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Magda Hassan
03-09-2012, 12:39 PM
You may have seen this in the last couple of days:

http://vimeo.com/37119711

And while Kony is an evil warlord who definitely deserves to be brought to justice by his people the whole campaign thing felt contrived to me. It seems other feel the same way as well. This is a multi million dollar PR campaign not a grass roots movement.

Here is their website: http://kony2012.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/
Instant wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kony_2012

It's even been all over the mainstream media here today. But even voices in the MSM are leery of it.

Looks more like this to me:

The truth about the K0NY movement.
http://i.imgur.com/K3mgn.jpg

Magda Hassan
03-09-2012, 12:48 PM
It seems some Ugandans aren't too happy about it either. My bolding below.

A Peace of my mind: Respect my agency 2012!by TMS RUGE (http://projectdiaspora.org/author/diaspora/) | March 8, 2012 | Filed in : International Development (http://projectdiaspora.org/category/african-aid/),Uganda (http://projectdiaspora.org/category/uganda/) | 134 comments (http://projectdiaspora.org/2012/03/08/respect-my-agency-2012/#comments)

I have had roughly 24 hours to gather my thoughts about the latest fund-raising stunt undertaken by the long-in-the-tooth Invisible Children (IC) (http://kony2012.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/) organization. In that time, I have had an opportunity to think and ruminate over exactly what to say, what the right order of the words should be coming out of my soul to address yet another travesty in shepherd’s clothing befalling my country and my continent. Usually I would fly off the handle and let passion fly, but I have grown a little since this (http://projectdiaspora.org/2010/04/28/found-the-1-millionth-stupid-idea-by-do-gooders/)and this (http://projectdiaspora.org/2009/04/16/celebrity-stunts-of-altruistism-are-killing-livelihoods-in-africa/) and this (http://projectdiaspora.org/2011/04/05/shoes-the-least-of-our-problems/). Addressing the complexity that is Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)’s reign of terror in northern Uganda; what with the sheer volume of victims, the survivors, the horrific examples of humanity at its worst, and the lingering ghosts of family members behind the survivors’ eyes begs a momentary pause, if but to respect the gravity of it all. I do that. I pause. I reflect and I toil with the thought that something is not right in the world that IC is still grasping at relevancy all these years after their “night walkers” campaign.
There is no easy way of saying what I feel right now, except a deep hurt and gnawing urgency to bang my head against my desk as a prescriptive to make the dumb-assery stop. Sure, Joseph Kony and his counterpart of yesteryear, Idi Amin, have largely been responsible for the single story of Uganda. I have a hard time shaking it from the lips of strangers I meet. That’s all they know or seem to want to listen to. They dismissively glaze over my breathless exultations of the great promise in our youth, our technology, our agriculture, and our women.
“Sooo, Idi Amin, huh? That was terrible. Is he still alive?”
It is a slap in the face to so many of us who want to rise from the ashes of our tumultuous past and the noose of benevolent, paternalistic, aid-driven development memes. We, Africans, are sandwiched between our historically factual imperfections and well-intentioned, road-to-hell-building-do-gooders. It is a suffocating state of existence. To be properly heard, we must ride the coattails of self-righteous idiocy train. Even then, we have to fight for our voices to be respected.
The latest IC fund-raising cum “awareness-raising” is an insult to my identity and my intellectual capacity to reasonably defend its existence as beneficial to any Ugandan. The video project is so devoid of nuance, utility and respect for agency that it is appallingly hard to contextualize. I won’t even try. Katrin Skaya said all that could have been said, “rarely seen something this stunningly, insidiously, clever crazy. Amazing case study.”

@tmsruge (https://twitter.com/tmsruge) @texasinafrica (https://twitter.com/texasinafrica) @lksriv (https://twitter.com/lksriv). Have rarely seen something this stunningly, insidiously, clever crazy. Amazing case study. #Kony2012 (https://twitter.com/search/%2523Kony2012)
— Elasti Girl (@Katrinskaya) March 7, 2012 (https://twitter.com/Katrinskaya/status/177255691839475712)
Indeed it is. But not for the reasons you would think. This IC campaign is a perfect example of how fund-sucking NGO’s survive. “Raising awareness” (as vapid an exercise as it is) on the level that IC does, costs money. Loads and loads of money. Someone has to pay for the executive staff, fancy offices, and well, that 30-minute grand-savior, self-crowning exercise in ego stroking—in HD—wasn’t free. In all this kerfuffle, I am afraid everyone is missing the true aim of IC’s brilliant marketing strategy. They are not selling justice, democracy, or restoration of anyone’s dignity. This is a self-aware machine that must continually find a reason to be relevant. They are, in actuality, selling themselves as the issue, as the subject, as the panacea for everything that ails me as the agency-devoid African. All I have to do is show up in my broken English, look pathetic and wanting. You, my dear social media savvy click-activist, will shed a tear, exhaust Facebook’s like button, mobilize your cadre of equally ill-uninformed netizens to throw money at the problem.

Cause, you know, that works so well in the first world.
I would love nothing more than to be telling you the small victories we experience working with the very scarred survivors of Kony’s atrocities. The Women of Kireka (http://womenofkireka.com/) are the most resilient group of individuals that I know. Spend a day with them and you will wonder how they manage to so calmly describe to you watching their entire families burned alive, their husbands and children hacked to death, in front of them. They do it so calmly, methodically, with such articulate prose that it leaves your soul victimized for it’s privilege. Yet they don’t pause from rolling a perfectly crafted paper bead for a beautiful necklace. They don’t waste their time lamenting the lack of justice for the fallen or the abducted. Why? Because it doesn’t bring back the dead, it doesn’t dissolve the horrific images of their huts burning, or ease the scars borne of running scared into the night.
Instead, they want work and respect and business to be able to make decisions that move their lives along. They want desperately to forget and rebuild anew; thankful for their lives. They want radios and cell phones and grasp at any semblance of normalcy. They cuddle and nurse their newborns like delicate, cherished gifts. What they don’t talk about is justice. They talk about how to forgive and move on.
But I can’t tell you their story. Why? Someone else has taken over their part in this complex saga, simplified it, branded it, packaged it and is reselling it as an Action Kit. For as little as $30 (http://invisiblechildrenstore.myshopify.com/products/kony-kit) and up to $500 (http://invisiblechildrenstore.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/get-everything-pack), you get your very own pimplicious t-shirt (that was made somewhere other than Uganda or Africa) and various assortments of SWEDOW you won’t care about in a month. But hey! At least you did something!
The academics have weighed in on this debate here (http://siena-anstis.com/2012/03/07/on-invisible-childrens-kony-2012-campaign/), and here (http://texasinafrica.blogspot.com/search?q=invisible+children), and here (http://innovateafrica.tumblr.com/post/18897981642/you-dont-have-my-vote) and will continue to do elsewhere in the coming days. The click-activists, denied context and nuance, have spewed their ignorance all over the comments section in self-righteous indignation for all the world to see. They have whipped out their wallets and bought their very own Super Hero activist action kits. They have bombarded their friend’s Facebook wall with ignominious updates.
“You must watch this! I already ordered my action kit!”
If we all start from the premise that Kony’s actions over the last 25 years in East and Central Africa are atrocious and he should be stopped, we would be cut of the same moral cloth. Evil is something that is easy to point out from afar. But if we conclude that any one individual/organization/group has the right to hijack the voice of so many in the name of good, then I have a common sense pill to sell you.
Let me be honest. Africa is not short of problems, epidemics and atrocities. But it is also true that it is not short of miracles, ingenuity, and a proclivity to surprise. We as Africans, especially the Diaspora, are waking to the idea that our agency has been hijacked for far too long by well-meaning Western do-gooders with a guilty conscious, sold on the idea that Africa’s ills are their responsibility. This particular affliction is called “white man’s burden” in some circles. Please don’t buy into this. Africa’s problems are our own. I asserted as much almost 5 years ago (http://projectdiaspora.org/about/) when I started Project Diaspora.

And so to you we send this solemn pledge. No longer are we satisfied with the status quo. No longer will we look to the West and the East for a saviour to come. We here claim our political struggles as our own; our short comings as our own; our unrest as our own; our dissidence as our own; our broken infrastructure as our own; our diseases as our own; our uneducated as our own; our corruption as our own; our unfed children as our own.
We have to be given due courtesy to at least try to develop capacities adequate enough to address our issues. We will never develop that capacity to do so if IC and others think selling Action Kits delivers utopia. It didn’t change our way of life when IC started, and it certainly isn’t going to change our reality when the clock expires on December 31st.
I am coherent enough to realize when someone is trying to genuinely do good. At the surface, there’s nothing wrong with that. There is something wrong with assuming that the people who you are trying to help 1) need help, 2) want your help, or 3) can’t help themselves. IC and this video assumes all the above. Before anyone says ‘why haven’t you done anything to stop Kony?’, may I point out that it took the world’s most sophisticated army over a decade and billions of dollars to catch Osama bin Laden. Kony has been on the run for 25+ years. On a continent 3 times the size of America. Catching & stopping him is not a priority of immediate concern. You know what is? Finding a bed net so that millions of kids don’t die every day from malaria. How many of you know that more Ugandans died in road accidents last year (2838) than have died in the past 3 years from LRA attacks in whole of central Africa(2400)? We’ve picked our battles and we chose to simply try to live. And the world should be helping us live on our own terms, by respecting our agency to choose which battles to put capacity towards.

I’ve never heard of Germans running NGOs in [the United States of] America to try and fix the economy or Swedish NGOs in America trying to fix the declining standard of living. Africa is our problem, we hereby respectfully request you let us handle our own matters. We will make mistakes here and there, sure. That is expected. But the trade-off of writing our own destiny far outweighs the self-assigned guilt the world assigned to us. If you really want to help, keep the guilt and charity in your backyard. Bring instead, respect, and the humility to let us determine our destiny.

http://projectdiaspora.org/2012/03/08/respect-my-agency-2012/

Magda Hassan
03-09-2012, 01:07 PM
NATO, AFRICOM and the New White Man's BurdenTue, 11/08/2011 - 14:54 — Harold Green



War On Libya (http://blackagendareport.com/category/department-war/war-libya) |
Special Forces Uganda (http://blackagendareport.com/category/department-war/special-forces-uganda) |
Oil Uganda (http://blackagendareport.com/category/department-war/oil-uganda) |
AFRICOM (http://blackagendareport.com/category/department-war/africom)



http://blackagendareport.com/sites/www.blackagendareport.com/files/imagecache/feature400/africom_advisor_0.jpg



by Harold Green
With the era of formal colonialism only recently ended, and only 125 years after the Europeans and the United States formally divided Africa among themselves, NATO has begun the military reimposition of Euro-American rule of the Continent. The conquest of sovereign Libya has encouraged Washington, London and Paris to escalate their armed incursions under “humanitarian” guises, and with the eager participation of native collaborators. “The imperialist powers are obviously up to their old tricks of using treacherous Africans to help in doing their '’dirty work.’''

