Helping countries that help themselves

Andrew Justus

Between you, me, and whoever else reads this – the whole “KONY 2012” thing bit seems silly. If my name were Rambo or Chuck Norris, I’d already be in Uganda and have won the war there outright, and without needing to be prompted by Facebook. Surely, the human rights violations taking place in Uganda at the hand of one Mr. Kony are terrible. Forcing children to fight in a rag-tag army represents a robbery of their innocence, their future and their lives.

The recent Facebook fad of posting movie clips and raising awareness of such atrocities and war crimes does more to make people feel good in western countries than it does to put things right in far away lands. The only way to stop Mr. Kony is with military force, something most Facebook users are incapable of bringing to bear. Even if there were an operation to kill or capture Mr. Kony, the political cost of having to kill off the child army he surrounds himself with would be immense.

Too many times are we urged to come to the aid of those in other far-off countries who do not appear to be first helping themselves. Why not plea for aid to those in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt or Syria? People who are going to such lengths and even giving their lives to fight for a better and more just future for themselves and their children.

Why should the U.S. or any other country come to the aid of the people of Uganda? Why can’t the government of that country put down Mr. Kony’s forces with their regular army? It would seem rather easy for an army of men to defeat a band of a few hundred that includes some children.

I’m sure some people who haven’t already set their newspaper on fire by now think I must be heartless or have my own army of kidnapped children, but I don’t mean to be insensitive. I only mean to argue that the people of the world cannot always expect the U.S. or other countries to be a global police force and must at times fight for their own rights as people have done throughout human history.