Liberia - your opinions

  • #1
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Personally I believe we should wait this out and see how it develops. Here are some of the reasons I've been hearing and mostly agree with:

1. We shouldn't be the worlds police
2. We have no national interest in Liberia
3. If we kill the Liberian dictator and install the rebels, they may be just as bad
4. We shouldn't strech out military to far
5. In combat we wouldn't be able to pick out allies from the enemies.
6. There are many other countries that are in the same situation, we can't help them all.
7. We aren't finished in iraq
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Shadow
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I will have to do more research on this topic but here are a few suggestions.

If we are to try and keep peace and install a government that won't be troublesome and dangerous, then why not send in diplomats? The diplomats should meet with the leaders of the rebels and the current government (seperately) and try to find a peaceful solution. If progress is made, then they could easily move onto the next step: A meeting that has all 3 parties involved. (rebel, diplomats, government officials.) Perhaps there is a way to resolve the matter peacefully and make the tyrant and rebel leaders see reason. To make this plan work though, there would have to be body guards or special operations units with the diplomats to ensure safety of course, but not a full military force, just an escort. Hopefully that would show them that we really do not want a war or a fight and that we merely wish to seek a way to avoid war. And to speak truthfully, another war to remove a tyrant would not look good right now so that gives even more of a reason to do this peacefully.
 
  • #3
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Greg Bernhardt
1. We shouldn't be the worlds police
2. We have no national interest in Liberia
3. If we kill the Liberian dictator and install the rebels, they may be just as bad
4. We shouldn't strech out military to far
5. In combat we wouldn't be able to pick out allies from the enemies.
6. There are many other countries that are in the same situation, we can't help them all.
7. We aren't finished in iraq
Well thought out, but I disagree with most of them:

#1 in principle and in practice. Matter of opinion though.
#2 is true, but not relevant.
#3 is true, but that's part of doing a good job - you have to follow through.
#4 is a real problem right now, but that should be dealt with from the other end of the stick (the blunt end, not the pointy one).
#5 is true, but its true in a LOT of fights. We deal with it when we have to.
#6 is true, but its connected to #1 - matter of opinion whether or not we should TRY.
#7 is true, but just because the fire department is putting out a fire, doesn't mean others won't pop up.

I think you pretty much hit on all the relevant issues (even the irrelevant ones are relevant insofar as you brought them up), but what it really comes down to is #1 and #6: Are we/should be be the world's police man (or better yet, fire man)? In my opinion, yes. Reasons:

1. We're the only ones who can.
2. We're the world leader.
3. We are morally obligated to.

Does this mean we should go EVERYWHERE there is a problem? No, but it does mean we should go to a LOT of places. If the problem is bad and we can reasonably fix it (no, it is NOT reasonable to think we could fix North Korea), we should do it.
 
  • #4
Shadow
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but what it really comes down to is #1 and #6: Are we/should be be the world's police man (or better yet, fire man)? In my opinion, yes. Reasons:

I agree with you completely but I want to point out this: Police don't always use weapons and neither should we, when possible. Being World Leader means you can't go to war repeatedly, you have to show a 'good example' too.
 
  • #5
Dissident Dan
237
2
Originally posted by Greg Bernhardt
Personally I believe we should wait this out and see how it develops. Here are some of the reasons I've been hearing and mostly agree with:

1. We shouldn't be the worlds police
2. We have no national interest in Liberia
3. If we kill the Liberian dictator and install the rebels, they may be just as bad
4. We shouldn't strech out military to far
5. In combat we wouldn't be able to pick out allies from the enemies.
6. There are many other countries that are in the same situation, we can't help them all.
7. We aren't finished in iraq

I respect your opinion, Greg, but I agree with Russ on this one.

1. In some situations, we should be. Ever seen Tears of the Sun? It's a great movie. We have the power to contain this will our superior technology and skill.
2. We don't have an interest, per se, but Liberia was formed by freed slaves from the USA (although it is true that most residents today are indigenous). The capitol, Monrovia, is named after Monroe.
3. hmm. I don't know about the politics or motivation of it. I don't know who should be installed in power, but taylor obviously can't keep control of Liberia and is wanted for war crimes. I don't see how things could get much worse than they are now.
4. I really don't think that it will take that large of a force.
5. If they are a "peacekeeping" (more like peace-getting) force, there aren't really enemies. You just stop whoever starts an attack. Our presence will be a deterrent, as well.


