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Liberia?

Huh?
Why is nobody talking about the events in Liberia? What gives?
analog kid 04.Jul.2003 05:57

People here analogkid@nukevet.com

Won't talk about Liberia because they like folks who are in office for life. It is the socialist way. And just like Lenin said, they would kill 3/4 of the worlds population to make sure the other 1/4 is communist, so they don't mind the piled bodies. As was shown in the process of liberating Iraq and Afghanistan, where we are in the process of establishing a democracy (an eevviill word here), they were against just one accidentally killed civilian. Even though the Baathists were killig approx 30 innocent civilians a day for not wanting to be socialists. When the world expects the US to be it's policeman, garbageman and janitor, folks here pipe down for they know that we are the only country in the world both capable and willing to do these things. And they hate this fact.

Taylor needs to step down as of yesterday and let the democratic process take it's course. And the only way this is going to happen is if the US goes in and forces him out. The UN had to ask the USA to step in because they are a useless debating society. Good for nothing but asking for handouts. I give the Congo as an example. They could actually see murders going on outside their compound and did nothing to stop them.

But I guarantee that the moment we put troops on a plane to go there, this site will explode with calls of "Imperialism" and "they're killing civilians". An easy prediction, I know, but IMC'ers know nothing else. Of course they'll do it anonymously. But right afterwards they'll pat themselves on the back for being brave in standing up to 'the Man".

Liberia>? 04.Jul.2003 08:45

Nicholas Starcastle

yeah, i actually have no idea about the situation over there. i saw this article in the corporate media:  http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/185/nation/US_said_to_OK_idea_of_Liberia_troops+.shtml

i am sure it is a skewed account of some of the fragments of liberia's political atmosphere. anyone with any knowledge of the situation should provide some info--it would be much appreciated....

Liberia info 04.Jul.2003 09:24

Aaron John Shaver

I've had an interest in the country... here's some background information to help put events into perspective.

A basic summary from Radio Netherlands:

Liberia was founded in 1822 by freed African-American slaves. It became a republic in 1847. Americo-Liberians dominated the country's politics and economy until 1980, when Sergeant Samuel Doe overthrew the president in a bloody pre-dawn coup.

On Christmas Eve 1989, rebel forces invaded Liberia. Rival factions continued to fight for power until 1996. The long ordeal came to an end after what is known as April 6th: a final, few bloody months of terror as the factions fought for power in the capital Monrovia.

It was a brutal civil war which forced nearly 700,000 to flee their country, left more than a million displaced and claimed the lives of more than 150,000 people. Charles Taylor, the former leader of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, one of the main rebel factions, was elected president in democratic elections in July 1997.

A more detailed article from mapzones.com:

Liberia owes its establishment to the American Colonization Society, founded in 1816 to resettle freed American slaves in Africa (see Slavery). An attempt at colonization in Sierra Leone had failed in 1815. Six years later native rulers granted a tract of land on Cape Mesurado, at the mouth of the Saint Paul River, to U.S. representatives, and the first Americo-Liberians, led by Jehudi Ashmun, began the settlement. In 1824 an American agent for the society, Ralph Randolph Gurley, named the new colony Liberia and the Cape Mesurado settlement Monrovia. Other separate settlements were established along the coast during the next 20 years. Soon, however, conflicts arose between the settlers and the society in the United States. By the time Joseph Jenkins Roberts became the first black governor in 1841, the decision had been made to give the colonists almost full control of the government. A constitution modeled on that of the United States was drawn up, and Liberia became an independent republic in July 1847. Roberts was its first president, serving until 1856. Liberia was recognized by Britain in 1848, by France in 1852, and by the United States in 1862.

