Tag Archives: Laurent Gbagbo

Because Jesus loves him

 Foreign Policy asks:
Why does James Inhofe support Ivory Coast’s Gbagbo?

(Laurent Gbagbo is the Ivory Coast dictator who’s refused to step down after an internationally monitored democratic election voted him out of office. James Inhofe is the senior United States Senator from Oklahoma.)

Most nations in the world as well as the UN have recognized Gbagbo’s rival as the rightful president of Ivory Coast. There has been terrible violence in that country since the election and it’s apparently okay with Ggagbo because his ego must be fed.

Inhofe’s position starkly contradicts the administration’s policy on the Ivory Coast, where Gbagbo has been widely accused of targeting civilians and opposition supporters during the four month stand-off. U.S., European, U.N., and African Union policy has called for the outgoing president to step down immediately. Today, the U.N. Security Council slapped tough sanctions on his regime, adding to existing American, European, and African sanctions already in place. 

So how did an Oklahoma senator come to support a man that most see as an obstacle to peace in the Ivory Coast?

Salon got the first bite out of this story, reporting that Inhofe and Gbagbo met through a Christian group known as the Fellowship.

The back story of that ‘friendship’ – one also shared by other prominent people in the Christian right – is here.

. . . .[but] one aspect of Gbagbo’s past — and present — has flown under the radar: his longtime ties to the Christian right in the United States, a movement in which he still finds at least some support.

That includes a U.S. senator and acquaintance of Gbagbo who declined to intervene in the crisis when asked by the State Department earlier this year, a former congressman who was hired by Gbagbo as a lobbyist, and a Christian right TV network that ran a fawning profile of Gbagbo, even as violence engulfed Ivory Coast.

Did you get that? A US Senator, when asked by his State Department, to lend his gravitas and personal connections to resolution of a violent dispute, refused. And he refused because he and the bad guy are Evangelical Christians together and sort of buddies, body count be damned. See?

Inhofe disgraces us all.

(A million people have already fled the country; the violence is expected to reach some sort of resolution very soon.)

Pop quiz

POSTED BY ORHAN

This is an open book test. Please answer the following essay questions as completely as possible.

The UN humanitarian intervention in Libya was initiated to prevent Muammar Qaddafi from committing acts of aggression and brutality against “his own people”.

  1. If attacking and killing “one’s own people” is the test for intervention, what will happen when armed rebels fire on supporters of Muammar Qaddafi? Should the UN intervene to prevent them from attacking “their own people”? Why or why not?
  2.  

  3. The leaders of Bahrain and Yemen have also ordered brutal attacks against “their own people”. Should the UN intervene to protect the civilians of these countries? Why or why not?
  4.  

  5. In Ivory Coast, the refusal by Laurent Gbagbo, the loser of the presidential elections, to step down has led to the deaths of hundreds, and soon possibly thousands, of “his own people”. Should the UN carry out a humanitarian intervention to protect the civilians of this country, which is of low strategic value to the West? Why or why not?
  6.  

  7. Democratic aspirations have manifested in Saudi Arabia, currently the most repressive regime in the Middle East. Containing the world’s largest oil reserves and of supreme strategic importance, Saudi Arabia is America’s oldest ally in the region. If, in the event of a democratic uprising, the Saudi government attacks “its own people” to suppress the democratic movement, should the UN intervene to protect the civilians of this country? Why or why not?
  8.  

Extra Credit:

  1. If the capability existed in 1861, should the international community have intervened to prevent Abraham Lincoln from using violence to prevent secession by “his own people”? Why or why not?

All pencils down.