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Archive for November, 2011

Below is my review of Danny Hoffman’s fantastic book The War Machines: young men and violence in Sierra Leone and Liberia recently published by Duke University Press.

Malaria in insecure spaces. The first time I heard of Danny Hoffman was at an international conference and it was a fantastic story. Some of the senior academics shook their heads at the risks he had taken, blaming it on his “youth”, but I was rather impressed. My reading was that surviving this situation was dependent on his skillful building of trust and mutual respect with his research subjects: rebel soldiers. Hoffman had caught a serious stroke of malaria whilst being in the deep Sierra Leonean bush with rebel soldiers. He was saved by rebels who carried him across the border to Liberia for medical attention; clearly risking their lives, but thereby saving his.

Respect and research. Sierra Leoneans have quite clear ideas of the “white man”, many are bad; afraid of local people, greedy and arrogant. These qualities are awarded the average UN/INGO-worker, businessman and researcher. Without doubt no Sierra Leonean would risk their life for him/her. There are a few others who escape the bad “white man” category. You hear of them in the streets of Freetown and beyond. Researchers in post-war are many, but surprisingly few are talked of as “good”. Meeting people in the streets of Freetown in post-Hoffman time I can say for certain that he is part of the good ones. As researchers fieldworking sensitive issues knows, mutual respect and trust is absolutely crucial for the outcome – if not we end up doing science on a spectra ranging from semi-truths to outright lies.

Previous reads. It has always inspired me to read Danny Hoffman. He writes exceptionally well. Another advantage of Hoffman is that his texts are extremely varied; he is far from rewriting the same paper time and again. Thematically he has guided us from rational choice perspectives of the Sierra Leone war (Hoffman 2004) to interesting theoretical developments of the Agambean camp (Hoffman 2007) – see also chapter 5 in this book. In the current book Hoffman is taking on yet another challenge.

Hoffman’s Plateaus. This book is principally about “war as a violent mode of participating in today’s global economy” (p. 122) based on an ethnographic material from the Mano River War (primarily Sierra Leone, and to some extent the interrelated conflict in Liberia), but it is also a reading of Deleuze and Guattari’s Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Anti-Oedipus (1983) and A thousand plateaus (1987)) and as such an important theoretical contribution with implications far beyond the Mano River warscape. Although there are many theoretically stimulating parts of the book, the by far most inspiring is how Hoffman consistently uses the work of Deleuze and Guattari as overarching framework; especially the war machine concept. Indeed by doing so he at times bends his ethnography slightly too much, yet still it is great with an anthropologist going beyond eclectic picking pieces of philosophical theory.

Jealousy and praise. I have myself researched the wars in the Mano River region since 1996, starting out in a refugee camp in Côte d’Ivoire, followed by a year fieldwork in Liberia and subsequently two years in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Throughout this time I have focused on young people’s experiences of war and its aftermath. Most of Hoffman’s conclusions fit well with mine. I am slightly jealous: I would have liked to be the author of this fine book. Reading Hoffman I am very much impressed by his close knowledge of the Sierra Leonean Kamajors, both concerning their activities in Sierra Leone and later in Liberia. With a focus on the advent and gradual metamorphosis of the Kamajors, following a plateau-like logic of the Deleuzian and Guattarian war machine this is the most well-informed research on this particular group up to date. But it is going far beyond just an ethnographic study of the Kamajors, and for readers not interested in particularities of Sierra Leone and its war Hoffman offers a rich reading especially of marginal young people’s life predicaments in war zones and structural outcomes of their participation in the war machines that promise theoretical influence and inspiration far beyond Sierra Leone and African warzones.

A teaspoon of critique. Hoffman points out how the wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone (and to some extent also the conflict in Côte d’Ivoire and the unrest in Guinea) have been so entangled that it does not make sense to analyze or discuss them apart, I agree with that and like the way that he initially portrays the Mano River War. However if he promises a broader and more inclusive reading of the wars, the outcome is questionable. First the book is insignificantly about the Liberian part of the war and secondly due to the focus on the Kamajors in the south of Sierra Leone it is also a rather compartmentalized reading of the war in Sierra Leone. Does it make sense to analyze the Kamajors without a tangible RUF, or even the Kamajors without a broader understanding of other hunting militias within the Civil Defence Force (CDF) umbrella? It is not to say that Hoffman is not doing this at all, but it is questionable to say that the book is about the Mano River War. It analyses the Kamajors in the Mano River War. In part the focus on a Kamajor war machine obfuscates a larger reading of political events in Sierra Leone. Hoffman brilliantly shows the political game around the Kamajors, but curtail the same connections and ties for other military players such as RUF, NPRC, AFRC and other actors withon the CDF. In Hoffman’s analysis Kamajor fighters of Southern Sierra Leone are depicted as more victims of circumstances than other militant groups in the country’s civil war; they are described as more human and less part of the hardcore necropolitics of the Mano River War; they are portrayed as less destructive than other military actors. This may indeed be a correct observation, but reserving this special status for them, putting them apart from others makes the motives of other movements such as the RUF unintelligible. If CDF, with Kamajors in particular, is seen as compartmentalized, fragmented and individualized, highly dependent on local factors and leadership, RUF and others are discussed as monolithic. But did not RUF also have its plateaus? Hoffman would certainly answer yes to this question, but it slightly worries me how the book gives the impression that Kamajors exists on a different plateau than the other movements. Below I will pick up some few points among many, which are especially pertinent in Hoffman’s book.

