Friday, March 9, 2012

Kony, Globalization, International Women's Day, and My Intermittent Blogging Schedule

If you enjoy this post, or any of the previous, than please go to this website to continue reading.  It's a new layout, but I'm going to try to continue the majority of writing here!  I'll update this blog from time to time, to hopefully redirect any readers here to the new website! :) Thanks for all the views here at!

It is difficult to keep up with the world and my personal life sometimes.  Sorry for the über-long title.  I am running back and forth between the Housing and Finance Offices on post because this week I moved into my apartment!  I posted some pics on Flickr of this new place. More on that later... now, about these pics below.  This is a picture I took while visiting Cape Verde in 2009, an archipelago off the west coast of Africa.  It's a small country with relatively low rates of violence, a problem with drought, and was originally uninhabited.  It is one of Africa's most stable democratic governments (source: CIA World Factbook).
Woman in Capo Verde
The media frenzy surrounding Kony in Uganda and the fierce reactions I've read from both fervent supporters and disdainful skeptics, have got me thinking about the rights and wrongs surrounding the issue.  It is true that some parts of the viral video are a little misleading... read this article Joseph Kony is not in Uganda by Michael Wilkerson if you aren't tracking yet.

In spite of the misinformation, part of me is inherently opposed to dismissing the international crimes of one individual because they don't directly influence my life.  Still, I agree with a lot of what Michael Wilkerson wrote; namely that there is no clear solution and simply getting media attention is not the answer (and is a bit suspect if it's directly related to a fundraising effort. I'm vaguely reminded of The Twelve Chairs, where Ostap Bender is smoothing appealing for everybody to give money for a "good cause." p.s. if you haven't seen the Mel Brooks film... do it!)

There are a lot of injustices in the world, and globalization almost suggests that the more a country can guarantee it won't meddle outside of its borders, the less likely the international community is to do anything about it.  Eddie Izzard has a great skit about "mass-murdering f***heads" that covers this phenomena.  The atrocities committed by the warlord Kony, are worse than anything NATO Soldiers have done as individuals (because their countries' governments always pursue some sort of disciplinary action even if it's not totally satisfactory to the international community) in recent international conflicts, yet they are so ubiquitous in times of civil war in Africa, they rarely make the headlines.  I think this doesn't excuse Soldiers of war crimes ever, but it is nice to know our Soldiers presumably follow the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC).  Meanwhile, 'warlordism' is a serious problem that developed countries tend to look at with sympathetic eyes without stirring so much as a hand in many a case (and truthfully we can't devote resources to hunt down every single warlord).  Rape as a weapon of war, has been used openly in places like the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Liberia at an alarming level.  It has spurred U.N. Security Council Resolutions, international conferences, and is a serious issue of justice let alone international law.

Amid all this outcry over Kony and the sad reality of warlordism and the suffering of women and all victims of warmongering, I would like to remind the international community in the global effort for peace it has been proven that women are a key factor, too often an overlooked one.

Which brings me to my next point:  Happy International Women's Day 2012!  I know I sorta missed in my time zone for the post anyway, but it's still going on in my native USA.  It's a great day and I'm sorry I didn't make more room in my schedule to prepare a product this year.  I checked out the book, A Few Good Women at the library and told the librarian Happy International Women's day, to which she replied surprised and chuckling, "Why yes, I suppose so! [smile]  Same to you!"

SO, about my intermittent blogging schedule.  I am currently in the process of moving into my apartment.  I also won't have time to install high-speed internet there before I deploy to Afghanistan... and would have to cancel the plan right after it was set up... so I am just using a stick internet... which doesn't even work that well at my apartment.  I have plenty of ideas I want to blog about, but I have to set up my computer at a McDonalds or the Community Activity Center on post, so it's a little hassle to write.  Then during the deployment my blogs will be more intermittent, but I'll keep up to date as much as possible within reason with operational security (OPSEC).

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