Monday, September 1, 2008

A Very Interesting Quote: Liberia's Truth And Reconciliation Commision

I don’t come here to discuss blood diamond business. If you know somebody blood on the diamond, if you know where it is, go to The Hague….”
----Lewis Browne, former President Charles Taylor’s National Security Advisor

By the way that’s a very interesting quote. Browne no doubt was a Charles Taylor’s top dog and henchman. He apparantly became furious when he was questioned about blood diamonds and his knowledge about the trade Taylor ran. But his rude retort to Liberia’s Truth And Reconciliation Commission, tasked with reconciling and uniting the Liberian people after a devastating war in which he was the chief security advisor to Charles Taylor, seems a legitimate question to anybody with some senses. Because, here was Charles Taylor, like all warlords, using armed banditry and his security guards to profit from the suffering of Sierra Leoneans and Liberians to fuel his ‘popular people uprising,” and in the midst of all this Lewis Browne, as national security advisor. One may be tempted to ask what were the security counsels this man lent his master, when West Africa was going up in flames. What were his counsels as innocent Sierra Leoneans youths were hacked with machetes while Liberian pregnant women had their bowels crudely open, just for the sport of it to determine the sex of the unborn---- yes Lewis Browne.

But Browne answer is a recurrent scenario and pattern similar to some of the actors who have already appeared before that commission, reveling in self piteous pomposity and importance as if Liberians see them as heroes and that we need them so much so that without them this country, Liberia, will never move forward. Not remorseful, at least in the one bit to the sufferings the Liberian people has endured because of this so-called constant talk of revolutions, “going to the mountains” crowning themselves revolutionaries, when in name and essence they are mere opportunists, who when the opportunity presented itself could neither managed the change we needed or were swept by the wind that they forgot that history could come back to bite them.

What is evident full circle during these hearings, is that for real, the Liberian people whom these so called revolutionaries and warlords once viciously ruled will piece together this puzzle by themselves despite the denials, lies and counter claims. Men like Lewis Browne can rest assured that the Liberian people are still interested in ‘this blood diamond business.’ When it comes to these issues: Tubman’s True Whig Party and its repression, Doe’s People Redemption Council and its death squads, and Taylor’s National Patriotic Party and its killing fields and the affiliated architects and cohorts whose impressive geniuses inspired Tubman, Doe and Taylor, no amount of arrogance or jaw dropping cheekiness directed towards the Liberian people serves any purpose. The Truth And Reconciliation Commission represents the Liberian nation no matter how imperfect its composition. The Liberian people will still be here long after these ‘war actors’ are long gone from the national stage or back to European capitals and the Americas or their private farms. Some “Men regard it as their right to return evil for evil and, if they cannot, feel they have lost their liberty.” a famous philosopher said. And this is what has been the Liberian tragedy. Revenge! Eye for an eye, another said would make the would blind in a minute. But this sort of talk took 300,000 Liberian lives.

Minor edits here and there. The full piece of this excerpt was published by the Liberian forum on the 23 of August.

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