In the beginning of the 19th century the tide started to rise in favour of the abolition of slavery, and the Grain Coast was suggested as a suitable home for freed American slaves. In 1818 two U.S. government agents and two officers of the American Colonization Society (founded 1816) visited the Grain Coast. After abortive attempts to establish settlements there, an agreement was signed in 1821 between the officers of the society and local African chiefs granting the society possession of Cape Mesurado. The first American freed slaves landed in 1822 on Providence Island at the mouth of the Mesurado River. They were followed shortly by Jehudi Ashmun, a white American, who became the real founder of Liberia. By the time Ashmun left in 1828 the territory had a government, a digest of laws for the settlers, and the beginnings of profitable foreign commerce. Other settlements were started along the St. John River, at Greenville, and at Harper. In 1839 Thomas Buchanan was appointed the first governor. On his death in 1841 he was succeeded by Joseph Jenkins Roberts, a black man born free in Virginia in 1809; Roberts enlarged the boundaries of the territory and improved economic conditions.

In December 1989 a group of dissidents began an uprising against the government. The National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), a rebel group led by Charles Taylor, soon had an ill-trained army of 10,000 men, and within weeks they controlled much of the countryside. A split among the insurgents only increased the violence as fighting continued into 1990. An Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) monitoring group (ECOMOG) was sent to Liberia as a peacekeeping force, but failed to halt the fighting. Doe was captured and executed by a splinter group of the NPFL in September 1990. The destruction of Liberia's economy begun by Doe was completed by the war.


04.Jul.2003 09:42

josh

i agree. why is noone talking about liberia? it is almost as if noone cares.

Liberia wants and needs our help. 04.Jul.2003 10:15

Ted

Here's and interesting article from the Seattle PI:
clip.........Much as we might have a gut reaction against imperialism, "lite" or heavy, if we had not acted, Sierra Leone would be a bloody mess. Thousands of innocent people would have seen their children murdered or their mothers raped. Overcoming our distaste for imperialism, which is based on acts carried out in the Raj and elsewhere under a totally different and more shameful model of imperialism, is a small price to pay to save those people. Liberia is only next door to Sierra Leone: George Bush should look to his friend Blair's example to find out how to respond to the people howling at his embassy's door.
But crises such as Liberia's will keep cropping up. In the long term, we cannot rely on the (at best selective) good will of the Americans to deal with these problems. Arguments for a world peacekeeping force long have been floating around, but last weekend, even the famously unilateralist U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said this would be "a good idea." An international force trained to keep peace in civilian areas -- rather than only to bomb, trash and conquer -- would, Rumsfeld may have realized a little late in the day, be making a far better job of Afghanistan and Iraq right now................
 http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/129255_hari03.html

Liberia 04.Jul.2003 11:27

already posted on Portland IMC

click link for stories


i think the reason nobody is talking about it is... 04.Jul.2003 11:44

Barb

I think the reason nobody's talking about it is that they'd rather innocents in Liberia die rather than give the US some due credit. Sad but it is the way of things here.

A reason for not 04.Jul.2003 11:53

Ted

clip from previous IMC post-----"The U.S. has shunned military involvement in Africa since its intervention in Somalia in the early 1990s, when 18 Army Rangers were killed in one day. "

Actually 05.Jul.2003 06:07

analog kid analogkid@nukevet.com

The Somalia incident is another good reason as to why we should go. We need to stack example after example that we will not cut and run anymore. Loathe as I am to see another one of our service persons be killed, the madmen around the world need to know that the US will not stand by any longer and watch them kill their own populations. The UN has asked the US to do this because they know we will. Europe sat around and watched the ethinc cleansing in the Balkans with nary an eyelash lost. It took the US and its NATO allies to step up and point out to them how wrong that was.

I have great fears about ground activity in Liberia though. I saw a pic (that I can no longer find on the net) of a 10yr old boy with an Care Bear back pack and an AK-47. these are the combatants we will be having to kill there. The warlords method of operation is to go to a village, kindanp the older children (9-16) even if this means that the parents are murdered. They then get the kids hooked on the same drug that the Somali's were addicted to, and send them out in groups to kill at random. Some of the time fighting will erupt among the group of kids and they will just kill each other, but most times they just run thruough villages that their particular warlord doesn't like and shoot up the houses.

already posted 05.Jul.2003 14:30

already posted

US Marines Diverted to War Criminal Liberian Regime

author: LA Times + AP

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld redirected the amphibious assault ship Kearsarge last week to stand by in waters off West Africa at the request of the U.S. ambassador to Liberia, who feared that the capital, Monrovia, might fall under siege by rebels trying to topple Liberian President Charles Taylor. A U.N. special tribunal's recent war crimes indictment against Taylor has energized the three-year-long battle by two rebel groups to oust him. On Thursday, more than 500 foreigners were evacuated to a French warship as the rebels neared the edge of the city.

