"You killed My Ma, you
killed my Pa, I'll Vote for you"
-A Commentary By The Liberian Democratic Future (LDF) -
"You killed my ma, you killed my pa, I'll vote for you". This memorable song will continue to depict the psyche of contemporary Liberians, and there seems to be no hope of discarding it. In the name of a game called democracy, numbers matter, whether or not numbers represent the wishes of the wretched of the earth. This, perhaps more than any other pitfall, is the rope that will strangle the quest for democracy and therefore socioeconomic progress in Africa. Liberia, after almost three years, is firmly under the yoke of the down trodden and their masters as the country degenerate into more and more terror along with economic decay.
The systematic acts of terror, which are now appearing in the form of published works such as Stephen Ellis' book, "The Mask of Anarchy", continue.
1. Roads leading to the President's house are beyond the reach of the "You killed my ma, you killed my pa" voters now running the country. Disappearances of real or imagined opponents continue.
2. Residents near the presidential mansion, for the first time since the Israeli built the Atlantic side towering structure, are brutalized by a feared presidential security force and evicted from homes they have lived in for over 50 years or more. Some as old as 90 years, may not have sang the "You killed my ma" song, but they must nevertheless carry the burdens of ignorance. They just shall indeed suffer with the unjust", particularly when people reach a pact with evil in a dream of saving their neck which will only be chopped off, however, later.
3. The fate of a Muslim leader who voiced out concerns over the massacre and terror to which his fellow Muslims continued to be subjected since the "democratically elected president took charge, is yet unknown. Over 1000 Krahns suffered similar fate in 1998 when automatic machine guns, artillery, bombs were used on women and children, sending over 18,000 of then into refugee camps. Systematic targeting of Mandingoes has forced many of them to flee into refugee camps in Guinea and other countries. There was a conspicuous silence in Monrovia when this terror was waged against Krahns and Mandingoes, with most people openly expressing joy. "What's wrong with these Krahns and Mandingo people? The Papay's right", was a common verdict in Monrovia after the horror. Yet, when the war of vendetta re-ignites, these very jurors of the "Papay is right" will be among the victims. It happened when the Gios and Manos were the victims in 1985. We saw the meaning of revenge when they became foot soldiers in a war, we now know, waged for the return of the Americos and their material interest. No one was spared. Everyone was an enemy, not even individuals like Jackson F. Doe, Moses Duopu, and Kpelle like Gabriel Kpolleh who were declared enemies of the Doe regime -which was being wiped out largely by the sons and daughters of Nimba. Charles Taylor (the Papay) wanted these well-known individuals out of his sight as he targeted the presidency. Yet, in recent times, some opinion leaders have announced that indeed the country was now enjoying "relative peace" and that these acts are largely isolated, not necessarily sanctioned by the Government which must now be given money by the international community to carry its promises to its electorate after thoroughly looting the country for almost a decade and putting the finishing touches to is final decay.
4. The president is now worth some $2.8b dollars according to The London Times, now sued for libel by Taylor after the paper revealed that this president, before he was crowned by "You killed my ma" voters, indeed systematically eliminated all African-Liberian political and other leaders within his reach during the war. Jackson F. Doe, Gabriel Kpolleh, Stephen Daniels, Dr. Yekeson, Moses Duopu, all African-Liberians (the bedrock of his marauding avenging army) were systematically arrested, upon the orders of this man now "president", and their throats cut in a savage manner, according to Stephen Ellis' "The Mask of Anarchy".
5. Meanwhile, the orgy of looting initiated during the war, through which heavy industrial and road equipment were uprooted and sent to Burkina Faso that had its troops in Liberia fighting to install Taylor, continue in a more organized, brutal and internationally sanctioned fashion. And yet following the overthrow of Bedie of Ivory Coast, a country that opened its border for the destruction of Liberia, we are told by Mr. Nelson Mandela that "under no circumstances should a democratically elected government be overthrown" Yes, indeed! Under no circumstances should people defend themselves, their interests, their future, once the gang supervising the terror against them was "democratically elected." The world should have left Hitler alone because he was "democratically elected." Botha, and Apartheid leaders before him should have been left alone because they were "democratically elected." But Europe is barking, protesting the coming to power of fascists in Austria, worried that it is the beginning of the triumph of evil in Europe.
Taylor's $26 million Bill for 250,000 Killed and Imposed
This man Liberians call "president", Mr. Charles Taylor, must be congratulated for his effrontery and unbridled, but justified arrogance. How else can one rate an individual who systematically butchers a population, plunders a nation's meager resources and still be "loved" by his people, many African-American politicians, the French, the Taiwanese, the South Africans of all people?
