Skip to content

Of warlords, Judaism, and cell phone porn

July 8, 2009

Glenna Gordon has an impressive exclusive in Foreign Policy today, an interview with Liberian warlord-turned-senator Prince Johnson. One of my favorite parts of the interview is that Other (Bigger?) Warlord Charles Taylor’s then-recent conversion to Judaism came up: Johnson implied the conversion was self-serving, because Taylor thinks American leaders are Jews…while Johnson’s own, two-graphs earlier acceptance of Jesus was obviously totally sincere. If only either of them realized that a religious affiliation isn’t going to get you off the hook w/ the Western human rights community…

Who was Johnson? Gordon puts it this way: “In 1990, Doe — then Liberia’s president — was tortured and executed. A videotape of the ordeal was distributed to news stations around the world. It showed Johnson sitting at a table and sipping a beer while Doe’s ear was being cut off.”

Then Johnson did the usual–leading rebels, raping, pillaging.

What does Johnson have to say about what he did?:

I sleep sound; I sleep good. I snore.

What are the lessons of leadership we can learn from Johnson?: “Wisdom is a gift from God…. If you want to move forward, you can’t look back. Jesus never looked back.”

He also makes an argument that the TRC failed Liberia because it didn’t bring perpetrators and victims together. I don’t know much about the TRC or how it operated, and you can check out the interview and see if I’m just being uncharitable when I say the criticism sounds self-serving. But it is, alas, ever a concern about these transitional mechanisms.

It took Gordon three days of waiting to get the photo, during which: “political types [were] drinking beer and arguing before noon, and one of the ladies selling sodas was watching a clip of porn on repeat on her phone.”

Check out the pictures of the place as she waited around; I love the plastic chairs tumbling into a Victorian-style couch. This is so quintessentially it.

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: