There are immense political differences in Libya and very petty internal rivalries between members of the same groups. This was clear from the birth of the Transitional Council in Benghazi. In effect this is what the US and its allies wanted in Libya from the start. They wanted a divided opposition to Muammar Gaddafi’s government that would only stay united under the control and management of the US, NATO, and the Arab sheikhdoms. The reason for this was that Washington could neutralize any Libyan opposition group that would get out of line by using the others against them. Moreover, if the new political leaders of Libya refuse to listen to Washington then the Americans can make them fight one another.
From Bosnia to Iraq and Afghanistan, wherever the US goes it deliberately creates a fragile political order that can be manipulated and upset from the outside. This way America can maintain influence over these countries by attempting to hold the balance of power between the rival groups."
And you wonder why Muslims are so pissed off.
This is a fairly old tactic that U.S. agencies, such as the CIA, have perfected over time, particularly in the late 70s through the 80s. Many of these foreign relations strategies were used more frequently and expanded upon after the 1979 Iranian revolution, in which the U.S.-friendly Shah was overthrown and largely replaced by the anti-Western Supreme Leader Khomeini. This complicated the U.S.’s geopolitical strategy in the Middle East and the CIA, including other various foreign intelligence agencies, rallied to perfect their techniques and strategies regarding coups, planted oppositional forces, and the installation of pro-Western governments, or governments that could be politically “manipulated” into doing the bidding of Washington. However, strategic remolding of foreign governments could not use the brute force and direct imperial involvement which the U.S. was heavily criticized for during the previous decades, so emphasis was placed upon covert action through support of various political opposition groups, which took many forms, including the all important influence of economics, and thus, we are led to the foreign policy strategies we see today. The Middle East is of great strategic, geopolitical and economic importance to the United States and Washington doesn’t want to see another Iran, or a country which heavily resists Western pressure and influence, in the region.
— Egypt’s Revolutionary Socialists Movement (RSM), one of the many youth groups that led last year’s revolution that ousted Mubarak, on the USA’s decision to suspend aid to Egypt after recent anti-film anti-imperialist protests.
from Lindsey German’s A Tale of Two Cities
funnily enough, Danny Boyle’s Olympics opening ceremony didn’t cover the attacks on the NHS, our history of imperialism, or the austerity and degradation of civil liberties rife today
this counts as Olympics Anti-Freedom Update #3
“The only thing the video is missing is including “When a Hero comes along” by Mirah as the soundtrack every time a white person appears.” //
“we can’t separate the medium from the message – and I can’t ignore this message and just focus on the (admittedly great) storytelling techniques. If we don’t ask critical questions, then who will?”
- contributors to a charity campaigning list
I’ve collated some links to a spread of articles that criticise/question the Kony2012 campaign, both in terms of tactics and messaging… but first, a paragraph from a friend of a friend (Adam Hudson):
That film had no political, cultural, or historical context/analysis at all. No discussion about the role the trans-Atlantic slave trade, colonialism, global capitalism, foreign powers carving spheres of influence in Africa, and Western support of African dictators, like Musevini in Uganda or Mobutu in Zaire/Congo play in the current malaise (war, famine, poverty, instability, etc.) the African continent faces. It also portrayed African people as helpless victims in need of white Western saviors (another problem I had with it). Kony is obviously a war criminal but if we’re going to talk seriously about Uganda and Africa, we need context and critical analysis to understand what’s going on and find solutions to these pressing problems.
TheDailyWhat on Kony2012 — a quick overview of the concerns.
We got trouble (Visible Children) — a reasoned critique of the charity Invisible Children and what they are advocating for.
let’s talk about kony — on stories of self, colonialism, and intervention.
Invisible Children responds to criticism about ‘Stop Kony’ campaign — it would be unfair to not include their defence, though I think Invisible Children’s “defences” don’t really hold water.
Catching Joseph Kony — from someone who’s worked with Invisible Children. More supportive of the work they do on the ground, still critical of the methods.
Bad guys, good guys, and the people in between — more of a fleshing out of the “white saviour” message the film promotes.
This whole palava shows limitations with “clicktivism” and social media as a method of social change: items can go viral (especially video) on the back of their power to incense, but there is little rational engagement with the subject matter at hand, with people sharing campaigns that have actively damaging at worst/entirely ineffective at best ends.
The real challenge now is to refocus the discourse onto voices from the ground in Uganda and across the region (CAR and DRC), and to critically assess what the best way of supporting grassroots movements there are. Articles like Stop Kony, yes. But don’t stop asking questions by Musa Okwonga, or A Peace of my mind: Respect my agency 2012! by @tmsruge, are probably a good place to start.
P.S. if you’re looking for a place to donate, I’ve seen War Child, MSF and “Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe at St. Monica’s in Gulu” mentioned as good and relevant causes in the area that the LRA works (hat-tip Laura Seay).