At a recent press conference just few days before he banned Star Radio and Radio Veritas, Mr. Taylor told angry, bitter and aggrieved Liberians to shut up and stop demanding explanations for his bill of $26 million incurred as one of West Africa's most vicious warlords and ruthless killers. Taylor claims he is indebted because of services provided by his rebel National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) and its political wing the so-called National Reconstruction Assembly (NPRAG) for services rendered to the Liberian nation and people. Although throughout his 8-year campaign of destruction and control of all major economic resources, not a single school or clinic was ever built. But Taylor, once jailed in Boston, U.S.A. for embezzling almost a million dollars from comrade turned foe Samuel Doe (captured and killed by Taylor's associates), cannot totally be blamed for not having a sense of moral justification for the slaughter of over 250,000 Liberians, a tenth of the country's population, and taking the country to worst than pre-colonial levels. Men like former US President Jimmy Carter, and latter the Rev. Jesse Jackson, among many liberal Americans, helped to sell Taylor's crusade as a just cause for humanity. A black American politician, impressed over Taylor's victory, declared it was time for "some color" in Liberian politics. More than expected, Taylor's zealots can now celebrate for the many "colors" he has brought on Liberian political scene. There are many more colors to see.
The warlord's demand of $26 million for services rendered during his trail of horrors was initially resisted by his own comrades in the so-called Legislature, which is packed with former rebels now called Senators and Representatives. In the imposition of hypocrisy and stupidity on Africa, we were made to believe that by copying the Americans in their concept of Separation of Powers, decency and accountability would prevail. Well, Mr. Taylor recently made it known to the Legislature who the boss is by threatening them with dismissal (and more like Charles Brumskine, former President of the Senate who had to escape after disagreement with Mr. Taylor) if they failed to approve his $26 million "debt" payment request. Taylor informed his comrades that he was the only elected official within the government, and that all of them were in the Legislature because he had approved their names on the NPP (ballot), a party that threatened more war and blood if it did not win the July 1997 Abacha-inspired election.
Nevertheless, the pivotal question is why should Taylor be demanding payment from brutalized, impoverished Liberians? What service did he offer to request $26 million? He has already accumulated $2.8 billion (London Times) of the Liberian people's wealth. With such huge wealth in the midst of mass poverty, why is he demanding more loot from us?
Moreover, when U.S. Ambassador William Twaddell briefed the Congressional sub-committee on Africa in 1996, he stated that between 1990 and 1994 Liberia's earning from exports - diamond, timber, rubber, gold, and iron ore - was $422 million per year. How much of the revenue from these exports did Mr. Taylor, who controlled the entire nation with the exception of Monrovia, put in the national treasury? Where is the evidence of services rendered? And who authorized them?
Well, there are enough pieces of documentary evidence about the Taylor's genocide and mass theft in Liberia. More than that, the physical evidence of his services are abundant. But to the normal mind, there are a number of reasons why one of West Africa's most callous killers is demanding payment for killing our people and mortgaging our national resources.
a. For depriving a country known as the oldest African republic
of basic necessities such as running water and electricity; for
this great service in deprivation, Liberians must pay him $26
b. For obliterating schools, hospitals, clinics technical and agricultural entities and placing his stamp of anarchy on the country.
c. For ensuring that Liberia won the world prize for teenage pregnancy
d. For all the guns, ammunitions and drugs he used to feed his private army of marauding killers who must now be taken care of in the annual budgets, and the most important,
e. For slaughtering 250,000 souls who, if death had power, would brake loose in Liberia. For all these, why must Taylor be paid $26 million?
Liberians are sick and tired of Taylor's claim of winning over 75% of the votes in the Abacha-inspired and organized 1997 elections, and by saying to us that the elected government is responsible for determining the payment of past and present debts. Due to this mindset, Taylor and his disciples, many of whom are now living comfortably in the midst of plunder, view his undemocratic practices as being good for Liberia. These individual must remember that the choices people make are lifetime choices that are difficult to change.
The catalogue of abuses, the intensity of theft since former President Carter told us that our misery ended in July 1997 with the "election" of Taylor are simply unlimited today. But, "You killed my ma; you killed my pa, I'll vote for you" has become Liberian character. There continue to be voices within and outside of the country bent on justifying this crude fascism in the name of wanting peace and being tired of war. They may be enjoying "relative peace" now, but sooner rather than later, the entire city of Monrovia will become a military barrack befitting the "You killed my ma" Liberia, where terror, theft and confusion reigned. Liberia's nightmare is just beginning!
Issued this 17th day of March, 2000, in the City of Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Signed: Siahyonkron Nyanseor
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