Youth as those not in power. Hoffman follows up Richards’, Abdullah’s and many others influential work on marginalized youth in the Mano River War. He particularly focuses on their violent capacities in rural Sierra Leone, and subsequently in Freetown and in the Liberian capital Monrovia. Here he is taking us well-beyond shallow ideas of idleness and loitering and in fact showing how urban localities function as loci for picking up laborers, both with capacity for violence and not. The city is a form of barracks as he concludes in chapter five. Young men are a kind of population flotante, he observes, borrowing from Janet Roitman and Filip de Boeck, with the “ability to quickly cross the divide between city and bush, and to profit from their mobility between spheres” (p. 188). Chapter six is particularly interesting as he in detail describes the lives in the barracks of what he calls the Hotel Kamajor, an old disused hotel in central Freetown. In this chapter we also see some of the best examples of Hoffman’s ability to capture and describe details.

On production. With Hotel Kamajor and other urban barracks Hoffman adds importantly to our understanding of the production of violence. He describes how violence is not just a strategy, but ought to be seen as a commodity in its own right. Hoffman writes that “[p]roduction without limits is how Deleuze and Guattari characterize the process of production under the real subsumption of labor, and nowhere is it more clearly evident than in the warscape of the West African postcolony” (p. 107). Violence in his reading is entering informal networks based on circulation and exchange and “[a]ccording to capital’s logic of surplus production it becomes interchangeable with diamonds and cash, its values translated into political subjectivity and masculine identity.” (p. 107-108). As I write this I am in Monrovia, observing how the presidential elections unfolds and albeit the country has been spared from electoral violence so far it is clear that also in the postwar the trade of violence as a product is an intricate part of the political game, as parties are buying up networks of former combatants and others embodying violent potentialities centered around ex-generals of the old military factions in so called Battle Cry organizations. It is far more sublime here than in the 2007 general elections in Sierra Leone where the three main parties directly remobilized informal task forces from the three main military factions (Christensen and Utas 2008), but violence it should be observed is also in the post-war traded as a political and economic commodity.

Violent moments. Returning to the warscape Hoffman notes that “young men’s ability to exchange violence (including withholding it) had become key to their participation as subjects in the new postmodern West African landscape” (p. 109) and that for people “[j]oining the CDF and putting one’s body and its capacity for violence into circulation as a tradeable commodity had become the grounds for economic, political, and social being” (p. 112) It was “an emergent form of participation in the global economy” (ibid). Hoffman is doing a very good job connecting the Mano River Wars to global political, economic processes and its forms of governance. Maybe one could be critical to the idea of the war as an emergent form conditioned by postcoloniality and postmodernity only. I would suggest that violent entrepreneurialism rather rests on a long colonial history, and partly (but certainly not solely) linked to pre-colonial structures (see e.g. Argenti 2007). Certainly war was a remodeling and enhancement of social relations under quite extraordinary conditions, but would it not rest on longstanding social logics? I believe that a longer historical gaze would have given a more comprehensive analysis (see e.g. Utas 2009).

Looting as redistribution. Here is yet another point I like, Hoffman takes a fresh gaze on wartime looting. He states that looting “was simply a more efficient mode of distribution than the corrupt and bloated United Nations bureaucracy” (p 109) reiterating a point made by Roitman: “violent appropriation is a modality not only of social mobility but also of social welfare” (ibid). A rather typical standpoint we take is that wartime looting is benefitting only a very limited group of combatants, but if we look into the flows of goods and cash in the Mano River War we see how it frequently found its way to families, regions etc. which had been previously marginalized. Indeed with the logic of war machine even these processes change over time and as flows and alternative production, just as the movement itself, is captured by the establishment the initial redistributive effort is largely quelled and flows redirected to old centra.

