(GLOBALRESEARCH) KONY 2012 - Merchandising and Branding Support for US Military Intervention in CentralAlso see Alex Jones' show. I immediately had the same feeling when I watched Mugabe And The White African. They were aggrandizing the wrong people, and they were literally demonizing their enemy. They heap all the troubles of a conflict on one single individual - typical propaganda method. They have no opposing viewpoints represented directly in their video - suspicious because it shows a lack of balance and therefore, an agenda.
From Keith Harmon Snow, through Annie Garrison.
(YOUTUBE) Keith Harmon Snow on STOPKONY2012
From Alex Jones:
(YOUTUBE) African Invasion Begins_ KONY 2012
(YOUTUBE) Secrets KONY 2012 Is Desperate to Hide
CEO Ben Keesey interned at JP Morgan.
Ugandan girl on the real situation in Northern Uganda today.
S.1067 -- Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009 (Enrolled Bill)
(3) LRA-AFFECTED AREAS- The term `LRA-affected areas' means those portions of northern Uganda, southern Sudan, northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and southeastern Central African Republic determined by the Secretary of State to be affected by the Lord's Resistance Army as of the date of the enactment of this Act.
Here is the new bill, that indirectly references Invisible Children and STOPKONY2012, as 'youth activists':
HRES 583 IH, 112th CONGRESS, 2d Session, H. RES. 583
Expressing support for robust efforts by the United States to see Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, and his top commanders brought to justice and the group's atrocities permanently ended.
KONY 2012: Merchandising and Branding Support for US Military Intervention in Central Africa
by Nile Bowie
Global Research, March 14, 2012
Edward Bernays believed that society could not be trusted to make rational and informed decisions on their own, and that guiding public opinion was essential within a democratic society. Bernays founded the Council on Public Relations and his 1928 book, Propaganda cites the methodology used in the application of effective emotional communication. He discovered that such communication is capable of manipulating the unconscious in an effort to produce a desired effect – namely, a capacity to manufacture mass social adherence in support of products, political candidates and social movements. Nearly a century after his heyday, Bernays’ methodology is apparent in almost every form of civic and consumer persuasion. The platform of social media is being used in unprecedented new ways, one such example is a new online documentary about the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), an extremist rebel group operating in Central Africa.
The documentary is unprecedented, not for its educational attributes but for its capacity to use visual branding, merchandising and highly potent emotional communication to influence the viewer to support US military operations in resource rich Central Africa under the pretext of capturing the LRA’s commander, Joseph Kony. The Lord’s Resistance Army was originally formed in 1987 in northwestern Uganda by members of the Acholi ethnic group, who were historically exploited as forced laborers by the British colonialists and later relegated by the nation’s dominant ethic groups following independence. Together with the Holy Spirit Movement, the LRA represented the armed wing of a resistance faction aiming to overthrow the government of current Ugandan President and staunch US military ally, Yoweri Museveni.
The LRA was originally formed to combat ethic marginalization, but soon became dominated by Joseph Kony, a self-proclaimed spiritual messenger of the (Christian) Holy Spirit. Kony utilized his messianic persona to lead a syncretic spiritual movement based on Acholi tribal beliefs’ and extremist Christian dogma. It is claimed that LRA seeks to establish a theocratic state based on the Ten Commandments, however its inner ideological mythology is largely unknown. In an effort to mobilize a large scale armed resistance, the LRA routinely recruited child soldiers and forced them to commit heinous acts such as cannibalism and mutilation on others who resisted to join the rebel group during their extensive twenty-five year campaign.
KONY 2012 is directed by Jason Russell and runs just thirty minutes; the video has received over twenty million views on YouTube and Vimeo and it’s national support group on Facebook is said to gain 4,000 members each hour. The highly produced feature is narrated from the perspective of Russell and his attempt to explain the Lord’s Resistance Army to his infant son, Gavin. The video features footage from Russell’s trip to Uganda (prior to 2006, when the LRA was still operating in the region) and introduces the viewer to Jacob, a Ugandan boy who was formally recruited by the LRA as a child soldier. Russell presents various montages of ethically diverse groups of students raising their fists in the air, sporting KONY t-shirts, and scenes of mass celebration in response to President Obama signing the S. 1067: Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009.