I'm not going to repeat what Russ, said for the other two points.
 
  • #6
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Shadow
I want to point out this: Police don't always use weapons and neither should we, when possible. Being World Leader means you can't go to war repeatedly, you have to show a 'good example' too.
Agreed, and that's kinda what I meant by "fire man". If we can fix a situation by sheer force of our will (we have enormous political power) then we should try. And clearly its tough to decide when that isn't enough and troops should be deployed. Personally, I think we're well beyond that point with Liberia.
 
  • #7
All Greg’s points are valid, but should be given short shrift in the strategic planning of our government. The likely breeding grounds for terrorism are those poor countries having an unstable government. This is especially true in Africa, which will likely see a huge growth of the Muslim religion. It is vital that a stable republic replace the existing government. As even the UN seems to want us there, let's jump in. US troops will have a stabilizing effect in neighboring countries as well.
 
  • #9
The UN has proven itself totally inept in political resolutions to any conflict. Let the UN provide the food and health services as it has some ability in that regard. As Tony Blair implied in his recent speech to congress; it seems to be our fate.

For a young feller, you’re up to late. Go to sleep!
 
  • #10
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Greg Bernhardt
I say the UN should handle this themselves. THe US has been doing everything.
The UN has proven itself totally inept in political resolutions to any conflict.
I agree wholeheartedly with both statements. That makes it kinda tough, doesn't it?
 
  • #11
Shadow
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I say the UN should handle this themselves. THe US has been doing everything

The UN? What UN? They did nothing in the Iraqi conflict. Why should we trust them to deal with this situation properly? Yes, I know it may look bad to other countries but SOMEONE has to do something and it seems the US is the one.

The UN has proven itself totally inept in political resolutions to any conflict. Let the UN provide the food and health services as it has some ability in that regard. As Tony Blair implied in his recent speech to congress; it seems to be our fate.

I agree with you Geniere
 
  • #12
Andy
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Even if it was the UN that decided to do something about Liberia, the majority of the UN's forces are made up from US forces anyway (correct me if I am wrong) so it wouldn't make much difference, just that the US and its allies will take the blame for anything that goes wrong rather than the UN.
 
  • #13
Shadow
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True, so I guess the only difference is this: (A) Either the UN gives us support and makes other countries happy or (B) We don't listen to the UN to do the right thing. Sad to say this but I have a feeling the answer is B.
 
  • #14
Mr. Robin Parsons
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Lets see, the Worlds "Police" should have a "Captain/Chief/Comander", just to make certain that they do NOT go to far with their own authority, kinda of how Democracy works, 'Checks and Balances' and all of that kind of stuff, so, reguardless of the UN's percieved history, it's place as "Arbiter of World's Policing Needs" should be respected by all who have agreed (previously, in writting, signed their names to it!) to respect that authority, and the excersize of that Authority.

Greater certainty of achivement of desired results, in greater numbers/concensus, coupled with better planning.(?) (Hopefully)

EDIT SP!
 
  • #15
Andy
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Yea i agree with that, but what do you do if you have lost faith in the Cheifs ability to make the right decisions and do the right thing?
 
  • #16
Mr. Robin Parsons
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Originally posted by Andy
Yea i agree with that, but what do you do if you have lost faith in the Cheifs ability to make the right decisions and do the right thing?

VOTE!
 
  • #17
Shadow
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Lets see, the Worlds "Police" should have a "Captain/Chief/Comander", just to make certain that they do NOT go to far with their own authority, kinda of how Democracy works, 'Checks and Balances' and all of that kind of stuff, so, reguardless of the UN's perceived history, it's place as "Arbiter of World's Policing Needs" should be respected by all who have agreed (previously, in writting, signed their names to it!) to respect that authority, and the excersize of that Authority.

