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Old 07-25-2003, 01:55 AM   #31
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Yeesh.

How on earth can people live in that kind of hell day in and day out like that?

Angela
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Old 07-26-2003, 11:25 PM   #32
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In 1986/87 I lived downstairs from a family of brothers, sisters and cousins, who had fled from Liberia, then. What happened? In the few non-sweltering early day's of spring in the south, when you could actually keep the windows open, I always heard Bob Marley and some of the best raggae music on the planet coming from their apartment. We use to bar-b-que and have really good times, in the 6 to 8 months I knew them. They made me a "best of" cassette tape of the music I loved and we all use to listen too. I threw a party for them when they left to go back to Liberia.
They were so happy then. God forgive me I don't remember their names. I wonder what has happened to them. I wish I still had the cassette. I wish now they were still here......I can only pray they are OK.
"Jesus can you take the time to throw a drowning man a line, for Peace on Earth."
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Old 07-27-2003, 05:18 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by sue4u2
In 1986/87 I lived downstairs from a family of brothers, sisters and cousins, who had fled from Liberia, then. What happened? In the few non-sweltering early day's of spring in the south, when you could actually keep the windows open, I always heard Bob Marley and some of the best raggae music on the planet coming from their apartment. We use to bar-b-que and have really good times, in the 6 to 8 months I knew them. They made me a "best of" cassette tape of the music I loved and we all use to listen too. I threw a party for them when they left to go back to Liberia.
Cool. .

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Originally posted by sue4u2
They were so happy then. God forgive me I don't remember their names. I wonder what has happened to them. I wish I still had the cassette. I wish now they were still here......I can only pray they are OK.
Sorry they had to leave. .

*Prays with sue that these people are okay*

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"Jesus can you take the time to throw a drowning man a line, for Peace on Earth."
Amen.

Angela
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Old 07-28-2003, 09:35 AM   #34
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an update from allafrica.com

Bush Makes Symbolic Shift on Liberia, But Dying Continues

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President George Bush's weekend decision to position "appropriate military capabilities" off the coast of Liberia is at least a symbolic shift in U.S. policy towards African conflicts.

During 14 years of turmoil in Liberia, which spilled violence and instability across the region, only Liberia's neighbors in Ecowas, the Economic Community of West African States, attempted to intervene. Amid the worsening conflict of the last few months, none of the key international players seemed able or willing to act decisively.
The impasse has plunged an already devastated nation into a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. Although Washington is now positioning a three-ship naval assault group with 2,300 Marines on board within reach of the conflict, the White House emphasized that U.S. involvement "will be limited in time and scope."

Further clarifying what those limits are, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said Sunday that U.S. troops will only enter Liberia "when there's a cease-fire, when Charles Taylor is leaving, has left" and in support of West African troops. He denied that meant Washington is shirking its responsibilities. "We're not hanging back from assisting," he said during an appearance on Fox News. "We are assisting, and we're taking responsibility in Liberia that the British have taken in Sierra Leone, and the French in the Ivory Coast."

Whether that level of engagement will be sufficient to end the fighting, and whether and how quickly West African forces can take up positions in Monrovia, the Liberian capital, are questions that remain to be answered.

...
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Old 07-29-2003, 07:47 AM   #35
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I can't help but feel for people that are oppressed and simply want a better life!I wish our leaders felt the same way!!!!!
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Old 08-01-2003, 04:19 PM   #36
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The despotic president, indicted by a U.N.-backed tribunal for crimes against humanity, came to power by forcibly recruiting young boys and turning them into killers. His troops manned checkpoints lined with human skulls, where the roadblocks were made out of human intestines, the disemboweled victims left by the roadside. For a decade the despot has systematically pocketed the wealth of his country, leaving his people in abject poverty. He has done millions of dollars' worth of business with al Qaeda and Hezbollah. His son is a brutal thug, feared for his executions and proclivity for kidnapping young women and raping them.

Iraq under Saddam Hussein? No, Liberia under Charles Taylor.

Yet as Taylor clings to power, the international community continues to dither over what should be done. Despite Taylor's history of atrocities, the Bush administration has couched the debate about whether to send troops to Liberia only as a humanitarian crisis, as if the country's misery was an act of God, like flood or famine. In building the case for even limited action, administration officials have remained strangely silent on Taylor's terrorist ties, his execution of political rivals, his policies of torture, and the shutting down of the free press.

And while the United States put a price on the heads of Hussein's notorious sons, it has been mum about Taylor's son Chuckie.Yet Chuckie runs Liberia's intelligence services and commands the elite Anti-Terrorist Unit (ATU). It is the only group whose loyalty to Taylor is unconditional because its members not only get paid, but they get to keep what they loot. Chuckie is so violent that he was removed from his ATU command two years ago when even his troops couldn't stomach his antics. Now, with the regime under threat, Chuckie is back and the West African nation is descending into another round of mayhem.
No hypocrisy here whatsoever.