NATO, AFRICOM and the New White Man's Burden
by Harold Green
“Western countries are once again using feigned concern as pretext for invasion and resource theft.”
As we watched with bewilderment, NATO's military assault on Libya using “humanitarian intervention” as it's pretext, we are reminded of an earlier period of Western European “civilizing” missions into Africa. Shortly after the Berlin West African Conference (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Conference_%281884%29) of 1884-1885; armed with bibles and bullets, a host of countries: Britain; France; Germany; Belgium; and Portugal, “scrambled” out of Western Europe in a quest to “save Africans from themselves”.
With their claim of intellectual and moral superiority echoed by Rudyard Kipling's infamously imperialistic poem, these European powers took full control of the land and lives of their new African subjects. Africa, having not fully recovered from the ravages of both the Trans-Atlantic and the Trans-Saharan Slave Trades, was ill prepared for what was to follow.
With the exception of Liberia and Ethiopia, every scare inch of Africa was to come under the control of European imperialist powers. The result: nearly a hundred years of a brutal occupation; further dehumanization; theft of natural resources while subjecting Africans to internal slavery. The resulting loss of life was so high that no serious effort has ever been made to quantify it. But if Belgian, which controlled only 7% of Africa, could murder 10-15 million Congolese during this period, one could get a close estimate through extrapolation, the number of African lives destroyed by Britain, France, Germany, Portugal and later Italy. Given this history, coupled with the horrific results of NATO's incursion into Libya, what then are we to make of NATO's new identity as ''human rights interventionist.''
“Europe was in desperate need of an answer to rescue it.”
At the end of the 19th century, Western Europe was in the middle of an industrial revolution that it could not sustain with the limited resources and markets within it's own borders. Competition for new resources and markets amongst these European powers was high. With the economic challenges resulting from the “Long Depression of 1873-1896''; overpopulation; a high rate of poverty and unemployment, Europe was in desperate need of an answer to rescue it from this malaise. Africa would prove to be the answer a thousand times over.
Today we find Europe, along with the United States, facing serious economic challenges not unlike those faced by Europe in the late 1800s. Like then, Europe and the United States are desperately looking for economic solutions that cannot be found within their national boundaries. With virtually all of the resources required to sustain their economies existing in other parts of the world but particularly in Africa, these Western countries are once again using feigned concern as pretext for invasion and resource theft. With competition now coming from Russia, India and China for these same resources, new and desperate strategies will have to be created in an attempt to justify these invasions. But how new are they?
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), a military/security alliance between Western European powers and the United States, was formed shortly after the Second World War in 1949. It came out of the same Atlantic Charter that gave birth to the United Nations. Its stated purpose was to counter what member countries perceived as an expansionist threat coming from the Soviet Union. During it's existence there has never been any direct military engagement with the Soviet Union. Instead, proxy wars, mostly fought in Africa and Latin America, would become the order of the day. While the Soviet Union sought to (at times meekly) aid the various Liberation Movements in Africa and the Americas, the NATO countries on the other hand, were interested in maintaining their sphere of economic influence in these regions.
“New and desperate strategies will have to be created in an attempt to justify these invasions.”
With the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, NATO virtually overnight had become an irrelevant military bureaucracy. Many military and foreign policy experts began to speculate that NATO would soon be relegated to the dustbin of history. To avoid what seemed to be an imminent demise, NATO began looking for new roles to play in world affairs. What has happened as a result, as one foreign policy observer describes, has been “mission creep on a grand scale.”
No longer concerned about guarding against the Red Army rushing across its borders, NATO countries have now armed themselves with a host of new missions (pretexts), from: fighting terrorism; saving the environment; crisis management; to “humanitarian intervention (sic).” With a new futuristic $1.38 billion building on a 100 acre site in Brussels, and having expanded from it's original 16 members to 28 (most of the new member states ironically coming from the former Soviet Union), and with the combined military budgets of member states comprising 70 percent of what the world spends on defense, this “new” NATO is riding high with a renewed sense of purpose, anxious to show the world it still has relevance. Africa (and the world) should be worried.
While significantly controlled by the US, which provides 75 percent of it's budget, NATO is headed by the arrogant and opportunistic Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former prime minister of Denmark. With a very aggressive agenda for this made over NATO including offering NATO's services to the United Nations as a “global peacekeeping” force, he has in recent years already overseen NATO's involvement in several conflicts outside of Europe. Most notably, its involvement with the US in Afghanistan where it continues to kill innocent people, and is continuously asked to leave by many distraught and outraged Afghans.
“With the combined military budgets of member states comprising 70 percent of what the world spends on defense, this “new” NATO is riding high with a renewed sense of purpose.”
It has also become involved in patrolling the waters off the coast of Somalia to protect foreign vessels from being seajacked by so-called Somali pirates. This campaign has resulted in an avalanche of deaths of Somalis, passengers and crew members of seajacked ships. Keeping in mind, when Somalis started boarding these ships which had illegally begun fishing in their waters seventeen years ago, not one hostage taken by them had ever been killed. All that changed with the Obama administration coming to power in 2009 (the year NATO, with mostly US Naval ships, started patrolling the Somalia coast).
In April of that year, President Obama gave the first orders for snipers to kill Somalis who had boarded the American flagged ship, The Maersk Alabama demanding ransom. France would soon follow with the killing of eight Somalis in another seajacking incident. Now with the U.S. and France with NATO support, seemingly engaged in a full scale war against the Somali nationalist group Al-Shabat, we can only expect the number of dead Somalis to increase even more. This U.S. war in Somalia is also being augmented by troops from Kenya, Uganda and Burundi, with Uganda and Burundi involvement ironically, coming under the auspices of an African Union peace keeping mission. A new U.S. Drone base for this war has just been established in Ethiopia as well. The imperialist powers are obviously up to their old tricks of using treacherous Africans to help in doing their ''dirty work.''
Immediately following the murder of Muammar Gaddafi, Chris Coons, chairmanof the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s subcommittee on African affairs was reported as saying “Muammar Gadhafi’s death and the promise of a new Libyan regime are arguments for the measured U.S. military response in central Africa...''. Encouraged by the results in Libya, the U.S. has recently sent roughly 100 troops to Uganda to track down members of the Lords Resistance Army (LRA). U.S. troops are also being sent to the Congo, the Central African Republic and South Sudan'.
“This U.S. war in Somalia is also being augmented by troops from Kenya, Uganda and Burundi.”
It is obvious Senator Coons made this remark with AFRICOM in mind. This newly created U.S.military command for Africa, conceived by the Heritage Foundation during the Bush administration, could not have come at a more opportunistic time for the imperialistic thinking NATO countries. Working in conjunction with AFRICOM during the Libya campaign, and gloating over it's alledged success, NATO now sees itself as indispensible in this new war to ''save humanity.'' The cooperation between these 2 military packs represent a perilous development for Africa. With the Obama adminstration acknowledging the Libya campaign as AFRICOM's ''first'' undertaking, Africans no longer have to guess what the rest of AFRICOM's endeavors on the Continent will look like.
Like their 19th century predecessors in their mission to take on the ''burden'' of spreading the benefits of European ''enlightenment',' this new generation of marauders from the ''North'' are poised to, once again, impose on Africa the coldness of death, destruction and displacement which so characterized their earlier campaigns of human upliftment on the Continent.
Having failed to effectively respond to NATO's and AFRICOM’s assault on Libya, Africa must at some point show that it has learned the lessons of the past, and resolve itself to remove this ''white man's burden,” once and for all.
Harold Green can be contacted at paclwp@msn.com (http://email09.secureserver.net/webmail.php?folder=INBOX&firstMessage=1).
REFERENCES:
The Son of Africa Claims a Continent's Crown Jewels
http://www.africaspeaks.com/reasoning/index.php?topic=7635.0 (http://www.africaspeaks.com/reasoning/index.php?topic=7635.0)
U.S. drone base in Ethi*o*pia is operational
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-drone-base-in-ethiopia-is-operational/2011/10/27/gIQAznKwMM_story.html (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-drone-base-in-ethiopia-is-operational/2011/10/27/gIQAznKwMM_story.html)
Sole Military Super-Bloc: NATO Issues Daily Reprieves To The World
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27482 (http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27482)
http://blackagendareport.com/content/nato-africom-and-new-white-mans-burden

Magda Hassan
03-10-2012, 06:34 AM
Invisible Children "Kony 2012" Leader Suggests It's About Jesus and Evangelizing
Is one of the biggest viral video in history Christian fundamentalist propaganda? Invisible Children's founder lays out his agenda at Liberty University.
March 8, 2012 |

http://images.alternet.org/images/managed/storyimages_1331241358_6484516323afb90599db.jpg_64 0x428_310x220Photo Credit: Sean Dreilinger













"A lot of people fear Christians, they fear Liberty University, they fear Invisible Children - because they feel like we have an agenda. They see us and they go, "You want me to sign up for something, you want my money. You want, you want me to believe in your God." And it freaks them out." --- Jason Russell, speaking (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkB8o5VWAjE#t=25m18s) at Liberty University, November 7, 2011Is Invisible Children a nonprofit devoted to human needs, or is it a ministry devoted to bringing souls to Jesus ? Judging by a talk co-founder Jason Russell gave last November at Liberty University, it would seem to be a bit of both.
A few days ago, Russell's Invisible Children (http://www.invisiblechildren.com.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/) nonprofit began to blitz the Internet (http://www.suntimes.com/news/world/11145268-418/story.html) with posts on social media promoting the nonprofit's new KONY 2012 video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4MnpzG5Sqc), which by now has received over 36 million hits. The media campaign has already provoked a backlash (http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com/post/18890947431/we-got-trouble) of well informed criticism (http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com/post/18954353409/not-alone), from academics and other with expertise concerning Joseph Kony and the LRA, and the conflict in Northern Uganda and the surrounding region (see links and material, below transcript).Foreign Affairs charges (http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/136673/mareike-schomerus-tim-allen-and-koen-vlassenroot/obama-takes-on-the-lra?page=show) Invisible Children with misrepresenting the facts, and Foreign Affairs guest contributor Michael Wilkerson notes the deceptive (http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/03/07/guest_post_joseph_kony_is_not_in_uganda_and_other_ complicated_things) nature of the KONY 2012 video, narrated by Jason Russell, which mentions only in passing that Joseph Kony is no longer in Northern Uganda (his LRA hasn't operated there for years).
Another common objection of critics has been that Invisible Children's approach is simplistic and neglects the fact that the Ugandan government (whose armed forces now hunting for Joseph Kony are accused (http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=17456:updf-in-kony-hunt-accused-of-rape-looting&catid=78:topstories&Itemid=116) of rape and looting) has itself been accused of crimes against humanity that at least rival but may exceed those of Joseph Kony and his LRA (see appended story resource links).
Some, such as Democratic Republic of Congo: Between Hope and Despair author Michael Deibert, warn (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-deibert/joseph-kony-2012-children_b_1327417.html) that Invisible Children's effort, which endorses increased US military involvement in the region, may actually make things worse.
The evangelical magazine Christianity Today has covered (http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2012/03/why_joseph_kony.html) the growing controversy over the Invisible Children publicity campaign, and Invisible Children has issued a response (http://s3.amazonaws.com/www.invisiblechildren.com/critiques.html) to the gathering criticism.
So far few have noticed the decidedly evangelical ties of Invisible Children. But that's not surprising: Judging from the organization's website and promotional material, Invisible Children would seem to be non-religious, purely devoted to the health and well-being of children in Northern Uganda and the surrounding region, to "ending genocide", and to capturing Joseph Kony.

On its face, the effort appears secular, and evangelizing is not mentioned as an objective.
But in a November 7, 2011 appearance at Liberty University, as part of Liberty's Fall Convocation speaker series, Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell hinted that Invisible Children was also an evangelizing effort, and during his talk Russell coached Liberty University students on what could be characterized as extremely low-key, or stealth, evangelism.
Joining Russell onstage during his November 7 Liberty University appearance was Alex Harris, credited with playing a key role in driving Mike Huckabee's 2008 presidential bid. At 20:20 into the 39 minute discussion, Harris received a question from the Liberty University student audience - "What is the greatest challenge to the millennial generation, in impacting the world for Christ ?"
Jason Russell fielded the following question from the audience which was, as characterized by Johnnie Moore, Liberty University Vice President of Teaching Projects,"How do you motivate hypocritical, apathetic Christians to, kind of, `get in the fight'? "
What was "the fight"? The message was ambiguous. Earlier in the discussion, Jason Russell had stated his goal of "ending genocide" and capturing Joseph Kony, but that goal seemed framed within the larger project of evangelizing the nations. During the discussion, as a backdrop, hung a blue curtain that proclaimed, "Liberty University: 40 Years of Training Champions For Christ".
The lineup of notables on Liberty's Fall Convocation speaker roster (http://www.libertystudentnews.com/?p=874) also included Michele Bachmann (http://www.liberty.edu/news/index.cfm?PID=18495&MID=38122), Rick Perry (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpHnMhKqsos), Christian history revisionist David Barton (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dybHrSi4Now), and pastor Jim Garlow (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2ojIaPbhrY), who spearheaded the project of organizing evangelical pastors in California, in the 2008 campaign to pass the anti-same sex marriage Proposition Eight (both Barton and Garlow also have ties to the Gingrich presidential campaign effort).
[video, below: Jason Russell, with Alex Harris, at Liberty University, November 7, 2011]