The bill was passed without congressional approval, and allows the US to deploy military forces in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic and South Sudan (at the consent of those nations) in pursuit of LRA rebels. The film further advocates the requirement of public support for US military operations in the region through forms of street activism, encouraging viewers to purchase Action Kits ($30.00) and posters ($10.00) featuring images of Joseph Kony. Russell then targets specific celebrities and US policy makers and pressures them to endorse the campaign against Kony. Perhaps most absurdly, Russell suggests that without mass public support from the American public, the US would withdraw its military presence from the region.
This is the first large-scale campaign to mobilize social medialites to aggregate public support for what would otherwise be, controversial pro-intervention US foreign policy. The production relies on highly charged and often unrelated emotional triggers, which ultimately rely on the viewers sense of compassion in tandem with a lack of prior information on the subject to produce a desired result – explicitly, the villainous mythification of Kony and the mainstream acceptance of US presence in Africa through a proposed archipelago of AFRICOM military bases in the region.
The production targets an age group between thirteen and twenty-one, and uses a level of academic vocabulary appropriate for a young adult audience with a limited attention span; the narrator at one point even insists the viewer pay attention. The viewer is encouraged to form an emotional connection to Russell, as we witness unrelated footage of his child’s birth. The viewer is then subsequently associated with Russell’s role as a nurturer to his young son, before shifting to scenes of Russell nurturing the Ugandan child soldier, Jacob. Russell is shown prophetically pledging to stop the LRA to the traumatized and crying young boy. The intimate portrayal of emotion in these scenes work to further incite an reactionary response from the viewer, towards the preordained conclusion suggested in the narrative - a mass mobilization of support for the US military in their efforts to stop Jacob’s source of trauma. Bernays’ would be beside himself.
KONY 2012 is produced like any other sleek marketing campaign – instead of stimulating elements of self-satisfaction like advertisers would do to promote a product, US military intervention is justified to end an atrocious humanitarian catastrophe. The film also plays on an underlying theme of the White Man’s Burden, a notion that persons of European descent inherit a quality of guilt for their ancestors’ inclination for slavery and colonialism, requiring an activist response to finally correct the situation by “saving Africa.” During the Nigerian civil war in 1967, western media successfully used images of starving children for the first time to strengthen public support for military aid to the secessionist Republic of Biafra before rebel forces were defeated. This film attempts to purportedly “change the conversation of our culture,” however it remains a highly sophisticated refurbishment of pro-military interventionist foreign policy propaganda, dependent on dangerous subliminal messaging.
Furthermore, the film was produced by an organization called Invisible Children, Inc.,
Invisible Children has partnered with two other organizations, Resolve and Digitaria, to create the LRA Crisis Tracker, a digital crisis-mapping platform that broadcasts attacks allegedly committed by the LRA. On its list of corporate sponsors, Resolve lists Human Rights Watch and the International Rescue Committee. Digitaria’s website boasts commercial clients such as CBS, FOX, MTV, ESPN, Adidas, NFL, Qualcomm, NBC, National Geographic, Hasbro and Warner Brothers. While KONY 2012 attempts to portray itself as an indigenous activist movement bent on bringing justice to African children, its parent organization is affiliated with the upper echelon of the US corporate media and a network of foundation-funded pro-war civil society groups with a long history of fomenting pro-US regime change under the banner of democratic institution building.
According to Invisible Children’s own LRA Crisis Tracker, not a single case of LRA activity has been reported in Uganda since 2006. The website records ninety eight deaths in the past year, with the vast majority taking place in the northeastern Bangadi region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a tri-border expanse sharing territory with the Central African republic and South Sudan. Since December 2009, the eastern Djemah region of CAR has seen occasional LRA activity; the western Tambura region of South Sudan has experienced even less. The LRA has been in operation for over two decades, and presently remains at an extremely weakened state, with approximately 400 soldiers. Due to the extreme instability in northern DRC after decades of rebel insurgencies and Rwandan/Ugandan military incursions into the nation, it remains highly unlikely that cases of violence in the region can be sufficiently investigated before concluding LRA involvement.
