The Crumbled Empire that does not Pose any Threat to Anybody

By James Torh

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
July 30, 2009


It is now almost two decade (December 1989) since our naturally and historically rich country was first dragged down into horror and human rights tragedy. We know about the banality of evil. It was all about the evil of determined and unapologetic mediocrity.

He (Charles G. Taylor-the former President of Liberia) is now in front of a war-crimes tribunal, not in the Palace of the Executive Mansion. This is the man – an unyielding terrorist by any definition of the word, the embodiment of treachery – that has more blood on his hands, launched a folly of war, waged without pity and ravaged his country.

If there is a merciful God, Our former President who visited terror on our land will finish testifying in the next couple of days.

Since the trial began, I have watched and listened to the former Liberian President testified at the monstrosity of his war crimes trial. But the law gives great latitude to defendant Taylor who is charged with 11 counts of murder, torture, rape, sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers and terrorism during Sierra Leone's 1991-2002 dance chaos of civil war. I found myself on the floor burst into giggle with tears rolling down my eyes as he recalibrate the rhetoric that confounded public debate among his staunchest supporters in downtown Monrovia, and bungled the reality and snottily defended his family life "I am a father of 14 children, grandchildren, have fought all my life to do what I thought was right in the interests of justice and fair play. I resent that characterization of me. It is false, it is malicious."

Even in the process when he isn't talking for the record, composing didactic and meandering monologues, the former chief executive of Africa oldest Republic interrupts and interjects harrumphs and hisses. He squeaks, he sighs, he scowls, he sometimes sneers, he rolls his eyes, makes faces, flicks a reptilian tongue as usual, he hurls directives at his British trained lawyer, delivers viva voce asides and generally, maddeningly, disrupts. He accused the prosecution of lie through their teeth to demonize him. Our former President is indeed, a hardliner.

At last we can watch and listen and subsequently report that the fabulous theatrical empire of a war criminal has finally crashed down, blown up and indeed crumbled, The National Patriot Front of Liberia (NPFL), The National Reconstruction Assembly (NPRAG) and the National Patriotic Party (NPP) led Government). In the drama of his own life, Mr. Taylor who is often described as the greatest impresario of our times – the man who reinvented theatre of chaos and evil at many stages, used his remarkable force of personality to fend off commands that crushed most of our compatriots and innocent children, had cast himself as the family man – the man of humble origins. What a terrible joke!

But psychopathic meets neither the legal nor psychiatric threshold of insanity that set the member countries of the Mano River Basin on flames. As Robert Hare, a renowned expert in the field and professor emeritus of psychology at the University of British Columbia, explains in his book Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us, psychopathic killers are not mad. "Their acts result not from a deranged mind but from a cold, calculating rationality combined with a chilling inability to treat others as thinking, feeling human beings. Such morally incomprehensible behavior, exhibited by a seemingly normal person, leaves us feeling bewildered and helpless.

They are utterly logical, to their own way of thinking, and don't see where they need to be "fixed," even if that were possible.

In plain-speak – the bad seed. They emerge from the womb predisposed to amoral – unfeeling – conduct and are reinforced in that no-limits attitude as they grow up. Most don't become killers. But they're all ruthless, which often makes them quite successful in their careers and frequently charismatic. There's no compunction about lying or seizing what they want or luring others to engage in dangerous ventures. We all know such people. Please read about Charles Taylor horror, the former President of Liberia who sunk nations for over a decade.

No, no one's going to make a musical of Charles Taylor's story. Because when all is said and done, he's just a crook, war criminal and will be thrown in jail.

James Torh
Toronto, Canada

© 2009 by The Perspective

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