This is the nail in the coffin for both Kony 2012 and Invisible Children, in my opinion. Their intentions are just, and the cause is ostensibly noble. But this is the sort of thing I had in mind when I inveighed my skepticism of this whole project. Here is a Ugandan blogger, quoted from the article:
“Suggesting that the answer is more military action is just wrong,” said Javie Ssozi, an influential Ugandan blogger.
“Have they thought of the consequences? Making Kony ‘famous’ could make him stronger. Arguing for more US troops could make him scared, and make him abduct more children, or go on the offensive.”
Precisely. This is exactly what I had in mind when I wrote the following not a couple days ago:
How much more ruthless, brutal, and exploitative do you think Kony would become if he knew that the U.S. was hunting him with heretofore unseen vigor? How many more “liberties” would he take with his tender-year’d conscripts beyond those that he takes now, in order to ensure his own security and protection?
If there is any lesson to be learned from this business, it is that political conflicts and foreign affairs are complicated. They involve numerous stakeholders, interest groups, power dynamics, and an exhaustive list of considerations. There is rarely, if ever, an immaculate intervention into the affairs of another country. Most certainly not by an outside reformer who seeks to change the status quo of another country through force. That this is often error was the lesson of Burke. And it is a lesson we should take heed of now, and give more credence to our inherent skepticism, before we risk making a real mistake the next time this sort of thing comes up, and do more damage than we purport to alleviate.
h/t Depressing Facts
I understand Ron Paul has a lot of controversial stances, and that there is plenty of room for the left to disagree with the Doctor on. Abortion and gay marriage immediately come to mind. I will make a separate post concerning the Doctors stance on abortion and gay marriage, because there is a lot of hogwash and flat-out lies floating around the internet about his thoughts on those issues. But to summarize, he may personally have a very conservative sense of morals, but he doesn’t wish to impose that on anyone.
Anyways, if there is one topic that liberals can throw their support behind Paul on (and there are many who already do), it is his foreign policy. To put it bluntly, Ron Paul is the only candidate, Democrat OR Republican, who is genuinely anti-war and has the track record to prove it. Dr Paul has consistently voted in a way that proves he’s serious about ending wars. He voted against going to war with Iraq back in 2003, he has advocated withdrawl from Afghanistan, he is serious about slashing the Pentagon’s budget, and believes that the President should not have unilateral authority to declare war anywhere in the world.
From a political science perspective, it’s pretty clear that although the President is a very powerful and influential figure, but he has the most pull when it comes to issues of war and foreign policy by far. Yes, it certainly matters what a President believes about the economy and social issues. But the President can’t wave a magic wand and legalize marijuana with the stroke of a pen. However, with literally the stroke of a pen the President could have every single American soldier out of Iraq and Afghanistan tomorrow, if he so pleased. Dr Paul has been saying that we need to do this ever since we got involved in these foreign conflicts.
Furthermore, when it comes to civil liberties, Dr Paul is unparalleled in his opposition to the PATRIOT act, his advocacy for closing Guantanamo Bay and other such prisons, his passionate defense of free speech on the Internet, his calls to end the War on Drugs, and his disgust with the torture of accused terrorists by the military.
You might say to yourself, “But Ron Paul is a Republican! Obama might not be perfect, but he’s the best we got. I’m going to vote for him!” True, you’re free to do that if you want. But is that really the wisest choice of action if American imperialism, endless war and foreign aggression are issues that seriously concern you? Barack Obama has had 3 years to prove himself. In that period of time, he’s failed miserably. He campaigned on hope and change, promising to end the wars and bring our boys home. But the man has lied and reneged on just about every promise he made. In fact, Obama makes George Bush look like a pacifist, with his escalation of the Afghani conflict and bombing of Yemen, Libya, Oman, Syria and Somalia (among other nations). Obama had his time to prove to the American people he was serious about peace and ending war. He’s failed miserably at that. Why the hell would you trust the guy enough to give him 4 more years to wage more wars and kill more American soldiers and innocent civilians abroad?
Like I’ve already said, Ron Paul has a lot of controversial opinions, and you might not support them all. I don’t agree with the man on everything either; his stance on immigration, border control andabortion are things I strongly disagree with myself. But if there’s one thing I think we can all agree on, it’s that the endless and pointless wars need to stop. In this day and age, when our national debt is the front and center political issue, our $700 billion dollar military-industrial complex is balooning our deficits and dragging down this economy. Obama had his chance to prove to you he was serious about reformed. He failed. I say it’s time we try something new. Ron Paul is that guy.
I think Liberals should actually seriously consider this. Imagine a U.S. Government with a Democratically-controlled Congress and a Ron Paul White house. Entitlements would be protected by the Congress, yet you’d see political will to act on every single thing mentioned above. Voting for Ron Paul for President while voting for Democratic reps in Congress is actually, in my eyes, a viable and smart voting strategy for an American Liberal who wants to see the post-9/11 Security State smashed, the wars in Iraq/Afghanistan truly ended (i.e. all American boots on the ground brought home), and an end to the War on Drugs, which has killed thousands of innocents and continues to destroy the lives of poor urban Blacks in untold ways.
obama has severely disappointed me in his foreign policy. severely. i’m a far-left-er (or whatever), and would never consider [normally] voting for a Republican. however, letterstomycountry (whom i trust very much for a well thought on stance on everything) makes a good point. i want these wars done. food for thought.