Liberia's President Charles Taylor addresses the opening of the Liberian peace talks in Accra, Ghana on Wednesday, June 4, 2003. A U.N.-backed court in Sierra Leone Wednesday indicted Taylor on war crimes, accusing him of responsibility in a 10-year rebel terror campaign there. (AP Photo/Kwesi Owusu) (Kwesi Owusu - AP)
=========================================

 http://www.latimes.com/la-fg-liberia17jun17,0,322672.story

Marines Diverted to Liberia
Pentagon says troops may help evacuate U.S. Embassy staff and others trapped by war.

By Maggie Farley, Times Staff Writer

UNITED NATIONS -- UNITED NATIONS A Navy ship carrying Marines home from Iraq has been diverted to West Africa to help evacuate civilians from war-torn Liberia. But despite international pressure to intervene militarily, the Pentagon has no plans yet to deploy the Marines or other U.S. troops standing by in the region, a spokesman said Monday.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld redirected the amphibious assault ship Kearsarge last week to stand by in waters off West Africa at the request of the U.S. ambassador to Liberia, who feared that the capital, Monrovia, might fall under siege by rebels trying to topple Liberian President Charles Taylor.

A U.N. special tribunal's recent war crimes indictment against Taylor has energized the three-year-long battle by two rebel groups to oust him. On Thursday, more than 500 foreigners were evacuated to a French warship as the rebels neared the edge of the city.

The Kearsarge is carrying about 1,200 sailors, 1,800 Marines and helicopters that could help airlift U.S. Embassy staff and other civilians out of the capital. About 500 U.S. Special Forces troops stationed in other countries in the region are also prepared to assist in what is now being called Operation Shining Express, a Pentagon official said Monday.

The State Department will determine whether an evacuation is necessary, and whether further U.S. involvement is needed to restore order to the country. Mediators trying to broker a cease-fire between Taylor's government forces and rebels reported progress Monday and said a pact may be signed as early as today.

The U.S. has shunned military involvement in Africa since its intervention in Somalia in the early 1990s, when 18 Army Rangers were killed in one day.

But the International Crisis Group, an independent conflict-prevention organization, has been leading the call for the U.S. to reengage in Africa, starting with Liberia, founded by freed American slaves in 1847. Washington should support Taylor's arrest and lead a multinational force to see the country through to a new, stable government, a recent report urged.

"The U.S. really needs to step up to the plate in Liberia," said Nancy Soderberg, ICG's vice president and a former National Security Council official in the Clinton administration. "It resembles Rwanda more than Somalia. The place is about to blow can they put troops on the ground to avert catastrophe? The tea leaves in Washington say that they are seriously considering it."

Soderberg said the administration was discussing a proposal to have the 500 U.S. Special Forces troops in the region join 2,000 Nigerian peacekeepers, with the U.S. providing logistical and financial support for the operation.

Although intervention has strong advocates within the administration, U.S. military preparations to aid an evacuation do not necessarily mean that the troops will step in, and the White House is still considering the options, a senior U.S. official said Monday.

Military support could also come by expanding the U.N. peacekeeping force in neighboring Sierra Leone, a move that would require Security Council approval. Or the troops on the Kearsarge could find their tour of duty, which began on short notice in January, extended.

"There could be an evacuation. They're still talking about it," said Richard Grenell, spokesman at the U.S. mission to the United Nations. "But there are no instructions yet."

*

Staff writer John Hendren in Washington contributed to this report.
======================================

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A12360-2003Jun4.html

Liberia's President Indicted for War Crimes in Sierra Leone
Taylor Indicates Willigness to Step Down

By Clarence Roy-Macaulay
The Associated Press
Wednesday, June 4, 2003; 10:09 AM

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) -- A U.N.-backed war crimes court indicted Liberian President Charles Taylor on Wednesday, accusing him of "the greatest responsibility" in the vicious 10-year civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone.