"Liberty University Convocation Discussion, November 7, 2011Jason Russell, co-founder of "Invisible Children"
Question: How do you motivate hypocritical, apathetic Christians to, kind of, `get in the fight'?
Russell: People are scared. Of Liberty University. [Addresses graduating students] You guys know this. They're scared because they see the power and potential in this room, the conviction you have, the connectivity you have. And they look at this arena and they go, "that's scary - if they realized what they could do, it would revolutionize the world." That's why you're here.
And so I think that it is that insecurity or that realizing, "I don't have what it takes" - but you DO. We DO. And, the trick is to not go out into the world and say, "I'm going to baptize you, I'm going to convict you, I have an agenda to win you over."
You agenda is to look into the eyes, as Jesus did, and say, "who are you? And will you be my friend?" - Like he did to the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the fisherman. The biggest mistake that we make is to saying, we make a line and we say, "black, white, are you in or are you out?"
I just, I have a hard time digesting that mentality. And I think that's why a lot of people fear Christians, they fear Liberty University, theyfear Invisible Children because they feel like we have an agenda. They see us and they go, "You want me to sign up for something, you want my money. You want, you want me to believe in your God.
And it freaks them out.
So figure out a way, you know - I have totally been there. I have been there so many times. I'm like, "I wonder if they know?" I wonder if they're in the group." And it's like, "No! That is judgment itself." "
RESOURCES
http://www.friendsforpeaceinafrica.org/samuel-olara/496-accounting-for-post-war-crimes-in-northern-uganda-monitor.html ( the best summary I've yet seen of conflict in Northern Uganda, 1986 - 2007 )
Critiques of Invisible Children
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-deibert/joseph-kony-2012-children_b_1327417.html
http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com/post/18890947431/we-got-trouble
http://www.wrongingrights.com/2009/03/worst-idea-ever.html/
http://chrisblattman.com/2009/03/04/visible-children/
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/136673/mareike-schomerus-tim-allen-and-koen-vlassenroot/obama-takes-on-the-lra?page=show
http://www.blackstarnews.com/news/122/ARTICLE/6586/2010-06-02.html ( "How Invisible Children Falsely Marketed The LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act" )
http://www.thegauntlet.com/article/1320/18249/Barry-from-Look-What-I-Did-responds-to-Invisible-Children-Organization.html ( Invisible Children confirms pro-interventionist stance )
Alleged crimes and human rights abuses by Uganda and the Ugandan People's Defense Forces
http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=17456:updf-in-kony-hunt-accused-of-rape-looting&catid=78:topstories&Itemid=116 ( UPDF, hunting for Kony in DRC, accused of rape, looting )
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upITVcXw_Gk ( Yoweri Museveni, president of Uganda, shot his way into power using child soldiers )
http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/116/10521.pdf ( Uganda was indicted, in 2005, by the International Criminal Court for War Crimes in DRC Congo )
Reports, from UN, on Uganda & Rwanda war crimes in DRC Congo
http://www.afrol.com/Countries/DRC/documents/un_resources_2002_rwanda.htm
http://www.afrol.com/Countries/DRC/documents/un_resources_2002_uganda.htm
http://www.afrol.com/Countries/DRC/documents/un_resources_2002_intro.htm
Wikipedia cover of DRC conflict
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo#Rwandan.2FUgandan _invasions_and_civil_wars
Accusations of an Acholi Genocide
[ Yoweri Museveni has been accused of engineering a planned, slow genocide against the Acholi people of Northern Uganda (note: Blackstar News links to web-cached versions of stories - site under heavy traffic load)]
http://www.musevenimemo.org/ ( David Todd Whitmore, of University of Notre Dame, studies traditional Acholi culture, says 1980s memo, allegedly from Yoweri Museveni, indicates plan to depopulate Acholi areas of Northern Uganda, to open up access for fertile farmland. )
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2007/05/secret_photos_r/ ( ABC report suggests Ugandan government coverup )
http://www.acholitimes.com/culture/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=13:genocide-in-uganda-the-african-nightmare-christopher-hitchens-missed&catid=3:genocide-in-acholi-the-conspiracy-of-silence&Itemid=23 - ( " Genocide in Uganda: The African Nightmare Christopher Hitchens Missed " )
http://www.independent.co.ug/News/news/3865-planned-massacre-of-the-acholi ( Uganda Independent covers accusations of an Acholi genocide )
http://allafrica.com/stories/201101050048.html
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:ntd7BPk00poJ:blackstarnews.com/news/122/ARTICLE/7028/2010-12-25.html+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us
http://www.friendsforpeaceinafrica.org/documents/20/65-structure-a-agency-in-acholi-genocide.html ( "Structure and Agency in Acholi Genocide" )
http://www.friendsforpeaceinafrica.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=68&Itemid=43 ( "Genocide in Comparative Perspective; the Jewish and Acholi Experience" )
http://www.friendsforpeaceinafrica.org/columnists/161-the-achol-qfinal-solutionq.html (http://www.friendsforpeaceinafrica.org/columnists/161-the-acholi-qfinal-solutionq.html) ( "The Acholi Final Solution", 2007, by Milton Allimadi, editor of NYC-based Blackstar News )
http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=book/export/html/10361 ( "Ending Uganda's "Brilliant" Genocide", Allimadi )
http://www.km-net.org.uk/conferences/KM97/papers_htm/causes.htm
http://www.ugandagenocide.info/ ( general source for writings on Acholi conflict & Ugandan gov. )
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:BPk1NvWo7_cJ:www.blackstarnews.com/%3Fc%3D122%26a%3D4751+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us ( report from Dr. Adam Branch, whose research is based in Northern Uganda )
http://www.david-kilgour.com/mp/Ugandan%20IDP%20Camps%20&%20Children.htm ( Canadian parliament member, on Acholi camps )
http://www.blackcommentator.com/93/93_otika_uganda.html ( Ugandan student, studying in US, weighs in )
http://www.alternet.org/visions/154477/invisible_children_%22kony_2012%22_leader_suggests _it's_about_jesus_and_evangelizing?page=entire (http://www.alternet.org/visions/154477/invisible_children_%22kony_2012%22_leader_suggests _it%27s_about_jesus_and_evangelizing?page=entire)

Magda Hassan
03-10-2012, 09:38 AM
See also this thread https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?3511-Pretexts-for-intervention-Uganda-Lord-s-Resistance-Army

Lauren Johnson
03-10-2012, 06:50 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLVY5jBnD-E&feature=colike

Updated | Saturday | 12:13 p.m. As my colleagues David Goodman and Jennifer Preston explain (http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/09/how-the-kony-video-went-viral/), a viral marketing campaign to raise awareness of the suffering inflicted on African children by the warlord Joseph Kony (http://youtu.be/KdBcypx1DfE) has dominated social media conversations this week, despite concerns that the young Americans behind it might be spreading factual inaccuracies (http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/03/07/guest_post_joseph_kony_is_not_in_uganda_and_other_ complicated_things) and wasting donors’ money (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2012/03/problem-stop-kony/49634/).
While much of the backlash reported in the American news media this week cited objections raised by development experts in the United States and Europe, several African bloggers and activists have objected to (http://afripopmag.com/2012/03/african-reactions-to-the-kony-2012-campaign/) what they see as more fundamental problems. Among them, the possibility that the “Kony 2012″ campaign reinforces the old idea, once used to justify colonial exploitation, that Africans are helpless and need to be saved by Westerners.
Many African critics of the new effort to make Mr. Kony, the brutal leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a household name in the United States — five months after President Obama pleased Human Rights Watch (http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/14/human-rights-group-welcomes-obamas-decision-to-send-troops-to-uganda/) and annoyed Rush Limbaugh (http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/17/limbaugh-defends-lords-resistance-army/) by dispatching military advisers to aid in his capture — said it echoed the ideas in Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “The White Man’s Burden (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/kipling.asp),” written in 1899 to urge Americans to embrace their imperial destiny and rule over the “new-caught, sullen peoples,” of the Philippines — even though the typical native was “half-devil and half-child.”
In a critique (http://youtu.be/KLVY5jBnD-E) of the campaign posted on YouTube, Rosebell Kagumire (https://twitter.com/#%21/RosebellK), a Ugandan blogger, observed that the filmmaker behind the “Kony 2012″ viral video calling for action “plays so much on the idea that this war has been going on because millions of Americans” and other Westerners, “have been ignorant about it.”
Speaking directly to the camera, Ms. Kagumire added:
this is another video where I see an outsider trying to be a hero rescuing African children. We have seen these stories a lot in Ethiopia, celebrities coming in Somalia, you know, it does not end the problem. I think we need to have kind of sound, intelligent campaigns that are geared towards real policy shifts, rather than a very sensationalized story that is out to make one person cry, and at the end of the day, we forget about it.

I think it’s all about trying to make a difference, but how do you tell the story of Africans? It’s much more important what the story is, actually, because if you are showing me as voiceless, as hopeless… you shouldn’t be telling my story if you don’t believe that I also have the power to change what is going on. And this video seems to say that the power lies in America, and it does not lie with my government, it does not lie with local initiatives on the ground, that aspect is lacking. And this is the problem, it is furthering that narrative about Africans: totally unable to help themselves and needing outside help all the time.
A Ugandan journalist, Angelo Izama (https://twitter.com/#%21/opiaiya), took up the same theme, arguing (http://thisisafrica.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/acholi-street-stop-kony2012-invisible-childrens-campaign-of-infamy/) that all such campaigns aimed at “saving hapless Africans,” were problematic because, “the simplicity of the ‘good versus evil,’” narrative, “where good is inevitably white/Western and bad is black or African, is also reminiscent of some of the worst excesses of the colonial-era interventions.”
In an angry blog post (http://projectdiaspora.org/2012/03/08/respect-my-agency-2012/), dismissing the Kony campaign as a “fund-raising stunt,” the Ugandan-American activist TMS Ruge (https://twitter.com/#%21/tmsruge) wrote: “We as Africans, especially the diaspora, are waking to the idea that our agency has been hijacked for far too long by well-meaning Western do-gooders with a guilty conscience, sold on the idea that Africa’s ills are their responsibility.” He added:

Africa is our problem, we hereby respectfully request you let us handle our own matters. We will make mistakes here and there, sure. That is expected. But the trade-off of writing our own destiny far outweighs the self-assigned guilt the world assigned to us. If you really want to help, keep the guilt and charity in your backyard. Bring instead, respect, and the humility to let us determine our destiny.
As Max Fisher reported (http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/the-soft-bigotry-of-kony-2012/254194/) for The Atlantic, the Nigerian-American novelist Teju Cole (https://twitter.com/#%21/tejucole), responded to the Kony campaign on Twitter with “Seven thoughts on the banality of sentimentality.” In his biting critique, Mr. Cole wrote that the American charity behind the Kony campaign, Invisible Children, was part of what he called the “White Savior Industrial Complex,” along with the economist Jeffrey Sachs, The Times Op-Ed columnist Nicholas Kristof and the organizers of the TED conferences on technology, entertainment and design.

responses to this post:
D conferences on technology, entertainment and design.

https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/1731884703/teju3_normal.jpg Teju Cole @tejucole (https://twitter.com/tejucole)
1- From Sachs to Kristof to Invisible Children to TED, the fastest growth industry in the US is the White Savior Industrial Complex.

8 Mar 12 (https://twitter.com/tejucole/statuses/177809396070498304)

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https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/1731884703/teju3_normal.jpg Teju Cole @tejucole (https://twitter.com/tejucole)
2- The white savior supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening.

8 Mar 12 (https://twitter.com/tejucole/statuses/177809558608150529)

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https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/1731884703/teju3_normal.jpg Teju Cole @tejucole (https://twitter.com/tejucole)
3- The banality of evil transmutes into the banality of sentimentality. The world is nothing but a problem to be solved by enthusiasm.

8 Mar 12 (https://twitter.com/tejucole/statuses/177809821712650240)

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https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/1731884703/teju3_normal.jpg Teju Cole @tejucole (https://twitter.com/tejucole)
4- This world exists simply to satisfy the needs—including, importantly, the sentimental needs—of white people and Oprah.

8 Mar 12 (https://twitter.com/tejucole/statuses/177810073740001281)

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https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/1731884703/teju3_normal.jpg Teju Cole @tejucole (https://twitter.com/tejucole)
5- The White Savior Industrial Complex is not about justice. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege.

8 Mar 12 (https://twitter.com/tejucole/statuses/177810262223626241)

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https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/1731884703/teju3_normal.jpg Teju Cole @tejucole (https://twitter.com/tejucole)
6- Feverish worry over that awful African warlord. But close to 1.5 million Iraqis died from an American war of choice. Worry about that.

8 Mar 12 (https://twitter.com/tejucole/statuses/177810524908687360)

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https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/1731884703/teju3_normal.jpg Teju Cole @tejucole (https://twitter.com/tejucole)
7- I deeply respect American sentimentality, the way one respects a wounded hippo. You must keep an eye on it, for you know it is deadly.

