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View Diary: Breaking: Charles Taylor found Guilty of 11 War Crimes (44 comments)

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  •  Reminder, Charles Taylor was trained in Libya (6+ / 0-)

    As were the leaders of the Revolutionary United Front which Taylor is now convicted of aiding & abetting.

    Charles Taylor was one of the many future African butchers who received military & terrorist training at Muammar Gaddafi's 'World Revolutionary Center' outside of Benghazi.  

    It was not long after he received a secret warning from the Italian government in April 1986 and narrowly escaped being blown to bits by American bombers that Muammar Gaddafi declared his intention to become Emperor of Africa. What followed as the increasingly erratic Gaddafi pursued his megalomaniacal dream was one of the most obscene and violent episodes in recent African history.

    Drawing recruits from his terrorism camps, Gaddafi trained, armed and dispatched thugs like Charles Taylor and Foday Sankoh to take power in West African countries, initiating the brutal slaughter of innocents in Liberia and Sierra Leone, says David M. Crane, the founding prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. “This was a long-term criminal conspiracy,” says Crane, who is now a professor at Syracuse University, and “[Gaddafi] was the center point.”

    For those who don’t remember, here’s a quick summary of the atrocities that took place in the war in Sierra Leone in the 1990s. In pursuit of diamonds, timber and gold, Sankoh, backed by Taylor, backed by Gaddafi, invaded Sierra Leone and instituted a campaign of terror, cutting off the arms and other body parts of civilians to frighten the country into compliance. Rape was a widespread weapon of war, and according to reporting by one human rights organization, Sankoh’s troops played a game where they would bet on the sex of a baby being carried by a pregnant captive, then cut the fetus out of the woman to determine its gender.

    Sankoh died in custody after the war ended; Taylor is currently being tried by the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Gaddafi is named in Taylor’s indictment, and Taylor has testified to Gaddafi’s involvement. Crane says he found evidence that when Sankoh invaded Sierra Leone, “Libyan special forces were there helping train and assist them tactically and there were Libyan arms in that invasion: he had been involved from the get go.”

    Read more:

    Also in Gaddafi's back pocket was current ICC prisoner Laurent Gbagbo, who until his ouster at the hands of rebels & French-led UN forces last year was President of the Ivory Coast.

    Add to that Idi Amin of Uganda, the Janjaweed of Sudan, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe as amongst the bad actors who flourished & survived thanks to Gaddafi's agents, weapons, and oil wealth over the decades.  With Gaddafi gone, frankly the entire continent has nowhere to go but up and today's news is a fine example of that.

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    by TarantinoDork on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 06:39:25 AM PDT

    •  Important point - Gaddafi trained in state terror (4+ / 0-)

      It is one of the reasons that West African leaders despised Gaddafi and were thrilled when the Libyans and Nato took him out.  I remember reading a Ghanaian or Nigerian newspaper during the Libyan campaign that quoted unnamed West African leaders who said they hoped to see Gaddafi's head paraded around Tripoli in a pike.

      He is to blame for a lot of the instability in West Africa, the Sahel and Uganda.

      I wouldn't lump Gbagbo in that group, however.  That was a much more complicated internal conflict and there was plenty of reason for a near equal number of people from the Ivory Coast to hate Ouattara as to hate Gbagbo.  For example, Ouattara employed Liberian mercenaries on his march on the IC capital and in one massacre those forces massacred as many Ivorians in one weekend as Gbagbo's forces had killed in the whole conflict.  Moreover, Ouattara was an IMF bureaucrat who had wreaked havoc on the IC economy earlier in his career.  

      Similarly, Mugabe remained in power for very complex internal and regional reasons that had little to do with Libya.

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