Prosecutors at the Sierra Leone court issued an arrest warrant for Taylor in Ghana, where he was making a rare trip out of his own country to attend peace talks with Liberian rebels.

Ghana authorities said they had not yet received the arrest warrant. Minutes after the indictment was made public, Taylor appeared at the talks' opening ceremony in Accra, Ghana's capital.

Looking tense, Taylor stepped away from his motorcade and walked slowly into the conference hall with other west African officials. He made no comment to reporters.

The indictment, and arrest warrant, set up a potential showdown between prosecutors of the U.N.-endorsed court and Taylor.

West African mediators were expected to be reluctant to see Taylor taken into custody after they had invited him to Ghana for peace talks.

The indictment accused Taylor of "bearing the greatest responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity and serious violations of international humanitarian law" during Sierra Leone's civil war.

Taylor, Liberia's warlord-turned-president, is widely accused of backing Revolutionary United Front insurgents as they fought their 10-year campaign for control of Sierra Leone's diamond fields and government.

The Sierra Leone rebels killed, maimed, raped and kidnapped tens of thousands of civilians. Rebels made a trademark of lopping off the hands, feet, lips and ears of their victims.

Military intervention by the United Nations, the west African nation of Guinea and former Sierra Leone colonial ruler Britain ended the war in January 2002.

Americans and Britons are serving as prosecutors for the Sierra Leone war crimes court, which earlier indicted rebel leader Foday Sankoh, already in custody.

Taylor is fighting a 3-year rebel campaign in his own country. Rebels have left Taylor in control of only about 40 percent of his country, including the capital, Monrovia.

Sierra Leone's war crimes tribunal differs from those of Rwanda and Yugoslavia in that its proceedings will be held in the country and include a mix of local and international prosecutors and judges. The court was created by an agreement between the United Nations and Sierra Leone.
======================================

 http://www.theperspective.org/patrobertson_taylor.html

Rev. Robertson is not troubled or concerned at all about doing business with President Taylor, a man widely known for "fueling the violence in Sierra Leone" and "actively supporting the RUF at all levels." Taylor is a known menace to his people as well as a danger to his neighbors in the West African sub-region. The heinous atrocities he inflicted upon the Liberian people are well documented, yet Pat Robertson claims to "have no knowledge of the activities in Liberia during its bitter civil war."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pat Robertson Engages in Illegal Mining Operation in Liberia

By Abraham M. Williams

The Perspective

December 4, 2001

Over the past few months, columnist Colbert King of the Washington Post had used his columns to expose Pat Robertson's dealing in Liberia. In a series of articles King had sketched out Robertson's profit motives, and his quest to strike it in rich gold in Liberia, which has overriden any morality of doing business with one of Africa's most notorious tyrants.

What Colbert King has been writing about is Pat Robertson's desire to make profits at the expense of all else which has become a study in contrasts of a self-professed Christian, who has piously mouthed indignation at others for their alleged immoral conduct.

Rev. Robertson is not troubled or concerned at all about doing business with President Taylor, a man widely known for "fueling the violence in Sierra Leone" and "actively supporting the RUF at all levels." Taylor is a known menace to his people as well as a danger to his neighbors in the West African sub-region. The heinous atrocities he inflicted upon the Liberian people are well documented, yet Pat Robertson claims to "have no knowledge of the activities in Liberia during its bitter civil war."

But then Robertson is a man of contradictions, a self-proclaimed righteous man whose actions often betray his words. Shortly after the Sept.11 tragedy, according to GQ, an upscale men's fashion magazine, Robertson posted an odd message on his Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) web site. "The focus of many in America has been the pursuit of health, wealth, material pleasures and sexuality." He continued "Sadly, those in the churches have been as self-indulgent as those in the world."

But while he was calling into question the morality of others, Pat Robertson was actively engaged in a questionable, cutthroat gold-mining arrangement - for wealth - with Taylor, the infamous West African terrorist. And we suppose the good man of the cloth finds nothing inherently wrong dealing with a ruthless, corrupt dictator, who enriches himself while his people sink farther into squalor and destitution.