8 Mar 12 (https://twitter.com/tejucole/statuses/177810822268067841)



Watching the viral hubbub over the campaign build from North Africa, the Egyptian activist Mosa’ab Elshamy was distinctly unimpressed. Mr. Elshamy, who took part in the revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak last year, and documented it on Twitter, told The Lede: “I felt awkward about the whole thing without even reading the tons of critiques on the Internet. It just doesn’t make sense: the whole exploiting teenagers to buy bracelets and paint graffiti just to make them feel they’ve done something.”
On the brighter side, he observed, the campaign did at least generate some inspired comedy, in the form of an online photo book (http://i.imgur.com/K3mgn.jpg) imagining how the entire thing might have been dreamed up at the White House to justify President Obama’s deployment of troops to Africa.

https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/1516542719/Untitled21_normal.jpg Mosa'ab Elshamy @mosaaberizing (https://twitter.com/mosaaberizing)
But the greatest thing about stupid campaigns like KONY is that it always brings out the best comedy. Like this. i.imgur.com/K3mgn.jpg (http://t.co/TWi5eu6M)

8 Mar 12 (https://twitter.com/mosaaberizing/statuses/177944871854809091)

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Updated: After this post was originally published, the blogger Rosebell Kagumire pointed to an outraged open letter (http://pomee.tumblr.com/post/18899601760/kony-2012-causing-more-harm-than-good) to Jason Russell, the American filmmaker behind Invisible Children and the “Kony2012″ video, written by Amber Ha, a student at Columbia University. Ms. Ha wrote: “Last year I went to Gulu, Uganda, where Invisible Children is based, and interviewed over 50 locals. Every single person questioned Invisible Children’s legitimacy and intention.”
On her blog (http://pomee.tumblr.com/), Ms. Ha also posted a link to a response to the video from Adam Branch (http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/%7Eabranch/), an American expert on “the politics of human rights intervention,” who currently lives and works in Kampala, Uganda. Writing on the Web site of Uganda’s Makerere Institute of Social Research, Mr. Branch observed (http://www.misr.mak.ac.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=186:adam-branch-on-invisible-children): “As someone who has worked in and done research on the war in northern Uganda for over a decade, much of it with a local human rights organization based in Gulu, the Invisible Children organization and their videos have infuriated me to no end.” He added:

My frustration with the group has largely reflected the concerns expressed so eloquently by those individuals who have been willing to bring the fury of Invisible Children’s true believers down upon themselves in order to point out what is wrong with what this group of young Americans is doing: the warmongering, the self-indulgence, the commercialization, the reductive and one-sided story they tell, their portrayal of Africans as helpless children in need of rescue by white Americans, and the fact that civilians in Uganda and central Africa may have to pay a steep price in their own lives so that a lot of young Americans can feel good about themselves, and a few can make good money. This, of course, is sickening, and I think that Kony 2012 is a case of Invisible Children having finally gone too far. They are now facing a backlash from people of conscience who refuse to abandon their capacity to think for themselves….
Invisible Children is a symptom, not a cause. It is an excuse that the US government has gladly adopted in order to help justify the expansion of their military presence in central Africa. Invisible Children are “useful idiots,” being used by those in the US government who seek to militarize Africa, to send more and more weapons and military aid, and to build the power of military rulers who are US allies. The hunt for Joseph Kony is the perfect excuse for this strategy—how often does the US government find millions of young Americans pleading that they intervene militarily in a place rich in oil and other resources? The US government would be pursuing this militarization with or without Invisible Children—Kony 2012 just makes it a bit easier. Therefore, it is the militarization we need to worry about, not Invisible Children.

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/09/african-critics-of-kony-campaign-hear-echoes-of-the-white-mans-burden/?smid=tw-thelede&seid=auto

Lauren Johnson
03-10-2012, 07:00 PM
Barf Warning: step back from your computer after clicking.

http://stopkony20120.spreadshirt.com/

Magda Hassan
03-13-2012, 09:50 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=68GbzIkYdc8#!

Magda Hassan
03-13-2012, 10:46 AM
Invisible Children Funded By Antigay, Creationist Christian Right

[update: Why does it matter, if Invisible Children was funded by controversial donors? Two reasons - one, we can assume those donors thought IC aligned with their agenda - which is antagonistic to LGBT rights. Two, it fits an emerging pattern in which Invisible Children appears selectively concerned about crimes committed by Joseph Kony but indifferent to crimes, perhaps on a bigger scale, committed by their provisional partner, the government of Uganda - whose president shot his way into power using child soldiers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upITVcXw_Gk), before Joseph Kony began using child soldiers. Like Kony, the government of Uganda was also indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2005, for human rights abuses and looting in the DRC Congo (PDF file of ICC ruling against Uganda (http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/116/10521.pdf)). Like Kony, the Ugandan army preys upon civilians and is currently accused (http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=17456:updf-in-kony-hunt-accused-of-rape-looting&catid=78:topstories&Itemid=116), by Western human rights groups, with raping and looting in the DRC Congo, where it is hunting for Kony. In the late 1990s, Uganda helped spark a conflict in DRC Congo that, by the middle of the next decade it is estimated, had killed up to 5.4 million civilians, more than any conflict since World War Two. See appended "Resource" section for more information. For a very different perspective on IC, Kony, and Northern Uganda, see this editorial (http://www.blackstarnews.com/news/135/ARTICLE/8007/2012-03-08.html) by Milton Allimadi, of the NYC-based Blackstar news service]
What does Invisible Children share in common with the Discovery Institute, the leading organization promoting “Intelligent Design”, a pseudo-scientific theory created to insinuate creationist ideas into public schools — or with The Call, whose leader Lou Engle claims (http://www.talk2action.org/story/2009/12/19/115855/89) homosexuals are possessed by demons, calls (http://www.talk2action.org/story/2009/12/20/224021/61)God an “avenger of blood” and a “terrorist”, and in May 2010 staged a rally in Kampala, Uganda, at which Engle warned (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtqNQHPFEiY#t=2m16s) of a gay menace to society and shared a stage with one of the authors (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILxaQbrQsgk) of Uganda’s notorious Anti Homosexuality Bill ?
990 IRS tax forms and yearly reports from Invisible Children, and 990s from its major donors, tell a story that’s jarringly at odds with the secular, airbrushed, feelgood image the nonprofit has cultivated.
Among the tens of millions of people who have watched Invisible Children’s KONY 2012 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4MnpzG5Sqc) viral video, including Oprah Winfrey – a dedicated supporter of LGBT rights who also has given $2 million dollars to Invisible Children, how many were aware of IC’s extensive financial ties to far-right fundamentalism, including major funders of the mounting global war on gay rights ? IC doesn’t go out of its way to advertise these things.
But Invisible Children’s first yearly report, from 2006, gives “special thanks” to the “Caster Family Foundation” and IC’s 2007 report is more specific, thanking Terry and Barbara Caster. In the lead up to the 2008 election, the California-based Caster family was identified (http://www.californiansagainsthate.com/) as one of the biggest financial backers of the push for California’s anti-same sex marriage Proposition 8.
Capping the pro-Prop 8 push was a November 1, 2008 San Diego stadium rally held by The Call, whose leader Lou Engle warned that same sex marriage couldunleash (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1HGpY8EuXQ) a “sexual insanity” that would be “more demonic than Islam” and suggested believers should carry out acts of martyrdom to stop gay marriage and legal abortion, which Engle predicts will lead to a second American civil war.
One of The Call’s major donors in 2008 also gave, that same year, over 400,000 dollars to Invisible Children. These links weren’t anomalies. They were part of a pattern.
What does Invisible Children share in common with James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council (pegged (http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2010/winter/the-hard-liners) by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “hate group”), or the Fellowship Foundation — one of the nonprofit entities of the Washington-based evangelical organization also known as “The Family” (http://harpers.org/archive/2003/03/0079525) (covered in two books by journalist Jeff Sharlet) whose leader Doug Coe has been captured on video celebrating (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYeGR7O1lKI#t=1m46s) the dedication inspired by Hitler, Lenin, and Mao ?
What does IC have in common with the ministry of California evangelist Ed Silvoso, who works directly with leading Ugandan author and promoter of the Anti Homosexuality Bill (also called the “kill the gays bill”) Julius Oyet — who claims (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZKTgjNd9-Y#t=5m20s)that “even animals are wiser than homosexuals”?
The answer? — all of these ministries – the Discovery Institute, Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, The Fellowship Foundation, The Call, Ed Silvoso’s Harvest Evangelism, and Invisible Children – received at least $100,000 in 2008 from what has emerged in the last decade as the biggest funder of the hard, antigay, creationist Christian right: the National Christian Foundation (http://www.nationalchristian.com/home).

2008 grants from National Christian Foundation, and subsidiaries
Focus on The Family: $4,268,000
Family Research Council: $2,387,000
The Fellowship Foundation (AKA “The Family” or the “International Foundation”): $515,000
Lou Engle’s The Call: $166,000
Ed Silvoso’s Harvest Evangelism: $817,000
The Discovery Institute: $702,000*
Invisible Children: $414,000*
*NCF’s 2008 990 lists $139,000 to IC; NCF subsidiary ProVision Foundation’s 2008 990 lists a $150,000 grant to IC; NCF subsidiary ProVision Trust’s 2008 990 lists a $125,000 grant to IC.
*Answers in Genesis, which directly promotes “Young Earth” creationism,received over $35,000 from the NCF in 2008.
Since it came into existence in 1982, cooked up by canny tax lawyers, the National Christian Foundation–covered in a story (http://motherjones.com/politics/2005/12/rendering-unto-god) by journalist Michael Reynolds published in the December 2005 issue of Mother Jones (extended version of story available here (http://www.talk2action.org/story/2006/10/26/182546/91))– has swollen into a financial behemoth that disperses over 1/2 a billion dollars a year to Christian charities. But not just any Christian charities.
The NCF, which counts (http://philanthropy.com/article/A-Complex-Giving-Structure/125500/?otd=Y2xpY2t0aHJ1Ojo6c293aWRnZXQ6OjpjaGFubmVsOnBlb 3BsZSxhcnRpY2xlOm5ldy10aXRsZXMtbmF0aW9uYWwtY2hyaXN 0aWFuLWZvdW5kYXRpb246OjpjaGFubmVsOm5ld3MsYXJ0aWNsZ TphLWNvbXBsZXgtZ2l2aW5nLXN0cnVjdHVyZS1lbmFibGVzLXF 1aWV0LWRvbmF0aW9ucw==) billionaire, controversial Rick Santorum-backer Foster Friess among its donors, funds nonprofits that advance its agenda which, as stated on the NCF website, is to “enable followers of Christ to give wisely to advance His Kingdom”.
(Joining (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57374428-503544/santorums-big-benefactor/) with Foster Friess, as one of the top 2 donors to Rick Santorum’s Red, White, and Blue Fund Super-PAC, was Templeton Foundation head Dr. John Templeton, Jr. – who donated $35,000 to Invisible Children in 2007 according to the group’s 2007 990.)
The National Christian Foundation’s statement of belief is solidly fundamentalist: “We believe that the entire Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God; the only infallible rule of faith and practice.” Also stated on NCF’s website:

