Categorized | News, Opinion


I am aware for sometime about the movie Kony 2012 (I saw it first on my way to the class I teach at VCU and I thought Kony was a candidate for Mayor of Richmond!  Wrong again!)  But it did not bother me because we were not actually chasing this guy with US troops.

However, the Washington Post is reporting that 100 US troops are helping to try to find Joseph Kony in central Africa:

OBO, Central African Republic — Behind razor wire and bamboo walls topped with security cameras sits one of the newest U.S. military outposts in Africa. U.S. Special Forces soldiers with tattooed forearms and sunglasses emerge daily in pickup trucks that carry weapons, supplies and interpreters — as well as the expectations of a vast region living in fear of a man and his brutal militia.

Memo to Ron Paul – we are now in one more nation with a base and troops – the Central African Republic!  (Anyone else remember when it was briefly the Central African Empire?)  Another intervention without any approval.  It is officially only in an advisory capacity:

Hilary Renner, a State Department spokeswoman, said that the American forces were serving only as advisers and that obstacles to finding Kony remain significant despite the capabilities of the U.S. military.

That is how Vietnam started:  Advisers, then an incident, then all out war.   Stopping this intervention is unpopular:

To be sure, Kony and the LRA are uncontroversial targets. Unlike others wanted by the ICC, such as Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Kony has virtually no allies because of his unique brand of brutality. In Washington, there is strong bipartisan support for the U.S. role in the hunt for Kony, and in recent weeks, that quest has gained new prominence with the release of videos by the advocacy group Invisible Children that have gone viral on the Internet.

So the video Kony 2012 is to prepare the people for intervention.  But there are no real compelling interests for Americans to catch Kony.  I do not seek to help the International Criminal Court in any event and we should not be the hired gendarmes for the ICC.  (Who is paying for this intervention:  You are!  Nice thought on tax day 2012!)

Since 2008, the United States has provided nearly $50 million in logistical support and nonlethal equipment to Uganda’s military to fight the LRA and nearly $500 million to support LRA victims in northern Uganda.

Critics say such monetary support helps explain Uganda’s failure to capture Kony despite many opportunities. Several official investigations in Uganda have showed that military officers profiteered from the protracted conflict.

Expectations are high in the CAE and already, there are disappointments that we have not done more:

Eveline Nalayanga, a refu­gee who was driven from the nearby village of Nguili by an LRA attack two years ago, said it doesn’t matter that Obo is home to soldiers from the world’s most formidable military.

“I am still afraid to return to my village. The LRA can attack anytime,” she said. Then she paused before adding: “I am waiting for the Americans to catch Kony.”

Intervention.  It’s costly.  Americans die.  It does not work as planned.  There is always corruption and waste of taxpayers’ money.  It does not buy us permanent friends and can get us involved in the local human rights violations of our “allies”.  It is not authorized in the proper way:  An act of Congress.  Joseph Kony is an evil man.  He should be brought to justice.  But it’s none of our business.  Get the troops out of Africa.  As a wise man once said, “We just plain don’t mind our own business!”

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)


  1. Larken Rose says:

    Smart tyrants know that duping people into giving up freedom requires a situation that seems like it would be worth it. "Well, in THIS case, things are so serious, that I guess it's okay to throw this principle out the window." And it usually works, because people are short-sighted and gullible. That's why the First Amendment, Second Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, Sixth Amendment, Ninth Amendment, and Tenth Amendment, have been shredded: because tyrants can always find a situation–or manufacture a situation–in which it seems like giving tyrants more power, and allowing the people less freedom, is necessary. The Kony thing is just the latest in a very long line of propaganda stunts used by control freaks to get more power for themselves. The U.S. politicians couldn't care less what evils Kony has committed; they are doing this for their OWN power.
    My recent post Hooray for the TSA!


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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