Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New World or New World Order?

I find it interesting that some people think that the "Kony 2012" campaign is part of a thinly-disguised agenda to introduce a "New World Order" whereby, somehow, the powers-that-be will centralize their power and increase their wealth and influence by -- what? getting the United States to "invade" an African nation like Uganda and arrest a murderer and sexual predator as a sort of ploy to increase our world domination?  Okay, someone help me with this.  I've already lost the thread.

I can understand that certain folks would really not like to encourage our nation's leadership to do any more invading and installing of troops than necessary.  After all, our leaders have already said, both publicly and privately, that we only do that when our political or economic interests are involved.  And I can understand also that the idea of training someone else's troops with our military techno-savvy might make us a bit itchy -- maybe it would make Uganda a real threat on the world's political scene.  Really? -- But what really strikes me as odd is that these folks think this whole "raising awareness" of a war criminal thing is just a scam, and that what's really going on is that someone is trying to use illicit means to gain and maintain power.  Wait.... that IS what is really going on.

I think we can all agree that using illicit means to gain and maintain power is objectively wrong.

I think we can all also agree that kidnapping children, exploiting them, torturing and maiming them for personal aggrandizement is also not a good thing.

What we seem to differ on is the method for bringing about positive change.

What I don't understand is the argument that we should be afraid of what we don't understand, and therefore do ... nothing.

One thing the debate, if you can call it that, might bring forth is some dialogue about what kind of a world you want to live in, and what you are willing to do to get it.  Ask yourself, what if Kony's particular model of leadership and power were attempted in our country?  What would it take to stop him?  Military action?  Foreign advice, training or intervention?  Money?  Or the concerted effort of the people to bring him to justice?

Our government does not have to commit to "going" to central Africa to find Kony, or to commit troops to the area, or even to commit to advising and training the local military.  We do not need to apply sanctions.  We could, I suppose, make a public announcement that his behind belonged to us and that we would not stop until we found him, and then root him out of every hole or tree where he might be hiding (and then dump his body in the ocean.... wait, this is sounding familiar....) -- or, we could simply put a bounty on his head, and reward the person or group who arrested him and brought him, alive, to authorities willing to try him.

Of course, one of his kidnapped, terrorized, brutalized, mind-controlled child-recruited, now-almost-30-year-old soldiers might step up to take his place as soon as he was caught.  After all, these children are growing up in an atmosphere of violence, and power wrested by force.  It is the world they've come to know.

We have become cynical.  We are on the verge of being that pathetic combination of jaded, apathetic, judgmental, and selfish, to the point where we have become paralyzed.  We no longer act -- we just observe and condemn, and hold our things tighter to our chest.

Hold your children tighter, too. Hold them close, and thank God that in your country, perhaps, no one will reach out and grab them from their beds and force them to turn their guns on you.  It's a big world, and Kony is very far away.  And those 30,000 children don't matter, because they aren't OUR children.  And the fact that tens of thousands of children are growing up the way Kony wants them to in a central African country (or two, or more) should not trouble us as a matter of international instability and national security.

Or should it?

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