Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Good Start....

Amidst all the nastiness and cynicism about international affairs right now, it's easy to overlook the good things when they happen. A little over two years ago, this was the scene at the U.S. embassy in Monrovia, Liberia. Here's another photo taken at the same time, just outside the embassy gate. It was---and still is---one of the most dangerous places on the planet.

Over the weekend, this happened in Liberia as Laura Bush and Condoleezza Rice looked on.

While we're focused on Iraq and Iran, we ignore places like Liberia at our peril. Can anyone look at this photo and not think it's a perfect breeding ground and potential safe haven for international terrorism? And if self-preservation isn't compelling enough, maybe the wallet is: Liberia, the DRC, and other third world African cauldrons are teeming with the natural resources that our fiscal and monetary policy have made exponentially more valuable. China knows this and has been pursuing relationships aggressively across the continent.

This past weekend was just a start for Liberians, but a good one nonetheless. Now comes the hard work, for them and for us.

37 Comments:

Anonymous scott_api said...

Say what you want about the Administration, and mostly what I say is negative, but they sent the Secretary of State and the First Lady (and I believe at least one of the first daughters) to this inauguration. That, along with the US Navy flying the flag off their coast was (and is) a positive gesture. As TCR said, it's a good start.

1/17/2006 11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Past experience tell me they'll drop this ball.
Nice photo-op tho.

1/17/2006 2:51 PM  
Anonymous howard said...

i'll buy the "good start" as well, but TCR points to a far more important issue: if we think that "failed states" are terrorist breeding grounds, then imagine what Africa is going to look like in 20 years, when the AIDS-orphaned generation comes of age. Is anyone in either party concerned about this?

1/17/2006 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

West Africa, and specifically Liberia and Sierra Leone are already safe havens for international terrorists and an important source of financing. Search about a bit on "conflict diamonds" for more.

DoD is already planning and procuring ships to use in future conflicts over oil in West Africa, as their share of our imports increases. Search for "littoral combat ship".

1/18/2006 9:04 AM  
Anonymous J Thomas said...

This is pleasant news, but how is it more than just another photo op?

1/18/2006 12:39 PM  
Anonymous kindness said...

I am also happy for news that is more positive than we see more commonly.

Off thread - TCR, What do you think about the Tokyo Stock Exchange meltdown yesterday? Does their tech scandle have legs to cross time-zones?

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