The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

#Kony2012 Video Prompts Uganda to Vow ‘Dead or Alive’ Manhunt for Terrorist

Posted on | March 10, 2012 | 6 Comments

“Take a good look at this face. This is what unalloyed evil looks like. His name is Joseph Kony, and some news accounts call him a ‘leader’ of ‘Ugandan rebels.’ Don’t believe it.
“Kony is not a leader. He’s a terrorist monster, and his ‘rebels’ are nothing but a gang of armed thugs who prey on unarmed innocents.”

Robert Stacy McCain, March 4, 2008

It’s kind of weird how things come full-circle. Four years ago, I flew off to Uganda with the Christian missionary Pastor Sam Childers, whose book Another Man’s War inspired last year’s action movie Machine Gun Preacher. Pastor Sam, who rescued children orphaned in the brutal civil wars in northern Uganda and South Sudan, was at one point targeted for death by Joseph Kony’s terrorist LRA.

Now an online documentary, “Kony 2012,” has gotten more than 60 million views and attracted worldwide attention, prompting Ugandan officials to pledge renewed efforts to bring Kony to justice:

Kony and his fighters were driven out of northern Uganda in 2005 after terrorising communities for nearly two decades.
“All this hoopla about Kony and his murderous activities is good in a sense that it helps inform those who didn’t know the monster that Kony is. But of course, this is too late,” Uganda’s defence ministry spokesman Felix Kulayigye told Reuters.
“It might take long but we’ll catch Kony, dead or alive. How many years did it take to end the conflict in Northern Ireland? So our hunt for Kony can take long but it will end one day,” he said. . . .
Kony fled northern Uganda to roam the dense forests of Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and South Sudan. Attempts to corner him and his rump LRA force, believed to be 200-300 strong, have failed.

This highlights the problem: Kony and his remaining handful of LRA thugs are somewhere in a vast no-man’s land along the western and northern borders of Uganda. In December 2008, for example, there was a joint Ugandan-Congolese military raid on an LRA hideout in the Garamba National Forest, after which the LRA went on a rampage in Congo and then vanished somewhere near the South Sudanese border.

Finding Kony and bringing him to justice may be more difficult than the hunt for Osama bin Laden, which was the No. 1 objective of the United States government for 10 years before bin Laden was finally killed. Uganda, Congo and South Sudan are relatively poor countries without the vast military capabilities of the U.S.

Some people — including my American Spectator colleague Reid Smith — are therefore skeptical toward the idealistic belief that a viral video can bring about Kony’s capture. The video has become controversial, with some critics claiming it oversimplifies the situation and especially that its portrayal of Uganda is misleading:

“What that video says is totally wrong, and it can cause us more problems than help us,” said Dr Beatrice Mpora, director of Kairos, a community health organisation in Gulu, a town that was once the centre of the rebels’ activities.
There has not been a single soul from the LRA here since 2006. Now we have peace, people are back in their homes, they are planting their fields, they are starting their businesses. That is what people should help us with.”

This is true: The LRA has been chased out of Uganda, and while the Ugandan military is willing to be part of any effort to hunt down Kony, there are limits to its ability to accomplish this goal.

The U.S. has sent a small number of military advisers to assist, but do we really want to escalate U.S. involvement in the region? Or would these African nations, which achieved independence from European colonial powers barely a half-century ago, welcome a European-led military intervention? There are obvious political and diplomatic difficulties involved.

Nevertheless, having written a good deal about Kony and the LRA, I’m glad to see this issue get widespread public attention, even if the prospects of a quick resolution aren’t altogether encouraging. Alyssa Milano has been part of the effort to promote the “Kony 2012” video, and it was through a Tweet of hers Friday that I learned about this viral phenomenon:


6 Responses to “#Kony2012 Video Prompts Uganda to Vow ‘Dead or Alive’ Manhunt for Terrorist”

  1. Will
    March 10th, 2012 @ 2:13 am

    Why did I think he was waging war upon Muslims?

  2. CPAguy
    March 10th, 2012 @ 2:22 am

    FP has a great write up on this.

    Obviously, Uganda has bigger issues to worry about.

    However, KONY should be brought to justice (he is still up to his old tricks). Though it should also be remembered that the Ugandan President should meet that same justice.

  3. Adjoran
    March 10th, 2012 @ 3:15 am

    All of this is true – BUT the charity associated with the cause (and perhaps involved with this too, I don’t know) should raise a lot of red flags – last audit showed only 33% of the money they raise goes to the “end use” and the rest disappears in administrative costs.

  4. Wombat_socho
    March 10th, 2012 @ 7:02 am
  5. Pathfinder's wife
    March 10th, 2012 @ 9:07 am

    We probably shouldn’t get involved because Kony is evil, and the other options are hardly any better (the Ugandan military, the Congolese, the Sudanese…whoever steps into the LRA’s spot, and somebody will, is likely to do the same things).  What good is getting rid of an evil, bloodthirsty madman, by promoting another set of evil, bloodthirsty madmen?
    Time to let Africa try and fix Africa’s problems.

  6. Patrick of Atlantis
    March 10th, 2012 @ 11:41 am

    I do know about Kony. He’s a Mohammed like character. That is: a mass murderer, a mass rapist, a slaver, and a self-styled ‘prophet’ of sorts, a total scumbag to be concise. He is just like Mohammed in those ways and more than a billion Muslims believe that Mohammed is the perfect man, so what we propose to do to Kony we should also consider doing to Islam’s Imams and fervid adherents.
    I found it rather disturbing the way the film maker’s son was delivered into the world with the assistance of costumed hospital workers. Both of my grandmothers had a total of 22 children and they were all delivered at home without a doctor in attendance. And I assume they went through labor pains. The way the baby was delivered in the film seems so unnatural, a doped up mother in a room full of strangers. Good grief.