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President Bush awards Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House last year.

Can Johnson Sirleaf parlay President Bush's visit into a special

treaty with the United States and billions of dollar in new aid?

 

 

The Analyst, Liberia

An Open Letter to President

Johnson-Sirleaf: Capitalize

On Rare Proximity to Bush

 

"Demonstrate the extent of Liberia's downtrodden stature, so that friendly nations consider helping to accelerate its growth and development in terms of billions rather than millions."

 

EDITORIAL

 

February 14, 2008

 

Liberia - The Analyst - Original Article (English)

Bush's African Itinerary

Your Excellency,

 

The word has gone forth that your foreign contacts are about to bear major fruit. You will soon host the holder of the world's highest office, President George Walker Bush of the United States of America. In the footsteps of Joseph Jenkins Roberts [The first and seventh president of Liberia ] who left no stone unturned to establish Liberia within the comity of nations, you have used your travels to secure fresh recognition for this republic, a nation that had been a battleground for belligerent forces of greed and power. You have emphasized and pursued the improvement of our nation's image and the acceptance of the nation and its people as credible members of the international system. With news of the pending visit radiating everywhere, you have substantially succeeded in achieving the targets of your government's foreign policy. WORLDMEETS.US

 

With the well-received announcement of this visit - arranged despite our country's meager size and population and for the overall good of the nation - now is the moment to capitalize on proximity to the U.S. President. In this regard, we wish that beyond the goodwill and recognition that the visit will bring you personally, it must be re-emphasized to the Americans that friendship between an industrialized country and an impoverished and heavily indebted one cannot be meaningful, as long as the livelihood of the impoverished partner's citizens remain entrenched in dire poverty.

 

President Bush must be reminded that this war-ravaged nation cherishes his visit as a significant symbiotic milestone in relations. But he must also be told of the fact that in the aftermath of war, the condition of this nation is worse by far than it was in 1959, when then Vice President Richard Millhouse Nixon commented on Liberia's shocking underdevelopment.

 

Demonstrate the extent of Liberia's downtrodden stature, so that friendly nations consider helping to accelerate its growth and development in terms of billions rather than millions. Justify your position: show the miles of unpaved roads that prevent our rich forest and garden harvests from reaching so-called urban areas - none of which enjoy regular use of technologies such as electricity and safe drinking water.

Tell the world's most powerful leader that Liberian development is stymied by a lack of adequately trained and educated people, which almost always means we must resort to nationals of other nations to fill the void. Show him the level of illiteracy, which effectively blocks any plans for rapid development, and which results in widespread corruption, and a divisiveness based on sectional proclivities. WORLDMEETS.US

 

Tell the American President that Liberia needs more than one shabbily funded public university. Please tell him that our people have an unshakable desire to secure the benefits of Western civilization and the kind of education provided for at universities with Ivy-League funding.

 

 

This must be expressed in terms of the goals set forth by the pioneers who founded our nation, who came from America in the 1800s . Indeed. Our forbears considered it a sacred duty to advance Western civilization to the furthermost parts of the continent - which was at the time called the Dark Continent. This lofty mission has long been in limbo, with the hinterland of our nation kept in relative seclusion for the last century and a half. Tell Bush that you were elected to eliminate the distinctions between social, political and economic status and well as regions and sex. Tell him that achieving such a lofty goal will require an enlightened citizenry trained at various professional and vocational institutions.

 

With the third-ever visit of a sitting U.S. President, who will soon recline in the great halls of the Executive Mansion, he must be prevailed upon to issue a special order creating a special relationship with the United States. This would entail Liberia's direct recognition as a key ally based on the historic ties between our nations - which are on a par with regions like Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands - Liberians who seek to secure an American education should have few if any immigration restrictions. WORLDMEETS.US

 

We offer you these suggestions as food for thought in preparation of the historic hosting of President Bush. Far from the memorable photo-taking and public events that will occur, let this once-in-a-lifetime experience for our small nation be a moment for you to capitalize on and to spur the revitalization of all spheres of our country.

 

Again, thank you for listening to our suggestions on a visit that will raise Liberia's profile. It promised to transform its image from one of pariah and failed state to one of a most-favored nation. We must now prepare for a diplomatic marathon. Educate and sensitize your people for the extraordinary benefits that will accrue after President George Walker Bush's historic visit.

 

Although the arrival of President Bush is still days away, we intend to put you in the mood and help you prepare to put the right cards before him. We aren't oblivious to the fact that President Bush is leaving office, but we are sure that he still has a few days left to act in Liberia's interest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[WORLDMEETS.US Posted February 17, 3:40am]











































The East African nation of Liberia: Founded by freed American slaves in 1822.

Population: 3.2 million

43,000 square miles

—BBC NEWS VIDEO: President Bush 'avoides Africa's hot spots' - but sends Condi Rice to Kenya, Feb. 16, 00:02:13, WindowsVideo

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Decked out in dresses bearing the image of President George W. Bush, Tanzanian women take part in arrival ceremonies Feb 16.


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