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[Dehai-WN] Corbettreport.com: Video-Uganda, AFRICOM, and the Kony Boogeyman [It really seems logical]

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2012 23:12:02 +0100

Uganda, AFRICOM, and the Kony Boogeyman

Podcast: <http://www.corbettreport.com/mp4/grtvbg20120315.mp4> Play in new
window | <http://www.corbettreport.com/mp4/grtvbg20120315.mp4> Download

by James Corbett
 <http://grtv.ca/> GRTV.ca

Video- http://www.corbettreport.com/uganda-africom-and-the-kony-boogeyman/

15 March, 2012

When oil executives <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYV-BG9ha9k> announced
the discovery of the largest onshore oil reserves in the Lake Albert region
of Uganda in July 2009, the landlocked, oft-neglected East African nation of
Uganda went from relative obscurity to a key partner for multi-national oil

Although buoyed by the news, the people of Uganda were naturally cautious,
having seen how oil finds in Nigeria and Angola have brought more violence,
bloodshed and instability than peace or prosperity.

These worst fears of Ugandans were lent further credence late last year,
when President Obama
ker-house-representatives-and-president-pro-tempore> announced he would be
deploying US troops on the ground in Uganda, ostensibly to help capture
Joseph Kony, the charismatic leader of a small rebel force that has been
accused of murders, rapes and kidnaps in Uganda for decades. The timing of
the deployment, however, coming at the exact same time as
<http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15266613> accusations that some of
the highest officials in the Ugandan government were guilty of accepting
bribes from international oil companies, only further confirmed that the
deployment had less to do with Kony, an elusive figure who in fact left
Uganda six years ago, and more to do with the securing of
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L20uNqJtYYo> American oil interests.

For years, American interests in Africa have been increasingly threatened by
China, the resource-hungry fast-growing second-largest economy in the world.
America and its allies have
> noted with
st-VERY-worried.html> increasing
<http://www.cfr.org/china/expanding-china-africa-oil-ties/p9557> dismay
China's growing economic cooperation with Africa, including its vast
investment in the infrastructure for oil exploration, drilling and
transportation in countries like Libya and Sudan. In recent years, China has
been building up its relations with Uganda, and just last month the
newly-appointed Chinese ambassador to Uganda, Zhao Yali,
-free.html> announced a series of measures to increase ties with the
soon-to-be oil-rich African nation, including the granting of tariff free
exports, and investments in transportation projects, power plants, and

But now, just as China makes its overtures toward Uganda to gain a potential
toehold in the region and access to the as-yet-untapped oil wealth, a
<http://www.kony2012.com/> new video about Joseph Kony has suddenly gone
viral online, having been viewed 10s of millions of times in just a week,
and changing the focus of the American foreign policy debate toward greater
US military involvement in oil-rich Uganda. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it
suggests that the only way to capture Kony is to maintain an American
military presence in the region.

It wasn't long before Ugandans themselves took to social media to try to
inject <http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KLVY5jBnD-E>
their own voice into the debate.

But such words of caution have fallen on the deaf ears of a public who
believe that the problem of Kony is a simple one requiring an equally simple
solution: more American troops. Just this week, a
on-introduced-in-house/> new bill was introduced in Congress that would see
an expansion in regional forces in Africa.

What the film's well-meaning supporters, many of them youth activists
rallying behind a political cause for the first time, don't realize, is that
the Kony film, whether wittingly or not, is accomplishing what years of
Pentagon propaganda could not muster: public support for an expanded
American military role in Africa.

The process of setting up a unified American military command for the
continent of Africa began in 2006, with then-Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld forming a committee to advise on the formation of AFRICOM.
Officially established in October 2008, AFRICOM's
<http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=3152&lang=0> mission statement is
to "strengthen our security cooperation with Africa and create new
opportunities to bolster the capabilities of our partners in Africa." In
reality, this provides a convenient excuse for maintaining and expanding a
permanent American military presence in the region.

Libya's Gaddafi was strongly opposed to the AFRICOM mission, and
udentsofOxfordUniversityonAfricainthe21stCentury.aspx> predicted that China
would ultimately have more success wooing the continent with its hands-off
approach to trade and investment in Africa. In the early weeks of the Libyan
bombing of 2011, AFRICOM took a lead role in the campaign, coordinating
warships, aircraft and munitions.

Late last year, I had the chance to talk to former Congresswoman
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezktVMOvTQs> Cynthia McKinney about AFRICOM,
and how the US is increasingly turning its military attention to Africa in
an effort to secure Africa's resources.

Now, as the gears of the Washington political-military complex grind into
action yet again, a bewildered public is asking itself how such a phenomenon
as the Kony 2012 video and attendant activist campaign arose so quickly, and
what this means for the future of the political process.

The campaign itself was organized around the concept of recruiting
celebrities like Rihanna, Tim Tebow and Mark Zuckerberg to promote the
video. After receiving significant boosts from tweets by the likes of P.
Diddy and Kim Kardashian, and media interviews by Angelina Jolie, the hype
surrounding the video seemed to be a spontaneous phenomenon, but was in fact
a planned PR rollout.

In the end, perhaps there is something positive that can be taken out of
this latest ploy to rally public support for greater military conquest. If
nothing else, the Kony phenomenon has shown us that with the right video and
the right marketing, any idea-no matter how periphery to the current
political debate-can be catapulted into the limelight and become a rallying
cry for millions.

Perhaps, then, like-minded activists might be able to organize a campaign
around another <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4PgpbQfxgo> infamous
child-killer, this one responsible not for kidnapping tens of thousands of
children, but for killing hundreds of thousands:

Or perhaps a Bush/Cheney/Blair/Rumsfeld 2012 campaign could be mounted to
bring to justice the
<http://www.corbettreport.com/bush-in-b-c-canada-hosts-a-war-criminal/> war
criminals who launched illegal wars of aggression by lying to the public
about Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Or the Obama 2012 campaign could refer not to the ongoing political campaign
to re-elect the President, but an alternative campaign to hold him
accountable for his moves toward outright dictatorship over America with the
signing into law of the NDAA and his
plains-why-obama-can-kill-americans/246004/> self-proclaimed power to
assassinate American citizens on command.

Or perhaps a well-made video could rally the public around a Blankflein 2012
campaign to hold Goldman Sachs and its Board of Directors accountable for
its crimes against the people of the world, from the
nd-goldman-sachs-all-broke-the-law/article2241211/> US to
e-government-goldman-sachs-greece-s> Greece to the
nterest-on-failed-tax-avoidance-scheme/> UK and beyond.

No word yet on whether P. Diddy, Kim Kardashian or Angelina Jolie will be on
board any of these proposed alternative campaigns.



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Received on Thu Mar 15 2012 - 18:12:28 EDT
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