“Our board members know they are charged with a great responsibility. Their goal is to make certain every dollar that comes to us is ultimately distributed according to our Christian mission”
2008 wasn’t the first year Invisible Children benefited from National Christian Foundation largesse – IC’s 2007 990 tax form lists three grants, totaling $350,000, from NCF subsidiary the ProVision Foundation (which is also specifically thanked in IC’s 2007 and 2008 annual reports).
Invisible Children’s first filed 990 tax form, for the calender year running from mid 2005 to mid 2006, listed a $30,000 cash donation, IC’s biggest cash gift that year, from another fundamentalist (http://waterstone.org/about-us/visionmissonstatementoffaith/) granting organization, based in Colorado Springs, called the Christian Community Foundation, Inc. (also known as “Waterstone”)
In 2009, CCF assets surpassed $138,000,000 and the foundation made over $20,000,000 in grants, including $365,000 to the Family Research Council and $297,000 to Focus on The Family, as well as small grants to Answers in Genesis and the Fellowship Foundation.
The membership of the Christian Community Foundation, Inc.’s board of directors overlaps with board membership of National Christian Foundation subsidiaries; what this suggests is that, from its first calendar year, Invisible Children had appeared on the radar screen of some of the world’s largest Christian fundamentalist grant-making organizations–which apparently deemed Invisible Children to be a worthy investment that would help advance particular visions for establishing God’s kingdom on Earth.
IC was also on the radar screen, judging by his $5,218 donation listed on the Invisible Children 2006 990 tax form, of Philip Anschutz – the reclusive, Colorado-based devout Christian billionaire, dubbed the “stealth media mogul”, who was in 2007 worth an estimated $6.7 billion dollars.
According (http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/8/31/113147/698) to journalist Bill Berkowitz, Anschutz has helped fund the Discovery Institute and supported Colorado’s 1992 anti-gay marriage Amendment 2. In 2005 Anschutz co-produced, in conjunction with Walt Disney Pictures, the Christian-themed fantasy film “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.”
Along with the pro-Proposition 8 Caster Family, another backer specifically thanked in Invisible Children’s first yearly report was the Circle Family Foundation, also known as “Malachi 3″, a small foundation which funds a stable of ministries including Campus Crusade For Christ, whose founder the late Bill Bright patterned his ministry along the lines of revolutionary communist cell groups.
Bright, who once declared himself to be “involved in a conspiracy with thousands of others to ‘overthrow the world’ “, also helped birth the dominionist “Seven Mountains” mandate, which instructs believers to take control of significant sectors of society and culture including: media, arts and entertainment, government, business and finance, the family, religion, and education.
[note: this story explores almost wholly overlooked ties between the Invisible Children nonprofit and the politicized fundamentalist right. It is not intended as a dedicated critique of Invisible Children's effort to publicize Joseph Kony and the LRA, or the nonprofit's conduct generally. Subsequent installments will address those issues. For a very different profile of American evangelical involvement in Uganda, see my 20-minute documentary video Transforming Uganda (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF1W8tM2XEI), cited in 2010 testimony before Congress.]
RESOURCES
http://www.friendsforpeaceinafrica.org/samuel-olara/496-accounting-for-post-war-crimes-in-northern-uganda-monitor.html ( the best summary I’ve yet seen of conflict in Northern Uganda, 1986 – 2007 )
Critiques of Invisible Children
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-deibert/joseph-kony-2012-children_b_1327417.html
http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com/post/18890947431/we-got-trouble
http://www.wrongingrights.com/2009/03/worst-idea-ever.html/
http://chrisblattman.com/2009/03/04/visible-children/
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/136673/mareike-schomerus-tim-allen-and-koen-vlassenroot/obama-takes-on-the-lra?page=show
http://www.blackstarnews.com/news/122/ARTICLE/6586/2010-06-02.html ( “How Invisible Children Falsely Marketed The LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act” )
http://www.thegauntlet.com/article/1320/18249/Barry-from-Look-What-I-Did-responds-to-Invisible-Children-Organization.html ( Invisible Children confirms pro-interventionist stance )
Alleged crimes and human rights abuses by Uganda and the Ugandan People’s Defense Forces
http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=17456:updf-in-kony-hunt-accused-of-rape-looting&catid=78:topstories&Itemid=116 ( UPDF, hunting for Kony in DRC, accused of rape, looting )
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upITVcXw_Gk ( Yoweri Museveni, president of Uganda, shot his way into power using child soldiers )
http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/116/10521.pdf ( Uganda was indicted, in 2005, by the International Criminal Court for War Crimes in DRC Congo )
Reports, from UN, on Uganda & Rwanda war crimes in DRC Congo
http://www.afrol.com/Countries/DRC/documents/un_resources_2002_rwanda.htm
http://www.afrol.com/Countries/DRC/documents/un_resources_2002_uganda.htm
http://www.afrol.com/Countries/DRC/documents/un_resources_2002_intro.htm
Wikipedia cover of DRC conflict
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo#Rwandan.2FUgandan _invasions_and_civil_wars
Accusations of an Acholi Genocide
[ Yoweri Museveni has been accused of engineering a planned, slow genocide against the Acholi people of Northern Uganda (note: Blackstar News links to web-cached versions of stories - site under heavy traffic load)]
http://www.musevenimemo.org/ ( David Todd Whitmore, of University of Notre Dame, studies traditional Acholi culture, says 1980s memo, allegedly from Yoweri Museveni, indicates plan to depopulate Acholi areas of Northern Uganda, to open up access for fertile farmland. )
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2007/05/secret_photos_r/ ( ABC report suggests Ugandan government coverup )
http://www.acholitimes.com/culture/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=13:genocide-in-uganda-the-african-nightmare-christopher-hitchens-missed&catid=3:genocide-in-acholi-the-conspiracy-of-silence&Itemid=23 – ( ” Genocide in Uganda: The African Nightmare Christopher Hitchens Missed ” )
http://www.independent.co.ug/News/news/3865-planned-massacre-of-the-acholi ( Uganda Independent covers accusations of an Acholi genocide )
http://allafrica.com/stories/201101050048.html
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:ntd7BPk00poJ:blackstarnews.com/news/122/ARTICLE/7028/2010-12-25.html+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us
http://www.friendsforpeaceinafrica.org/documents/20/65-structure-a-agency-in-acholi-genocide.html ( “Structure and Agency in Acholi Genocide” )
http://www.friendsforpeaceinafrica.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=68&Itemid=43 ( “Genocide in Comparative Perspective; the Jewish and Acholi Experience” )
http://www.friendsforpeaceinafrica.org/columnists/161-the-achol-qfinal-solutionq.html (http://www.friendsforpeaceinafrica.org/columnists/161-the-acholi-qfinal-solutionq.html) ( “The Acholi Final Solution”, 2007, by Milton Allimadi, editor of NYC-based Blackstar News )
http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=book/export/html/10361 ( “Ending Uganda’s “Brilliant” Genocide”, Allimadi )
http://www.km-net.org.uk/conferences/KM97/papers_htm/causes.htm
http://www.ugandagenocide.info/ ( general source for writings on Acholi conflict & Ugandan gov. )
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:BPk1NvWo7_cJ:www.blackstarnews.com/%3Fc%3D122%26a%3D4751+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us ( report from Dr. Adam Branch, whose research is based in Northern Uganda )
http://www.david-kilgour.com/mp/Ugandan%20IDP%20Camps%20&%20Children.htm ( Canadian parliament member, on Acholi camps )
http://www.blackcommentator.com/93/93_otika_uganda.html ( Ugandan student, studying in US, weighs in )
http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2012/03/11/invisible-children-funded-by-antigay-creationist-christian-right/

Magda Hassan
03-13-2012, 11:15 PM
The Kony 2012 Scam: Funded by Chase Bank; Big Oilhttp://robertdbutler.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/The-Kony-2012-Scam-300x228.png (http://robertdbutler.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/The-Kony-2012-Scam.png)
Political scandals have slowed Tullow Oil's goal to pump 200k barrels of oil per day.
You have probably seen or heard about the Kony 2012 campaign. The professionally produced advertising campaign (http://www.kony2012.com/)from Invisible Children (http://www.invisiblechildren.com/) has gone viral to demand that a Ugandan rebel leader, Joseph Kony, turn himself in for war crimes.The video makes a compelling, emotional appeal based on a simplified, yet reasonably accurate history of child soldiers in Kony’s “The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).Invisible Children would like the US to be more involved in bringing Joseph Kony to justice.Let’s look at the context. As with most politics, it’s a bit complex. It gets exciting near the end, I promise.The British established a colony in Uganda, and entrusted the Acholi tribe with the military power to keep the peace.In 1986, Ugandan President Tito Okello, a member of the Acholi tribe was overthrown in a violent revolution by Yoweri Museveni, a corrupt Marxist dictator who quickly outlawed political opposition. Religion is also a factor: the Acholis are Catholic, and Museveni is a born-again Christian.http://robertdbutler.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Uganda-protester-300x245.png (http://robertdbutler.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Uganda-protester.png)
In Uganda, peaceful political parties and protests are illegal.
Without any ability to form an opposing political party, manyAcholis initially supported Joseph Kony‘s rebellion. But Kony’s popularity failed when he began to brutally enforce his own strict version of Catholicism on his tribe to create a new government based on his interpretation of the 10 Commandments.When his popularity dissipated, Kony turned to forced recruitments. It’s estimated that Kony’s forces have kidnapped between 60 to 100,000 children since 1986, often killing their parents in the process.Uganda (a Catholic and born-again Christian country) has sided with South Sudan(also Christian) in their struggle for freedom against Northern Sudan (predominantly Muslim). In retaliation, Northern Sudan began funding Joseph Kony in the mid-1990′s.Now, the war in Sudan has reached an unstable truce. After the International Criminal Court issued an indictment against Joseph Kony, Northern Sudan cut off his funding. Joseph Kony has disappeared, and is probably no longer in Uganda. Many believe he is hiding in the African bush, probably in Congo. The fact is – Kony is no longer leading an army or kidnapping child soldiers.So, here’s the big question: Why does Invisible Children want the United States and the United Kingdom focused on a retired rebel leader, Joseph Kony, when there are still many other active child armies in other countries?Joseph Kony has been kidnapping children since 1986 (over 26 years) why should we care now? What has changed?OIL.In 2005, oil was discovered in Uganda. Tullow Oil has been planning to pump 200,000 barrels of oil per day, but the Marxist President Yoweri Museveni’s administration is now very unstable and reeling from bribery scandals. The political instability and existence of the Lord’s Resistance Army, has slowed the plans to produce oil.In 2008, the United States military assisted financially and logistically during the unsuccessful Operation Lightning Thunder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008%E2%80%932009_Garamba_offensive) to stop Kony.In May 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act that made it American policy to kill or capture Joseph Kony and to crush his rebellion.In October 2011, Obama authorized the deployment of approximately 100 combat-equipped U.S. troops to central Africa.Their goal is to help regional forces remove Kony and senior LRA leaders from the battlefield.JP Morgan Chase BankChase Bank contributed $1 million to Invisible Children (http://investor.shareholder.com/jpmorganchase/releasedetail.cfm?releaseid=515878) to help them produce the KONY 2012 campaign, among other programs. AND JP Morgan Chase is also a major investmest banker (http://freerealtime.brand.edgar-online.com/displayfilinginfo.aspx?FilingID=7197606-1195-16150&type=sect&TabIndex=2&companyid=378436&ppu=%252fDefault.aspx%253fticker%253dTUWOY)of Tullow Oil.. That’s right, the oil company that needs US military help to pump oil out of Uganda.ConclusionInvisible Children may be a legitimate charity interested in helping the people of Uganda, but they are being used by oil companies and banks to encourage American military intervention in Uganda.Before you donate to a cause, or even forward a video, learn about the real issues. The underlying cause of Joseph Kony’s rise to power is the Marxist President Yoweri Museveni’s ban on legitimate politcal opposition, and the support by foreign governments like Sudan. Arresting Joseph Kony may help encourage peace, but the real answer is political and economic reform inside Uganda.Sending US military troops is not the answer to every political problem in the world.Short URL: http://occupythe99percent.com/?p=12577

Keith Millea
03-16-2012, 09:48 PM
Published on Friday, March 16, 2012 by Common Dreams (http://www.commondreams.org/)

Kony 2012/Invisible Children Leader Arrested for Public Masturbation, Vandalizing Cars


"Acting very strange."

- Common Dreams staff

The mastermind behind the viral phenomenom "Kony 2012" video was arrested last night in San Diego, California for being drunk in public, vandalizing cars and public masturbation.

http://www.commondreams.org/sites/commondreams.org/files/imagecache/headline_image/article_images/jasonrussellin.jpg

Kony 2012's Jason Russell Jason Russell was "acting very strange" when he was arrested by the San Diego police.
Russell is the filmmaker and lead narrator of "Kony 2012" which also features his young son.
Russell is the co-founder of Invisible Children, the group which produced the video which has set records on the Internet -- with more than 80 million views over the past 10 days.
Jason Russell is an evangelical Christian and has been affiliated with Jerry Falwell's Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

* * *

UPDATE: In a statement, Invisible Children CEO Ben Keesey said:
“Jason Russell was unfortunately hospitalized yesterday suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition. He is now receiving medical care and is focused on getting better. The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday. Jason’s passion and his work have done so much to help so many, and we are devastated to see him dealing with this personal health issue. We will always love and support Jason, and we ask that you give his entire family privacy during this difficult time.”

* * *

NBC San Diego reports (http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/jason-russell-san-diego-invisible-children-kony-2012-142970255.html):
Invisible Children Co-Founder Detained: SDPD

SDPD said he was found masturbating in public, vandalizing cars and possible under the influence of something

A co-founder for Invisible Children was detained in Pacific Beach Thursday night for being drunk in public and masturbating, according to San Diego Police Department.
Jason Russell, 33, was allegedly found masturbating in public, vandalizing cars and possibly under the influence of something, according to Lt. Andra Brown. He was detained at the intersection of Ingraham Street and Riviera Road.
Brown said Russell was acting very strange.
Russell is one of the the founders responsible for the "Kony 2012" video that went viral last week. He is described on the organization's website as a co-founder and "our grand storyteller and dreamer." Russell is also described as a Christian and father to two children who wants to have nine more children with his wife he calls his "best friend for over 23 years."

* * *

Liberty University wrote of Jason Russell's appearance at their 2011 Convocation:
On November 7, 2011 at Convocation, North America's largest weekly gathering of Christian students, Jason Russell, co-founder of the Invisible Children movement and Alex Harris, author of "Do Hard Things" and "Start Here," participated in a panel, moderated by Vice-President of Liberty University and Campus Pastor, Johnnie Moore, about making a difference in the world. Students were able to text questions to the speakers about what motivated them to start their organizations, challenges to the millennial generation in impacting the world for Christ and how they can start making a difference in the world.
Invisible Children, uses the power of media to inspire young people to help end the longest running war in Africa. They make documentaries, tour them around the world, and lobby our nation's leaders to make ending this war a priority.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=S6_bHzrKzik

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/03/16-6

Magda Hassan
03-17-2012, 12:33 AM
Sorry, I had to do it...

