Tuesday, March 20, 2012
After Jason Russell’s Invisible Children, Kony 2012 movie went bonkers on the Web, everyone with a wi-fi or 3G connection was up in arms, furious and disgusted by Ugandan warlord, Joseph Kony’s actions. And they were moved by Russell’s initiative and by how cute his five-year-old son is. But I’m confused.
Over the last 20 years, Joe Kony has led a group of Christian guerillas known as the Lord’s Resistance Army to capture about 30,000 kids and commit vulgar atrocities in Africa. That’s bad. I get that, sure, Kony needs to be brought to justice. But where is the unrest, the call to action, the unsettling demand that people like Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Cheney be brought to justice for their crimes against humanity? Because yeah, they’re criminals.
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have left hundreds of thousands dead. Afghanis, Iraqis, Americans, Brits … In Afghanistan, around 29,000 civilians have died as a result of direct and indirect coalition forces led attacks with 20,000 of those in 2001 alone. According to an independent United Kingdom and United States group called the IBC, approximately 114,000 civilians have died in Iraq as a result of coalition forces led attacks.
Do the math. It’s easy. American leaders were the architects and decision makers that resulted in hundreds of thousands more innocents killed, wounded, left homeless and more in half the time time Kony has been at it. And no one cares. Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and Cheney are retired or giving speeches or enjoying free dinners.
But they’re murderers.
Accidents happen in war, civilians die. But why were we there in the first place? Afghanistan? That makes sense. We went there to get the Taliban. Of course that was a mismanaged quagmire if there ever was one. Why’d we go to Iraq? Weapons of Mass Destruction? So we thought. But then our leaders admitted they lied to us. There were no WMDs. America had as much reason being in Iraq as Kony does kidnapping children.
So, why are Americans upset about Kony but not about the men in their own country doing far worse things with their own money and using their brothers, sisters, friends, sons and daughters as soldiers to kill, maim and, if things go well, eradicate the brown, desert-dwelling enemy?
Maybe it’s too hard for us to think bad guys can be American. Maybe we’re too naive to think we could live next door to a warlord, much less elect one to power – twice. But it’s true. The numbers are there. At first glance, you might think Jason Russell is a hero. With his 30-minute viral video, he brought to light the atrocities of Kony to millions. Russell’s plan was to get the world behind his idea to find, capture and put an end to Kony’s career of kidnapping children and turning them into soldiers, rapists and at the core, boys of lost innocence.
But what about the warlords in our gated communities? They make Kony look like a teething puppy. If it’s too hard for you to consider, take a cue from Russell and pop the best X you can find, get drunk and jerk off in public until the cops have to stop you. Because that seems to be the best way of coping with the ills of the world.