We now know that in April 1999, Charles Taylor and Pat Robertson signed a document labeled "Mineral Development Agreement between the Republic of Liberia and Freedom Gold Limited". By signing his agreement, Taylor was, in fact, assigning gold mining concession rights to Pat Robertson from an established businessman, Ken Ross II, whose Bocon Jideh gold-mining operation dates back to the Tolbert administration.

According to the GQ article, Pat Robertson has committed at least US$15 million of investment to Freedom Gold. The terms of contract call for Freedom Gold to spend about US$500,000 annually in investment and rental fees in Liberia. "The agreement gives Freedom Gold the right to mine, sell, export and explore minerals, with an additional 3 percent royalty rate to be paid to the government of Liberia."

Many observers believe the royalty payments would be pocket money for Charles Taylor, as Liberia has become "Taylor, Inc." President Taylor considers state resources, including foreign investments and development assistance funds as his personal asset.

But there is one tiny problem for the Televangelist's bloodsucker deal, perhaps not immediate; but nevertheless, a problem. And Robertson may have unwittingly entangled himself in the very issue that could unravel his gold mine and expose him to legal consequences in the future.

In his response to Colbert L. King of the Washington Post, Pat Robertson accused the columnist of ignoring Liberian political structure. He wrote, "Mr. King has ignored the constitution of Liberia, its elected Congress (Legislature), its administrative departments and its courts in order to assert that the government is an alter ego of President Charles Taylor." But this is exactly what happened when President Taylor violated the Liberian constitution by usurping legislative power and Pat Robertson knowingly went along without protest.

Under Liberian law, specifically Chapter V: Article 34 section (f) of the Liberian constitution states "The Legislature shall have the power: to approve treaties, conventions and such international agreements negotiated or signed on behalf of the Republic."

The Liberian Legislature refused to ratify the Freedom Gold agreement signed by President Taylor and Pat Robertson. So on Oct. 30,2000, a second contract, which is virtually identical to the first, except for one significant passage, was drawn up. Section 2 of the document was modified, according to GQ and Liberian legal experts familiar with the deal, to read that the contract will go in effect "when approved by the president of Republic of Liberia." Gone is the language that reads that the contract is to become valid only "in accordance with the constitution and laws of the Republic."

Clearly Mr. Robertson, a graduate of Yale Law School who was represented by Gerald Padmore, a Liberian-born Harvard Law School graduate, must know that his agreement with Taylor is unconstitutional. Also we will argue that such unconstitutional contracts are unenforceable, therefore non-binding.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

www.theperspective.org e-mail:  editor@theperspective.org

The Perspective P.O. Box 450493 Atlanta, GA 31145


Bu$h's neocolonialism in Liberia + west Africa 05.Jul.2003 16:11

Wayne Madsen

Already dealing with a demoralized military, Bush, on the eve of his trip to Africa, mulls sending U.S. troops to Liberia. He also tells Liberian dictator Charles Taylor to step down. Never mind that Bush's friends in the international diamond industry, especially the head of the Corporate Council on Africa, Maurice Tempelsman, were largely responsible for the upheavals in West Africa, including Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, and Guinea. The diamond merchants have found it lucrative to keep West African governments unstable. They found unfettered access to the diamonds controlled by local warlords to be far more profitable than having to deal with centralized governments. However, when Charles Taylor began threatening neighboring countries's blood diamond supply lines and stood ready to upset the status quo enjoyed by the diamond cartels of Tel Aviv, Antwerp, and Amsterdam, Taylor's days were numbered. Bush's priority is to maintain leaders in power throughout Africa who will not stand in the way of Western exploitation. That includes the leaders of those countries he plans to visit, especially Uganda, Botswana, and Nigeria.

That is the way Bush's Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Walter Kansteiner III, wants it. A neo-fascist Republican veteran of the International Republican Institute and the Corporate Council on Africa, Kansteiner, a one-time supporter of racism and apartheid in South Africa and on the record as favoring the Balkanization of nation states in Africa, wants his friends in natural resources corporations and the Pentagon (where he headed the Strategic Minerals Task Force under then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney) to have free access to Africa's mineral and oil reserves. To make sure Africa's natural resource rapists understand his commitment to their cause, Bush spoke to the Corporate Council on Africa prior to his departure for the beleaguered continent, a continent the moron-in-chief once referred to as a "country."

