Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The bell curve of evil - Josef Stalin and Joseph Kony

Economist.com | Justice versus reconciliation
The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel group led by Joseph Kony, a man who thinks himself semi-divine, has spent the past 18 years slaughtering peasants, enslaving children and slicing off the lips and noses of conscripts it suspects of disloyalty...

...Mr Kony's gang has reportedly abducted more than 20,000 children. Some are forced to fight, some to carry bags, others to have sex with the fighters. By way of initiation, many are obliged to club, stamp or bite to death their friends and relatives, and then to lick their brains, drink their blood and even eat their boiled flesh.
Sure, Stalin killed perhaps 1000 times as many people as Joseph Kony had. Stalin had the opportunity and talent to fully maximize the harm of his evil. And yet, without that opportunity, he might have been just another vile and nasty thug.

Kony, on the other hand, may be "one in a million", among the top 1000 most fundamentally evil men of our world. I suspect even Saddam, bin Laden, Mao and Stalin would find him somewhat repulsive, though Mengele might recognize a kindred spirit.

There may yet be hope for a weak justice. The ICC is not strong, but it is persistent. Very persistent...
... the ICC [International Criminal Court] is determined to succeed in northern Uganda. Its credibility is at stake. Catching Mr Kony may take years or even decades. But unlike other international tribunals, the ICC is permanent. There is no time limit for its work. Its indictments, once issued, remain in force until the indictee is either tried or dead. It can wait for Mr Kony, who may incidentally be running out of hiding places.

His fellow Acholis hate him. His friends in Sudan are turning their backs on him. Donors are pressuring Mr Museveni to pacify the north (and to abide by constitutional term limits, but that is another story). Mr Kony might hope to hide in a state that is not a party to the ICC. But who would want him?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello,

As a high school student we're doing a unit on Animal Farm and one of the things we're doing is comparing the Invisible Children in Uganda to the book, Animal Farm. When I just started writing my essay comparing the two, I realized that they both share the same names, that is to say, Stalin and Kony. After google-ing both their names in one search, I came up with your blog. I felt that just a bit more excited after reading what you had said on the topic.

Thank you.

John Gordon said...

I think Lord of the Flies is the more natural comparison, but it's been a while since I read Animal Farm.

Thanks for the note!