Taylor, U.S. Dollar
And Public Ignorance
A little over two years ago, Charles Taylor was campaigning for
the presidency in Liberia and making promises of all sorts and
to lend credibility to his many promises, he procured rice from
the Republic of Taiwan and distributed it amongst his constituency.
Confounding even his critics, Taylor made himself over in a crowded
field of presidential wannabes and projected an image as the
one person who had a sustained connection to the ordinary household
in Liberia. Outhustling, out-maneuvering and double crossing
even some of his fiercest opponents, Taylor managed to do the
imponderable, bringing most Liberians into his cheering line
and virtually assured himself as a drop of goodness in a sea
The Liberian Saga:
One Nation, Two Cultures
In his series, Liberia's Ugly Past, my colleague James D. Smith
had highlighted key indelible elements of the Americo-Liberian
legacy. Mr. Smith ably dealt with this issue that it would be
repetitive for me to venture redoing his brilliant pieces.
Liberians Take Stand
In his tumultuous and disastrous presidency, Liberia's President
Charles Taylor has overcome and survived many obstacles in his
path. He would have perhaps achieved a major feat and scored
an heroic triumph if his visit to the United States to attend
the United Nations General Assembly Conference last September
had not been stopped in its tracks. While he says the "lack
of funds" made it impossible for him to attend, it is clear
that there was a gathering storm and a confluence of several
forces beyond his control that helped prevent this visit.
Bureau of Veterans
Affairs? What A Joke!
The headline I read online the morning of September 19, 1999,
went like this: "Liberia Sets Up Office For Civil War Veterans."
The very peculiar West African habit of rewarding criminals,
mass murderers and assassins must have by now disabused our idealistic
minds that in the absence of political consciousness by leader
and people, peace with justice ban be achieved. The lack of moral
decency which is demonstrated by rewarding the likes of Charles
Taylor, Foday Sankoh, Blaise Campoare, etc., points to one undeniable
truth: there can never be stability in West Africa as long as
West African leaders ignore the clamor of the people for justice
and instead preach the hollow gospel of stability, which in reality
is a plea for "staying in power" at any price.
The Problem with
In the Liberian community at home and abroad, every issue has
become "relative". Our brothers and sisters believe
that there is no such thing as "right" or "wrong".
A growing number of them have dismissed the notion of objectivity
and raw facts. Since all things are relative to them, truth,
justice and principle have also met with similar fate.
For many in the Diaspora, Liberia is now a thing of the past.
Liberia has had her time, and positive history-making ended in
1980 with the overthrow of the Americo-Liberian oligarchy by
non-commissioned army personnel. A significant number of the
pre - 1980 aristocrats botted the country for the United States
fearing reprisals; especially after the gruesome deaths, by firing
squad, of the thirteen cabinet officials, and the callous murders
and witch-hunt that ensued in the immediate aftermath of the
Emergence of a Criminal State
For many Liberians, the end of their 7-year ghastly conflict
meant an opportunity for renewal and reconstruction. But 2 years
after a much heralded election, the evidence is that this country
of barely 2.6 million which lost about 300,000 persons, including
20,000 children dead out of 45,000 drafted into rebel armies,
is being transformed into a criminal state and a comfortable,
supporting home for West Africa's most callous criminal dissidents.
They Won't Be Coming After All
The joy was endemic contaminating everyone in the crowd of anxious
Liberians and well-wishers of Liberia gathered outside across
from the White House on the evening of September 19, as Black
Congressional representatives and Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode
Island wasted the good news.
Liberian President Charles
Taylor Planned To Visit Morehouse College During U.S. Trip
Liberian President Charles Taylor, whose visit to the United
States has been postponed, will not visit Morehouse College on
Friday, Sept. 24, as had been planned.
A Joint Statement In Opposition To
President Taylor's Visit To The U. S.
To the astonishment of Liberians and people of conscience who
have followed developments which caused more than 250,000 lives
in Liberia since Charles Taylor's reign of terror, the Notice
of Nolle Prosequi issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
has cleared the way for fugitive Taylor's entry into the U.S.
No Red Carpet Treatment For Charles
With the impending visit of Liberian President Charles McArthur
Taylor to the United States in September of 1999, the Liberian
Association of Metropolitan Atlanta wishes to strongly express
its consternation over the willingness of many African American
leaders to unconditionally embrace him despite the fact that
his human rights records are checkered and punctuated with blatant
disregard for life and liberty.
Why President Taylor Should Not Be Granted
As the world undergoes dramatic democratic transformation and
is poised to enter the next millennium, it is the hope of most
Africans that Africa and the people of African descent everywhere
will become the major beneficiaries in the quest for creating
a democratic society and bringing the prosperity of the world
to those who have least benefited in the last century.
Cry West Africa:Taylor's
Indeed what many have been fearing-an inferno spreading from
Taylor's Liberia that will consume West Africa with catastrophic
dimensions-is slowly emerging. From every indication, the current
standoff between Liberia and Guinea is a ghastly timed bomb that
is bound to explode, and explode with disastrous proportions.
Time is now the only holdup, with Conakry vowing to retaliate
for the killing of 28 of its citizens allegedly by Liberian soldiers
of Charles Taylor. Taylor, on other hand, declares he "who
is down fears no fall", convinced that nothing left in Liberia,
including life, is of value if war comes.