The neo-cons now see West Africa as America's next target for control. One of their chicken hawk columnists, National Review's Rich Lowry, recently suggested that West Africa is of such strategic interest to America, the U.S. should set up military bases in the region with a U.S. military headquarters on Sao Tome, in the Gulf of Guinea, a potental future "American lake." More U.S. colonies. After years of exploitative European colonization, Sao Tome and Principe, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, and other African countries may soon become virtual American colonies as part of a Greater West Africa National Economic Sphere. It is a page right out of the Japanese fascist playbook from World War II. So for our mentally challenged president, his neo con advisers tell him, "West Africa = diamonds + oil." That's all he has to hear. He authorizes sending in U.S. troops, building U.S. bases, and makes a trip there to Africa to cement the deals.

A Washington insider familiar with Liberia revealed that a major reason for Bush to go into Liberia is oil. Liberia's flag flies on most of the world's supertankers. "Look, the United States is about ready to start moving massive supplies of Iraqi oil on supertankers. With Liberia, the major flag of convenience for those tankers in a state of upheaval, Bush has to go in with troops. Forget human rights, that's not the issue, the Liberian Internatonal Ship and Corporate Registry must have a stable government to nurture it," the insider said.


heh heh 05.Jul.2003 23:53

Prateet

Heh heh. The inevitable post that links [fill in the blank world catastrophe] to our USA. It's just a matter of time before these start slithering out.

"Our" USA? 06.Jul.2003 18:39

um, duh

Since when is this misogynist, racist, backward-ass country ours? Last time I looked, it was stolen from us. But that's OK, go ahead and keep on believing that the government is there to protect you. Sucker.

Its ours 06.Jul.2003 20:28

Prateet

I immigrated to this country for a reason. It has opportunities unmatched anywhere in the world. Even more than some of your dream countries (Cuba, Libya, and Albania even!)

Lets just play along and say this whole Liberia scenario is to search for oil. A. Aren't there easier places to get oil from that don't have so many nasty people around? B. I would say that trading oil to our USA is a fair trade for the protection of Liberian innocents, wouldn't you?

Hey, "um, duh". . . . 06.Jul.2003 21:36

Dr. Evil

Maybe you'd be happier in, say, North Korea, or maybe Cuba? Why not go there?

to 'Prateet', 'Dr. Evil'-- 07.Jul.2003 14:31

..

"Maybe you'd be happier in, say, North Korea, or maybe Cuba? Why not go there? "

the Trolls are back on Portland IMC. .with their jingoistic 1950s McCarthyist [revival by Coulter], lame-ass, millionaire-bootlicking brand of commentary . . .

Delusions of relevance . . . . 07.Jul.2003 21:33

Dr. Evil . . .

Methinks that the Klown(s) known as "um, duh" and ".." suffer(s) from delusions of relevance.

'relevance'-- 08.Jul.2003 00:18

..

and please demonstrate your 'relevance'--

who/what do you represent (besides yourself)?

what values or beliefs do you uphold or propogate? on behalf of what agenda (if any)?

sapper daddy 20.Jul.2003 14:28

3-325 abct

I was in Liberia for op assured responce in April 1996. I have personally meet mr. Taylor and he is completly out of his mind and out of touch with reality. And he should be dead..........



R. S. Sappers lead the way

to those who know's the right and do it not to them is a sin time will tell. 12.Oct.2003 22:14

to those who know's the right and do it not to the is a sin copyright 2003 d.j.i

to those who know's the right and do it not to them is a sin . as a member of human family i belief where here for a purpose . but it depend's what we choose to do with our choice's in life , but good or bad life is a gift so whatever we do in life is a history and a legacy .
so many people are ashamed of the truth so they choose false pride but they forgot that they are contributing to crime's and manupulation's of ethnic crisis.
but there's one voice inside everyone if people , nation's , tribe's , group's , individual failed to do the right time will
tell and guiltyness rest on their conscience. cause history will and allways proof them wrong peace and love to all mankind.