Why Is Government Playing with Fire?

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Did President Sirleaf, Finance Minister Kamara, Defense Minister Samukai, Justice Minister Cherue and Police Director Massaquoi read the Daily Observer’s front page story last Thursday? We surely hope they did.

The story reported that officers of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) said they were now getting irritated over the manner in which the government of Liberia (GOL) and the Police authorities were treating them, and were planning a strike action that could paralyze normal activities in the country. The aim:
To put pressure on GOL to settle their May and June salary arrears and address other issues concerning their welfare.

Let us face it: If GOL thinks the Daily Observer is trying to stir up unnecessary trouble, listen to this: GOL even played carelessly with the June 27 visit of President Barrack Obama’s wife, American First Lady Michelle Obama, her two daughters and their grandmother.

The ERU officers assigned to that high profile visit were each promised a US$20 allowance. Two weeks following the visit, they have not yet been paid. How more reckless can a government get?

Thankfully, the Americans know better than to leave the security of their high profile officials to chance anywhere in the world. The US President, his wife, the Secretaries of State and other top officials are always protected by their own security. Before they arrive anywhere, the US security forces have combed the area and a full force of US security personnel is deployed. There are lines which even top local security cannot cross.

Why do we have to say all this, when all our readers, perhaps most Liberians know that we are talking about a very serious country, the United States of America, the world’s only super power?

To demonstrate how serious a people the Americans are, who remembers, or has even heard one letter that changed the world? It was a letter that the German refugee, Albert Einstein, wrote to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939, the year after Einstein, the Nobel Prize-winning German-Jewish scientist, fled Nazi Germany for the USA.

Hitler, Nazi Germany’s belligerent Chancellor, had just started World War II.

On August 2, 1939, Einstein wrote a letter to President Roosevelt telling him that a few scientists thought they had found the nuclear secret and could develop a nuclear bomb. Einstein warned that the Germans, too, were working on a nuclear bomb and that if the Germans got it first, the rest of the world would be finished.

President Roosevelt, like a typically serious American, did not put Einstein’s letter on the shelf. He told his Military Advisor, Edwin M. Watson, “This requires action.”

The result was the Manhattan Project, and work immediately commenced on the making of an atomic bomb, far away in the Arizona desert. Meanwhile, on December 7, 1941 President Roosevelt was having lunch when he received word that Japan had attacked America’s prime naval base, Pearl Harbor.

That prompted the United States immediately to enter World War II.

On July 16, 1945 America successfully tested the atomic bomb in Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA. As the Japanese continued their ferocious fight against the Americans, and President Roosevelt now deceased, President Harry Truman approved the use of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, on
August 6, 1945. As the Japanese continued fighting, the second A-bomb was unleashed three days later on Nagasaki. Each bomb killed tens of thousands of people, leaving the cities utterly devastated. The Japanese immediately surrendered and the Americans took complete control of Japan, which was now called “Occupied Japan.”

The highly successful D-Day landing of the Allied Forces at Normandy, France on June 6, 1944 was too much for Adolph Hitler. He committed suicide on April 30, 1945. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki sealed the fate of the Axis Powers—Germany, Italy and Japan. World War II was over!

Why did we go through all that? Only to demonstrate the importance of SERIOUSNESS in everything we undertake. So we ask, is the Liberian government serious about national security? If so, how is it possible that moments following the departure of UNMIL, GOL is found several months in areas with its key security forces—the AFL, LNP and BIN?

The President and all her top officials—Defense, Finance, Justice—need to resolve this crisis very seriously, by finding the money and paying our security forces immediately.

Can GOL afford a mutiny (rebellion) from any of our security forces? The ERU officers have already announced that they are planning a strike action. Let this not happen! But the only way to prevent it is to PAY THE SECURITY FORCES THEIR MONEY.

GOL must STOP playing with fire.

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