Dealing with a Dead Horse (Psychopath Part II)

By Nancy Kiakula

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

August 22, 2002

To African Leaders, the International Community, and Liberians who still have hope in Mr. Taylor.

Ancient wisdom says that when you discover you are astride a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. In Liberia, however, many different approaches are tried and after each failure, the trusting people and the international community try again. For example, Mr. Charles Taylor may well be alive, but when it comes to peace, stability, democracy, reconciliation, and development, he is, indeed, a dead horse. He can never go beyond his own animalistic instincts. He is a dead horse. Here are some of the strategies used by those who hope to make something of this dead horse in West Africa:

1. Change those who work with him. Try ECOWAS, after that the OAU and then UN. In between, you try Amos Sawyer, Alhaji Kromah, George Boley, Roosevelt Johnson, Monie Captan, etc.

2. Buy a stronger whip. Sanctions and the threat of more sanctions.

3. Beat the horse harder to make him respect human rights. Cut off his supply of "blood diamonds," the maritime program and timber.

4. Shout at and threaten the horse to make him undertake development projects in Liberia.

5. Appoint a committee to study the horse to see what can be done to change him. From the Committee of Nine to the Committee of Five, from President Jawara to Houphouet Boigny to General Abacha.

6. Arrange visits to other capitals, such as Abuja, Nigeria and Harare, Zimbabwe to see how dead horses are ridden.

7. Raise the standard for riding dead horses. Get him through elections.

8. Appoint a committee to revive the dead horse. He is given a government of so-so people and some good technocrats, whom he promptly fires when they try to do the right thing.

9. Create a training course to improve riding skills. Can a dead horse learn?

10. Explore the state of dead horses in today's environment. NEPAD? What's that?

11. Change the requirements so that the horse no longer meets the standards of death.

12. Hire a foreign consultant to show how a dead horse should be ridden: the UN Sanctions Committee. At last, a few people have a new job.

13. Tie several dead horses (fellow psychopaths) together to increase speed.

14. Increase funding to improve the horse's performance so that it can provide electricity and clean drinking water to the people of Liberia.

15. Declare that no horse is too dead to ride. Is there any hope for Charlie?

16. Fund a study to determine if outsourcing will reduce the cost of riding a dead horse.

17. Buy a computer program to enhance the dead horse's performance.

18. Declare a dead horse less costly to maintain than a live one. Compute the cost saving from imposing an international travel ban on the dead horse and its companions. Liberia is now reputedly saving US$400,000 a month.

19. Form a work group to find uses for dead horses. And

20. If all else fails, do you re-elect the dead horse to the presidency. 2003... Watch out Liberians!!!

Don't you get it? Can't you see when something or someone is dead it no longer has any sense of feeling? Wake up, fellow Liberians, African leaders, and the international community! This horse is dead. The only thing to do with it is to bury it. I need not tell you what happens when you keep a dead body around long enough. The whole area gets polluted and, sometimes, people get sick from the pollution and die. In Mr. Taylor's case, throw him out of the office of the presidency. It can be done when all of come together and, democratically, remove this dead horse and his Ak-47s out of our society. Liberians are suffering enough in the hands of Mr. Taylor and his bunch of criminals. In addition to dying from AK-47, mistreatment, and hunger, Liberians at home are dying from emotional constipation. Please, Liberian politicians, release our people of all this by putting aside your personal ambitions and do what it takes to democratically remove this dead horse from the office of the presidency.

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