explains his position on Liberia and President Charles Taylor.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., July 16, 2003-As you may know, Liberia was founded
by the United States as a homeland for freed African slaves. The word
Liberia is a derivation of the Latin for "free" or "freedom,"
and the capital, Monrovia, was named after President James Monroe.
Liberia had as its first president a Baptist minister from Norfolk,
Virginia. It modeled its constitution after the United States and attempted
to follow us in establishing its government. Liberia considers itself
a "little brother" of the United States, and has always looked
to the United States as its founder, friend, ally, and protector.
In the early 1980's, there was a military coup in Liberia led by Master
Sergeant Doe. The Liberian President Tolbert was hacked to pieces by
machetes. Then all of the top members of his government were taken from
the capital city and butchered. Doe began a reign of terror in Liberia
which resulted in civil war. Among those who fought Doe was Charles
Taylor whose militia ultimately defeated Doe. Subsequently, Taylor was
elected president of Liberia in what I understand to be a free election.
Shortly thereafter, a rebellion broke out in neighboring Sierra Leone.
Charles Taylor backed the rebels whose teenage soldiers were guilty
of extreme brutality. Since Sierra Leone was a former British colony,
first the United Nations and then the British sent troops in to establish
order and put down the rebellion. From all I can gather, they were successful.
Because of Taylor's role in assisting the rebels of Sierra Leone, the
State Department of Bill Clinton urged the United Nations to place economic
sanctions on Liberia. The government of Charles Taylor denied any further
involvement with the rebels in Sierra Leone, but to no avail. As a result
of the pressure brought on by the United States through the United Nations,
Liberia was squeezed unbearably and the people suffered.
With Taylor weakened, a group of rebels who were principally Muslim,
began a civil war using neighboring Guinea as a staging area. The United
States gave $3 million to help the army of Guinea, and I have on good
authority that at least two containers of arms were sent by the United
States to the port of Monrovia in Liberia to be used by the rebels against
Guinea is a Muslim country ruled by a capricious and ruthless dictator.
If the Taylor government falls, the Muslim rebels are hoping to overrun
Liberia, which is a predominantly Christian nation. If they do so, it
is feared that a vicious civil war will result leaving the nation bleeding
and in chaos.
My question to the United States State Department is very simple, "If
you are successful in taking down the government of Charles Taylor,
what plan do you have to establish stability in Liberia, the rule of
law, free elections, and representative government? What appropriation
has been made by the United States Congress to back up the actions that
you have taken to bring down the freely elected government of a sovereign
and friendly nation?"
These questions and my concern in no way indicated that I was supporting
Charles Taylor. I merely asked the State Department how much African
blood would have to be spilled before they were satisfied.
The Christian nations of Africa are right now under assault by Muslims
funded either by Saudi Arabia or Libya. This fact is well known to the
CIA. Regrettably, the State Department seems to be indifferent to this
I regret that my sentiments in support of the suffering Liberian people
were misinterpreted by The Washington Post as unqualified support for
Charles Taylor, a man whom I have never met, and about whose actions
a decade ago I have no firsthand knowledge.