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Special Court prosecutor David Crane, who earlier served as senior inspector general in the Pentagon, and his chief investigator Alan White, a former cop and Pentagon investigator, have found compelling evidence that al Qaeda was active in the profitable diamond trade Taylor controlled. In the months before 9/11, al Qaeda sought to protect its financial assets by buying millions of dollars of diamonds from Taylor. Taylor got money in bank accounts in Switzerland and elsewhere, while al Qaeda got its money out of the banking system, where it would have been seized easily in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Diamonds, by contrast, are hard to trace and easy to move.

In 2001 I began writing stories about the al Qaeda ties there -- and as a result, U.S. and European intelligence officials warned me that Taylor was plotting to kill me. As a result, my pregnant wife, young child and I left our base in the Ivory Coast. Global Witness, European intelligence sources and the BBC all pursued and verified the terrorist ties I had reported. But it was the court investigations, conducted by professionals with broad access to information and sources on the ground, that carried special weight. The evidence amassed includes numerous eye-witness accounts, telephone records of calls to Afghanistan, bank records and other documents. That is far more than any evidence presented on Saddam's ties to Osama bin Laden.

But try as they might, Crane and White have been unable to get the CIA or FBI to undertake a serious investigation of the al Qaeda ties. Amazingly, their evidence is largely ignored and dismissed. Only a few members of Congress have picked up the cause and demanded action.

Part of the administration's unwillingness to confront Taylor may be that the dictator still retains powerful and influential friends. Taylor's staunchest defender is the Rev. Pat Robertson, the owner of the Christian Broadcasting Network and host of "The 700 Club." Robertson has invested more than $8 million in a gold mine in Liberia under the name of Freedom Gold Limited, registered in the Cayman Islands. In recent weeks Robertson, on his TV show, has been extolling Taylor's virtues as a "fellow Baptist" and "a fine Christian." In a recent interview with The Washington Post, Robertson, who has never been to Liberia, said Taylor's indictment "is nonsense and should be quashed." And he has portrayed Liberia's civil war as primarily a fight between Muslims and Taylor's Christians, an analysis not shared by anyone remotely familiar with the country. Taylor "definitely has Christian sentiments, although you hear all these rumors that he's done this and that," Robertson said.
The connection to Pat Robertson was something I had not heard before and quite frankly it makes my blood boil.

Quote:
Maybe the U.S. is reluctant to make the case against Taylor because there are no good alternatives. The rebels fighting Taylor, called Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), are cut from the same cloth. Most of their leaders were commanders of Taylor's forces before splitting off in financial and personal disputes. As much as people hate Taylor, no one is rushing to embrace the rebels. Their record of rapes, murder, child abduction and looting speaks for itself. Their recent behavior is telling. The entire international community begged the LURD to clean up its act as it seemed poised to take power. The rebels responded by attacking the capital of Monrovia, filled with hundreds of thousands of refugees. They lobbed artillery shells not only into hospitals and civilian homes, but into the embassies of the countries they claim to be courting, including the United States. Hundreds have been killed.

Or maybe the reluctance to talk about Taylor is due to the fact that the mayhem he wreaks is in impoverished sub-Saharan Africa and not enough people really care. To acknowledge the murderous nature of Taylor's regime and its ties to terrorists might prompt public demands for U.S.-led intervention and peacekeeping. While U.S. troops would likely face little resistance, rebuilding Liberia would make Iraq seem like a picnic. The nation has been mired in conflict since 1989. Monrovia, the bombed-out capital, has had no running water or electricity for seven years. There is only one hospital; there are no public schools. There is no garbage collection or sewage system. The rest of the country is worse. Sorting out the players and engaging long enough to restore a genuine political process could take years and billions of dollars. That is the true cost of intervening in Liberia and the true cost of taking on Taylor. And that is why it might never be done.
Entire article can be found here from the Washington Post.
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Old 08-01-2003, 06:10 PM   #37
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Is it just me...or does this seem like it could be a repeat of Mogadishu all over again?

Read "Black Hawk Down" by Mark Bowden or watch the film of the same name for more, or just ask me (I did a major term project in Global History about the UN mission to Mogadishu).
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Old 08-01-2003, 06:23 PM   #38
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Originally posted by DaveC
Is it just me...or does this seem like it could be a repeat of Mogadishu all over again?

Read "Black Hawk Down" by Mark Bowden or watch the film of the same name for more, or just ask me (I did a major term project in Global History about the UN mission to Mogadishu).
This is probably the most commonly voiced argument, but most commentaries I have read disagree. For example, this piece in the New York Times

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Skeptics make a number of arguments. They argue that, with plenty of work ahead in Iraq and Afghanistan, America's military is severely stretched and that another commitment of scarce combat units is the last thing it needs. Some fret about the possibility of getting sucked into a morass and make allusions to Somalia and the hideous imagery of "Black Hawk Down."

