Transcript CNN International interview with Nigeria's President Obasanjo and Publisher Chido Nwangwu on Democracy and Security Issues

Liberia: Death by Installment and descent into mayhem

Special to USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston, and The Black Business Journal

I think that the combatants in west Africa's war-torn Liberia seem possessed by demons, unyielding demons that feed on the corpses of children, women, teenagers and adults. Monrovia, Liberia's capital city, in a manner of speaking, has become a jungle, a jungle made more dangerous by a certain death song, the rat-a-tat death songs and whiz-bangs of AK-47s and other instruments of violent extermination of human life. Inside and outside Monrovia, that certain death song has drowned out the voices of mothers who cry and shed tears of blood. It's a death song that dogs their every step as they carry their dead little, innocent babies like loaves of bread, looking for some quiet corner in the hell that Liberia has become to bury their kids, their sons and husbands. Unfortunately, Liberia's despicable, brutal vultures who pose as warlords , will not grant these women such dignity, even to the dead! Those merchants of mayhem are possessed by some satanic fury and hunger that is only calmed temporarily by mass mayhem and killings. Since that terrible December 1989 Christmas, Liberia's deconstruction has been a death by installment, hastened by a war without end, a war prolonged by armed gangs of morons, village idiots and rag-tag armies of zombies and goons in two-a-penny-uniforms and camouflage wears.

For over fifteen years, at different times in that country's post -1980s history, those gods of war have sucked in and recruited thousands of Liberians and taken hundreds of thousands to their early death. They have also made meaningless the lives of millions of Liberians who have become refugees.

Truth must be told that Liberian politicians, soldiers and regular folk, in many ways, personify those demons who have turned a once peaceful country into their play-pen in their sordid quest over who will govern the Liberia.

Through the logic of war, Liberia Africa's oldest republic founded in 1847, and America's only colonial outpost in Africa has been made ungovernable since December 1989. Since that terrible Christmas, Liberia's deconstruction has been a death by installment, hastened by a war without end, a war prolonged by armed gangs of morons, village idiots and rag-tag armies of zombies and goons in two-a-penny-uniforms and camouflage wears.

Liberians inside the country have descended into the swamp of sub-human existence and devaluation of all human life. In some sense, it's kill or be killed! Those merchants of mayhem are possessed by some satanic fury and hunger that is only calmed temporarily by mass mayhem and killing.

Today, Liberians all over the U.S and abroad, whose Houston chapter honored me with the status of an honorary Liberian cry and pray and work to end their pain. Unfortunately, here in Houston, they have two factions (or more). Such divisions will not help in stopping the carnage that has made Liberia become, at best, a ghost of a nation and worse, a geopolitical non-entity. You ask, how did things come to this pass?

Why and how did this disaster befall Liberia? Without a doubt, special privileges which the monied, aristocratic, settler enslaved returnees from the U.S had acquired and maintained against the native population's land and representational interests is a key factor in Liberia's cycle of wars and crises.

On the other hand, there are those who argue that the poorly educated late dictator in the 80s, Samuel K. Doe, a native born, was carried away by his desire to right the wrongs of the past. His regime was very corrupt. He was inept, too.

Why are these points important?

First, to identify the role the colonial and post-colonial contradictions in Liberia have played in its ongoing destruction is analytic reasonable and valid.

Second, to continue to blame colonialism for the senseless slaughter of one's yesterday neighbor and defenseless children is totally unacceptable to me.

Third, what will President Bill Clinton do beyond pulling out U.S personnel and interest? Someone asked me a few days ago, why is Bosnia more important and manageable for the U.S than its only colonial interest in Africa? First, I answered Rush Limbaugh! Since she's someone who engages me in reasonable discussions, she knew I meant the politics of Rush Limbaugh, not just the man but his gravitas as the Republican party's 500 pound-ideological gorrila who animates a constellation of social and political forces on matters local and foreign through his radio show and associated outlets.

Fourth, the November 1996 elections.

Fifth, I cited the images of death and Farrah Aideed in Somalia. It must be noted that many Nigerian and African soldiers who were working to save Liberia have been killed.

Fifth, I said Liberia's rubber is no longer a big deal for U.S multinational, Firestone.

Sixth, I demanded: why should young U.S Marines die in any theater of war where the local leaders have taken absolute leave of their senses?

The U.S has moral and economic interests in Liberia, but U.S Marines should not become shooting targets for Liberia's Commander Johnson and other local, conscienceless, phillistinic predators in Monrovia.

I added should the U.S intervene, it must be with maximum, blinding force.


No peace operation has worked in Liberia. The von Clausewitz strategy of war, specifically requiring the inflicting of such lethal, bending force on an enemy - until he cries Uncle and tucks his tail between his legs - should be brought into Liberia. Howitzers, F-14 fighter planes and techno-machines command the attention of the most foolhardy General from America's heartland Montana through Iraq's Baghdad to Burkina Faso in West Africa.

It's a really shameful the Generals in Monrovia guys still do not care for the future of the likes of little Acha Peabody. Acha, a Houston resident, lives in North Houston with his hardworking, dedicated Liberian parents, Eric and Elaine. Eric is a computer systems specialist while Elaine is a member of the editorial board of one of our publications, USAfrica The Newspaper. She is also a teacher. I hope that someday, Acha, who's been to my office when he was barely three years old will someday before the end of the 20th century (yes, before the end of the 20th century), visit and play soccer in a peaceful, vibrant Liberia.

Otherwise, that young innocent fellow, like one million other Liberian kids, will only have a sense of his heritage as an unpunctuated video of wars, communal wickedness and a tapestry of abomination! Should we let that happen to Acha, and other kids? No!

Let's recall also that it was on July 4, 1914 during his State of the Union speech that U.S president Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) said: Liberty does not consist in mere declarations of the rights of man. It consists in the translation of those declarations into definite action.

This time calls for definite action. What will you do to help end the tyranny of a blood-thirsty demolition crew and bandits who have made human life as expendable as a toothpick in the homeland of my friends who made me an honorary Liberian? Stay blessed.

Chido Nwangwu, recipient of the Journalism Excellence award, is Founder and Publisher of (first African-owned U.S.-based professional newspaper to be published on the internet), USAfrica The Newspaper, CLASS and The Black Business Journal. He has served as an adviser to the Mayor of Houston on international business (Africa) and appears as an analyst on CNN, VOA, NPR, CBS News, NBC and ABC news affiliates. He travelled with and covered former President Bill Clinton's visits to parts of the African continent during the latter's presidency.
This commentary was first written on June 21, 1996, by USAfrica's Founder. It is copyrighted. Archiving on any other web site or newspaper is unauthorized except with a Written Approval by the Founder

While Liberia burned....
Exclusive commentary

The way in which the United States have treated the people of Liberia is simply a low down dirty crying shame. We have sit back and watch as Monrovia has literally burned - and that almost in total silence and blindness. Even while the pleas of the UN and the rest of West Africa and more importantly the Liberian people themselves begged like dogs for the crumbs that fall from a master's table. We waited and waited.  Only now on the eve of a presidential trip to Africa do President Bush shows a reluctant "compassion" or more properly should I say guilt. How could America be so cold, callous, insolent and heartless of one of the few places it colonized?
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