Wednesday, 7 March 2012

I want sources!

So there are moral arguments on both sides of the KONY 2012 debate. Let's look at the claims each side is making.

KONY 2012

First claim: Joseph Kony is responsible for war crimes against humanity, including murdering and raping civilians and brainwashing children into child soldiers for his army. No one seems to dispute this claim.

Second claim: Kony needs to be stopped by any means necessary, and the charity Invisible Children has this as their primary goal. Their methods seem to be primarily what's being disputed.

Third Claim: That if awareness leaves this issue, United States and other International support to catching Joseph Kony will cease.
Claims against Invisible Children:

First Claim: That they are not fiscally responsible and much of the money doesn't go to directly helping the children the charity is named after, instead a large amount goes to film production and transportation costs. On top of this, they have no internal auditing system like many 501(c) charities.

Second Claim: That they willfully misinterpret the facts to make their case against Joseph Kony and his army.

Third Claim: That Invisible Children gives money to the Ugandan military that is also responsible for civilian murders and rapes. So let's assume all of these are true. Then what we're talking about is a bloated and inefficient charity trying to raise awareness to fight a psychopath that brainwashes children, a consequence of which is slightly funding the Ugandan military that is also responsible for rape and murder.

To me, it seems that trying to catch an international war criminal like Joseph Kony gives your cause a lot of moral high ground. What is most unsettling is not how the charity spends its money, or that their manipulation of facts, but that they are militarized and willing to accept the lesser of two evils to stop the LRA.

I've done a fair bit of looking into it, and everything doesn't add up. Here's my findings and I have included sources. Will probably get down voted to hell but I hope to give at least one of you a better understanding of whats going on.

Theres ALWAYS two sides to every story. This viral film has caught the attention of heaps of young folk but you are all far too late. Watching that Kony video is essentially watching old news. They started filming in 2003, and northern Uganda has been free of LRA violence and war for over five years. In fact, the LRA have signed a peace accord! They are rebuilding and are restoring the peace.
Yes the leader is still out there however the recruitment of children has decreased 80%. This isn't due to the Invisible Children organisation, its because Ugandan military and the ICC have intercepted. The Invisible Children group are trying to pass a bill that allows America to militarise the region... They are providing misinformation to woo idealistic followers. The group have combined multiple regional conflicts to make it appear that this is one rapidly increasing issue. When confronted about their dodgy tactics, the head spokesperson stated;

“I agree with you that leading people to believe that the war is still happening in Uganda is not ethically right. It's something we've been addressing internally, focusing on getting all staff and supporters on the same page (of communication)." If you read the news, or even had an ounce of interest in the on-going unrest in Africa you would already know this and not be fooled. Yes, awful things happen to people in 3rd world countries but this has been occurring for centuries, it isn't a recent occurrence.

I think its only fair if I am to make such comments I provide sources (unlike the people over at Invisible Children...)

SOURCES: Michael Kirkpatrick, a long-time Independent Global Citizen, he has resided in Uganda and other regions of Africa. He has no political, religious or financial agenda. He wrote this article and gave an in-depth insight to whats really going on. He also questioned important members of Invisible Children about their motives. [1]

Charity Navigator is a website that breaks down the proceeds and donations given to Invisible Children and subsequently shows what percentile of that is REALLY going towards these impoverished kids. A measly slither of what is going into the founders pockets. [2]

I've read an interesting passage from Northern Ugandan man however it is not 100% verified - he has advised the Northern Ugandan parliament have listed IC as their main priority on their "fraudulent activity" list. (See 2nd comment, username Livingstone). [3]

THIS article asking Invisible Children why they were pressuring poor AND illegal piece of legislation has since been removed and deleted. [4]

ADDITIONALLY - There were members of Invisible Children were saying what their "allowance" could purchase them, it was on a forum on the official website, and this has also been REMOVED. [5]

Also: [6] I have a few more sources if anybody is looking for a specific answer, or where I got a certain fact, please just feel free to ask.

- Compiled by Eric Provencher

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