The whereabouts of Joseph Kony are completely unknown; he was last seen in crossing between Sudan and CAR in 2010, according to unverified reports. The US military currently has one hundred military officers training and overseeing the Ugandan military in anti-LRA operations. Due to the complete absence of LRA activity in Uganda, it becomes feasible that the US may be planning further operations in the resource rich DRC. Over six million Congolese nationals have been killed in war since 1996, largely with US complicity. The regimes of Paul Kagame in Rwanda and Yoweri Museveni in Uganda have both received millions in military aid from the United States. Since the abhorrent failure of the 1993 US intervention in Somalia, the US has relied on the militaries of Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia to carry out US interests in proxy.
Paul Kagame of Rwanda has been given free reign by the US to conduct military operations inside DRC in the on-going ethnic conflict in that region following the 1994 Rwandan genocide. For Ugandan participation in the fight against Somalia’s al Shabaab, Museveni receives $45 million dollars in military aid. The US has contributed enormous sums to these nations and now is beginning to consolidate its presence in the region under Barack Obama and AFRICOM, the United States African Command. The LRA has contributed to less than one hundred unverified deaths in the past twelve months. Considering that the United States completely ignored events in DRC and Rwanda that collectively resulted in nearly seven million deaths, their participation against the ailing Lord’s Resistance Army is completely absurd by comparison.
Through AFRICOM, the United States is seeking a foothold in the incredibly resource rich central African block in a further maneuver to aggregate regional hegemony over China. DRC is one of the world’s largest regions without an effectively functioning government. It contains vast deposits of diamonds, cobalt, copper, uranium, magnesium, and tin while producing over $1 billion in gold each year. It is entirely feasible that the US can considerably increase its presence in DRC under the pretext of capturing Joseph Kony. The US may further mobilize group forces, in addition to the use of predator drones and targeted missile strikes, inevitably killing civilians. In a press conference at the House Armed Services Committee on March 13, 2008, AFRICOM Commander, General William Ward stated that AFRICOM will further its regional presence by "operating under the principle theatre-goal of combating terrorism”. ?
During an AFRICOM Conference held at Fort McNair on February 18, 2008, Vice Admiral Robert T. Moeller openly declared AFRICOM’s guiding principle as protecting “the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market”, before citing China’s increasing presence in the region as challenging to American interests.The crimes of the Lord’s Resistance Army have been documented in the past and they are truly despicable actions. Presently, the operations of the LRA have nearly dissolved and their presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is difficult to verify. While the pro-war filmmakers behind KONY 2012 naively call for the US military to assert its place in the conflict, an independent fact finding mission would be far more effective in assessing the seriousness of the LRA threat in the present day.
Nile Bowie is an independent writer and photojournalist based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; he regularly contributes to Land Destroyer Report and Global Research Twitter: @NileBowie
Nile Bowie is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Nile Bowie
KONY 2012: State Propaganda for a New Generation. An Orchestrated Campaign to Justify US Military Intervention in Africa
by Vigilant Citizen
Global Research, March 14, 2012
The overnight viral sensation KONY 2012 brought worldwide awareness to the African war criminal Joseph Kony. Beneath this commendable cause, lies however an elaborate agenda that is presented in the video in a very manipulative way. We’ll look at the agenda behind KONY 2012 and how it uses reverse psychology to not only justify a military operation in Africa, but to actually have people demand it.
KONY 2012 is a viral sensation that swept the entire world in less than 24 hours. Its main subject is the African rebel leader Joseph Kony, his war crimes and the clearly defined “movement” to stop him. Countless celebrities have endorsed the movement, news sources have reported it and social media is buzzing with it. While the problem of guerrilla warfare and child soldiers has plagued Africa for decades, and several documentaries have already been produced regarding the issue, this particular 29-minute video made managed to obtain mass exposure and support.
