Cover The Night: Invisible Children's Not-so Invisible Agenda

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The U.S. has pressed Aghanistan's Hamid Karzai to talk peace with the Taleban; why can't warmongers Gen. Museveni and Joseph Kony similarly be forced to the negotiating table?

[Publisher's Commentary]

Invisible Children says "Let's Cover The Night." The organization has no credibility as we will continue to show in subsequent weeks.

This week, I participated at a forum at New York University's School of Law where I heard something astonishing. A young Ugandan named Victor Ochen, a survivor of the Lord's Resistance Army's atrocities, pleaded with Invisible Children to call of "Cover The Night."

An eloquent speaker, Ochen asked how Americans would feel if some organization had decided to "make Osama bin Laden famous" and even promoted the wearing of Osama bin Laden T-shirts to promote a campaign to capture or kill him.

Was April 20, and the activties lined up by Invisible Children more important than the wishes and feelings of Ugandans in the war affected areas, who oppose the promotion of more warfare, after enduring 26 years of fighting?

After mumbling around, Adam Fincke, a representative of Invisible Children essentially responded that: Yes, April 20 was more important and Invisible Children knew what was best for Ugandans, including the victims and survivors of the war.

Fortunately, not everybody at the event was intoxicated with self grandeur and irrationality. The next day, I joined Ochen as a guest on the NYU event's moderator, Amy Goodman's "Democracy Now" to share with the American public the views that have been whitewashed by Invisible Children.

When Ochen who heads the African Youth Initiative Network screened KONY2012 in Lira, in Uganda, viewers pelted the screen with stones and disrupted the event. More recently, another screening in Gulu, sponsored by Invisible Children, ended in chaos and in the death of one woman.

Ugandans don't want "Let's Cover The Night;" this is a campaign of self vanity, by Invisible Children, for Invisible Children. Ugandans want to resolve the Museveni vs. Kony conflict that's now spread throughout the region.

Invisible Children is still desperately trying to recover from a recent string of scandals. Only Invisible Children, the Ugandan regime of Gen. Yoweri K.  Museveni  and the U.S. administration are gung-ho about a military solution to the Ugandan conflict.

26 years of warfare between Joseph Kony's brutal Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and Gen. Museveni's even more brutal army has resulted only in misery for the people in the northern part of Uganda, and now for the people of Congo and the Central African Republic.

On Monday, The Washington Post  reported on the atrocities being commited by the Ugandan military and the Lord's Resistance Army in Central Africa. The United States and Invisible Children are partners of the Ugandan regime. Kony, correctly, was indicted by the International Criminal Court. Gen. Museveni has not yet been indicted because he is being protected by an outside party; possibly the United StatesUganda has supplied 10,000 troops to support the weak government in Somalia; the U.S. fears that country will become an Al Qaeda haven. So Gen. Museveni gets a blank check.

The International Criminal Court under Luis Moreno Ocampo, a publicity hound of the highest order who also appears in KONY2012, has ignored crimes committed by Gen. Museveni's army during its war with the LRA in Uganda, and during its occupation of Eastern Congo between 1997 and 2003.

Yes, Joseph Kony has blood on his hands; so does Gen. Museveni. They are two sides of the same coin.

In 2005, the International Court of Justice found Uganda liable for what amounted to war crimes in Congo -- massacres; mass rapes of men and women; and, looting of Congo's resources. The court found in Congo's favor and that $10 billion was a reasonable amount for reparations; not a dime has been paid.
More than six million Congolese perished following the occupation.

More importantly, on June 8, 2006, The Wall Street Journal  reported that Gen. Museveni contacted then U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and asked him to block an investigation of the war crimes in the Congo that the ICC had also started. The Ugandan leader feared an indictment -- the ICC after all has since  indicted another sitting president, the Sudan's president Omar Hassan Bashir. Although Annan told Gen. Museveni he didn't have the powers to indict, someone or some country has so far obliged.

The Journal
article suggest that there was a quid pro quo; in return for referring Kony for indictment by the ICC --so Ocampo could boast a famous case and win more publicity and accolades-- Gen. Museveni would be spared from accountability for the crimes in the Congo and in the northern part of Uganda.

Enter Invisible Children and KONY2012.

What a phenomenal diversionary campaign using preposterous logic. How can an NGO advocate armed warfare to rescue children from the LRA? How can an NGO that professes peace, partner with the regime of Gen. Museveni?

Why didn't Invisible Children use its filmmaking skills to produce a film that would have exposed the complicity of both the Museveni army and the LRA in the suffering of Ugandans and Congolese? Why did Invisible Children partner with the Museveni regime, ignoring the fact that an estimated one million Acholis perished in concentration camps over a 20-year period?

Why did Invisible Children, as WikiLeaks posted U.S. embassy memos first reported by The Black Star News show, become an active part of Ugandan military activities by providing intelligence information that led to the arrest of 10 suspected regime opponents, who have been charged with treason and could face the death penalty?

More questions are raised the more one examines Invisible Children's actions and campaigns. To paraphrase what Victor Ochen, the young Ugandan said during the NYU event: What is Invisible Children's invisible agenda?

Yet, at the end of the day Invisible Children's founders know that they will always get to enjoy the benefit of White privilege even when they have been exposed as having zero credibility.

Many media outlets continue to take them seriously even after the infamous public meltdown of KONY2012 director Jason Russell; while ignoring revered Ugandan church leaders such as Bishop John Baptist Odama and Bishop McLeod Baker Ochola both of whom have called for a resumption of peace negotiations.

The U.S. has pressed Aghanistan's Hamid Karzai to talk peace with the Taleban; why can't warmongers Gen. Museveni and Joseph Kony similarly be forced to the negotiating table?

Where are the serious people who can take over from Invisible Children's destructive path?

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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