Kony to flee.  Coupled together with the fact that the infantry arrived 72 hours late and the Congolese troops didn’t even show, demonstrates the inability for operations to run effectively in the region.  So saying, without domestic agenda pushing for renewed actions, the LRA will be able to perpetuate its criminal actions without challenge.  Thankfully, the populace has awaken to the realization of their powers of accountability over political seat-holders and have begun to assert their influence as constituents, demanding that the Washington hacks rise up and truly enforce the previously illustrious words of  ‘freedom for all’.

“We worry the rebels, when they arrest us again, then they will kill us.  My brother tried to escape and then they killed him using the panga.  They cut his neck.  I saw” – Jacob, Ugandan dissident

Despite claims of sensationalism and falsehoods presented in the video, the point must be argued that no matter the extent of the atrocities being committed by Joseph Kony, any manner of such crimes are dehumanizing and should be held accountable for.  The LRA, though only around 200 strong, has forced around 800 children into the army and has forced an almost equal number of girls into becoming sex slaves.  The numbers are lower than many believe, but once again, the point stands that if such actions were to be perpetrated in a developed state, the perpetrators would be held accountable for those actions within short notice.  The information gap, the alienation of human cost because of the oceans and land masses that separate Sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of modernized society, has dehumanized the masses in the past to such events abroad.  Nevertheless, the hopes of this video and this organization are to change this trend and to mark a step in another direction, one aimed at bringing about a resurgence of global relations and connection between people around the world.  Targeting the culture stars and political officials, Invisible Children has illustrated the power of numbers, the realization that no one, be they Senators or CEOs, are anything without the support of the masses.  Because of the existence of such peoples’ movements, as well as those of the Arab Spring, Invisible Children has hopefully sparked a revolution of thought for global populations about the level of control and influence they can wield through numbers and congregations.  With the ranks of the masses rising, Kony 2012 could very well be a possibility under the right circumstances, but even if not, the significance of this ‘peaceful uprising’ (if it can be called so) should not be forgotten.

–>  Writer’s Note:

Though a rather optimistic fortune above, the reality of the situation may be harder to swallow for many, as the national interests of the American government (those of the corporations, more often than not) are not interlinked with the situation of Kony and his child-soldiering, though the Ugandan oil may be of interest to the imperialists among the group of corporate position holders.  So saying, 2 posts will follow on the Kony 2012 developments.  1 of which will be part of the Anti-Flag series and concentrate on corporate interests in the Kony 2012, more specifically the oil in Uganda.  The other will analyze the extent to which there is actually very little of substance that the US can do to interfere in the actions of the LRA.