Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: Confused, Incompetent or Indifferent?

 

By Theodore T. Hodge


The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
September 16, 2014

                  

 

President Obama And Liberian President Sirleaf

A few weeks ago, the WHO predicted that the number of people infected from the Ebola epidemic raging in Liberia would reach 20,000 before it was all over. Alarming? Yes. Frightening? No doubt. But rationally, one would have to assume that the folks the WHO had to have done some analyses to come to this conclusion. A rational person would have several choices in reacting to the blunt (bleak) analysis: (1) Be indifferent to it. (2) Accept it as true. (3) Reject it. The third option, (rejection) would require additional work to justify one's position. If one were to reject the data used to reach that projection, the burden would fall upon one to present counter-data analysis to show how one reached a different conclusion. That would be the normal case.

That was not to be the case with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Upon learning of the bleak assessment (projection) coming from the CDC, her reaction was emotional. At a ceremony in Kakata she "rejected their arithmetic projections."  She simply dismissed the position of the WHO without being mindful that she had a responsibility to put forth a different set of data whose conclusion would relate a different narrative. Why was she so emotive in her quick and ill-considered response? Did she think the "Moon is made of blue cheese because the empress says so? Let's do her justice and use her own words here: "I do not accept the prediction of some of our partners that say ten thousand, twenty thousand people will die, no! Say no to that. Tell them that may be their arithmetic projection, but we will solve Ebola so that we do not have those kind of people dying. That's our challenge; that's our responsibility; that's our commitment that we must make to prove them wrong."

That position, taken by the president in that public statement, boiled down to over-optimism, or maybe we could refer to it as naiveté, or perhaps deception. But one has to wonder, this is the same president who claims to have studied Econometrics at Harvard University. This is not to imply that that particular field gives one the competence to analyze the kind of problem at hand sufficiently. But one has to assume that someone so well versed in this discipline, which according to her, is "quantitative and requires a lot of graphs and charts..." would also be quite familiar with other quantitative tools, such as statistics. Did she not know that it required certain quantitative measures and analyses to refute the numbers projected?

Now, this is where the supposed incompetence (or perhaps dishonesty) comes in. A few short weeks later, she has made a 360-degree turn. She now says: "I'm being honest with you when I say that at this rate, we will never break the transmission chain and the virus will overwhelm us." In the first case, she was speaking to her Liberian audience and dispensing Panglossian Logic. Panglossian logic or philosophy is "characterized by or given to extreme optimism, especially in the face of unrelieved hardship or adversity." It's the kind of philosophy that ignores the harsh reality that the environment entails and reaches the conclusion: "We are fine; we will be fine... We live in the best of all possible worlds." In reality, though, we don't.

After being Dr. Pangloss to the suffering Liberian masses, she took up pen to write to her banker, US President Barack Obama. She is now resorting to her normal or usual policy approach: Begging for money to solve the national problem. She is now forced to admit that after all, we don't live in the best possible world. We are in deep trouble. She is willing not only to accept the 20,000 figure projected by WHO, she is willing to go further and imagine complete annihilation. She writes: "The virus is spreading at an exponential rate and we have a limited time window to arrest it. Mr. President, well over 40% of total cases occurred in the last 18 days... MSF is now running a 160 bed-unit that will expand even further. This is the largest ever Ebola Treatment Unit in the history of the disease and even that is inadequate. To break the chain of transmission, we need to isolate the sick from their families and communities, but this is impossible because there is nowhere to take them. We are been forced to turn back the sick. We are sending them home where they are a risk to their families and the communities..."

One has to wonder: When did the president come to grips with reality? Weren't the signs there all along? Were there no statisticians or other professional number crunchers to alert her to the impending reality? When she disputed the WHO numbers were any of her key advisers that she pays tens of thousands of dollars monthly competent to advise her? Of course not. She refuses to pay nurses and other professional healthcare workers living wages; she refuses to pay other professionals like statisticians or economists and other technocrats the going rates to attract them... but she pays her good-for-nothing cronies huge sums to sing her praise. Now that she needs professional advice, she finds herself alone with incompetent clowns. My dear lady, you call into question the quality of your advertised education when you don't even know the kinds of services or professionals the country needs. Perhaps you simply don't care. In the long run, it speaks to your incompetence. A few weeks ago, I publicly called you incompetent and predicted that things were falling apart; that your house of cards was crumbling around you. Have you not made a prophet out of me? Thank you.

