How’s the State Department’s constructive engagement working? About as well as it worked in the 1980s with South Africa. From the Wash Post and AP:
An anti-gay group in Liberia distributed fliers over the weekend with a hit list of people who support gay rights, and one member of the group threatened to “get to them one by one.”
“We will get to them one by one,” Tapleh said. “They want to spoil our country.”
Asked what specific action might be taken against those on the list, he said they could be subjected to “dangerous punishments” including “flogging and death.”
I’d love to introduce that guy to an unmanned drone.
And this was really helpful:
The U.S. Embassy in Monrovia has kept quiet throughout Liberia’s gay rights debate. In an interview last week, David Bruce Wharton, deputy assistant secretary for public diplomacy in the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs, said by phone from Washington that the department was wary of being seen as “seeking to impose Western values on more conservative African societies.”
Rather than the appearance of tacitly condoning murder, maybe the State Department could note that Western values ARE being imposed on Liberia, by those targeting the gays. It’s Western religious right groups, led by white people, who came to Africa and helped foment the current anti-gay-gasm. What we are seeing in Liberia is Western culture at its worst.
To be fair, State did finally speak out the other week. But far more is needed. If Secretary Clinton was serious about making gay civil rights a part of US foreign policy, she needs to figure out how to clean up this. And maybe it’s time the US started naming names, calling out the white-led US hate groups that have caused much of the damage in Africa. And it’s not just hate groups. All of this ties back to Republicans in Congress.