Sunday, 21 September 2014

US troops fighting Ebola in Liberia


Humanitarian intervention, no way


President Obama is sending 3000 US troops to Liberia to fight off a virus that has been plaguing the country and causing social chaos across Liberia and neighboring countries for nearly six months. The Liberian army like  its Sierrea Leonean and Guinean counterparts have been fighting Ebola and its malcontents. Liberian soldiers along with the government have taken some precautions in trying to halt the spread of Ebola. The Liberian government blames illiteracy and the public's own blinding denial of the virus for its rapid spread. President Obama has reassured the American people and wider Western public that no ground troops from the EU or US will be involved in fighting ISIS face to face and mano a mano in Iraq or Syria. The public sees no irony nor raised eyebrows to American troops being deployed to Liberia to fight a low intensity war against Ebola. Why is the US military need to fight a virus? Why wasn't the military deployed to fight against other life threatening diseases such as typhoid, cancer and HIV/AIDs as well? This is reminisce partly to the US government deploying soldiers into Somalia to deliver humanitarian aid to the Somalis. Since when do fully armed soldiers and armored personal carriers are needed for humanitarian intervention? Libya and Syria ring a bell.

Liberia as a whole is pro-American and Liberians greatly respect Americans both civilians and the military. Unlike Somalia, US troops will not be bombarded by rebel forces or any Boko Haram like groups within Liberia. However, Liberians are skeptical and just as surprised about military deployment as Americans. No doubt, the US boots on the ground in Liberia will want to study and experiment to see how Ebola can be defeated before it comes to the US. Also to expand on new vaccines that suddenly appeared after two American doctors were infected with Ebola a few months back.

Rethinking Liberian healthcare delivery system

US Troops in Liberia before

The previous time US troops landed in Liberia was during the final years of Liberia's long 14 year old civil war in 2003, when Liberian people begged in vain for US to intervene to the chagrin of the then President George Bush Jr who downplayed the tearfelt and heart wrenching scenes of Liberians lying their dead relatives in front of the US Embassy for the world to see. The U.S. has used Liberia as a bulwark against the so called communist threat throughout the Cold War Era. The largest radio tower in the world, the Omega Tower was built in the Liberian capital Monrovia in 1950s. The tower served as a radio intercept for spying on Africa and the world for suspected communist activities and sympathies for Soviet Union. Liberia's largest and major international airport Robertsfield was also used an emergency landing post for U.S. military during the early days of the Cold War. Liberia was aligned with the U.S. despite the anti-colonial, non alignment, Third World global movement happening acorns the African continent and within Liberia itself.

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