Fomenting Anti-American Sentiment in Liberia: A Call for US Sanction on the Sirleaf Government

 

Abstract   

In an attempt to divert national attention from their failed records, successive Liberian governments have established a history of demonizing the United States and the free world under the pretext of protecting national interests.

Historical Analysis

After the violent military takeover on April 12, 1980, Liberians generally embraced the coup d’etat. The US and other democratic nations viewed the revolution as an opportunity for Liberia to break away from the minority Americo Liberian dominated True Whig party hegemony. In a move to attract western democratic nations support, the military junta closed down embassies of eastern bloc countries including the Soviet Union, Cuba, Libya, and so on. As the result of this move, the United States government provided more than $500 million to the Liberian government through direct and indirect assistance between 1980-1986 (PBS, 2002).

After the military junta reneged on the promise to return to the barracks and subverted the 1985 democratic process by allegedly rigging the elections, the US and other democratic nations raised serious concerns and demanded that the military leaders fulfill their promise of returning Liberia to democratic rule. In reaction, the military leaders reestablished diplomatic relationships with the Soviet Union and other eastern bloc countries that they had previously ruptured. This was done in an attempt to counter balance and evade the pressure to return to democratic rule (Reuters, 1987). The military junta leaders initiated anti-American and anti-Western propaganda purely intended to scapegoat those democratic and peace loving countries for their incompetence, corruption, and barbaric acts of unspeakable violence against the people of Liberia.

In 2009, the notorious leader of the defunct National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), Mr. Charles Taylor blamed the United States and other Western nations for his insanity against the people of Liberia and Sierra Leone. According to Geraldine Coughlan of the British Broadcasting Corporation, Mr. Taylor “claimed he was a victim of an intelligence plot involving the British and US governments that supplied weapons to the region in an attempt to topple him – as part of a plan by Washington to gain control of West African oil reserves (BBC, 2009).”

In the same vein, the government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is aggressively fomenting anti-American and anti-Western sentiment in Liberia and in the diaspora Liberian community particularly in the United States through former warlords while hypocritically enjoying the courtesy and generosity of American and numerous Western governments. These heartless men and women who mercilessly murdered and decapitated the bodies of their fellow citizens are now being used as the attack dog against American and all democratic and peace loving nation’s interests in Liberia.

On October 4, 2012 the leader of the breakaway faction of the NPFL, the Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL), and General Prince Y. Johnson who later turned politician described opponents of President Sirleaf as “Stooges” of America. He further charged that America is supporting an anti-President Sirleaf campaign in order to takeover Liberia’s oil and strongly warned America to disengage from meddling into Liberia’s domestic politics (Farley, 2012).

The Sirleaf Government’s Ungrateful, Despicable, and Hostile Tendency against the United States

Despite the United States government’s sacrificial support of the government of President Sirleaf with United States tax payer dollars in the face of its own enormous economic challenges through direct and indirect assistance, neither President Sirleaf nor any senior officials of the Sirleaf government has publically condemned, nor has anyone demanded an apology from General Johnson for such an inflammatory and reckless statement.  Instead, the government of President Sirleaf is ungratefully and deceitfully behaving as if the United States is to be blamed for its dismal record. It is here where the US and the free world are urged to look beyond the Madame Sirleaf façade and mask.

The silence of President Sirleaf and the Sirleaf government on such a shameful, ungrateful, reckless, and unfounded statement against the United States government  has the propensity to instigate anti-American sentiments in Liberia and thereby encourage acts of terrorism against human rights advocates, opposition political leaders, and ultimately against the strategic interests of the United States and the free world.

This unwholesome behavior is the byproduct of the fraudulent policy of appeasement and lack of accountability in Liberia in which violent perpetrators of human rights violation, as well as, their political and financial patrons were given license to rule their victims like bastard child with impunity.  Unlike the neighboring Republic of Sierra Leone that suffered the same adversity as Liberia which now has a relatively effective and vibrant civil society with electric power and safe running water (Ahmed, 2012), 99% of Liberians still do not have access to safe drinking water and electric power nearly nine years after the official end of the horrendous Liberian war on 18 August 2003.

