Joseph Kony is an evil warlord who enslaves children, impressing the boys into his military forces and turning the girls to sexual slavery. What could be phony about opposing him? Nothing, really, everyone should hope that Kony comes to the ignoble end he deserves as quickly as possible. But there seems to be a hidden agenda in the Invisible Children organization which has brought Kony to the attention of nearly everyone who has glanced at the internet in the last week or so.
The situation of Uganda has been very sad for so long as Europeans have known anything about it. The BaHutu were oppressed by the WaTutsi, then everyone was oppressed by British Colonialism, after the British there was Idi Amin and plenty of genocide as BaHutu struck back at the WaTutsi who had ruled for so long, and so forth.
In the present day, Uganda is ruled by a brutal dictator Yoweri Museveni—who does occasionally hold phony elections and who has a mostly compliant phony parliament, like the typical 21st century maniac dictator. Museveni is actually the one who started the practice of impressing young boys into his military forces. Kony picked it up from him.
Museveni came out on top from a number of violent factions contesting power. He has not quite put away all the factions opposing him, and Kony is the leader of one of those factions. A peace settlement was supposed to be negotiated between Museveni and Kony, and as a condition for further negotions, Kony and his forces withdrew to the Congo. Of course the final power-sharing agreement to ensure peace never materialized, and in the meantime war crimes indictments are hanging over both Museveni and Kony.
The US government tilts toward Museveni because he has committed troops to Somalia on a mission that the US government and the UN hope will bring peace to a place that is even more chaotic than Uganda. So Museveni is a bastard but, as FDR said about another dictator in another situation, “He’s our bastard.”
Now comes Invisible Children with its tear-jerking propaganda piece, encouraging people to hate on Kony and donate money. The piece went, as the young people say, viral, and shook loose a reported $2 million from Oprah. It had everyone who believed him- or herself righteous on human rights hitting the Like button and ReTweeting, including gay and lesbian activists and spokespersons such as Ellen Degeneres and many lesser lights and fellow travelers.
As propaganda pieces go, this one was really pretty slick. Unlike the "dumping Kuwaiti babies out of incubators" piece which helped get the US to start the First Gulf War and was a complete and utter lie, the anti-Kony piece did not have to lie. It could get over by telling half-truths. Kony really is bad, bad, bad. But the whole truth is that getting Kony out of the way will solidify the power of Museveni who is at least as bad, bad, bad, and may be worse because he has a recognized, if deplorable, government.
So what is the hidden agenda? It is this: the seed money for Invisible Children came from the same US hate financiers who are behind Ugandan moves to make homosexuality a capital offense (the ‘ kill the gays’ bill).
The whole miserable lot are detailed in B.E Wilson’s Alternet piece.
Do not get me wrong. I do not think Kony would be any nicer to gay people than Museveni. But with Kony out of the way, Museveni would be more secure, and if he is more secure, he might deliver a victory to the hateful Christo-fascist right wing in the form of a ‘Kill the Gays’ law and perhaps outright, no-holds-barred genocide of gay people in Uganda—instead of the sporadic, hit and miss, killing sprees that occur now.
With so many countries on the road to Marriage Equality and other human rights measures to recognize equal rights for gay people, the Christo-fascist right badly needs some kind of victory, something with the imprimatur of a real government, no matter how vile that government is otherwise. And that is why the hate-on-Kony movement fits the bill.