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Why you shouldn't help "make Kony famous":

This video has started going viral and, while the idea is nice, I can't help but be a little bit skeptical about the whole event. Most people who watch it will take it at what it says and nothing more. I, on the other hand, have been paying attention all along.

Uganda has just recently signed a deal with Tullow for a $10 BILLION investment into oil production. Uganda has oil reserves which have the capacity to produce 200,000 barrels of oil every day. (goo.gl/a7RwR) While, in a perfect world, these things would be completely unrelated, we do not live in a perfect world.

Children have been recruited to be soldiers in Uganda for years and years. This is no new phenomenon. This +TIME article from 2006 details some of the horrors that child soldiers face. (goo.gl/5bxE0) Six years ago, news was being published about these atrocities and yet only now, after the discovery that the country has massive oil reserves, can we be bothered to do something about it?

On top of this, Invisible Children has come under fire quite a few times for several different reasons, all of which are outlined by this Tumblr: (goo.gl/hO4DU)

Among them:
Last year, the organization spent $8,676,614. Only 32% went to direct services.

Photos can be seen of prominent organization members posing with leaders of groups like the ones they aim to shut down.

I do understand that this is a serious issue and something that should be solved, but Invisible Children and this mass media stunt are not the way to go about it. If you are so inclined to donate to the cause, I implore you, do it through Unicef instead. (goo.gl/mGfj5) Unicef is an all-around great organization and has been involved in this issue for quite a long time.
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Kimmy Owens's profile photoDavid Nicholl's profile photoShauna Myers's profile photoChris Lepore's profile photo
25 comments
 
I think that is a very interesting point with the oil. That was not something I had even thought about or had knowledge of. It is unfortunate that that could be why Obama bothered to allow 100 advisers into Uganda. I suppose everyone as ulterior motives.
 
It's also not new for African governments to make deals with oil companies and displace their own citizens for profit while polluting the environment. THAT said - how in the world can you compare this to little girls being made sex slaves and little boys being forced to kill their own parents and turned into soldiers???? Just because a problem isn't new doesn't negate that solutions should be found. Stopping Kony has nothing to do with supporting the Ugandan government and oil production. Yes, governments might make deals that tie purposes... it certainly is done with 90% of all bills that pass the US senate. But, to imply that a citizen of the world should turn a blind eye to atrocity... I am without words to express how obsurd & obscene it is. My only thought is that you are tryng to get attention via controversy.
 
Personally, us going into Uganda would be a god-send for the Ugandans. I am of mixed emotions about the whole thing.
 
+Arleen Boyd First point: I never made any comparison to sex slavery. Don't put words in my mouth.

Second point: While I agree, it shouldn't have anything to do with supporting oil production, the fact of the matter is: they probably have a relation.

Final point: I'm not saying that anyone should turn a blind eye to any atrocity, just that a cause that exists because there is possibly some reward is not much of a moral cause at all.
 
+Shauna Myers I am of the rather callous notion that wars are inherently immoral.There can't be morality with the systematic destruction of humanity. If there must be war, it should be either in defense (WW2, the Civil War) or to deter an enemy from getting larger, and not for moral crusades or quests. It was a moral, pointless crusade that got us into Vietnam. If killing the bad guy (Kaddaffi, as an example) also helps our economy, I will settle for imperfect morality, and a better economy. As I said, I am callous.
 
From the video it states that the gentleman who started the movement has been involved for 9 years. So before that TIME article was even published he has been trying to help those children. I don't think what he is trying to accomplish has any correlation to the oil. He needed help from important people & it took multiple efforts to get them to pay attention. One can not help if people get involved for the wrong reasons but I think what than man is trying to do is a great thing.
 
Added more information about Invisible Children to the original post. Realized that I hadn't included that portion of the debate
 
+Shauna Myers I never put words in your mouth. Your title is about making a case to NOT make Kony famous. If you understand that the whole purpose in making him famous is to stop him from abducting and enslaving children... So, by promoting that people should not support this fight to stop him from doing those things... I recognize that there are always trade offs when it involves governments. Yet, when one understands the level of atrocities going on there... I would even be willing to put up with a little back door dealing with oil companies to save the TENS OF THOUSANDS of children! Peace.
 
+Arleen Boyd Last year, 32% of that organization's expenses went towards actually helping children. For a non-profit, that is atrocious. They raise a whole lot of awareness, encourage people to donate to them, and then hardly any of that money goes towards actually helping. Donating to them gives a nice illusion of proactivity, but is not actually all that helpful.

