Thursday, October 4, 2012

Why Lewis Brown Must Not Speak To The Forum

I am very disappointed to learn that Liberia's Information Minister, Lewis Brown, will address the Independent Intellectual Forum this weekend in Philadelphia. Mr. Brown, the highly-acclaimed propaganda chief  and intellectual mastermind of the brutal NPFL and its offshoot, the tyrannical NPP regime, is ill-qualify to address a community that bore the brunt of years of torture, destruction and deaths at the hands of Mr. Brown's criminal outfits. 

I admire the works of the energetic leaders of the Forum. I believe that the Forum represents one of the best venues for the expression and cross-fertilization of views and new ideas. However, I do not believe the Forum should set itself up for unneeded controversies by inviting individuals who either have the blood of the innocents on their hands or individuals who have justified or continue to justify the Liberian genocide no matter how long ago their sins occur. For Mr. Brown, he has never repented and does not anticipate going in that direction.

Let's keep in mind that Mr. Brown was no small fish or a mere, helpless Spokesman trapped in Gbarnga and later Monrovia against his will. He was no pawn, not by any measure. Mr. Brown was an important Spokesman and senior official of the NPFL and subsequently the makeshift NPRAG government headquartered in Gbarnga. He participated in meetings and strategy sessions in which life and death decisions were made. He made important inputs on who and which group of people will live and which group will die. Throughout this time period, Mr. Brown justified or at least had to ignore the massive killings in Butuo, Bahn, Karnplay, Sanniquellie, Barkedu, Bong Mines, Dupo Road among others. If he were not complacent and felt repugnant, Mr. Brown had the honorable option of resigning from the NPFL or the NPRAG or the NPP. He did neither. As we write at this very moment, Mr. Brown is a card-carrying member of the NPP, a Party whose boss unleashed murder and mayhem throughout the Liberian nation-state. 

How soon have we forgotten that it was policies orchestrated by the likes of Mr. Brown that led to the destruction of Mosques, Churches and other religious sanctuaries? How soon have we forgotten that it was policies contrived and justified by Mr. Brown that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of our people? The International Community and the U.S. government was right for placing Mr. Brown and many of his affiliates on travel ban several years ago. By the same token, they were wrong for taking Mr. Brown and his cohorts off that list. The community must not only talk the talk. We must also walk the walk. We owe it to the numerous victims of the unspeakable horrors of our uncivil war to reject one of the leaders of the Liberian terror and genocide. I therefore call on the Independent Intellectual Forum to withdraw its invitation and deny Mr. Brown the glamorous platform. To do otherwise will be rewarding Mr. Brown for ably destroying our country and people. Might does not make Right.

Mohamed Sherif



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