This video about Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has gone viral. It’s a compelling thing to watch.
Since 1987, the LRA has waged a war to impose its extremist (and bizarre) version of “Christianity” in Uganda and Congo. The goal is to impose a strict theocratic regime based on the Ten Commandments, as interpreted by Kony, a self-proclaimed prophet. The method has been systematic rape, torture, mass killings, and other war crimes. Most of the LRA’s fighters are children. Human rights organizations estimate that as many as 10,000 children have been forced into service by the LRA, often forced to murder and/or rape their own relatives first.
Stop Kony 2012
I also can’t resist tossing out this nugget, since it’s also International Women’s Day. Remember when Rush Limbaugh said these crazy things about women’s birth control a few days ago? Well, about six months ago Rush Limbaugh defended Josef Kony and the LRA.
PS. Yes, I’m also aware of the cynicism regarding the film—and the sudden interest it has generated in an issue that is nearly three decades old. For a good take on that, read this piece by The Atlantic. For a more nuanced, slightly less cynical take, you should read my friend Kohen Ari’s post. At the very least, open discussions about these kind of issues (and others: Syria, Burma, Tibet, etc.) and how to balance international responsibilities with national interests with moral obligations with the limited attention span of our contemporary culture is an important conversation.