Africa

Today might be Christmas, but instead of happy and joyful reading, I’ve found and put up some intriguing and somewhat vile news on war and atrocities and suffering. Merry Christmas, all the same.

It’s nice to read a story in the Toronto Star about Liberia and the effects of its savage civil war that raged during the nineties until the early 2000s. The article looks at the contrasting lives of Prince Johnson, the warlord turned senator, and Jonah Nagbe, a young Liberian struggling in poverty and whose father was killed in the civil violence in 1990. Johnson was a warlord who, while not as notorious as Charles Taylor, was just as vicious. In fact, he actually looked on and ordered the torture and execution of former Liberian President Samuel Doe which was recorded on tape. Doe was captured by Johnson’s forces in an ambush in Monrovia. It is disappointing that Johnson denies any violation of the Geneva Convention and pretty much gives bland replies on the war.

Meanwhile, Julian Assange may be in prison, but the WikiLeaks controversy lives on, albeit indirectly. The Atlantic Monthly reports how a Lebanese newspaper is publishing leaked U.S. cables that allegedly are not part of the vast WikiLeak trove. If the contents are true, then we finally understand why Lebanon was so passive when Israeli forces entered southern Lebanon to fight Hizbollah in their own territory. The answer- because they wanted Hizbollah to be weakened.

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