I Just Don’t Understand…

Source: Charles Taylor Sentenced to 50 Years for War Crimes – NYTimes.com.

I just don’t understand why the continent of Africa is so prone to these types of things.  Taylor was found guilty of atrocities committed in Sierra Leone during its civil war in the 1990s. I am ashamed to say that I only vaguely remember the Sierra Leone slaughter. I can make excuses like “I was just so busy in the 90s I didn’t have time” but that doesn’t excuse the fact that I along with millions of others stood by and just let it happen with hardly a peep from us.

Mr. Taylor did not speak at the sentencing on Wednesday, but in a hearing earlier this month he offered his sympathy – but not an apology – to the victims and their families for a gruesome conflict that left an estimated 50,000 dead. “I express my sadness and sympathy for crimes suffered by individuals and families in Sierra Leone,” Mr. Taylor said during a roughly 30-minute address to the court.

But he also defended himself and seemed to explain his actions in the context of a desire for regional stability. “What I did was done with honor,” he said. “I was convinced that unless there was peace in Sierra Leone, Liberia would not be able to move forward.”

Just to look at the man and hear his comments it doesn’t seem like he is as evil as he should appear to be? He  basically said he thought he was doing something for the greater good but I kind of doubt that that was the only  or even the primary thing on his mind during that period. The old saying that “power corrupts and absolute power absolutely corrupts” probably applies here like it does in most situations of this kind.  It just seems that Africa is more prone to these types of guys than other continents. Maybe because the nations of Africa seem to be so disorganized that makes this happen? I just don’t know.

But what I do know is that when one person kills another for any reason he is extinguishing a small flicker of God that we all possess. Almost everyone says that they are religious or at least spiritual. To my knowledge all the religions of the world have as a basic tenet of love of your fellow man. Why can’t we get that through our thick heads?

But what do I know….

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