Skip to comments.Weblog: Pat Robertson Alone in Support of Liberian President
Posted on 07/10/2003 1:04:52 PM PDT by Stultis
Christianity Today, Week of July 7
Weblog: Pat Robertson Alone in Support of Liberian President
Plus: Laos frees Minnesota pastor, Baylor's faculty split on school's Christian direction, and other stories from online sources around the world.
posted 07/10/2003 |
Robertson continues to defend Liberian dictator, but other evangelicals are critical
Liberian President Charles Taylor does not have many friends. And for good reason. The dictator has been indicted by a U.N.-related court for crimes against humanity, has fomented armed rebellion across West Africa, and has been accused of rape, mass murder, using child soldiers, and other atrocities in his days as a militia leader.
During President Bush's trip to Africa, this week, Liberia has been a top priority. He and other officials have repeatedly called for Taylor's resignation. "Until Charles Taylor is out of politics, there isn't going to be any stabilization of the situation in Liberia," National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said last week. "Charles Taylor needs to leave because Charles Taylor is the problem. And Charles Taylor is, by the way, not just a problem for Liberia. . . . [He] has been a source of insurrection and insurgency in surrounding countries. And the efforts to make stable places like Sierre Leone, in which the British are involved, are extremely important to the stability of West Africa. So Charles Taylor is a problem on a number of fronts."
In fact, the U.S. is sending a military team to Liberia to support several West African nations' efforts to bring peace there. More U.S. forces may be sent later, but has promised not to "overextend our troops."
All of this is widely supported by American Christians, with one notable exception: broadcaster Pat Robertson.
"We're undermining a Christian, Baptist president to bring in Muslim rebels to take over the country," he said on his 700 Club show Monday. "And how dare the president of the United States say to the duly elected president of another country, 'You've got to step down."
In today's Washington Post, religion reporter Alan Cooperman looks at Robertson's most recent demonstrations of support for the dictator and his assertions that the country's "horrible bloodbath" is the result of the State Department's opposition to Taylor.
"What Robertson has not discussed in these broadcasts is his financial interest in Liberia," Cooperman writes, noting a four-year-old, $8 million agreement between Robertson and Taylor to mine gold in the country. There's a good bet that Cooperman's colleague at the Post, columnist Colbert I. King, had some input on this matter. Back in 2001, King wrote a series of columns exposing and criticizing the mining operation, called Freedom Gold.
In an interview yesterday, Robertson told Cooperman that Freedom Gold was intended to fund humanitarian and evangelical efforts in the country, such as a February 2002 Liberia for Jesus rally, where Taylor reportedly told 65,000 of his subjects, "I am not your president. Jesus is!"
"There are people who say that's phony baloney, but I thought it was sincere," Robertson told Cooperman. "He definitely has Christian sentiments, although you hear of all these rumors that he's done this or done that.
"I have never met Taylor in my life. I don't know what he has done or hasn't done. I do know he was elected by the people, and he has maintained a relatively stable government in Liberia; and they observe the rule of law; they have a working legislature; they have courts. And though he may have certain dictatorial powers, so do most leaders in Africa."
But what's phony baloney, says Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, is Robertson's support of Taylor. "I would say that Pat Robertson is way out on his own, in a leaking life raft, on this one," he said.
There are several unanswered questions in this. Is Robertson shaping conservative Christian opinion on Liberia? Have conservative Christians even given much thought to what's happening in the country? Might evangelical leaders like Land, who truly care about international human rights, be proactive in countering Robertson's comments? Might this controversy demonstrate that Robertson is "way out on his own, in a leaking life raft," in another way, that is, that he's seen as a spokesman for the evangelical movement only by those outside the movement?
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© 1995 by David W. Neuendorf
Fifty years ago today, the life work of Alger Hiss came to fruition. Hiss, a US State Department official, served the United Nations as its acting Secretary General during its founding conference in the spring of 1945. On October 24, 1945 the United Nations Charter became effective as a majority of the countries that had signed it ratified their signatures. Several years later, Hiss went to a federal penitentiary for committing perjury when testifying that he was not a Soviet agent. His personal career was over, but his most important work, the United Nations, lived on.
Globalists everywhere are today citing the "accomplishments" of the United Nations during its 50-year life. One of the feats accredited to the UN was the reunification of the Belgian Congo by a UN "peacekeeping" force. Since most of the people I talk to have never heard of this piece of history, it seems appropriate to review it on this anniversary.
The tragedy of Katanga started on June 30, 1960 when Belgium granted independence to its former province of the Congo. Leadership of the new nation fell to Moscow-sponsored terrorist Patrice Lumumba. Lumumba was so highly regarded by Soviet dictator Khrushchev that he renamed the Moscow "Peoples Friendship University" the "Patrice Lumumba Friendship University" upon Lumumba's death. In a directive to the heads of the Congolese provinces, Lumumba wrote that they should use "terrorism, essential to subdue the population." His directive was carried out enthusiastically.
In order to avoid the nightmare that attended Communist rule in the Congo, the province of Katanga declared its independence. Its president, the Christian, pro-American Moise Tshombe, announced that "we are seceding from chaos." Tshombe asked Belgium to send military officers to recruit and train a Katangese army to restore order in Katanga. Lumumba and his successor, Cyrille Adoula, asked for and got the aid of United Nations "peacekeepers" to force Katanga back under Congolese rule. It took two years of UN warmaking to accomplish this goal.
The troops transported to Katanga using US Air Force aircraft came from Ireland, Sweden, Italy, Ethiopia, and India. According to numerous eyewitness accounts, the troops of the UN's Operation Morthor carried on one of the most brutal military campaigns of our century. In their 1962 report, 46 Angry Men, the 46 civilian doctors of Elizabethville, Katanga denounced the atrocities carried out by UN troops.
According to the doctors, the UN consistently bombed, machine-gunned, and looted civilian targets: hospitals, ambulances, churches, schools, homes, cars. "Over ninety percent of the buildings bombed and shelled by the United Nations were strictly civilian structures with no military value," said the doctors' report. After protesting the UN attacks on ambulances, Mr. Georges Olivet of the Swiss Red Cross was murdered by UN troops as he traveled in a Red Cross ambulance.
Worse yet, if possible, was the behavior of Congolese troops supplied and transported by the UN to invade Katanga from the north. Reports of cannibalism, massacre of missionaries and other civilians, and other atrocities were rife. The passage of these UN allies left in its wake complete anarchy in place of the peace and prosperity that had formerly prevailed in that region.
Before and during the two-year UN war against Katanga, the UN insisted that its troops had orders not to interfere with the internal affairs of the Congo or Katanga. Globalists in the Kennedy administration cooperated fully with this propaganda. The whole operation was sold to the American people as necessary to prevent the Congo from "going Communist."
With such a legacy, the UN-boosters in and out of government ought to lie low on this fiftieth United Nations Day. They ought to be hoping that we would forget that we have been inflicted with fifty years of the UN. Instead, they are celebrating the UN's birthday from sea to shining sea. They are openly talking about increasing the ability of the United Nations to conduct "peacekeeping" operations. There is even serious talk among them of giving the UN some powers of taxation. When will we begin to learn from history?
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