Keith Millea
03-17-2012, 03:38 AM
Sorry, I had to do it...

http://i111.photobucket.com/albums/n152/KLM_010/smilies/smilielol5.gif

Keith Millea
03-17-2012, 03:31 PM
Okay,let's pound the little prick(pun intended)!Place your jokes here now.

From the comments section in the CD article.


I'm unclear: how does one masturbate while vandalizing? It's a strange conjunction.

Login (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/user/login?destination=node%2F80500%23comment-form) or register (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/user/register?destination=node%2F80500%23comment-form) to post comments
Posted by X
Mar 16 2012 - 10:10pm

He was denting car fenders with Mr. Happy?

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Posted by X
Mar 17 2012 - 1:58am

LOL! Someone asks a question. Another answers.

Peter Lemkin
03-17-2012, 08:42 PM
Okay,let's pound the little prick(pun intended)!Place your jokes here now.

From the comments section in the CD article.


I'm unclear: how does one masturbate while vandalizing? It's a strange conjunction.

Login (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/user/login?destination=node%2F80500%23comment-form) or register (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/user/register?destination=node%2F80500%23comment-form) to post comments
Posted by X
Mar 16 2012 - 10:10pm

He was denting car fenders with Mr. Happy?

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Posted by X
Mar 17 2012 - 1:58am

LOL! Someone asks a question. Another answers.

Having lived near for many years and in Pacific Beach hundreds of times and knowing what goes on there, at times, I can't say it would be so very out of place - but, yes, the 'conjuction' [if that be the right word] is a bit odd. Motive? Actually, I saw a report on this on Al Jazeera in which they interviewed a San Diego Police spokeswoman who mentioned only that he was reported to be acting 'strangely' and at times naked - at other times in his underwear; appeared to be 'high' on something - and was taken to a local hospital for evaluation and treatment under police custody. Neither masturbation nor vandalism was mentioned. Do I sense a cover-up?!

Sorry, my post is not as funny as those above....not funny at all compared to above. :joystick:They are really hard to beat.

Magda Hassan
04-09-2012, 04:13 AM
Invisible Children, Makers of KONY2012, Spied For Ugandan Regime ---WikiLeaks




By Milton Allimadi
04-08-12










http://blackstarnews.com/tpllib/img.php?im=cat_135/8090.jpg&w=150&h=119



Invisible Children's CEO Ben Keesey didn't respond to inquiries about the spygate revelation in U.S. memo revealed by WikiLeaks










http://blackstarnews.com/v3/images/GF_ArtilceBodyFooter01.jpg















Invisible Children, makers of KONY2012, provided an intelligence tip to Uganda's security apparatus leading to arrests of several suspected regime opponents, according to U.S. embassy cables posted by WikiLeaks.

The San Diego-based group has since 2008 acted in concert with the Ugandan government in coordinating public relations campaigns to promote a military solution against the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), while keeping the U.S. administration informed. Key partnerships formed by Invisible Children in Washington, D.C. include lobbying organizations Resolve Uganda and the Center for American Progress' Enough Project; groups that have also promoted U.S. military penetration in Africa.

The memos also document that U.S. officials were aware of the Ugandan government's campaigns to demonize opponents of the military approach by linking them to the LRA as sympathizers or collaborators -- even church leader Bishop John Baptiste Odama was implicated.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State declined to comment on the U.S. memos and its contents when excerpts were sent via email message for reaction. Invisible Children's CEO Ben Keesey didn't return a phone message left at the San Diego office seeking comment. Additionally, an outside spokesperson for the organization didn't respond to detailed questions submitted via email message.

It's unclear whether the organization provided additional intelligence information to the Ugandans beyond the one referred to in the U.S. memo and whether the relationship continues. (The organization didn't respond to this specific question either. Similarly, The State Department didn't respond to a question about whether a U.S. NGO was authorized to share intelligence information with Ugandan authorities leading to arrests).

According to Invisible Children's PR plan to promote armed operations against the LRA outlined in the memos, Ugandan officials and politicians, such as Norbert Mao, backed the military approach, and were to be brought on trips to the U.S. to meet with lawmakers to help build U.S. support. (Later, an LRA Disarmament bill was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Obama, paving the way for deployment of the U.S. military in Uganda, beginning in October, 2011).

Critics contend Invisible Children, by actively engaging in intelligence work for the Ugandan authorities and then promoting the regime's military approach through campaigns such as "Kony2012" -- part one and "Beyond Kony" the sequel released last week -- shouldn't be entitled to its not-for-profit status. The U.S. embassy memos now provide more insight into the working relations between Invisible Children, the Ugandan authorities and the U.S. government -- dating to the George W. Bush administration.

The memos highlight an August 10, 2007 meeting in which Invisible Children's CEO, Ben Keesey, met in Uganda with then U.S. ambassador [B]Steven Browning (http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/08/07KAMPALA1351.html) "...to update the Ambassador on their activities and to describe their efforts to provide to their audiences timely information on conditions in northern Uganda."

Invisible Children's current alliance with the Ugandan authorities began after the AFRICOM-assisted military maneuver against the LRA in Congo, code-named Operation Lightning Thunder (OLT), which was a turning point in the war between Museveni's army the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) and the LRA.

OLT was conducted with the Ugandan military's heaviest weapons -- the U.S. fueled helicopters to the tune of $1 million dollars, and, the mission itself was conducted with logistical support and intelligence from the U.S. army. After Kony's delays in signing a final agreement Gen. Museveni ordered what would be a disastrous military assault, after receiving a nod from Washington.

OLT failed to neutralize Kony; instead, attacks against civilians resumed, with over one-thousand Congolese civilians slaughtered in reprisal attacks, as the LRA was pushed into the Central African Republic (CAR). Hoping to reverse the negative publicity, the Museveni regime, with U.S. knowledge, teamed up with Congo to launch a public relations blitz to influence journalists, human rights organizations and other governments. Invisible Children played a role in the campaign, culminating with Kony2012.

"The Government of Uganda (GOU) will deliver to Kabila a coordination and outreach strategy designed to enhance the delivery of accurate, timely information by allied governments to journalists, domestic audiences, and international human rights groups," then U.S. ambassador Steven Browning wrote in a confidential memo dated February 25, 2009, referring to Congo's President Joseph Kabila. "Invisible Children, a U.S.-based non-governmental organization, is planning pro-OLT events under the theme 'Kony Must Be Stopped. Rescue Our Children.' We expect the GOU to start a more coordinated communications strategy in the near future," the ambassador added (http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/02/09KAMPALA207.html).

The memo also revealed that Gen. Museveni and Kabila were to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which would authorize the extension of OLT indefinitely, although it would be reviewable every three months.

Ambassador Browning's writings also revealed that Congo didn't trust Uganda's army inside Congo. After all, in 2005, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had found Uganda liable of what amounted to war crimes -- plunder, mass rapes and massacres -- when Uganda occupied parts of Congo from 1997 to 2003 and awarded Congo $10 billion.

"Uganda will commit to not plundering any Congolese resources," Ambassador Browning wrote, and added, referring to Kangumba Adyeri, a Uganda foreign ministry official, "Ambassador Kangumba said that this issue remains a sore point for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda is willing to sign the pledge because it has no intention of repeating its behavior during the Congolese civil war." This is a remarkable acknowledgment of guilt by Kangumba Adyeri for the years of atrocities Uganda committed in Congo with complete impunity.

While the ambassador's memo reveals Invisible Children's involvement in the pro-OLT campaign, a memo by another U.S. official documents the organization's collaboration with Ugandan intelligence services.

The memo is dated June 11, 2009, and written by Kathleen FitzGibbon (http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/06/09KAMPALA587.html), a political affairs officer at the U.S. embassy, which echoes claims by the Museveni regime about a conspiracy against his government. The memo -- which reads like something which could easily have been written by the Ugandan authorities themselves -- detailed accusations that some Ugandans living in the U.S. backed insurgencies.

Under the subject, "UGANDA: GAMES THE ACHOLI DIASPORA CONTINUE TO PLAY," FitzGibbon in the June 11, 2009 memo wrote: "The Ugandan Government is investigating the latest attempt by Acholi Diaspora to mobilize support for a new rebellion in northern Uganda. The arrest of low level participants continues while the Government decides its next steps, which may include a public outing of Acholi Diaspora spoilers."

"The latest plot was exposed when the Government received a tip from the U.S. non-governmental organization (NGO) INVISIBLE CHILDREN regarding the location of Patrick Komakech," FitzGibbon added. "He was wanted by the security services for impersonating LRA leaders to extort money from government officials, NGOs, and Acholi leaders. Komakech is purportedly a former child soldier abducted by the LRA. Invisible Children had featured him in its documentaries. Invisible Children reported that Komakech had been in Nairobi and had recently reappeared in Gulu, where he was staying with the NGO. Security organizations jumped on the tip and immediately arrested Komakech on March 5."

As a result of the tip from WikiLeaks, the Ugandan military claimed it obtained the names of other suspects from Komakech. The Ugandan military then conducted a sweep and arrested many suspects, many of whom later declared their innocence, according to Uganda media reports.

The FitzGibbon memo makes it clear that the Ugandan authorities also wanted to implicate Bishop John Baptist Odama, an opponent of a military approach to ending the conflict.

Referring to then Gulu District Resident Commissioner, Col. Walter Ochora, now deceased, FitzGibbon wrote: "Ochora reported that Bishop Odama, a prominent and well-respected Acholi religious leader, had been implicated as funding airtime for both the LRA and the new organization. In addition, Odama allegedly had harbored some of the group's members. The Government is considering its options on Odama."

Yet, the FitzGibbon memo also notes the need for caution, noting there could be credibility issues with the information provided by the Ugandan authorities. "Several sources outside the security services say that various Government officials may be overplaying the level of threat posed by the rebel group for their own interests. They claim the group is still in its formative stages," FitzGibbon wrote. "However, its existence reinforces a widely-held belief within the southern-based government 'that the Acholi will never surrender,' which in turn reinforces government suspicions about the north and Ugandan exiles."

It seems clear that U.S. officials did not heed this suggestion to exercise skepticism and instead the U.S. has adopted Uganda's and Invisible Children's preferred solutions. Invisible Children is too compromised and corrupted; it can't produce a helpful film about the Ugandan calamity showing both the LRA's -- and the Museveni regime's even larger role in the bloodshed.

In the Kony2012 sequel, more Ugandan faces are shown, as if that would itself exonerate Invisible Children for essentially producing a propaganda piece for the Museveni regime. (In a devious but ineffective attempt at spin that didn't fool us at The Black Star News, Uganda's appointed prime minister Amama Mbabazi recently posted on YouTube a "mild" criticism of Kony2012, when in fact the regime has worked all along with Invisible Children).

Norbert Mao, and Jolly Okot, are both featured in the Kony2012 sequel, with Okot more frequently. While Okot, who is also a former victim of LRA atrocities lends credibility to Kony2012, nevertheless she is a senior executive of Invisible Children in Uganda. While both Mao and Okot seek an end to the conflict, they are also early supporters of the military approach, as revealed in the earlier WikiLeaks memo by ambassador Browning on February 25, 2009.

"Meanwhile, domestic support for the operation is high," Browning (http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/02/09KAMPALA207.html) wrote, referring to OLT. "Jolly Okot, Invisible Children's Gulu Office Director, informed us that the San Diego-based non-governmental organization is planning a worldwide campaign day in support of OLT on April 24, Okot said that the theme is: 'Kony Must Be Stopped. Rescue Our Children' and was developed after consultations in all of the LRA-affected areas of northern Uganda. Gulu District Chairman Norbert Mao will honcho the events. Part of the campaign will include a visit to key policymakers and lawmakers in Washington by Mao, Resident District Commissioner Walter Ochora, and Acholi Paramount Chief Rwot Acana. Events will be held in major cities in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, and Mexico."

According to the memo, a Ugandan official, Walter Ochora -- now deceased -- said members of parliament from the war affected region of Acholi, such as Reagan Okumu, who opposed military operations had "been quieted down after visits to their constituencies revealed that they were out-of-step with the voters."

On the other hand, FitzGibbon, the political affairs officer in her own memo wrote that the same Ugandan official, Ochora "reported that Bishop Odama, a prominent and well-respected Acholi religious leader, had been implicated as funding airtime for both the LRA and the new organization. In addition, Odama allegedly had harbored some of the group's members. The Government is considering its options on Odama."

