Liberia Update

Check out this Spiegel Online article about the current state of Liberia and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s first year in office.  She’s the first elected female head of state in Africa, and you can see a cult of personality developing around her reminiscent of any number of male dictators who were extremely popular before their rotten cores showed, at which point they were thoroughly entrenched.  If she were a man I’d be highly cynical right now, giving her administration a few years before it falls into the same pattern as so many others.  But maybe she’ll be different.

Charles Taylor remains in the Hague.  His trial begins in April.  Meanwhile his son, former head of the atrocious Anti-Terrorism Unit during the war, is under arrest here in the U.S.  Chuckie is an American citizen and is the first person to be arrested under a 1994 law that makes it illegal to commit torture abroad.  A conviction there would not only be justice for Chuckie, but would provide some legal traction against the weak-minded scoundrels who refuse to close the door on torture as an instrument of U.S. policy.