The Kony videos, especially the first one, provide a very simplistic narrative about a complex situation and offers a feel good solution that at the end of the day does nothing on the ground.
I’ve reported on Kony for a few years now, and what always disturbs me is speaking to the victims. It’s incredibly sad and most of them are very traumatized. Some of them, it should be said, have been brutalized not just by the LRA but by the armies of DRC, Sudan, and Uganda as well, so they’ve been doubly or triply victimized. They have awful stories of having to kill people by force, or be killed, of witnessing rapes, mutilations, beatings, torture. etc. And hearing small children say these things is always very disturbing.
Frontpage: Tuesday, April 17th
- U.K. Nabs Terror Funder: British authorities arrested Abu Qatada, who allegedly raised money for terrorist groups and inspired a 9/11 hijacker.
- Billionaires Rally to Romney: After an expensive primary spent backing dark-horse candidates like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, the super PAC billionaires still have money to burn, and they’re spending it on Mitt Romney and the GOP establishment.
- Breivik Takes Stand in Trial: Anders Behring Breivik, the man accused of massacring 77 people, mostly teens, in Norway, took the stand to boast of his attack. “I have carried out the most spectacular and sophisticated attack on Europe since World War II,” Breivik told the court. “These acts are based on goodness, not evil.”
- Santorum Won’t Endorse Mitt Yet: Just because Rick Santorum is out of the presidential primary race, doesn’t mean he’s going to automatically endorse the presumptive Republican nominee. Monday evening the former Pennsylvania senator declined the opportunity to endorse Mitt Romney and to urge his supporters to vote one way or another. “As far as you vote, that’s up to you,” he said during a conference call.
- Up to 20 Secret Service Implicated: Investigators said on Tuesday that up to 20 Secret Service agents may be involved in misconduct during President Obama’s trip to Colombia—and at least two are senior officials. Eleven Secret Service agents have already been put on leave after allegations that the president’s elite security detail had entertained prostitutes.
Photo: The hunt for Joseph Kony— Thirty-two UPDF soldiers travel through the Vovodo River in the Central African Republic searching for any sign of the LRA. Earlier this year, a different UPDF squad had killed an LRA soldier and captured another in the area. More photos from the hunt for Kony. (Trevor Snapp / Pulitzer Center for Newsweek)
But here’s where my cynicism has since given way to some awe: the ploy worked. Call them “slacktivists” all you want, rip on all those people who made #stopkony trend on Twitter, lambaste them for not really knowing a thing about what’s happening in Uganda. But they really did accomplish something. They got Congress to pass a joint resolution condemning Kony, and a few days after that, they got the African Union to agree to send in 5,000 troops to hunt for the guy.