Odama is one of the most revered church leaders in Uganda and while a staunch opponent of the LRA has lobbied hard for a negotiated resolution, even risking his life in attempting mediation.

Mao, who is now president of the Democratic Party, one of Uganda's opposition parties, disputes the former U.S. ambassador's characterization of his position. "I did not support OLT," Mao said, in a strongly-worded statement to The Black Star News. "It was an operation to rain bombs in the areas where Kony was believed to be participating and would lead to indiscriminate killing of those the operation was intended to rescue. But even so, I believe there is no purely military solution to the LRA issue. Even after the release of Kony 2012 I stated clearly that the doors to peaceful solutions must never be closed."

"But perhaps more importantly I met Ambassador Browning and shared my views on OLT. But I guess he wanted Washington to think a certain way or those in Washington wanted him to present that kind of supportive evidence," he added.

"On the 2009 events in DC I did not participate. I knew about it and I was briefed about it. The goal was clear - the world cannot continue with business as usual when thousands of abducted children are with the LRA," Mao added, noting that he did attend an earlier event paid for by Invisible Children in 2007 (see complete statement).

He said he did "know the power of such activism because that is what pushed George Bush to appoint Tim Shortley as an envoy to the Juba talks. When he did we could not believe it because initially the US was very lukewarm about the talks."

The Juba talks ended with the ill-fated OLT.

"What killed the talks was that deep down in his psyche, Museveni wants a military solution," Mao added. His belief that he is a reincarnation of the Chwezi conquerors cannot allow him to rest until he has humiliated the Luo (Acholi) who toppled the Chwezi rulers." (The Chwezi are variously referred to as an empire that may have been real or mythical who lasted until the 16th Century until the invasion of Luo people).

The U.S. collaboration with Gen. Museveni's army -- found liable for war crimes in the Congo by the International Court of Justice in 2005 -- insulates Uganda's dictator and his military commanders, at least for the time being, from prosecution.

It also diverts news attention from the fact that Gen. Museveni is fighting for his own political survival in Uganda, as opposition politicians who claim he stole the last presidential election continue their mass protests in Kampala, the capital. This week the regime banned protests by activists.

In return for the license granted him by Western powers, Museveni has contributed thousands of Ugandan soldiers -- some of whom may have participated in the war crimes in Congo and in Uganda -- for the U.S.-backed mission to stabilize Somalia, which, Washington fears, will become a haven for Al Qaeda.

At the same time, the U.S. also gets to maintain and expand its military presence in the oil and resource rich regions of Uganda, South Sudan, Congo and Central Africa. In this way, the U.S. is building leverage to check China's aggressive search for energy in the same region. The government of Sudan now must also think twice before it dares to launch a full-scale invasion of U.S.-backed, oil-rich, South Sudan.

Kony2012 was viewed more than 100 million times; yet it now turns out that Invisible Children may have duped a global audience by hiding the fact that it's been working closely with the Museveni regime all along, to the extent that it even shared intelligence leading to arrests of perceived or alleged regime opponents.


"Speaking Truth To Empower."














http://blackstarnews.com/news/135/ARTICLE/8090/2012-04-08.html

Magda Hassan
05-25-2012, 06:01 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Om17yHZrXtE&feature=youtu.be

R.K. Locke
12-17-2014, 10:10 PM
http://links.org.au/node/2784


Introduction by Tony Iltis

March 22, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The reception in Uganda to the KONY 2012 viral video has been unanimously negative. From journalists, academics and bloggers to local NGO workers and local people at a public screening in the northern town of Lira, Ugandans have reacted angrily to their country’s politics and problems being simplified into a childish narrative to serve foreign propaganda needs.

Many Ugandan commentators noted that this is not the first time Uganda has suffered this treatment from Western filmmakers, citing the highly successful, award-winning 2007 British film, The Last King of Scotland, as another example. This film is centres on Idi Amin Dada, who ruled Uganda from 1971 to 1979 in a violent reign of terror that cost 100,000 lives.

The Last King of Scotland basically revived for a new generation what was already a standard narrative. Amin’s outlandish statements, absurd self-aggrandisement (awarding himself titles such as “Conqueror of the British Empire”) and the fact that while most dictators are content to employ others to kill and torture he took a more hands-on approach, made him the archetype of the post-colonial dictator.

Underlying this narrative is racism and post-facto justification of colonialism: the implication being that if you allow Africans to rule African nations, this is what they do.

However, as the article below by Pat Hutton and Jonathan Bloch, originally written in 1979, adapted for Zed Press in 1980 as part of the book, Dirty Work 2—The CIA in Africa, and republished in the February 2001 New African, clearly demonstrates, Amin was installed and maintained in power by Western powers.

While the article focuses on the British role, British government documents declassified in 2002 suggest that while Britain welcomed Amin’s coup and immediately supported the new régime, London was initially taken by surprise, the coup having been carried out by Israel.

As the article explains, Amin was central to Israel’s operations in the 1960s supplying arms to the Anya-Nya rebel group in southern Sudan. As a declassified post-coup communication from the British High Commission in Uganda explained: “The main Israeli objective here is to ensure that the rebellion in southern Sudan keeps on simmering for as long as conditions require the exploitation of any weakness in the Arab world. They do not want the rebels to win. They want them to keep on fighting.”

Amin had risen to the top of the Ugandan military as an ally of President Milton Obote. However, their subsequent falling out had led to Obote planning to move against Amin, endangering Israel’s operations, which was the motive of the coup.

In 1972, the Addis Ababa Agreement led to a temporary cessation in the conflict between the South Sudanese rebels and the Sudanese state. This caused Israel to lose interest in Amin and become unresponsive to his ever-increasing demands for military hardware. In response Amin expelled Israeli military advisors and turned to the regime of Muammar Gadaffi in Libya for support.

Relations between Amin and Israel worsened in 1978, following the hijacking of an Air France airliner on a Tel Aviv to Paris flight to Entebbe Airport in Uganda. Amin claimed to be playing the role of negotiator but the Israelis suspected him of siding with the hijackers and launched a dramatic military rescue. Whatever the truth, once again the narrative was hijacked by Western movie makers.

Two Hollywood blockbusters were released very shortly afterwards: Victory at Entebbe in 1976 and Raid on Entebbe in 1977. These films did much to establish Israel’s version of events in popular historical memory, for example the claim that the hijackers separated Jewish from non-Jewish hostages. However, as Israeli hostage Ilan Hartuv told the July 8, 2011, Ha’aretz: “The terrorists separated the Israelis from the non-Israelis. The separation was done based on passports and ID cards. There was no selection of Jews versus non-Jews.”

While Britain and Uganda broke diplomatic relations in 1976, as the article below explains covert British support for Amin continued until his overthrow with the help of Tanzanian forces in 1979.

Uganda’s nightmare did not end with the overthrow of Amin. In the ensuing civil war, which lasted until 1986, 500,000 people were killed. The worst atrocities occurred during Obote’s second presidency, which lasted from 1981 to 1986. It was out of this war, known as the Bush War, that both the current Ugandan government of Yoweri Museveni and Joseph Kony’s Lords Resistance Army emerged.
It is against this record of Western indifference to the Ugandan people that naïve calls for Western military help to “save” Ugandans should be judged.
* * *

By Pat Hutton and Jonathan Bloch

That Idi Amin was a brutal dictator of extraordinary cruelty is well known and becomes more so as the tally of his victims, according to conventional accounts, topped over 100,000 between 1971-75. What is less known is the role of the British government and its allies not only in maintaining Amin's machinery of repression but in actually establishing him in power. Although Amin later became alienated from his Western friends, we can show here that the break between him and Britain became complete only when his fall (on April 10, 1979) was imminent, and that regarding him as the least evil option from the point of view of British interests, London actively helped keep him in power.

The tale of how the Western powers took measures to reverse the decline of their fortunes in Africa during the 1960s is complex in detail but simple in principle. In Uganda, once dubbed the “Pearl of Africa” by Winston Churchill, huge British financial, industrial and agricultural interests were under threat from the Obote government.

Unease about Obote's intentions was combined with attempts by outside interests to ingratiate themselves. Obote accepted aid from the Israel government, which was desperately trying to avoid total diplomatic isolation while being used as a proxy by the United States in countries where its own reputation was tarnished.

The Americans and Israelis worked in very close co-operation in Uganda, particularly through their respective intelligence agencies, the CIA and Mossad. Washington provided some development aid while Israeli troops trained the Ugandan army and airforce. The British economic and political presence was always predominant and this was one of the situations that Obote hoped to change.

Throughout the late 1960s, Obote was consolidating his personal power and introducing legislation that was to shake the colonial interests. Although Obote was no Fidel Castro or Julius Nyerere [president ofTanzania], his “Common Man's Charter” and the nationalisation of 80 British companies were not welcome in London.

As one prominent commentator put it: “The Obote government was on the point of changing not only the constitution but the whole political system when [Amin's] coup occurred.”

A vital source of raw materials, Uganda was not about to be permitted to determine its own political development at the expense of the entrenched interests. Soon, plans were being laid by Britain in combination with Israel and America to remedy this situation.

The grand plan

The first task was to choose Obote's possible successor, and Idi Amin proved an obvious choice. Known by the British as “a little short on the grey matter” though “intensely loyal to Britain”, his qualifications were superb. He had started his career as a non-commissioned officer in the British colonial regiment, the King's African Rifles, and later served in the British suppression of Kenyan nationalists in the late 1950s (mistakenly known as the Mau Mau rebellion).

In Uganda itself, Amin had helped form the General Service Units (the political police) and had even chosen the presidential bodyguard. Some have said Amin was being groomed for power as early as 1966 (four years after Ugandan independence on October 9, 1962), but the plotting by the British and others began in earnest in 1969 when Obote started his nationalisation program.

The plotting was based in southern Sudan, in the midst of a tribe that counted Amin among its members. Here, the Israel government had been supporting a secessionist movement called the Anya-Nya against the Arab-leaning Sudanese government, in an effort to divert Arab military forces from Israel's western front with Egypt during the “no peace, no war” period of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

One of those helping the Anya-Nya was Rolf Steiner, a German mercenary veteran of several wars, who told of his time there in a book published in 1978, The Last Adventurer. Steiner said that he had been introduced to representatives of the giant Roman Catholic charity, Caritas International, and referred by them to two British men who would help him provide assistance to the Anya-Nya. They also suggested that Steiner keep in touch with a British mercenary called Alexander Gay.

Steiner had made Gay's acquaintance when they were both serving as mercenaries on the Biafran side during the Nigerian civil war. A former bank clerk, Gay had fought in the Congo from 1965 to 1968 and then in Nigeria, where he met the famous novelist Frederic Forsyth, then a war correspondent.

Forsyth had stood bail and given character references for Gay in November 1973 when Gay was tried for making a false statement to obtain a passport and for possession of a pistol, ammunition and gelignite (a type of dynamite).

On conviction, Gay was sentenced only to a fine and a suspended sentence. One of the factors leading to this leniency may have been that the British Special Branch had praised him in court and testified that he had provided “information which was great and considerable help to Western powers”.

However, back in East Africa, Gay, Steiner and their British mercenary friends established themselves in southern Sudan with a radio link to their other base in the Apollo Hotel in Kampala, Uganda. But Steiner said he did not know of the real intentions of his British colleagues until he heard Gay had been casting aspersions on him to the Anya-Nya leadership.

In a confrontation over this, Steiner forced Gay to tell him what his real task was—to overthrow or assassinate Obote. The British government had no interest in supporting a southern Sudanese secession and was only using the Anya-Nya as cover for its plans for the future of Uganda.

Steiner said that he wanted to know more, so he made Gay come with him to Kampala to search the room of one of their British colleagues at the Apollo Hotel, Blunden (a pseudonym Steiner uses for this “former British diplomat” now turned mercenary). They came away with a mass of coded documents detailing the British plot that had been transmitted to London by the British embassy.

Steiner says in his book that Gay explained to him why Obote's successor had been chosen, saying: “Blunden told me that the British knew Idi Amin well and he was their first choice because he was the stupidest and the easiest to manipulate.” As Steiner remarks: “Events were later to prove who was the most stupid.”

Little more is known about this episode except that Steiner claims that Blunden was operating an airline called Southern Air Motive, and had planned the December 18, 1969, assassination attempt on Obote. It has since been independently confirmed that Gay and Blunden were working for British intelligence, and also that Steiner found British intelligence code books at the Apollo Hotel.

The Israeli connection

That it was the Israelis who were providing so much help to the Anya-Nya while the Britons plotted against Obote lends support to the allegations of a former CIA official in March 1978 that Amin's coup was planned by British intelligence in cooperation with Israeli intelligence. Amin was known to have visited southern Sudan at least twice in 1970, once in disguise, and was in constant touch with the Anya-Nya rebels.

