Perhaps a look at the combined factors of why these wars were waged, how they were fought, and what happened after them, will help any finger pointing related to the shortcomings of the wars hit the right target. For purposes of this insight, let’s use the most recent oppressive regimes of our times as examples. These are the Samuel Kanon Doe and Charles Ghankay Taylor regimes, and the LURD plus MODEL copy-cat fiasco that is still playing on the national “screen”.
Why did the people rise up against the Doe regime? By definition, that this was an oppressive regime, makes answering this question rather redundant. However, a refresher summary will not hurt. Here was a regime that came into power as the PRC, the Peoples’ Redemption Council. Was it hailed by the people? Shout Yes, and you would be correct.
Shortly after taking its position, as if a sinister force had cast a spell on it, the PRC metamorphosed into a monster. Staying in power, ‘by any means necessary’, characterized this regime. It was even widely held in town that the administration went extra miles to consult a Zoe. We all know what that means. Sacrifices must have been offered; we only hope those were not what we are thinking ( human sacrifices). Heartman in Monrovia, it is the same thing. It is even rumored that CIC had a special talisman to render the masses powerless fixated to a certain part of his body. What part of the body? Children sometimes read these things we write, so we exercise due care. So, ask in the streets of Monrovia which part of the body we are talking about, and they will tell you. Zoe was to keep them in power for a HUNDRED YEARS! Is that how long we were supposed to wait? Well, it turned out to be “Till Death Do Us Part”.
What were the people to do when all democratic avenues for bringing about changes were closed? What were the people to do when the Liberian Constitution was in essence abrogated? Those who dared mount any challenge met imprisonment, that is if they were lucky. Several others just disappeared from the face of the nation; summary executions were silencing tools. Did the people want to remove the Doe Regime? Yeah O. So was the stage set.
Enters the Charles Ghankay Taylor led armed struggle to get the job done. Let’s not forget that the masses wanted this after what Doe had done to us. Rebut this statement and you’ll be greeted, “Welcome From Mars”. Liberians that are poor ( almost the whole country) tacitly supported the revolution and hoped for the better. Some Liberians raised funds, and those (Liberians) who could afford it, made donations to the cause. Define “patriot”.
Are we to blame ourselves then, that Taylor personalized the revolution to topple Doe; that he headed it to enrich himself and his lieutenants? That wouldn’t make sense; would it? ‘Hindsight is always 20/20‘. Let’s not look at the criminal tactics Taylor used in fighting the war and fault ourselves for having backed the armed struggle. Let’s not lament the struggle because Taylor, in the aftermath of the struggle, held us at gun point to vote him into power. Listing the names of patriots who supported the war (that includes almost the whole nation) to point fingers at them for the woes caused by Taylor, is misdirected, indeed. Would we, in our right minds, have backed him if we knew his intentions? How many of us did not disassociate from him when it became evident that Taylor had a different motive from the planned struggle? Almost all of us did, as we felt betrayed by Taylor and his armed gang. Doing that is becoming of a patriot, and let no one sell that short.
Direct the finger pointing at Taylor and his lieutenants who “hi-jacked” the struggle. (Courtesy of Oldman Jeremiah T. Nyemah, Political Slanders, Analyst Sept. 12, 2005, all Africa.com). Fix the blame on all those who worked in his regime to grease his criminal machinery. They are the ones responsible for the senseless killings and raping of our friends and relatives; they are the ones that caused our misery.
LURD plus MODEL, they represent the latest “hi-jackers” of our struggle. For the senseless killings, raping, and torture they meted on innocent citizens, for how in the aftermath they have handled our affairs in this interim period, we now know what the motives of their key players were. Copy-cat Motives of the preceding regimes. They too, are targets for finger-pointing. We are thankful that for them we have peaceful means to get them out of the way. One more month to go; we are counting down.
Yes, there is finger-pointing to be made. Let’s not be fooled.; we know better. We know who the targets are. We have already set up a way to deal with them, as finger-pointing alone will not suffice, but in due time. Until then, we want to FOCUS on the task at hand. That is, explaining PLATFORMS to influence voters, and having free and fair ELECTIONS.