We should let the UN police us when it basically uses us? We make up most of the UN's forces, as was stated before. And, unless I am mistaken, the UN came from the US. Woodrow Wilson came up with the League of Nations which failed, mostly because the US was a superpower and never joined it, because the US senate voted against it. The League basically became the UN and the UN hasn't done much to help in recent times...can you truthfully say it has?
 
  • #18
Andy
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What is the point in voting when almost every country in this alliance has different agendas, just look at the french when it came to the Gulf 2, they where a great help in doing the right thing there.
 
  • #19
Mr. Robin Parsons
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Originally posted by Shadow
We should let the UN police us when it basically uses us? We make up most of the UN's forces, as was stated before. And, unless I am mistaken, the UN came from the US. Woodrow Wilson came up with the League of Nations which failed, mostly because the US was a superpower and never joined it, because the US senate voted against it. The League basically became the UN and the UN hasn't done much to help in recent times...can you truthfully say it has?

Uhmm, Yes.

Most of the adherance to the law, that goes on in the world, is volontarily done so, that is how a "Just Society" maintains it's right to act with authority, by upholding and maintaining the Rule of Law.

The constraints of getting consensus, have balanced realities, inasmuch as, it doesn't allways work out as fast, or as well, as we can idealistically think it should, but that does not mean that it doesn't work at all.

Personally, I prefer that the "Rule of the World" is done by consensus of opinion, amongst NationS.

Safer, and more democratic, that way.
 
  • #20
Shadow
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The UN did crap for the Iraqi conflict, and they have not been supportive in many recent issues. You say yes because...what?
 
  • #21
If the US feels it can ignore the rest of the world, and at the same time act in ways that affect the whole world, the US should logically be considered a rogue nation.
America shouldn't feel justified in invading countries without at least asking for the consensus of the rest of the world.
 
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  • #22
Mr. Robin Parsons
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Originally posted by Shadow
The UN did crap for the Iraqi conflict, and they have not been supportive in many recent issues. You say yes because...what?

What the UN did in Iraq, prior to the conflict, ALL of the humanitarian aid that the UN has been accomplishing over the YEARS of it's existence.

Just because the UN doesn't always support the US position(s), doesn't mean that it isn't, therefore, "A Good thing" as it is clearly better then the present alternative. (If you point out that, currently, there isn't any alternative, well, you make the point!)
 
  • #23
Shadow
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There were footage on a few separate occasions of Iraqi citizens trying to go with the UN officials, in two cases they were caught on tapeand translated it was something to the effect of "help me" or "I will confess" something to that effect. I can't find the story because it isn't saved on this computer, but I can assure you it did happen. The video showed some of saddams person men (repulican guards, I believe they were called, sorry it's late here) dragging teh man away, screaming. And the UN thought nothing of this, right?
 
  • #24
Zero and Mr. Parsons seem to have poor short-term memories. Both speak of a consensus, implying the US did not reach a consensus re: Gulf 2. In reality, the support for Gulf 2 was much greater than it was for the first action. It was France that violated its responsibilities to the UN, not the USA.

To refresh memories, this is a list of the 50+ nations that participated in Gulf 2, vs. the 30+ that participated in Gulf 1.

Afghanistan, Czech Republic, Hungary, Micronesia, Rwanda, Uganda, Albania, Denmark, Iceland, Mongolia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Angola, Dominican Republic, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Australia, El Salvador, Japan, Nicaragua, Slovakia, United Kingdom, Azerbaijan,Eritrea, Jordan, Norway, Slovenia, Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Estonia, Kuwait, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Latvia, Poland,South Korea, Canada, Georgia, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain, Colombia, Greece, Macedonia, Qatar, Taiwan, Croatia, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Romania, Turkey.

To answer Mr. Parsons question as to what the alternative to the UN might be, a trite but yet correct answer would be “anything”. The considered answer would be “a group of nations acting in the best interests of the world, such as the Gulf 2 coalition”.
 
  • #25
Who has provided troops and cash? I know America had to pay off a few of its 'supporters'.
 
