Sunday, May 3, 2009

Hate, war, evil, and dirty politics in Liberia

Hate, war, evil, and dirty politics in Liberia
Written by Bernard Gbayee Goah

When minds of hate, war, evil, and dirty politics ascends to power what do you expect?

Some time ago, I read an article on the Liberian forum written by one Gayflor Kpehe in which he mentioned that “The continual fight against government is getting boring and senseless now”.

I agree with the writer that it is about time to end the fight… but, what about the rights of the people?

What’s wrong with fighting for the same rights the present President claimed to have fought for when other Presidents were in power? What about the rights she fought for that went so far taking away the lives of over 200, 000 innocent Liberians, mostly the civilian populace comprising of dominantly women and children?

I agree with the writer that it is about time to stop this nonsense!

My biggest question is, how do we as a people go about doing this?

And from where does the writer suggest we start?

I am a Student member of the World Affairs council of Oregon. During one of WAC forum here in Portland Oregon USA, the President of my country (Liberia) was invited to speak. She was asked by someone in the audience about how she felt as a president working with people who might have had hand in her imprisonment during the late President Doe regime.

This was her answer: “It is a very hard question… I just have to swallow the bitter pills to work with those I do not like. However, I am aware of their presence”.

I understand that I should not be thinking for my honorable President, I however thought she would have said something like: If there were enemies in the past, I am willing to reconcile with them and work with them to move the country forward. Working with people does not mean you are willing to reconcile with them. And that is not a way forward at all. A President must be willing to reconcile with her people.

What most of the audience got out of her answer was that she has enemies in Liberia and that she was watching them closely. In this case, people she does not like. The audience understood that my honorable President was not willing to put the past behind.

I agree that we as a people, must put the past behind as the writer suggested in his article I mentioned above, but it also has to start from the top people. For example, the President of Liberia must play the role of a twin mother. A mother with two babies will always lie down on her back whenever she is sleeping, in this way, the two babies will have chance to suck from the mother's breast. When the mother decides to lie down on one side all of the time, then one of the babies is deprived from sucking.

I agree with another writer on this forum who mentioned that the position of the president is like a town hall. Those who have not entered it think there is huge amount of milk and honey in it.

In my view, that is why it is always good to find out before hand what are the resources available to work with in the town hall, what are the circumstances that surrounds those resources, and what are the possible drawbacks that might have caused problems for past town chiefs before you attempt to support any aggression if necessary against the town chief.

The present President of Liberia supported aggressions against the Liberian people in the past. Such aggressions were not the best solutions to solving the problems of Liberia at all. We all know it but we hate to say it.

At least if the present President of Liberia understands circumstances surrounding the inside of the town hall as one writer described the position of the president, and how difficult it was for past leaders, in the interest of peace She would have be willing to take a total different route in bringing peace to the people of Liberia other than the route she is taking right now that resembles those that came before her and the once she suggested and supported in the past.

The Late President Samuel K. Doe of Liberia understood just little from a lay man point of view about the position of a president before he took over. He later realized that such a position was not a bread butter position.

President Ellen JohnsonSirleaf, and Former President Charles Macarthur Gankay Taylor and many others wanted Doe’s removal at all cost, in any form, and by any means, even though President Doe promised the Liberian people and the International community that he would step down once his term of office was over. Which meant over 200,000 innocent Liberian women and children would not have died.

The only song Ellen and her followers could understand was the sound of the AK-47, which they continued to play up to the death of President Doe.

After the death of Doe, other transitional leaders of Liberia got to also realize that it is not about becoming president of Liberia that matters. What matters is how well can a President unite the people of a country, and foremost who the President’s advisors are, what their interests are, and their mind set about government and peace building?

Once the above mentioned are handled, then the time to explore other necessary avenues to move the country forward comes in the picture. Every president must have good advisors. Presidents before President Tubman, President Tolbert, President Doe, and President Taylor, all fell victims to bad advisors and they all got in big troubles.

As a President of a country especially so, a country coming out of 15 years of civil madness, you must be very careful about those you appoint to serve as your advisors.

If your advisors are all cowboys, the entire country will soon become a complete cowboy camp, and pretty soon you might be oblige to run for your life. On the other hand, if your advisors are informed, peace loving, and at least God fearing people, all you have to do is listen to them and you don't have to run at all.

As I see the entire Liberian government right now, it is like old wine in new bottles. The same old people who supported that Ak-47 are the ones that are sitting around the President. Perhaps the President by now understands that it is not necessary to use the Ak-47 techniques any more. What about the followers of the President? Do they also understand what the president might have realized? Perhaps not at all!

It is about time to unite the people of Liberia. I do not think President Ellen JohnsonSirleaf’s followers understand that at all. There will have to be a paradigm shift and a complete mind set change in government.

We are all aware that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf once upon a time provided huge sum of money to support the NPFL arm struggle in Liberia that took away the lives of innocent Liberians. Once she has realized that there is a need for a “U turn” in mind set, she has the obligation to clarify to her many supporter that there is a need to put the past behind and show them a new direction. Gone are the days when the Liberian people blindly supported the technique of the AK-47.

My fear is that the same old story might possibly be repeated in Liberia if those who started the machines of hate, war, and dirty politics do not realize that it is about time to tell their many operators how to stop such machines, and that such machines are out dated and are no longer required in Liberia.

Bernard Gbayee Goah

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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