KONY 2012 is less of a documentary than it is a highly efficient infomercial that is tailor-made for the Facebook generation, using state-of-the-art marketing techniques to make its point. Young people like “underground movements” and want to feel like they are changing the world. KONY 2012 taps into these needs to bring about something that is not “hip” or “underground” at all: A military operation in Uganda. Not only that, it urges the participants of the movement to order stuff, to wear bracelets that are associated with an online profile and to record their actions in social media. This makes KONY 2012 the first artificially created movement that is fully track-able, monitor-able and quantifiable by those who engendered it. In other words, what appears to be a movement “from the people” is actually a new way for the elite to advance its agenda.
A Propaganda Experiment
The video begins with an interesting statement: “The next 27 minutes are an experiment. But in order for it to work, you have to pay attention”. It is an experiment as it tests a new, groundbreaking way to get an agenda accepted by the Facebook generation. In the past, when the government needed to justify the invasion of a country, the President would sit in front of the camera and tell the public why war should be declared in this area of the world. In the case of KONY, the military agenda is disguised as grassroots activism, where the US army entering Uganda would be perceived as a “victory of the people”, effectively reversing the communications model.
Towards the end of the video, an image is displayed explaining how decisions (and messages) start from the top of the pyramid (the elite) and are communicated to the masses through mass media and such.
Due to the advent of social media, the above diagram has become a lot less effective to get a message across to the young generation. It is not CNN reports and the President addressing the nation anymore, it is about “liking” Facebook pages and viral YouTube videos. This is where messages now come across. Always studying, analyzing and exploiting the most effective ways to persuade public opinion, KONY 2012 appears to be an attempt to test out the effectiveness of a “viral” propaganda campaign. By creating this “movement” and making young people actually DEMAND the U.S. government intervene in Africa, the masterminds behind this campaign would manage the impossible: Reversing the propaganda model in order to make it emanate from the people. By doing so, the elite’s agenda is not only accepted by the masses, it is perceived as a victory by them.
“We are living in a new world” indeed. The KONY 2012 logo aptly represents how a viral video and social media can reverse the propaganda model. Don’t be fooled however. Power is still not in the hands of the base of the pyramid … far from it. It is all about appearances.
When the war on Iraq was declared, a great portion of young Americans opposed the war. How is it they are now begging the government to send troops to Africa? A simple video, specifically conceived for the Facebook generation did the trick. As it is the case in most campaigns to justify a war, the first goal was to identify a bad guy.
Identifying the Bad Guy
By associating Kony with Bin Laden and Hitler in this poster, KONY 2012 is promoting war.
I have absolutely no intention of defending Joseph Kony or to say “he’s not that bad”. He, along with many other guerrilla factions across Africa, has committed despicable atrocities. However, the problem of child soldiers has existed for decades and there are literally hundreds of Joseph Konys across the African continent. In some cases, some of the armies are actually funded by Western countries. If we would truly go to the root of the issue, we’d discover that Africa has been plagued with the problem of warring factions and rebel guerrillas ever since Western forces “liberated” their colonies and divided the continent of Africa according to Western interests. Indeed, instead of setting the boundaries of each country according to the geographic location of the ethnic groups and tribes that live there, countries were created according to the economic needs of colonizing forces such as Great Britain, France and others. The net result is: A bunch of artificial countries that each contain several tribes, ethnic groups, languages and religions. When one group takes power, the others are repressed, which leads to violence and rebellion. Add to the mix extreme poverty due to resources being siphoned out of Africa by Western countries and you’ve got a breeding ground for merciless warlords. As long as this problem exists, Joseph Konys will continue to emerge in Africa.
But the video mentions none of this. All it says is that arresting Kony would “make the world better”. KONY 2012 is all about identifying a bad guy, “making him famous” and have people demand his death by U.S. forces. Fixing the true cause of problems in the third world has never been on the Agenda. But picking out a “bad guy” to justify military action has always been part of it. If in the case of Saddam Hussein, “facts” (that ultimately proved false) were given to justify the invasion of Iraq. A different technique is being used with Kony, one that originates from advertising.
Any marketing specialist will tell you: “Facts don’t sell, emotions do”. The first part of KONY 2012 solely addresses emotions. It is about making the filmmaker likeable, showing gut-wrenching images of African kids in pain, in misery and in despair. Then, the turning point: Joseph Kony is the cause of all of this. Not centuries of exploitation and devastation by Western forces in Africa that lead to chaos, lawlessness and poverty. No, it’s Kony. That bastard. George Clooney is really mad at him right now. He even tweeted about it.