The most alarming aspects of the fraud policy of appeasement and lack of accountability  is that  Liberia is gradually becoming a hub for  violent armed groups whose desires are to destabilize the sub-region of Ivory Coast, Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, like in the 1990s and early 2000s. Recent reports emerging from Liberia by credible international and national newspapers as well as human rights organizations, demand urgent attention:

In view of the above, it is becoming clear that the establishment of an Internationally Backed War Crimes Court on Liberia will not only end the culture of impunity in Liberia, but also strengthen the global struggle against terrorism and reinforce the world’s respect of America’s commitment to the rule of law, anywhere in the world. The cause for justice for Liberian war victims and ending the culture of impunity in Liberia is in the supreme benefit and advantage of the United States and the free world’s strategic (geo-political & economic) interests.

The  nineteen (19)  Islamic extremist hijackers who cowardly attacked America and mercilessly destroyed many innocent lives and unspecified amount of properties, as well as, inflicting incalculable psychological trauma on the American public  on September 11, 2001 did not  develop the deep seated resentment against the United States overnight.

Indoctrination  is the process of inculcating ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies, codification of beliefs or a body of teachings, instructions, taught principles or positions (Icke, 1999). According to Merriam-Webster dictionary online, doctrine is” a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief: dogma or a statement of fundamental government policy especially in international relations(online, 2012).”

The sweeping and irresponsible allegation against the United States government and the people of the United States  by General Johnson, a leading member of the Sirleaf government’s national security team is a well thought-out and master plan calibrated by the Sirleaf regime to  indoctrinate  the Liberian masses and propagate erroneous propaganda  against the United States and the free world. Like Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, as well as other failed third world leaders, who have consistently scapegoated America and the free world for their failed and   immoral leaderships characterized by;  rampant  corruption, incompetence, nepotism, trickery, and all forms of human degradations. The Sirleaf regime is not an exception.

The consequences of this fraudulent scapegoating diversionary tactics extend far beyond national boundary. United States citizens living in New York City, Washington DC, and near Shanksville, Pennsylvania regrettably felt the catastrophic impact on September 11, 2001. The American people do not want to revisit the fateful Tuesday morning of September 11, 2001, in which the will and resolve of the American people were tested beyond human imaginations.

Therefore, it is my conviction that the US Congress will negate partisan politics and work collectively with the White House and the US State Department in the supreme national security interests of the United States and the Free World to demand clarification from the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf government and pressure the Liberian Senate to expel General Johnson from the Senate with immediate effect.

In my humble patriotic, historical, and geopolitical view, this would send a strong signal to despots and failed leaders around the world that, you can no longer scapegoat America for failing to respond to the needs of your citizenry/population or constituency. In the 21st century, this is the kind of global leadership strategy that the United States must adopt in order to avoid expensive wars by arresting the spread of terrorism from conception and infancy if America is to remain the champion of the free world and central guarantor of democracy, human rights, and justice. Hence, the erroneous propaganda against the US, Western, and the Free World interests in Liberia must not be allowed to continue with impunity.

Why I am Defending America

For me this is perfectly natural, without any second thought at all. Nearly nine years after the end of the brutal Liberian civil war, in which more than 300,000 people were murdered in cold blood, no one has been held accountable. About 99% of the population has no access to electric power and save drinking water. More than two years following the submission of the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission final report, none of the recommendations has been adequately implemented. With more than $18 billion foreign direct investments, Liberia remains one of the poorest countries in the world.  About 85% of Liberians live on less than $US 1.50 per day while Madam Sirleaf, her immediate family members, and cronies handsomely reward themselves financially.

Considering the incalculable loss of life, both physical and psychological trauma, not a single memorial has been erected to honor the dead,  but instead the government of President Sirleaf  in accordance with internationally recognized Liberians such as Ms. Leymah Gbowee, one of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Winners as well as morally and spiritually bankrupted pseudo men and women of God have been aggressively deemphasizing  the barbaric acts of violence perpetrated against Liberians by advocating the  irresponsible, ignorant, selfish mantra of “ let by gone- be by gone.”   THERE CAN BE NO PEACE WITHOUT JUSTICE!

