Geopolitics, Media Analysis

AFRICOM Propaganda: ‘Hunting the World’s Most Wanted Warlord”: the Rebirth of Joseph Kony on US Network TV

Kony 2012
Kony 2012

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – This past Sunday, CBS aired a 60 Minutes program called ‘Hunting the world’s most wanted warlord: Joseph Kony.’  Joseph Kony is a man who correspondent Lara Logan said has existed for more than three decades as the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) that killed thousands of people and built an army of child soldiers.  Logan states that “Kony started out in northern Uganda, but his campaign has spread to four countries and he’s now operating in this vast, lawless area in the center of Africa.” Central Africa has many natural resources including gold, oil and coltan which are the most popular to Western nations.  Kony is operating in Uganda, a country that has colbalt, copper and untapped oil and gas reserves especially in the northern region and in the Central African Republic that is rich in diamonds.  In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, another country in Africa that Kony is allegedly operating in has a conductive compound called coltan.  Coltan is used in cell phones, computers, military hardware, GPS systems and many other electronic devices.  He is also operating in South Sudan, a newly independent country since 2011 that has copper, gold, silver, oil, iron ore, zinc, cotton and other resources.  Logan says that “This mission is part of a broader U.S. effort to counter the emerging threat to America from the growth of terrorist networks across Africa.”Logan interviews Kurt Crytzer, a Green Beret and head of the U.S. Special Operations mission in Africa:

Kurt Crytzer: Some things you just can’t turn your– a blind eye to, and I believe this is one case of that.

Lara Logan: The U.S. turned a blind eye to Joseph Kony for more than 20 years.

Kurt Crytzer: I can’t account for why we did or why we didn’t come. What I can tell you is we are here now.

Crytzer could not answer why the US government did not intervene in Africa sooner to stop Kony.  Maybe because Africa was not a target of US interests at the time.  The US was involved in numerous wars and interventions in South-East Asia, the Middle East and in Latin America.  Now the US is targeting Africa because China has economic interests in the region.  China is an emerging economic power that is building relationships with African governments.  With vast natural resources, Africa is a region that Western powers such as the United States, France and Great Britain would want to exploit.  With financial difficulties facing the West, control of natural resources would benefit its corporate interests in the region.  Crytzer and his team are advisors to the Ugandan army hunting Kony. “Our guys bring support in small numbers. This is traditional advisory. This is something that looks like two American advisers out with 40 Ugandans on a tracking team. This is one guy going around throughout the villages building relationships.”Crytzer said.  They are building relationships to get information on Joseph Kony as they allegedly did on Osama Bin Laden, but the propaganda used by CBS and the pentagon goes even further:

Building relationships is central to the mission of Green Berets no matter where they are in the world. To earn the trust of the locals in these villages, Col. Crytzer’s soldiers use their skills in unlikely ways – helping out at the local dentist and even delivering babies.

Yes, US Special Forces are now assisting local dentists and delivering babies in central Africa.  This is clear propaganda aimed at an unsuspecting television audience.  To be clear, Joseph Kony and the LRA did commit numerous crimes against humanity for decades.  In a report written by David Zarembka, Coordinator of the African Great Lakes Initiative of the Friends Peace Teams called My Take on Kony2012 explains why the campaign to capture Joseph Kony is fraudulent.  He also said that while Kony did commit the crimes, many more “Outlaws” currently exist throughout central Africa.  Here he describes the problem with the Kony2012 video:

The video focuses solely on Joseph Kony himself. While Kony has been a “bandit” in northern Uganda, and then later in South Sudan, northeastern Congo, and the Central Africa Republic, he is only one of many such outlaws that attack, steal, rape, and destroy average people’s homes and towns in order to survive. Thousands of such men exist in this vast, heavily forested, thinly populated region. The LRA is reported to have only about 200 adult fighters plus 1000 to 2000 child soldiers. It seems that LRA itself has actually split into a number of armed groups. So killing or capturing Kony will have little effect on the lives of people in this region since he is but one of many.

