It isn’t a common misconception that teenagers are oblivious to news and events currently streaming the headlines. One of the most propaganda-laden videos the world has ever seen changes this status quo. This 29 minute, 56 second video pulls the attention of both the younger and older demographics all across the world. Jason Russell, the creator of the video, aims to point out the crimes of the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Joseph Kony. Abducting children and forcing them to act as slaves or soldiers, Kony has torn through Northern Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and South Sudan for the past 25 years.
As the video streamed from every feed on my Facebook page, I quickly became intrigued as to what the big deal was. The video was very finely produced and directed (probably costing quite a bit of money) and attempted to relay the idea Joseph Kony was the worst war criminal on the planet. Now, being in the small percentage of teens that pay attention to what goes on in our world, I thought, “Well, if this were true, wouldn’t this have come out, you know, before his 25 years of being in this position?” While the cause as a whole serves as a great motivator for peace and prosperity for the African people- that whole continent has needed help for years- to proclaim Kony as the most dangerous war criminal in the world seems a little far fetched. Granted, these past few years have been great in extinguishing dictators and war criminals like Osama Bin-Laden and Muammar Gaddafi, there just tends to be one name that rises above all the living war criminals.
Fighting for their independence since March 15, 2011, the people of Syria spend their days resisting President Bashar al-Assad and his regime, resulting in over 100 deaths in a single day. Major world leaders see Bashar al-Assad as a problem and attempt to send humanitarian aid to the people to help ease the lack of food and water all throughout the country. European Union foreign ministers met on May 23, 2011 and agreed to add President Assad and nine other officials to a list enacting travel bans and asset freezes. The general populace may see Joseph Kony as the worst war criminal, but as more bans are placed on Assad and Syria, the evidence seems to point away from Kony.
The ploy to arrest Joseph Kony is the biggest movement our generation has ever seen, and is relatable to scenarios such as the Vietnam protests, in the sense of catching the population’s attention. Movements like these are what changes the way we move forward in the future. Bringing people together from all over the world for one cause is one of the biggest things people could do. No matter what culture a person is born into they can recognize the evils in the world and movements like this let everyone know that with enough people, they can change the world. To be a successful movement, don’t stop here. Find Kony, then bring down others like him, i.e. Bashar al-Assad.