By Josh Komis
The video that is taking the world by storm this month is not focused on a basketball slam-dunk, a child after his trip to the dentist, or a political debate.
The video is about a ruthless African warlord named Joseph Kony and the lives he has destroyed.
If you have not seen the video Kony 2012, it is certainly worth your time to view it.
A non-profit organization called Invisible Children Inc. produced the video to raise awareness about a serious problem in Uganda. In the words of the video’s filmmaker, Jason Russell, “this video is a social experiment.” The video was made to use social media as a venue to push government and social change. The video covers three key issues:
- Joseph Kony is a dangerous, international outlaw.
- Kony needs to be brought to justice.
- Viewers need to help the Ugandans and other hurting people affected by Kony’s regime.
I cannot possibly examine every objection in this article, but reading this CNN article will help you decide for yourself what Invisible Children is and is not.
Let me shed some light on the three points of the Kony video.
- It is an established fact that Joseph Kony is one of the most wanted criminals alive. He is number one on the list of men indicted on thirty-three counts of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court. Those of you who remember Muammar Gaddafi and his list of atrocities might like to know that Gaddafi only achieved number twenty-four on the ICC list. Osama Bin Laden only made it to number six. Kony easily made Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s top ten most wanted men. Forbes said this about Kony: “The head of the Lord's Resistance Army…Kony and his LRA have displaced 2 million people and have created the highest child abduction rate in the world. Kony has directed the abduction of 60,000, including 30,000 children, forcing them to fight in his campaign of murder, rape, mutilation and sexual slavery.” I am thankful for the video because prior to seeing it, I had no idea Joseph Kony existed. Did you? Just knowing what he has done and is capable of doing has made this video a positive for me.
- The world has done very little to track down Kony. So far only a radio station owned by Invisible Children appears to keep tabs on him. The U.S. sent one hundred advisors to help the Ugandan army, but they did little to arrest Kony. At best they pushed him into other countries to continue his crimes against humanity. A coalition of the world’s military forces needs to arrest Kony and bring him before the ICC. When he has been convicted and punished, other terrorists will see the inevitable consequences for such actions.
- Regardless about how one feels about “policing the world,” we should agree that countries hurt by terrorist organizations need our help. Many regimes have wreaked havoc on the lives of children, families, and the structure of several countries in Central Africa. Orphanages, schools, and hospitals are all needed in these ravaged areas. Research and find organizations you could support with your time and with your money.
This shows me that little or nothing was done fifteen years ago to fight Kony when he was most dangerous. Should we forgive this man his crimes simply because his most villainous hour is over? America and other world forces clearly opposed that idea in our hunt for Osama bin Laden. Why should Kony be any different?
CNN’s Christiane Amanpour calls the video a “Net positive. What's really important is that [the film] will not just sensitize people about war criminals like Kony, but try to get society onboard to pressure their government to do something about these atrocities."
Thank you, Christiane and Invisible Children, we can take it from here.