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OPINION: The Inapt Idealism of U.S. Ambassador Elder on Protests by C.O.P in Liberia

Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive” William F. Buckley, Jr.

On July 18, 2019, U.S. Ambassador Christine Elder released a statement calling the strategy by well-meaning Liberians to protest on July 24 through their independence day against a government that is marred in gross incompetence, blatant corruption, economic sabotage, ill-equipped to fix the economy, and wasteful spending as “misplaced.”

It’s pure tranquility for an ambassador sitting in an “ivory tower” with access to one of the best healthcare systems in the world and food on demand to be critical of Africans dying to ‘Save their State’ by any means necessary.

The unashamed looting of Liberia and the disingenuous explanations given by the President of Liberia in response to an investigation that empirically links his Finance Minister and Governor of the Central Bank to economic sabotage went without a retort from Ambassador Elder or the international community.

The statement calling the impending protest “misplaced” shows how little Ambassador Elder knows of an American tradition of protesting on Independence Day as a sign of patriotism.

Is it possible that Ambassador Elder does not understand that the United States was born out of protest?

Need I remind the Ambassador that the words of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, ironically, are words of protest against King George?

The words of the U.S. Declaration of Independence read, “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation”.

Protesting on Independence Day is one of the most patriotic things any well-meaning citizen can and should do for their country. Susan B. Anthony (women’s rights advocate) and abolitionist Frederick Douglass selected the United States Independence Day to challenge the United States of America and its citizens to fulfill the principles outlined in the founding documents.

Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who became a prominent activist

What is Independence Day to 84 percent of Liberians who are food insecure and live on less than US$1.25 per day when Liberia’s “King George” is living lavishly and wants to waste over US$1,000,000 for an independence day celebration that will yield nothing more than empty beer cans in a city besieged with garbage?

On September 15, 2017, thousands of Guatemalans took to the street to protest against President Jimmy Morales and demanded the President step down as the country celebrated its independence from Spain. The protests were in response to massive corruption by the Morales’ government. Is Liberia any different?

Anti-president protests during Guatemala independence

Ambassador Elder or anyone who would characterize the Council of Patriots planned protests as unpatriotic does not understand patriotism. Sitting idly while your country is being looted and taken down a path of destruction is one of the most unpatriotic things anyone could do.

Need I remind Ambassador Elder that on July 2, 2017, two days before the U.S. Independence Day celebration, thousands of Americans, including representatives, gathered in cities across America to protest and call for President Trump’s impeachment?

In L.A., protestors carried A black coffin draped in red, white and blue flowers, topped with a hand-written sign: “The Presidency 1789-2017.” Marking the end of decency in the United States. Today, Liberians are chanting that the hardship they’re experiencing they’ve never experienced such hardship in the past. Is there anything to celebrate when citizens must purchase gasoline for generators at hospitals before receiving treatment?

Like Representative Al Green of Texas stated during the U.S. independence day protest, “people who protest during the Independence Day celebration love their country and are as patriotic as others who chose not to complain.”

Thousands of protestors carry signs during America’s independence day celebration, calling for impeachment hearings against President Trump

The international community, especially the United States, is carelessly sitting by while the underlying issues (corruption, greed, and tribalism) that led to 14 years of civil war continue to percolate and contaminate Liberia. The international community is infamous for waiting until events boil over and lead to bloodshed before they come forth and put out lame and pathetic statements calling for peace.

‘Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their country’ and protest against blatant corruption, incompetence, hardship, and gross mismanagement by King George Weah of Liberia.

Ambassador Elder who was seen socializing with the corrupt leader of Liberia, on the day she issued this statement validates an out of place idealism when she calls the plan protests by Liberians “misplaced.”

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Paul Goldstein

PAUL F. GOLDSTEIN is an avid blogger and investigator in a U.S. based firm probing foreign corruption. Paul investigations focus on foreign corruption, white collar matters, insider trading and securities law. Paul has successfully advised foreign individuals in a wide range of enforcement matters including Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and U.S. Immigration violations.

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