Another marketing strategy is to appeal to the lowest common denominator. In other words, to get a message across, one must address the audience as if it was made of kids. KONY 2012 does exactly by ridiculously oversimplifying the problem to an actual child – who represents the viewers. This is not surprising though, as this is how the masses are perceived by the higher ups.
Here’s what this scene implies: “Look, dumb-ass, even this little kid gets it. So you better get it.”
Once the viewers had their emotions stirred, got infantilized and had the problem spelled out to them as if they were in kindergarten, the table is set for the true goal of the video: Defining the agenda.
Defining the Agenda
KONY 2012 is a movement backed by some of the world’s most powerful entities and has precise goals. As the movie’s intro states, it is an experiment. It is an opportunity to create a movement that can be fully trackable, quantifiable and manageable through social media whose culmination is a U.S. military intervention in Uganda. The carrying out of this mission will not only be perceived as a victory, it will restore young people’s faith in democracy. What the members of this movement might not realize is that they are helping the advancement of the elite’s agenda towards a New World Order.
This poster aptly summarizes how the Elites work. Political parties are irrelevant as both work towards the same Agenda.
The second part of the movie let’s go of emotions and describes to the viewers what the elite expects from them. U.S. troops are already in Uganda, but, according to the movie, Kony “changed his tactics”… Damnit Kony, you and your sneaky tactics. Apparently, high tech satellites, unmanned drones and all kinds of radars are not enough to catch this guy. Nope, in order to catch him, a complicated plan, involving the purchase of an “Action Kit” and the registering an ID bracelet on a website is required. Makes sense.
Those who want to “Stop Kony” are required to wear a bracelet bearing a unique code which needs to be registered at a website. Of course, personal information is requested.
Once the bracelet is registered, members can associate it with their Facebook account, which will keep track of all KONY-related actions. The end result is: every single member of KONY 2012 will be known, identified and easily tracked – with constantly updated information. All of this data will of course be collected, scrutinized and stored by those in charge.
Furthermore, members are asked to contribute a “few dollars a month” to TRI, an organization whose ultimate goal is American military intervention in Uganda.
TRI’s logo is an inverted “Peace” sign. In symbolism, an inverted sign means that it stands for the opposite of the regular sign. In other words, TRI is about war. Peace does not involve “equipping” and “training” government forces to fight rebel factions. As the novel 1984 states, WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.
To support the cause and to make it popular, a bunch of elite-sponsored artists and politicians have been enlisted, including Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Rihanna, Oprah, George Clooney, Bono, etc. Don’t be fooled, they are not there because they give a damn about child soldiers in Africa. They are pawns of the elite and used to promote its agenda. Basically, they are there to promote what the NWO wants.
Am I seeing warmongering George W. Bush in here? The dude that lied to the whole country in order to attack Iraq for its oil and stuff? Hmm. Weird.
After going past the celebrities and the emotions, the end result of this campaign is simple and steeped in real politik: Since the fall of rival superpower USSR, Western forces have sought to bring down and to control regional powers around the world, mostly in third countries. Uganda is part of that plan. The same way the spectre of Bin Laden was used to invade Afghanistan, Kony is being used to enter Uganda.
The video clearly shows what is the goal of this “movement”: U.S. troops taking charge of the Ugandan army, the same way it took charge of the Iraqi, Libyan and other armies in the past few years.
KONY 2012 is a cleverly orchestrated campaign specifically aimed at today’s youth, the future citizens of the world. Using state-of-the-art techniques and new technologies, the campaign is a first attempt at “reverse propaganda”, where the agenda APPEARS to emanate from the people. By using emotions, irrational thoughts and superficial explanations, KONY 2012 attempts to trick well-meaning people, who desire to make a positive change in the world, to instead fuel a gigantic war machine that is controlled by the world’s elite.
Is KONY 2012 trying to eradicate child-soldiers or is it attempting to create a new kind of child-soldiers?