The pseudo men and women of God are those Liberians who have, over the years, projected themselves as Pastors, Deacon, Deaconess, Bishops, etc. These folks have for decades used their pulpit to deliberately misrepresent the scripture and disseminate false doctrine intended to mislead the Liberian masses. Like the extreme Right Whig and Conservatives and Reactionaries in the United States who have unfortunately reduced the gospel of Jesus Christ to two issues (same sex marriage and abortion), these pseudo men and women of God have mischievously reduced the gospel of Lord Jesus Christ to the gospel of sweeping amnesty for hard core war and economic criminals.

Such reckless and immature tendency directly aids and abets impunity. Liberia being a predominately-Christian nation, the pseudo men and women of God have consistently used their flowering credentials to manipulate and deceive the masses while they fill their pockets. Out of the 66 books of the bible and several hundred of verses, they select the biblical verses that support their false doctrines and have proliferated the “ let  by gone-be by gone”  mantra. They preach and teach from such verses as:

  • Romans 12:19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
  • Hebrews 10:30 for we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”

The pseudo men and women of God emphasis on text from these verses and many more to conjure their congregation in believing that amnesty is the best way out of Liberia’s misery of gross corruption, culture of impunity, human rights violations, and all kinds of human degradations. However, they dare not preach on such themes as fornication, adultery,idolatry, corruption, and other social ills condemned by the Gospel of Lord Jesus Christ, because they themselves are guilty of those very sins.

This hypocritical tendency largely contributed to the prolongation of the 14-year mayhem in Liberia. Now they are mischievously using the Gospel of Lord Jesus Christ again to aid and abet those who bear the greatest responsibility for the 14-year national calamity in Liberia. In my humble opinion, anyone who provides cover for hard core internationally recognized war and economic criminals are even worst then the criminals.

Such irresponsible tendencies continue to embolden the cancerous culture of impunity in Liberia, in which brutes like General Prince Y. Johnson continue to threaten the civilized world like the United States (Farley, 2012). This is in spite of the fact that the United States government has provided billions of dollars for humanitarian, national recovery, and peace building efforts as well as refuge to thousands of displaced war victims.

In view of the foregoing, I am honored and proud to stand with the United States and defend   America for the following convincing and rational reasons:

  • America restored my dignity when Ellen and her thugs stole my humanity by causing the death of my parents, siblings, and fellow compatriots.
  • America restored my hope when Ellen and Taylor’s thugs store my hope of becoming nuclear physicists by providing me refuge and an opportunity to acquire higher education.
  • America restored the humanity of thousands of Liberian war victims and provided them refuge and an opportunity to start a new life.
  • America restored my humanity and self-confidence when some of Ellen and Taylor’s machine of death broke into my home and shot me on October 19, 1994. As a result, I was physically handicapped for 12 years. Thank God for America, my ability to play football (soccer) and engage in physical activities has been perfectly restored through humanitarian act, making it possible to have reconstructive surgery.
  • During both World War I and World War II, America’s audacious intervention ended the military adventurism of the forces of evil and liberated humanity from the tyranny of Nazism, fascism, and extreme totalitarianism.
  • After the reckless global financial collapse in 2009, the bold capital intervention of America helped stabilized the global economy and restored confidence in the global financial systems.
  • The United States is the only country in the world that provides unmatched opportunity for upper mobility irrespective of creed, social, political, or ethnicity.  It is the county where you can come from anywhere, play by the rules, and rise to the top like the former California governor, Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger.  For these, and many other reasons, I will not treat anyone who tries to scapegoat America for their own insanity kindly.

Liberian war victims, and all freedom loving people of the world, must no longer allow anyone to scapegoat America—the land of Freedom, our adopted home of freedom. The country that provided Liberian war victims refuge when the brutes were hunting them like prey.