Want to make an actual difference? Give your money to Unicef. (goo.gl/mGfj5)
 
I would even be willing to put up with a little back door dealing ... and that is so much the problem with Americans and the rest of the world in so many ways. That is so well stated there is nothing more for me to add.
 
I only wish the narrator's voice didn't want to make me want to punch him in the mouth.
 
Updated the original post with that Unicef donation link.
 
What most US citizens are not aware of is that the Civil War was a war of ECONOMICS between the North and the South... as any US college history professor. Sadly, when a government must get involved in an issue, big money comes into play - which I do not support. Yet, I doubt that any person would argue that the "public" reason to fight the Civil War was not a just one with the end of slavery as a "just" outcome. I will work to make Kony famous for the purpose of stopping him. Period. Oh - and we do support World Wildlife Fund, the Sierra Club, the ACLU and several other environmental groups. Awareness is a 1st step. Voting is another.
 
Thus far Unicef has not been able to stop Kony. Thus, I'm open to other options and I think the http://kony2012.com has a chance to make it happen!
 
For every 100,000 people who donate $1 to Invisible Children, 68,000 of them are paying for the production of a movie about an entirely different issue.
 
Unicef stops problems with the same consistency that welfare stops poverty. It merely treats a symptom, nothing more. The best possible solution is to get lucky with a predator drone while the man is in his jeep.
 
Ok, off topic for a moment, because I am an utter troll, and
I take my trolling seriously. Kids are dying in Africa.There are a lot of kids in Africa, ergo this is population control. Right? This is 23rd trimester abortion? You see my troll angle here?
Jim Lai
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Here's one proactive approach: preventing child soldiers in the first place.
http://www.romeodallaire.com/child-soldiers.html
Quote: The overarching goal of this Child Soldiers initiative is to develop an integrated set of tools that can be used to prevent the recruitment of children into armed groups.
 
All I can say is there are some very interesting points made here. I just bought a "kit" so I hope my money isn't going to waste. If the primary focus of the organization is advocacy and film making and internet campaigns are the primary way they are achieving their aims then of course a lot of their budget wouldn't go to children on the ground. I admit I am torn at this point but bringing more attention to this has to have some positive effect (I hope).
Jim Lai
 
Oil production could bring new problems in the form of a resource curse.
http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=1830
Quote: Little of the oil wealth [in Nigeria] gets invested back into the delta and few of the companies employ local people... That has contributed to civil unrest and lawlessness.
US companies are not involved in the oil deal. Tullow is based in the UK, but companies from China and France have signed on. From February 21:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204909104577237204056245764.html
Quote: Tullow Oil PLC's long-delayed $2.9 billion deal to sell one-third stakes in three Ugandan oil-exploration areas to Total SA of France and China's Cnooc Ltd. was finally signed Tuesday, the three parties said in separate statements.
 
suggested noted, but i passed it along anyway. spare the details, this will wake up the traditional media. guess what? africa has suddenly made it to the front page. it should be a front page story more often. why is it not? the rapidly evolving nature of the internet is an interesting phenomenon & I don't know if there has been a precedent since the gutenburg press. the people want to do the right thing. the corporate media has manipulated the people for decades & if they will boldly spread misinformation to serve their personal financial interests, then what is wrong with spreading misinformation to shift the focus to our world's two most directly-related problems, the brutality of war & the massive economic disparity within our world. my point, is if the media is going to lie to us, sensationalize, fox news, etc..., then we don't really need a middleman. now, if you guys watched it & pulled out your credit cards & gave to scammers, i can't really speak for ya.
 
what's an acceptable (or even average) direct % investment for a non-profit? i mean you do gotta spend money to make money... :-/
Jim Lai
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A message from the Ugandan government:
http://www.mediacentre.go.ug/details.php?catId=3&item=1602
Quote: Misinterpretations of media content may lead some people to believe that the LRA is currently active in Uganda. It must be clarified that at present the LRA is not active in any part of Uganda. Successfully expelled by the Ugandan Peoples Defence Forces in mid-2006, the LRA has retreated to dense terrain within bordering countries in the Central African area. They are a diminished and weakened group with numbers not exceeding 300. The threat posed by the LRA in our neighboring countries is considerably reduced and we are hopeful that it will be altogether eliminated with the help of US logistical support.
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