The second issue that concerns me is, how did this supposed letter to President Obama come to be leaked to the public before it reached its destination? We don't work at the Liberian Executive Mansion, and we certainly don't work in the US White House, or the Oval Office How did a letter written by President Sirleaf to US President Obama come to be in this public domain? I was asleep last night when someone called and promised to send me a copy. I was hesitant and skeptical to believe it. He sent it and it looked real, with the seal and signature and all... I was still skeptical until I began to read passages of the same document I had received on various Internet sites, including The Guardian. That did it for me.

Has the president surrounded herself with people who are betraying her now because they see the end in sight? Are they betraying her for profit? For fun? For revenge? What are their motives? Perhaps it is time to stop and put this whole matter into context. Things are indeed falling apart in Liberia. The president is not in control and does not inspire confidence. She has fired scores of people and where is she going to get their replacements as the country deals with the most challenging problems it has ever faced? Is she going to be able to attract the fine talent she has ignored now at this crucial time? Who wants to take a job now and fly into a highly infested zone? And if she does not replace those people as soon as possible, how is government supposed to run effectively and efficiently? Please join me in pondering these questions.

When I call for the president's incompetence or indifference to be fully examined, do not take my word for it. Look at her latest budget prepared for fighting the Ebola epidemic. Monies have been allocated in a way that defies logic and understanding. Over three hundred fifty thousand dollars go to Immigration Services, for example. What exactly are immigration officers to do in the fight against Ebola? Scrutinize people's traveling documents more closely before they enter the country? Is the government increasing the size of the Border Control by hiring more officers?  If so, when were they trained? Buying new vehicles or paying for overtime? The issue is the budget lacks transparency. It doesn't detail how the monies allotted to Immigration is being spent.

The National Defense (Army) gets another three hundred fifty thousand dollars and yet close to three hundred fifty thousand dollars similarly go the National Police. Well, as for the army, it was given orders to shoot and kill people suspected of carrying the Ebola virus and trying to sneak into the country. They man numerous checkpoints at the border entries and within the country. For example, the soldiers decide whether one can leave or enter one county or the other... We know bullets and ammunition can be very expensive for soldiers who are prepared to shoot and kill sick people. The president was advised that it was wrong to militarize the fight against this virus, but she is continuing to do as she pleases. How she justifies these sums going to soldiers and other para-military forces is still not clear.

A hundred and thirty thousand was also awarded to the Ministry of Stated a whopping half a million dollars goes to the Ministry of Internal AffairsBut exactly how is the money to be used by these ministries? The budget is not transparent on that. Little is covered in the budget about such things as rubber gloves and infrared thermometers and other such Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), or even beds or bed linen in the actual fight of the epidemic, but huge salaries and compensations go into paying officials who already work for the government. I understand the government is paying huge amounts for catering services to feed these government employees while hardly any monies are allocated for buying food to feed quarantined victims. Figure out the logic. As for me, it defies my thinking.

Now after publishing what amounts to garbage as a budget and how the government has carelessly spent a couple of million dollars on unrelated issues, it is now playing its trump card: Begging for money from the international community. I will not be surprised if this so called letter that was sent to President Obama is also worded differently and sent to other "friendly" heads of state for the same purpose. But when will we ever get out of this quagmire with such leaders who are only interested in lining their own pockets? Malaysia is said to produce most of the rubber gloves used in the world. You know why? Malaysia for a long time had the second largest rubber plantation in the world, Liberia had the largest rubber plantation in the world, but we don't even make a single rubber glove in the country, never mind exporting any finished rubber product. What's wrong with that picture? I'll leave you to ponder that. They say "When life gives you oranges, you make orange juice... apples, you make apple juice..." When you grow rubber trees, aren't you supposed to be self-sufficient in rubber gloves, balloons, condoms or rubber utensils? But someone told our leaders differently: When you grow rubber trees in your country, export all the raw latex and in times of crises, pass the hat around. Let begging be your primary policy; an issue facing our nation.