In addition, these doubters, hoping to avoid action, have knowingly set the bar of conditions for American deployment too high — insisting not only that West African forces precede us and that Mr. Taylor depart, but also that a stable cease-fire be in place among the Taylor loyalists and the two major rebel groups.

But their main criticism has been that Africa simply doesn't matter — that it is not, as candidate Bush put it in 2000, part of America's "national strategic interest." In other words, let the other Africans and the postcolonial Europeans deal with it — even in a nation whose capital, currency, flag and political structure all bear an American imprint.

Some of these arguments make more sense than others. Yes, American forces are stretched — but if they are too stretched to spare the few thousand marines President Bush has already put on ships headed to West Africa, then the time has come for a major reassessment of America's readiness for global leadership. If we worry about being able to keep the peace in Liberia for a few months, we should worry even more about the conclusions being drawn from this uncertainty by our rivals and allies alike — particularly the Chinese, the North and South Koreans and the Japanese.

As for the Somalia analogy, it is simply a red herring. Liberians are not warlord-controlled Somalis — they are not spoiling for a fight, especially with the country they have always looked to for partnership and even salvation. For a better comparison, consider what happened in neighboring Sierra Leone in 2000. Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain showed how 1,200 well-trained combat troops, through a skilled, time-limited intervention, could resuscitate a floundering United Nations operation and bring political stability.

Most important, the Liberia crisis does, in fact, affect significant United States interests. Our efforts would restore order not just in Liberia but throughout a troubled region whose stability affects American interests in combating terrorism and promoting good governance. Liberia is a specific example of the broader challenge posed by failed states everywhere, which we are (slowly) grasping are the incubators of almost every hostile challenge to American interests and values around the globe. And if Washington wants other countries to help in sharing security burdens that fall on its shoulders in the future, it is essential that it play a lead role in Liberia today. Finally, this is about stopping, relatively quickly, a humanitarian disaster at reasonable cost.
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Old 08-01-2003, 07:49 PM   #39
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15-year olds with AK-47's make me nervous
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Old 08-01-2003, 08:04 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4
The connection to Pat Robertson was something I had not heard before and quite frankly it makes my blood boil.
The Religious Right is neither "religious" nor "right."

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Old 08-02-2003, 01:43 AM   #41
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Originally posted by melon
The Religious Right is neither "religious" nor "right."

Melon
Heh. No kidding.

That connection with Pat Robertson...argh! !

Man.

What a moron.

Angela
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Old 08-02-2003, 02:55 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally posted by Moonlit_Angel


Heh. No kidding.

That connection with Pat Robertson...argh! !

Man.

What a moron.

Angela
No joke. Ugh.
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Old 08-07-2003, 12:17 AM   #43
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[Q]Currently, and somewhat improbably, Liberia has the ear of George W. Bush. With Iraq, there was no agreement on what the thing was about: it’s all about oil, said the anti-war crowd; it’s about the threat Saddam represents to the world, said the pro-crowd. But with Liberia there’s virtually unanimous agreement: the US has no vital national interest in the country; its tinpot tyrant is no threat to anybody beyond his backyard; the three warring parties are all disgusting and none has the makings of even a halfway civilised government. For many on the Right, these are reasons for steering clear of the place. For the Left, they’re why we need to send the Marines in right now.

It’s precisely the lack of any national interest that makes it appealing to the progressive mind. By intervening in Liberia, you’re demonstrating your moral purity. That’s why all the folks most vehemently opposed to American intervention in Iraq — from Kofi Annan to the Congressional Black Caucus — are suddenly demanding American intervention in Liberia. The New York Times is itching to get in: ‘Three weeks have passed since President Bush called on the Liberian President, Charles Taylor, to step aside, and pledged American assistance in restoring security. But there has been no definitive word here on how or when.

‘“Oh God, oh God, what do we do now?” wailed one woman in front of the entrance to the embassy.... A man yelled, “Why can’t the Americans come in to rescue us?”’

Three weeks! And Bush is still just talking! The Times spent 14 months deploring the ‘rush to war’ in Iraq, but mulling over Liberia for three weeks is the worst kind of irresponsible dithering[/Q]

http://www.spectator.co.uk/article.p...-08-02&id=3362
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Old 08-07-2003, 02:26 AM   #44
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just as an fyi, dread, the situation in liberia has been going on for about 10 years, if my memory is correct.
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Old 08-07-2003, 02:29 AM   #45
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Originally posted by sulawesigirl4
just as an fyi, dread, the situation in liberia has been going on for about 10 years, if my memory is correct.
I didn't write the article.

EDITED TO ADD:

Damn Clinton really was not paying attention to much was he?





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