When Liberian dictator Charles Taylor was convicted by the International Criminal Court this week of committing, aiding, and abetting crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone’s civil war, it was widely regarded as an overdue act of justice. But it was also an opportunity to reflect on the many other alleged war criminals still awaiting their day in court.
Welcome to TNR’s 2011 list issue. Last week we named DC's most over-covered stories, most over-rated thinkers, most powerful, least famous people, TNR's favorite people and the worst words in Washington. Today's installment: DC's sell-outs. EVAN BAYH When Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh announced that he did not intend to run for office in 2010, on the eve of the deadline for the primaries—despite pleas from both President Obama and Rahm Emanuel to stay in the race—he opened up another Senate seat for Republicans and left Democrats scrambling.
When Laurent Gbagbo was dragged out of his hole beneath the presidential residence in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, wearing a white vest and a bemused expression, it seemed on the surface a fitting end to his country’s miserable post-election stalemate. The recalcitrant strongman who would not step down was humbled, but not dead.
Freetown, Sierra Leone—Twelve days ago, I rode on the back of a motorbike through the forests of Grand Gedeh County in eastern Liberia to a remote crossing point on the border with Ivory Coast. On the Liberian side were jumpy Bangladeshi peacekeepers who stood close by local security forces wearing blue fatigues and coalscuttle helmets. On the Ivorian side were the rebels of the Republican Forces, who support Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized winner of Ivory Coast’s disputed presidential election last year.
[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] Last week, I wrote an item criticizing Lanny Davis for representing the government of the Ivory Coast. That government has recently been accused of ignoring election results and clinging to power illegitimately. Davis sent TNR the following in response to my post: I am responding to a factually inaccurate assertion in an opinion commentary posted by Isaac Chotiner on this blog last week. Mr.
[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] In one of the least surprising stories ever reported, it appears that Clinton-era hack Lanny Davis is shilling for a dictator. Anyone who has followed Davis' career with even passing notice will find this to be less noteable than the sun rising every morning. But Davis' rationalizations to the Times are beneath even his standards, and thus deserve some attention. Davis' client here is Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, who has clung to power despite losing an election last month.
Outside the Hotel Ivoire in Abidjan, Cte d'Ivoire's main city, loyalist youths recently milled around the site where as many as ten protestors were killed days earlier in a confrontation with French peacekeepers. As I began talking to one of the young men--a member of the self-styled Young Patriots movement of pro-government militants--a small crowd quickly gathered, watching me closely. Fortunately, I passed the initial nationality test.