One of Amin's Israeli friends has spoken of his role in the coup and how he helped Amin. The “friend” who was a colonel in the Israel army, said that Amin approached him, saying he feared that people loyal to Obote would be able to arrest and kill him before he could secure Kampala. The “friend” said he told Amin that troops from Amin's own tribe in southern Sudan should be on hand, as well as paratroopers, tanks and jeeps.

Bolstered by the Israeli assistance and the greater power of the Ugandan tank corps, Amin was able to overwhelm the majority of the armed forces loyal to Obote on January 24-25,1971. The Anya-Nya troops were a core of the forces in the Amin coup, and thousands of them later joined the Ugandan army and carried out many of Amin's early bloody purges which saw more than 100,000 Ugandans killed between 1971-75.

The Israelis had clearly been cultivating Amin for some time through their military presence in a manner consistent with their role as US proxies. These times were the heyday of the CIA's worldwide efforts to subvert radical regimes and in Africa to assert the predominance of the US as far as possible. Active in Kenya, Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania and Nigeria, the United States was also seeking to gain influence in Uganda, especially by means of intelligence officers of the navy and airforce based in Kampala, together with the CIA agents working under the cover of USAID.

One of the features of Amin's coup was its similarity to the overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana in February 1966. Like Obote, Nkrumah had been putting forward nationalisation measures and, when on a visit abroad (like Obote), was toppled by a coup which had the hands of the CIA all over it. Former CIA officers have since written books crediting the agency with the Ghana coup. Interestingly, Obote was a staunch supporter of Nkrumah who, during his exile in Guinea after his overthrow, recorded in his letters the financial support he had received from Obote's government for his upkeep in Guinea.

The Amin coup

Just a few days before the coup, 700 British troops arrived in neighbouring Kenya. Although they were apparently scheduled to arrive long before, The Sunday Express speculated that they would be used to put down anti-British riots following the decision of the British Conservative government to sell weapons to apartheid South Africa, remarking that the presence of the troops, “seemingly co-incidental—could prove providential”. The paper added that the British troops would be used “if trouble for Britons and British interests starts”.

The report was followed two days later, still before the coup, by strenuous denials.

When the coup took place, Obote was attending the Commonwealth conference in Singapore. He was aware that the internal situation in Uganda was not to his advantage and went to the conference only because President Nyerere of Tanzania had impressed on him the importance of being there to help present effective opposition to the British government's arms sales to apartheid South Africa.

The African members of the Commonwealth were piling the pressure on the British government. At a meeting with Zambia's Presidents Kaunda, Nyerere and Obote, British Prime Minister Edward Heath was threatened with the withdrawal of those countries from the Commonwealth should the South African arms decision go through. During this tempestuous meeting, Heath is reported to say: “I wonder how many of you will be allowed to return to your own countries from this conference.”

When Amin finally struck, the British press claimed that a Ugandan sergeant-major operating a telephone exchange had overheard a conversation concerning plans by Obote supporters in the army to move against Amin. Upon hearing the news, Amin moved into action, quickly seizing all strategic points in Uganda. Apart from the fact that the army would not have attempted to remove Amin in the absence of Obote, this version ignores the British and Israeli plans.

On Amin's accession to power, all was sweetness and light between him and the British establishment. Britain very quickly recognised Amin's regime, exactly one week after the coup. And he was hailed as a conquering hero in the British press. But even the US government considered the British recognition of Amin as showing unseemly haste.

In London, The Times commented: “The replacement of Dr Obote by General Amin was received with ill-concealed relief in Whitehall.” Other British press comments included, “Good luck to General Amin” (the Daily Telegraph); “Military men are trained to act. Not for them the posturing of the Obotes and Kaundas who prefer the glory of the international platform rather than the dull but necessary tasks of running a smooth administration” (the Daily Express); and more in the same vein.

Not surprisingly, Amin supported Edward Heath's stand on selling arms to apartheid South Africa, breaking the unified opposition of the states at the Singapore Commonwealth conference.

Amin also denationalised several of the British companies taken over under Obote, and in July 1971 came to London where he had lunch with the queen and meetings with Heath's cabinet. But the seeds of discord between Britain and Amin were being sown as he began to fail to live up to their expectations of servility.

After the coup, Uganda was granted 10 million pounds in economic aid (to be administered by Britain), in addition to 15 “Ferret” and 36 “Saladin” armoured cars, other military equipment and a training team for the Ugandan army.

However, Amin resented the fact that Britain would not give him fighter aircraft and other sophisticated equipment to help his expansionist ambitions. In particular, Amin had plans for an invasion of Tanzania, so that he could have a port on the east coast of his own.

For help in this project, which was becoming an obsession, Amin then turned to Israel. He asked for Phantom jet fighters and other sophisticated weapons, permission for which would have been required from the US government.

Saying that the request “went beyond the requirements of legitimate self-defence”, Israel refused Amin, which probably was a factor in the expulsion of the Israelis from Uganda in April 1972.

Although short of the hardware necessary, Amin was well supplied with strategic advice. This came from another collaborator with British intelligence, a British major who lived on the Kagera River, on the border with Tanzania, where Amin used to come to visit him frequently by helicopter.

This former officer in the Seaforth Highlanders had been a member of the International Commission of Observers sent to the Nigeria civil war to investigate charges of genocide, but he was sacked amid allegations that he had offered his services to the Nigerian federal government as a mercenary.

But at a National Insurance Tribunal in England, where he was protesting his dismissal and claiming compensation, the major explained that his real role in Nigeria was to collect intelligence for the British government and offer strategic military advice to the Nigerian federal forces. In spite of strenuous denials from the Foreign Office, the tribunal accepted the major's story and described him as a “frank and honest witness”.

It is not known whether the major's activities on behalf of Amin were officially sanctioned by the British government, or parts of it, but his role seems to have been similar to the part he played in Nigeria. At any rate, the major took Amin's invasion plan of Tanzania seriously, undertaking spying missions to Tanzania to reconnoitre the defences and terrain in secret.

He supplied Amin with a strategic and logistical plan to the best of his abilities, and although lack of hardware was an obstacle, evidence that Amin never gave up the idea came in the fact that the invasion of Uganda by Tanzanian and exiled Ugandan anti-Amin forces in late 1978 which eventually brought his rule to an end on April 10, 1979, was immediately preceded by an abortive invasion of Tanzania by Amin's army.

In the manner which characterised the major's behaviour after the Nigerian episode, he did not maintain discretion when back in England. He wanted to publish his story of cooperation with Amin in the Daily Express, but this was scotched by an interesting move by the British government -- a “D-Notice” banning the story on grounds of national security.

US support

Beginning with his purges of the army, later extending them to those who had carried out the purges, the ferocity and cruelty of Amin's rule increased steadily—most of it performed by the dreaded “Public Safety Unit”, the “State Research Centre” and various other bodies. These received training assistance and supplies from Britain and the US.

In July 1978, the US columnist Jack Anderson revealed that 10 of Amin's henchmen from the Public Safety Unit were trained at the International Police Academy in the exclusive Washington suburb of Georgetown. The CIA-run academy was responsible for training police officers from all over the world until its closure in 1975.

Three of the Ugandans continued their “studies” at a graduate school, also run by the CIA, called the International Police Services Inc. Shortly after the Amin coup, the CIA had one full-time police instructor stationed in Uganda. Controversy raged in the United States in the use of equipment sold to Uganda. Twelve of these were police helicopter pilots for American Bell helicopters that had been delivered in 1973.

Security equipment of various types also found its way to Uganda from Britain, and most came as a result of the groundwork done by another collaborator of British intelligence, Bruce Mackenzie, an ex-RAF pilot and long-serving adviser to President Kenyatta of Kenya.

Mackenzie also doubled as the East African agent for a giant British electronics firm, based in London, dealing in telecommunications. Trade in radio transmitters and other devices continued right up to Amin's fall from power. Though Mackenzie had died when a bomb planted by Amin's police exploded in his private plane, the trade with the electronics firm continued nonetheless.

Several times a week, Ugandan Airlines' planes would touch down at Stansted Airport in Essex, England, to unload quantities of tea and coffee and take on board all the necessary supplies for Amin's survival.

In spite of all the revelations of the nature of Amin's dictatorship and his dependency on the Stansted shuttle, it continued right up to February 1979, when the British government ended it in an extraordinary piece of opportunism. The chief advantage of the shuttle to Amin was that it obviated the need for foreign exchange, for which Uganda had virtually none.

In June 1977, the Sunday Times revealed that the Ugandan planes to Stansted were picking up Land Rovers (28 were delivered), one of them specially converted and bristling with sophisticated electronic equipment for monitoring broadcasts, jamming and other capabilities.

The cargo spotlighted by the Sunday Times also included a mobile radio studio, which is almost certainly where Amin was continuing to assert over the airwaves that he was in control long after he had been ousted from Kampala.

At the same time, an extensive relationship between Uganda and the Crown Agents, the trading agency with strong links in Britain's former colonies, was exposed. Crown Agents had arranged a deal for Amin to buy 120 three-ton trucks made in Luton. The trucks were thought to have been converted for military purposes before being shipped out. The British firm that supplied the electronic equipment and another firm in the same field had also supplied Amin's State Research Centre with telephone-tapping equipment, night-vision devices, burglar alarms and anti-bomb blankets.

When the Liberal MP David Steel questioned Labour Party Prime Minister Jim Callaghan about this, all that the prime minister had to say was that the devices were “intended to track down television licence dodgers”. To add to this, it was said that after the Entebbe raid by Israeli troops, the radar damaged there was sent to England for repair.

The principal value of the Stansted shuttle was to maintain Amin's system of privileges, vital for retaining the allegiance of the Ugandan army. His power elite, consisting of army officers not subject to the stringent rationing imposed on the rest of the population, depended on the goods brought in on the Stansted shuttle.

During times of the frequent and widespread shortages of basic commodities linked to inflation of around 150%, the officers could use the British goods to make their fortunes on the black market.

A further aspect of the Stansted shuttle involved British, US and Israeli intelligence: this was in the provision of the planes. According to the Washington Post's Bernard Nossiter, Pan Am was instructed by the CIA to sell several Boeing 707s to a New York-based Israeli company with former US defence department connections. The company was owned by an Israeli multimillionaire with a vast commercial empire.

The company sold one of the Boeings to a small firm based in Switzerland, which passed the plane on to Amin in May 1976. The function of the Swiss-based company was to act as a “laundry” for the financing of projects backed by Israeli intelligence.

In 1977, the Israeli company which had originally bought the plane from Pan Am, wanted to sell another Boeing to Uganda Airlines, but with the notoriety of Amin's regime getting worse, the company feared losing the US State Department approval it had won for the first deal.

The plane was thus sold to another company housed in the same building in New York as the Israeli company, which then leased the plane to Uganda Airlines. The two companies had close ties, and the purpose of this extraordinary generosity was to spy on the Libyan military airfield in Benghazi, where the planes always refuelled before going on to Stansted.

Both Israeli and US intelligence provided “navigators” for the planes to spy on the airfield and make reports which were shared out among Israeli, US and British intelligence agencies. The information was probably of very little use, since the Libyans almost certainly knew of the presence of the “navigators” on the planes. But Amin was getting a very cheap service for the coffee and tea bound for London and the other goods that returned. Washington also provided pilots for the planes. A California-based company supplied the pilots acting as a subcontractor.

Britain, a friend to the last

In general, the British government's attitude to Amin's regime was neatly summed up by The Times when Amin had just expelled Uganda's Asians on August 9, 1972: “The irony is that if President Amin were to disappear, worse might ensue”, The Times said. In a similar comment, exemplifying the relationship with Amin as being “the devil you know”, The Economist stated: “The last government to want to be rid of Amin is the British one.”

This attitude persisted even beyond the break in Ugandan-British diplomatic relations in July 1976, as shown by the fact that the Stansted shuttle continued. Important political commentators in the British press believed that London would not impose sanctions on Uganda under Amin, since this might set a precedent for sanctions against apartheid South Africa. Britain plainly considered the bad image consequent on maintaining links with Amin not as serious as the consequences of breaking links with South Africa.

Nonetheless, as the body count of Amin's victims—former friends, members of the clergy, soldiers and mostly ordinary people—mounted daily, stock should have been taken of those who helped Amin stay where he was and turned a blind eye to the amply documented brutality of his regime.

Thirty years on, no such stock has been taken and Amin continues to be cast as the “demented” dictator who had no friends.

Magda Hassan
12-18-2014, 02:10 AM
Fantastic article RK. Thanks for posting.