I do believe that this is very insensitive to the people of Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone was set-up, with British aid, as a free country for people who had been the victim of human trafficking during the transatlantic slave trade. Liberia was set-up, by Americans, for the same purpose.
This cartoon appears to sidestep around the main issues that, by court evidence, it appears that Charles Taylor is an incredibly nasty man who oversaw the acts of slavery (in the pursuit of diamonds; then wealth and military resources), committed war crimes and commissioned the use of child soldiers. Crimes against humanity.
This is something that still has many lasting impacts that are more important to deal with than some grudge held against the ‘western establishment’. Nobody should try to excuse this man.
Some kind of support should be given to the people of Sierra Leone and I hope that, in pursuit of fair judiciary reparations, the ‘blood’ diamonds in question are returned to provide wealth to the bereaved if they are found, in court, to be from Sierra Leone.
Perhaps Liberia should also pay reparations to the people of Sierra Leone, although, I think the simple return of property would achieve the best outcome. Charity could fill the void.
Or Joshua it could be highlighting the duplicity of the western media and how on many occasions they have undermined genuine and positive African leaders and conspired with /created Taylor-esque characters in Africa and beyond. All for the sake of natural resources like diamonds, gold, copper, bauxite, tantalum etc.
Wwhen I say ‘they’ above I refer to our own government and those in the US and France for example. Mobutu and Pinochet being the most obvious examples.
Perhaps you could make a joke about western media in your cartoon instead.
It is still insensitive to the people who were enslaved, or victimised, in Sierra Leone. I think they would believe that if they lived in a ‘western civilisation’ it would be leagues nicer than the atrocities they had to endure simply because of some very bad people. You do not seem to recognise anyone else’s insensitivities. This is just selfishness.
Again, you are trying to excuse Charles Taylor. That is just not in any way amusing. It shows some kind of bitterness that I just don’t understand. You live in this ‘western civilisation’. OBV blog is western media. Did OBV therefore have a hand in the events? Of course not. Please be a bit more specific rather than trying to blame your problems on whatever ‘the bogeyman’ of the world is for you. We cannot all go around being vague in our lives.
This is not the first time I have seen articles attempting to excuse this man. Do you support what he did?
If people sold guns to Charles Taylor it would have been because he was the President of Liberia. Last time I checked you can sell guns to people who are, otherwise, allowed to own them. Americans have the right to own guns but nobody condones, or even expects, them to go shooting the place up and enslaving people from other countries.
Are you saying that some forms of slavery are excusable?
Our own government is made up of people. Blame whichever person made whatever bad decision you claim. You cannot go on blanket-demonising entire establishments because of the mistakes of individuals. I am not blaming Liberia for Charles Taylor. I’m blaming Charles Taylor for the actions of Charles Taylor.
I don’t care if he was, in any way, tempted by anyone. Nasty people like Taylor look for excuses to act in a horrifying and often blame their reasons for such actions on others. You are currently providing the excuses for these people.
All governments have to deal, in some way, with militant dictators who just so happen to run a powerful establishment.
I have seen cartoons on this site that compare the Taliban favourably to the London Establishment. It’s no surprise we have an upsurge of radicalised people.
A link, from this site, to the guardian article supports Hugo Chavez.
Does OBV support him?
Joshua. Let it go. It was satire.
Just because you don’t care about the complicity and financing of Taylor-esque types by western governments and their front organisations, doesn’t mean OBV can’t satirise it during the trial (in part by media) of Taylor.
I stated that western governments have been complicit with the likes of those comparable with Taylor (although he has not been convicted yet so hold your horses) and that western media outlets have been duplicitous on this issue.
That is not an excuse, it is uncovering hypocrisy, contradiction, and double standards. Some of which these goverments have even admitted to. To blame individuals is a cop-out.