Implementing Agency

Disbursement in August/2014
(Thousands of USD)

% of Total August

Ministry of Health and Social Welfare

2,882,000.96

61.7

Ministry of Internal Affairs

484,000.98

10.4

Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization

357,000.45

7.7

Ministry of National Defense

352,000.36

7.5

Liberia National Police

346,000.32

7.4

Ministry of State

130,000.00

2.8

Program Management (Command Center, Fuel)

100,000.00

2.1

Ministry of Information, Culture & Tourism

17,000.5

0.4

TOTAL

4,668,003.57

100.00

 

Author: Theodore T. Hodge. Email: imthodge@gmail.com



aminata
America can do whatever they want to do but they will do well to read this all important narrative by Mr. Hodge. It is either throw money at problem momentarily or go to the source of the problem and solve it once for all. It will save a lots of US hard earned tax payer dollars over the long run-something which should be so evident by now.
aminata at 12:20PM, 2014/09/16.
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah
Been confused is certainly an accompanying kin of the incompetent given such a scenario; and of course,the dragon of indifference, whether unintentional or intentional, is bound to show its ugly heads all over the given individual as is now the case with Ellen. Thus, yes,Ellen is no doubt, confused, incompetent, and indifferent, at this stage.

WHY?

Because all she knows is been machiavellian or hitlerian to solve whatever problem or break whatever obstacle on her way to her vain objectives.