Recommendations

In view of the gravity and magnitude of the deceit and mischief being masterminded by the Sirleaf government, I therefore recommend the following;

  1. That the United States Government demand clarification and apology from the Sirleaf government with immediate effect.
  2. That the United States government suspends all non-essential aid to the Sirleaf government with immediate effect.
  3. That the Sirleaf government agrees to work with credible civil society organizations and war victims, as well as, all Liberians alike with not less than five years consistent history of advocating for justice for Liberian war victims, both in Liberia and in the diaspora to discuss the legal, social, and economic architecture of the proposed Internationally Backed War Crimes Court on Liberia.
  4.  That the Sirleaf Government, in consultation with, credible civil society organizations both at home and in the diaspora  nominate a nationally and internationally recognized Liberian war victim to lead a genuine national peace and reconciliation process in Liberia with immediate effect.
  5. That the United States government, through the State Department, mandates the US visa consulate in Monrovia to suspend issuing of entry visas to all officials of the Sirleaf government with immediate effect.

 Conclusion

Considering the horrific crimes and acts of savagery committed by President Taylor and President Sirleaf’s NPFL forces, as well as, other violent armed groups, during the Liberian mayhem, it is a travesty of justice for neither President Taylor nor President Sirleaf or anyone of the warlords including their political and financial patrons have been held accountable for the horrific crimes committed against Liberians and foreign nationals. While President Taylor awaits his appeal verdict for masterminding war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone, President Sirleaf and other Liberian warlords, who are currently ruling Liberia like a bastard child are walking freely with impunity. LIBERIAN WAR VICTIMS EQUALLY DESERVE JUSTICE!

If President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s innocence claims are unimpeachable and legitimate, I challenge her to convene a national conference of Liberian war victims and credible Liberians with unquestionable history of advocating for justice for Liberian war victims and credible international institutions to work out the modalities for the establishment of an Internationally Backed War Crimes Court on Liberia so that everyone may have an opportunity to litigate their innocence or guilt.

We need to institute accountability to deter lackeys of President Sirleaf and President Taylor. Liberia must never again visit the dark days of the 90s and early 2000s. The Sirleaf government has consistently manipulated the international community by projecting a pseudo image of national development, healing, and reconciliation in Liberia. However, recent assessment by the Honorable Bin-Ki-Moon, United Nations Secretary General shows that Liberian’s “main security threats are internal, particularly civil unrest, there is a recurrent tendency for minor incidents to escalate into violent confrontations (Public Agenda online, 2012).”

President Sirleaf has consistently exploited and abused feminist sentiments and the aura of excitements as the first elected female President of an African state in order to circumvent justice. This time around, President Sirleaf must be made to take responsibility and account for using mentally deranged individual such as General Prince Y. Johnson to foment unfounded  anti-peace; anti-democratic; anti-US; and anti-freedom sentiments in Liberia and the sub-region of Sierra Leone, Guinea, and the Ivory Coast.  God bless America and the free world.

 About the author:

Jacob D. Massaquoi, II is a Liberian war victim. He is a human rights, environmental, and political activist. He is a member of several national and international organizations including the United Nations Global Compact US network, Liberian Initiative for Justice, Holistic Peace Movement, and many others.  He has established an indispensable record of unconventional advocacy for justice for Liberian war victims. In October of 2010, he led the first public protest against the regime of President Sirleaf on Staten Island, demanding justice for Liberian war victims during the visit of President Sirleaf. He is a nonprofit expert; he has created several organizations including African Refuge, Inc. Free Teens Liberia, IAVE Liberia, etc. He has won several awards including the 2009 Max Hayman Award for Human Rights He is a 2009 NBC Making the Difference Nominee.  He is currently an independent not-for-profit and business consultant.  The author can be reached at: Email: jmassaquoi@gmail.com: phone (646)801-0749. Blog: doctorroots.  

Note: The texts in this article are an excerpt from the second edition of The Voice of an Advocate: The Philosophical Argument for Our Struggle, scheduled for release on November 29, 2012. Advance copies will be available online on lulu books, amazons kindle, and nook e-reader platforms by November 25, 2012.

 

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