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Douglas Farah: In Choreographed Move, Taylor Escapes
Mar 28 2006
Like a bad novel, Taylor’s escape a foregone conclusion when Obasanjo suddenly announced that Liberia could come and get Taylor. Obasanjo, who now, in classic Big Man African fashion, is ordering an “investigation” into how Taylor escaped, withdrew all of the guards from Taylor’s compound. It was a clear that was Taylor’s signal to slip away. The U.S. did nothing but express alarm. The UN was paralyzed. The British ran for cover.
It matters little now what Bush says to Obasanjo after the two meet tomorrow. Obsanjo’s “investigation,” when he had been warned months ago, with specific names, of the senior people in his security structure that Taylor was paying off, is a rather poor joke. The horse is so far gone, the barn door so far open, that there is really nothing to say. Obasanjo should be embarassed to show his face, but he is not. Bush should shun him, but he will not.
It has to be one of the sorriest chapters in U.N., British and Nigerian supposed efforts to bring justice to the millions who have suffered at the hands of butchers like Taylor. And it sad day for West Africa, having to face the prospect of more murder and mayhem from the man who has done it all before.
New York Times: A Master Plan Drawn in Blood
Published: April 2, 2006
Issouf Sanogo/Agence France-Presse -- Getty Images
According to local legend, recounted by the Africa scholar Stephen Ellis in his book "The Mask of Anarchy," a baby born in Monrovia, Liberia's capital, miraculously spoke English straight from the womb. It told its mother that a rain of death would fall Christmas Day, and that it did not want to live in such a vicious world, and promptly drew its last breath.
On Dec. 25, in a driving rain, the news that Charles Taylor had attacked Liberia reached Monrovia. As the child predicted, a rain of death soon drenched West Africa. It would last 14 years.
Christophe Simon/Agence France-Presse -- Getty Images
CHILD SOLDIER Eight-year-olds with automatic rifles were fighting for Charles Taylor in Liberia in 1996
NCTimes.com: Sweden, Austria considering request to imprison Charles Taylor after trial
Sweden and Austria have received requests to imprison former Liberian President Charles Taylor if he is convicted of war crimes by a U.N.-backed court, government officials said Wednesday. A positive answer by the Scandinavian country would remove a key obstacle to transfer Taylor's trial from the U.N.-backed Special Court in Sierra Leone to The Hague, Netherlands. Several diplomats at the United Nations told the AP on Tuesday that no country wants to have Taylor for 20 or 30 years -- either in jail or in exile.
Charles McArthur Emmanuel, 29, also known as Charles "Chuckie" Taylor Jr., was arrested last week at Miami International Airport.
Originally posted by twitchy
All this hell raising about gun dealings on the heels of the US loosing some 200,000 Kalashnikov Machine Guns shipping from Bosnia to Iraq.
200,000 Kalashnikov Machine Guns "Gone Missing"?
What a world.
Defending the Indefensible President of Liberia
Robertson has criticized President Bush's call for Taylor to step down, has praised Taylor as a "fellow Baptist," and has accused the State Department of being the real cause of Liberia's problems. To quote Robertson's own words:
So we're undermining a Christian, Baptist president to bring in Muslim rebels to take over the country. And how dare the president of the United States say to the duly elected president of another country, 'You've got to step down.'
So why is Pat Robertson such a big fan of Liberia's President Charles Taylor? What you won't hear much about on Robertson's shows is the fact that he has a huge financial interest in Liberia. Under Taylor's regime in 1999, Robertson negotiated an $8 million investment in a gold mining venture.
Fortunately, Pat Robertson is very much alone in this position - not even other conservative Christian leaders in America who might otherwise be inclined to sympathize with an African Christian politician are joining the defense of Charles Taylor. Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention's public policy arm, has stated that "I would say that Pat Robertson is way out on his own, in a leaking life raft, on this one."
Douglas Farah: Why Gaddafi is so Afraid of Charles Taylor
Jun 1, 2006
Gadaffi, more than any other leader except perhaps Blaise Campoare in Burkina Faso, has good reason to fear Taylor’s testimony. It was Gaddafi who trained not only Taylor and his thugs for Liberia, but also Foday Sankoh and other leaders of the Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone, Laurent Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Campaore’s troops who assassinated president Thomas Sankara in Burkina Faso, and on and on.
But it was not just the training Gaddafi provided. He provided the tons of weapons and ammuniton that stoked the wars that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and destroyed most of an entire sub-region that is still reeling from his ego-driven destruction.
He established the World Revolutionary Headquarters in the desert where he trained would-be revolutionaries from Latin America, Africa and Asia. The facilities were, in the words of Prof. Stephen Ellis, “the Harvard and Yale of a whole generation of African revolutionaries.”
Douglas Farah: A Hardy Ban in Congress Press for UAE Accountability
Jun 6, 2006
A small but determined bipartisian group in Congress continues to press the United Arab Emirates for accountability on several important fronts. In a recent letter to UAE ambassador Al Asri Al Dhahri, the group asked for further information on UAE’s efforts crack down on the use of diamonds and gold by terrorist and criminal groups, the operations of Viktor Bout, monitoring hawalas and other informal value transfer systems and money laundering.
“We believe that weaknesses in the UAE’s financial defenses tie directly to the ability of nuclear proliferators and terrorist operatives to successfully operate in the UAE,” the letter said.
On Viktor Bout, the letter noted that the UAE has reportedly taken some action to keep Bout’s aircraft from operating there, but asked for further assurances that he would not be allowed to reappear using different companies. “The US exports its most advanced weaponry to the UAE on the assumption it will not go to its enemies. This assumption is undermined by the tolerance of arms traffickers such as Bout,” the letter said.
A quote from the original TYR: Operation Firedump
All bloggers are invited to mirror this and help land them on the fire dump
TYR: Firedump: Update
September 24, 2006
It's time to shake up the embers of Operation Firedump, our effort to monitor compliance with the UNSC asset freeze list on the Viktor Bout companies.
Since December, 2005, the original list of aircraft shows a few changes.