By Jay Wehtee Wion
President Obama And Liberian President Sirleaf
U.S. President Barack Obama has put ALL on NOTICE that it is not going to be business as usual for those who sponsor war, commit war crimes, crimes against humanity, human rights abuses and economic crimes. And in his own words, President Obama said: "From Nuremberg to Yugoslavia to LIBERIA , the United States has seen that the end of impunity and the promotion of justice are not just moral imperatives; they are stabilizing forces in international affairs. The United States is thus working to strengthen national justice systems and is maintaining our support for ad hoc international tribunals and hybrid courts. Those who INTENTIONALLY target innocent civilians MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE, and we will continue to support institutions and PROSECUTIONS that advance this important interest. Although the United States is not at present a party to the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and will always protect U.S. personnel, we are engaging with State Partners to the Rome Statute on issues of concern and are supporting the ICC's prosecution of those cases that advance US interests and values, consistent with the requirements of U.S. law."
In political science 101 in college, my professor said "the United States does NOT have permanent friends, but rather the U.S. has permanent INTERESTS." Allies today can become "enemies" tomorrow and enemies of yesterday can become "friends" today. Examples would be Japan during World War and its attack on Pearl Harbor , Hawaii ...and Japan today with its strong economy in the world and its thriving democracy. And then you have IRAN under The Shah, and Iran today under the Mullahs and Ayatollahs. And Liberia , a stepchild that the U.S. has been babysitting and breastfeeding since 1847 has become a problem child of late, and now papa has taken off the belt and is ready to spank some stubborn nerds. This is the drama that is unfolding now by Uncle Sam against Charles Taylor, Chuckie Taylor Jr, George Boley, Tom Woewiyu, Kabina Ja'neh and Len Eugene Nagbe....and many more to follow. Hello!!!
And please wait before you paint your racist paint brush on President Obama because he is black and is one of us; we share the same African DNA and he knows our problems and can better talk to us in plain, blunt language Africans understand.
And so as host at the White House meeting with his fellow Africans next month, it is going to be tough talking, leaving no stone unturned. A hint about his message to African leaders next month here in Washington should take you back to his July 2013 visit to South Africa and his pep talk to students at Cape Town University; and his powerful eulogy to the grearest African ever, the Madiba Nelson Mandela during the funeral last December at the Soweto soccer stadium. And there were as many African tyrants and dictators present with their fake tributes to Mandela and crocodile tears.
Permit me to ask: Is this the same Woewiyu who said he is "not guilty" to charges levied against him by the U.S. during his arraignment in Philadelphia in June ? He knows too much and will take down with him all major players and war criminals in Liberia . We are all ears waiting for the show/trial to start. Indeed, when you pull rope, rope will pull bush, and things will begin to "chakala" in Liberia . Many are now sleeping with one eye open.
But why would Tom now refer to Ellen as a "distinguished" individual? Because in Tom's 2005 "Open Letter to Madam Ellen Jonhson Sirleaf," the same Tom said "Ellen saw herself as the Commander-in-Chief of the NPFL who gave orders to General Charles Taylor, her frontline commander to level Monrovia and it would be rebuilt," and to Tom himself as the Defense (Executioner) Minister. The pandora box is just halfway open.
In war crimes trials, they usually go after ring leaders or those who bear the greatest responsibility. That is why the US case against Tom is digging into the makeup of the ACDL which was the fundraising arm of the NPFL.
In her book, "This Child Will Be Great, " Ellen admits to being a member of the ACDL, which she said "raised $10, 000.00 for the NPFL to launch an armed resistance or rebel war against Samuel Doe" We know women are not immune from human rights abuse prosecution. The Rwanda genocide had women who were linked to crimes against humanity.
So what is Ellen's role in this unfolding drama? That a Nobel Peace Prize winner head of state may have to face a war crimes tribunal may not be too farfetched. Liberia could set new record with two heads of state prosecuted for war crimes, crimes against humanity and economic crimes. No wonder why Liberia is Africa’s first failed experiment at democracy after 167 years of "independence." The clock is ticking. Mr. Obama is about to leave a lasting legacy and his footprint on the continent of his father. As leader of the free world and the most powerful man on earth, this is a historic opportunity for him and Africans and the expectations are high, and looking over his shoulders are Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and the Madiba Nelson Mandela. We are all anxiously awaiting for this first of its kind meeting of African leaders in the White House, hosted by the first African American President of the United States of America .
The Author: Jerry Wehtee Wion, Journalist and Political Commentator, Washington , DC , USA .