  • #26
Are you implying that the nations supporting the coalition did so for financial gain? I'm sure they acted in response to what they believed was he right thing to do. Do you have a low opinion of any country acting in opposition to your views?
 
  • #27
Originally posted by GENIERE
Are you implying that the nations supporting the coalition did so for financial gain? I'm sure they acted in response to what they believed was he right thing to do. Do you have a low opinion of any country acting in opposition to your views?

No, but I have a low opinion on a country using coersion and bribery to creat a coalition, especially in the face of worldwide protest.
 
  • #28
Mr. Robin Parsons
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Originally posted by GENIERE
Are you implying that the nations supporting the coalition did so for financial gain? I'm sure they acted in response to what they believed was he right thing to do. Do you have a low opinion of any country acting in opposition to your views?

No need to imply the 'truth'.

As for replacing it, your 'trite' answer Implies that it should be removed from existence, simply to be brought back out into existence, under some other name? as in an "Anything would be better League" cause if you cannot make this type of system work, don't think your going to find much else, as there isn't really a lot of manners of operation, of such ventures.

You list 50 'participants', what percentage of the Worlds population does that 'fifty' really represent? Out of how many nations in the World??
 
  • #29
kat
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Wasn't this thread about Liberia?

I think it's important that we lead in doing SOMETHING to help Liberia. I'm not sure what..but I see this area of the country becoming another area of fundamentalist fanatacism. On the other hand spreading yourself to thin results in lots of attempts and an equal amount of failures. It is obvious by this thread, however, that we ignore this portion of the world..the situation is far more dire then israeli/palestinian yet discussion specificly in regards to liberia fills less then a page...
 
  • #30
Originally posted by kat
Wasn't this thread about Liberia?

I think it's important that we lead in doing SOMETHING to help Liberia. I'm not sure what..but I see this area of the country becoming another area of fundamentalist fanatacism. On the other hand spreading yourself to thin results in lots of attempts and an equal amount of failures. It is obvious by this thread, however, that we ignore this portion of the world..the situation is far more dire then israeli/palestinian yet discussion specificly in regards to liberia fills less then a page...
Uh huh...most of what I know about Liberia is that it's government is propped up by American Christian fundamentalists.
 
  • #31
kat
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Originally posted by Zero
Uh huh...most of what I know about Liberia is that it's government is propped up by American Christian fundamentalists.

You know..I've never heard this nor, after much searching, can I find anything even remotely pointing to this, can you post a link, reference, anything?
 
  • #32
Mr. Robin Parsons
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Heck! you oughta try living my life. My recent highlight is that I have been getting to watch some television for the last couple of days, first time in 'bout a month.

Liberia, wheres that?
(it's sorta humor!)
 
  • #33
Originally posted by kat
You know..I've never heard this nor, after much searching, can I find anything even remotely pointing to this, can you post a link, reference, anything?
Hmmm...on reflection, I should have said 'certain fundamentalists'. Pat Robertson and his '700 club' crew(Which is a lot of people).
http://www.heritage.org/Press/Commentary/ed073103b.cfm [Broken] but Robertson has been a vocal supporter(and business partner) of Charles Taylor and his regime for quite a few years, and you know as well as I do, where Pat leads, the brainwashed masses follow.
 
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  • #34
russ_watters
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Thats still pretty thin, Zero. Second-hand statements by someone who regardless of poularity in some places is generally considered to be on the fringe. Also, the words "propped up" imply tangeable support, IE, political, economic, or military aid. Giving a sermon on your tv show doesn't count.
 
  • #35
kat
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Thanks for the link zero, it's interesting that behind any fanatical movement, be it for whatever belief...the loudest ranter and raver is almost always making a tidy profit.(although I would point out that he seems to be not only alone on this one but being clearly denounced by other christian organizations who have gone so far as to initiate the ban on the diamond imports etc.) MotherJones has a nice little article about robertson/taylor as well. http://www.motherjones.com/news/dailymojo/2003/28/we_477_05.html#three [Broken]
I think he needs to be put on the state depts. list of terrorist collaberators.
 
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