July 12, 2003 - The Oregonian: RPCV Ralph Cohen says no quick military fix in Liberia

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2003: July 2003 Peace Corps Headlines: July 12, 2003 - The Oregonian: RPCV Ralph Cohen says no quick military fix in Liberia

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, July 12, 2003 - 1:20 pm: Edit Post

RPCV Ralph Cohen says no quick military fix in Liberia

Read and comment on this letter to the editor of the Oregonian from RPCV Ralph Cohen who says there is no quick military fix in Liberia at:

No quick military fix in Liberia*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

No quick military fix in Liberia


Regarding the July 5 article, "U.S. sending team to Liberia," as a Peace Corps volunteer, I spent much of my two years in the interior of Liberia.

Liberia was, when founded and until the coup, ruled by a 5 percent minority of slave descendants. Their greed and disdain for the rest of the populace was apparent.

American 20th century interest was primarily about strategy (World War II airfield), Cold War communications (Voice of America), religion (missionaries of all persuasions) and commercial interests.

If the U.S. government goes into Liberia now, what is our mission? Is it to stabilize the country and put the descendants back in power, preserving the original status quo so they can continue to plunder the country?

Or is it to try to finally bring all Liberians into the circle of representative government and use the wealth to provide basics such as uncontaminated drinking water, basic sanitation, electricity, paved roads beyond Monrovia and schooling for children to be productive?

The deeper problems in Liberia won't be solved by a quick military action.

RALPH COHEN Southwest Portland

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