So, with the solution to the current ebola problem not being as her machiavelian and dishonest tactics or solution in bypassing the national style of electing Mayors; nor is the ebola problem being as mortgaging the country´s economy (while at the World Bank) to finance her bloody war to power, or rigging two elections; she is bound to be confused, indifferent, and incompetent, with this health problem which can no way be solved through whether her hitlerian, osasma-binladian, or machiavellian solutions or tactics. So yes, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf IS NOW CLEARLY Confused, Incompetent and Indifferent. Hence, incapable of being President any longer!!!
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah at 01:58PM, 2014/09/16.
Guestthoto
guest test post
[url=http://googlee.te/]bbcode[/url]
html
http://googlee.te/ simple
Guestthoto at 09:45PM, 2017/01/28.
Guestthoto
guest test post
[url=http://googlee.te/]bbcode[/url]
html
http://googlee.te/ simple
Guestthoto at 02:42AM, 2017/03/03.
ApokoaloMic
онлайн бесплатные карточные игры пасьянсы [url=http://slotsent.ru/internet-kazino-easypay.html]интернет казино easypay[/url] http://slotsent.ru/eroticheskie-kartochnye-igry-torrent.html эротические карточные игры торрент
а
ApokoaloMic at 02:48PM, 2017/03/04.
ApokoaloMic
sharky играть онлайн [url=http://slotsal.ru/azart-pley.html]азарт плей[/url] http://slotsient.ru/besplatno-novomatik.html бесплатно новоматик
а
ApokoaloMic at 03:07PM, 2017/03/04.
Guestthoto
guest test post
[url=http://googlee.te/]bbcode[/url]
html
http://googlee.te/ simple
Guestthoto at 09:15PM, 2017/03/06.
Guestthoto
guest test post
[url=http://googlee.te/]bbcode[/url]
html
http://googlee.te/ simple
Guestthoto at 09:32PM, 2017/03/06.
ApokoaloMic
игровые автоматы бесплатно обезьяны [url=http://slotsance.ru/igrat-v-piramidy.html]играть в пирамиды[/url] http://slotsent.ru/kazino-bez-granic-onlayn.html казино без границ онлайн
а
ApokoaloMic at 05:01AM, 2017/03/08.
ApokoaloMic
игровые автоматы крейзи манки играть бесплатно [url=http://slotsent.ru/dzhek-pot-igrovye-avtomaty.html]джек пот игровые автоматы[/url] http://slotsal.ru/igrovoy-avtomat-halk.html игровой автомат халк
а
ApokoaloMic at 05:07AM, 2017/03/08.
ApokoaloMic
игровой аппарат клубника [url=http://slotsance.ru/oficialnye-igrovye-avtomaty-vulkan.html]официальные игровые автоматы вулкан[/url] http://slotsaholic.ru/poker-dzhoker-igrovye-avtomaty.html покер джокер игровые автоматы
а
ApokoaloMic at 05:25AM, 2017/03/08.
ApokoaloMic
азартные игры для андроид [url=http://slotsance.ru/slot-albom-shestoy-skachat-besplatno.html]слот альбом шестой скачать бесплатно[/url] http://slotsent.ru/skachat-66-kartochnaya-igra.html скачать 66 карточная игра
а
ApokoaloMic at 05:31AM, 2017/03/08.
ApokoaloMic
играть онлайн бесплатно одевалки принцесс [url=http://slotsily.ru/igrat-v-azartnuu-igru-obezyanki.html]играть в азартную игру обезьянки[/url] http://slotsal.ru/msl-megalot-dzhekpot.html мсл мегалот джекпот
а
ApokoaloMic at 05:50AM, 2017/03/08.
ApokoaloMic
игровой автомат poker slot [url=http://slotsable.ru/onlayn-kazino-25-pri-registracii.html]онлайн казино 25 при регистрации[/url] http://slotsable.ru/besplatnye-igry-igrovye-avtomaty-vulkan.html бесплатные игры игровые автоматы вулкан
а
ApokoaloMic at 05:55AM, 2017/03/08.
ApokoaloMic
онлайн казино 2013 [url=http://slotsient.ru/veselye-kartochnye-igry.html]веселые карточные игры[/url] http://slotsent.ru/kartochnye-igry-pasyansy-skachat.html карточные игры пасьянсы скачать
а
ApokoaloMic at 06:15AM, 2017/03/08.
ApokoaloMic
игровой канал принцессы фото [url=http://slotsient.ru/skachat-onlayn-igrovye-avtomaty-sokrovischa-piratov.html]скачать онлайн игровые автоматы сокровища пиратов[/url] http://slotsaholic.ru/igrovye-avtomaty-vulkan-v-minske.html игровые автоматы вулкан в минске
а
ApokoaloMic at 06:21AM, 2017/03/08.
ApokoaloMic
играть в автоматы крышки [url=http://slotsize.ru/igrovye-avtomaty-garage-skachat.html]игровые автоматы garage скачать[/url] http://slotsable.ru/igrovoy-avtomat-aliens.html игровой автомат aliens
а
ApokoaloMic at 06:41AM, 2017/03/08.
ApokoaloMic
игровой аппарат книга ра [url=http://slotsable.ru/verevki-igrovye.html]веревки игровые[/url] http://slotsoid.ru/russkaya-ruletka-igrat-na-dengi.html русская рулетка играть на деньги
а
ApokoaloMic at 06:47AM, 2017/03/08.
ApokoaloMic
самые новые игровые автоматы играть бесплатно [url=http://slotsaholic.ru/bezopasno-li-igrat-v-internet-kazino.html]безопасно ли играть в интернет казино[/url] http://slotsent.ru/azartnye-igry-kazino-igrovye-avtomaty.html азартные игры казино игровые автоматы
а
ApokoaloMic at 07:05AM, 2017/03/08.
ApokoaloMic
слотомания игровые автоматы в контакте [url=http://slotsent.ru/sloty-novomatik.html]слоты новоматик[/url] http://slotsal.ru/igrovye-avtomaty-mega-dzhek-besplatno.html игровые автоматы мега джек бесплатно
а
ApokoaloMic at 07:11AM, 2017/03/08.
ApokoaloMic
подпольные игровые автоматы [url=http://slotsance.ru/igrovye-avtomaty-morskoy-boy.html]игровые автоматы морской бой[/url] http://slotsal.ru/super-slots-minsk.html супер слотс минск
а
ApokoaloMic at 07:29AM, 2017/03/08.
ApokoaloMic
бесплатные игры любимые слоты [url=http://slotsious.ru/igrat-v-geyminator.html]играть в гейминатор[/url] http://slotsize.ru/procent-selektor-dlya-novomatika.html процент селектор для новоматика
а
ApokoaloMic at 07:36AM, 2017/03/08.
ApokoaloMic
онлайн игры гаминатор [url=http://slotsoid.ru/programma-dlya-vzloma-onlayn-kazino.html]программа для взлома онлайн казино[/url] http://slotsal.ru/igrovye-avtomaty-legkie.html игровые автоматы легкие
а
ApokoaloMic at 07:54AM, 2017/03/08.
ApokoaloMic
скачать фильм блек джек [url=http://slotsoid.ru/stimulyatory-igrovyh-avtomatov-igrat-besplatno.html]стимуляторы игровых автоматов играть бесплатно[/url] http://slotsize.ru/igrat-v-piratov.html играть в пиратов
а
ApokoaloMic at 08:00AM, 2017/03/08.
ApokoaloMic
играть в слоты игровых автоматов [url=http://slotsious.ru/avtomaty-onlayn-ukraina.html]автоматы онлайн украина[/url] http://slotsize.ru/kak-obmanut-crazy-monkey.html как обмануть crazy monkey
а
ApokoaloMic at 08:18AM, 2017/03/08.

Post your comment

You can use following HTML tags: <a><br><strong><b><em><i><blockquote><pre><code><img><ul><ol><li><del>

Confirmation code:

Comments script


© 2014 by The Perspective
E-mail: editor@theperspective.org
To Submit article for publication, go to the following URL: submittingarticles@theperspective.org