One fact that 60 Minutes forgot to tell the public is that the US supported Ugandan government of Yoweri Museveni, who is accused by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for using tens of thousands of child soldiers with other African nations with the invasion of the Congo.  It is estimated that between 5 and 6 million Congolese in the late 1990s and in the early 2000s was murdered.  However, the 60 Minutes report claims that Joseph Kony and the LRA abducted over 25,000 children from northern Uganda to serve in their army:

Joseph Kony was 26 when he disappeared into the jungle, more than 25 years ago. Since then, his army has wiped out entire villages and burned houses down with children inside. They’re known for cutting off the ears and lips of innocent people as a way to terrify them into submission. And no one has suffered more than the children — the State Department says Kony’s army has abducted more than 25 000. He turns the boys into killers, the girls into a harem of sex slaves and wives.

It is important to note that many of the 25,000 children used in the US/UK-backed invasions of the Congo in 1996 and again in 1998 by the Uganda and Rwandan governments were from northern Uganda.

The dictatorship of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has been supported by the United States and Great Britain for more than 20 years.  Corporate interests from the United States, Britain and even Israel have dictated Ugandan foreign policy towards its neighbors and the Acholi people.  In the northern part of Uganda, the Museveni government has evicted more than 1.8 million Acholi people from their lands turning them into refugees.  The Acholi people were then forced into camps to protect them from rebel forces (LRA) that were considered hostile to the government.  Eventually they became death camps for the Acholi where many died from diseases such as AIDS and malaria.  For years the Museveni government has declared war on the Acholi people in Northern Uganda.  The LRA is a tool for the Museveni government to wage war on its neighbors and to allow AFRICOM to conduct operations in the region.  In a story written by Andrew Donaldson of the Sunday Times in the UK on December 15, 2002 explains the story of a female child warrior in Museveni’s Army.  It is called Uganda: “A Killer Before She Was Nine”: 

When she was eight years, China Keitetsi was taken into Uganda’s ‘National Resistance Army.’ Before she turned nine, she had been told to kill innocent men and women. This is her story:

On her first morning in Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Army, China Keitetsi awoke and looked out from beneath her filthy blankets and saw children of different ages marching next to a man in military uniform. “I could feel an excitement growing in my stomach,” she would later write. “It was like a brand new game and I wished that I was there marching along with them.”

On her third morning with the resistance army, she was allowed to join the drilling exercises. The next day she was practicing bayonet charges. She was too small to handle an AK-47 so she was given a stick.

Then came her first battle, an ambush of a Ugandan government convoy. It was a simple plan. Keitetsi and her friends were told to play in the sandy road. The convoy stopped. Government troops climbed off the cargo trucks to get the kids to move. The NRA opened fire with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns from where they lay hidden.

“Our side won,” was how Keitetsi later described that terrifying morning, “and after the battle everybody ran to the road and began undressing the dead soldiers.” Those who surrendered were escorted back to the NRA camp where they were tortured. Their officers were executed.  This was in late 1984, and Keitetsi was just eight years old.

Museveni was there to welcome the children. The co-founder of the Tanzania-backed Front for National Salvation that ousted Idi Amin from power, Museveni had served as a minister in President Milton Obote’s Cabinet before returning to the swamps of central Uganda to wage a guerrilla campaign against Obote’s corrupt regime in February 1981.

The reason that US Special Forces are operating in central Africa under AFRICOM’s command is because of its natural resources.  American, British and Israeli corporate interests dominate central African politics.  In a written statement provided to the Senate Armed Services Committee by Army Gen. David M. Rodriguez during his confirmation hearing last month to lead AFRICOM said “I believe additional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities are necessary to protect American interests and assist our close allies and partners.”

Joseph Kony has not set foot in Uganda for many years according to a article published in March 2012 called: Guest post: Joseph Kony is not in Uganda (and other complicated things) by Joshua Keating:

First, the facts. Following a successful campaign by the Ugandan military and failed peace talks in 2006, the LRA was pushed out of Uganda and has been operating in extremely remote areas of the DRC, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic — where Kony himself is believed to be now. The Ugandan military has been pursuing the LRA since then but had little success (and several big screw-ups). In October last year, President Obama authorized the deployment of 100 U.S. Army advisors to help the Ugandan military track down Kony, with no results disclosed to date.

Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army is an excuse to invade central Africa as Al-Qaeda was used to invade Iraq.  AFRICOM is preparing the American public for more interventions across Africa.  With Osama Bin Laden dead, Kony is the new boogeyman.  It is interesting that AFRICOM was not mentioned at all in the entire 60 Minutes segment.  I wonder why.

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