Final notes. This is an exceptional read for audience well-beyond war and conflict interested anthropologists. Hoffman has an apt eye, is analytically sass and writes in straightforward prose. The book is richly illustrated with Hoffman’s excellent photos. For those who are particularly interested in Sierra Leone Civil War this book combined with Krijn Peters recently published War and the crisis of youth in Sierra Leone on RUF gives a broader reading of the war, and combined with Chris Coulter’s Bushwives and Girl soldiers (2009) it also functions as a excellent reading of militarized gender in the conflict. 

References:

Argenti, N. (2007). The intestines of the state : youth, violence, and belated histories in the Cameroon grassfields. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.

Christensen, M. M. and M. Utas (2008). “Mercenaries of democracy: The ‘Politricks’ of remobilized combatants in the 2007 general elections, Sierra Leone.” African Affairs 107(429): 515-539.

Coulter, C. (2009). Bush wives and girl soldiers : women’s lives through war and peace in Sierra Leone. Ithaca, Cornell University Press.

Deleuze, G. and F. Guattari (1983). Anti-Oedipus : capitalism and schizophrenia. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press. Deleuze, G. and F. Guattari (1986). Nomadology : the war machine. New York, NY, USA, Semiotext(e).

Deleuze, G. and F. Guattari (1987). A thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press.

Hoffman, D. (2004). “The civilian target in Sierra Leone and Liberia: political power, military strategy, and humanitarian intervention.” African Affairs(103): 211-226.

Hoffman, D. (2007). “The city as barracks: Freetown, Monrovia, and the organization of violence in postcolonial African cities.” Cultural Anthropology 22(3): 400-428.

Peters, K. (2011). War and the crisis of youth in Sierra Leone. Cambridge ; New York London, Cambridge University Press ;International African Institute.

Utas, M. (2009). Malignant organisms: continuities of state-run violence in rural Liberia. Crisis of the state: war and social upheaval. B. Kapferer and B. E. Bertelsen. Oxford, Berghahn Books: 265-291.

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Funny election poster

Most CDC supporters followed the recommendation of their party leader and restrained from voting on November 8. The election results show this with all clarity. After counting all the votes  NEC  showed that Johnson Sirleaf and the Unity Party had received more than 90%. Johnson Sirleaf has declared that she wants an inclusive government working for national unity, and there is clearly a need for this after the election period laying bare such cracks of conflict. Socio-political cracks are twofold: first between different regions within the country, and secondly between those who have and those who have not. These rifts are not new, but where rather central tenets of the civil war as well. For long term stability the Liberian government must in a comprehensive way deal with these issues – something that the UP has during their last period in office by and large failed to do. A further problem appears to be a centralisation of power to the UP. In fact they managed to “buy” up most of the smaller parties, with supporters and all, after the first round, and made deep inroads in the CDC opposition. This appears to be an obstacle for real democratic transition, and critical voices in Monrovia have started talking about the return of the one party state.

Last week I had a longer talk with an expat in the business community. The person has spent much of the last fifteen years in the country and knows both war and peacetime Liberia extremely well. Here are some basic ideas from our chat and some additional observations made be me:

Security. The security situation particularly in Monrovia is of great concern. Currently the security apparatus has less control of the situation than during the years under the Taylor government. The root according to him is extensive poverty where crime of various kinds to many is a way to get by; simply surviving. At present time it is important to underscore that it is far from ex-combatants only who are involved in urban crime. The situation is better in other parts of the country, but in Grand Gedeh there are serious security concerns after armed elements have returned from the unrest in Côte d’Ivoire. It should however be recalled that for some citizens hailing from the Liberian south-east the security provided during the time of Taylor was precarious to the extent that many were not safe travelling in large parts of the country.

Big Men and informal networks. This is a special interest of mine. I have edited a book on the topic, African onflicts and informal power, that will be published by Zed Press early next year. In relation to Anders Themnér’s and my project on former mid-level commanders I will write more about that, but from my discussion with the expat businessman I have a few notes on the politico-economic climate in Monrovia regarding the elections. Around government and ministers there are a number of networks that must be considered in order to make business. This is intimately linking business and politics. In order to be successful you must be part of Johnson Sirleaf’s people. Corruption is still a central concern and in most cases payment under the table is necessary (see below) – it is in many ways the glue of the informal networks. There are still some wealthy businessmen with money originating from the days of Charles Taylor; the Lonestar telecommunication company is the largest. This group of people made their money during the war and under Taylor’s presidency and today have a fragile truce with the UP government. One of the wealthiest Cyril Allen, former chairman of the NPP, did greatly upset Johnson Sirleaf, by sponsoring the CDC election campaign. Allegedly Johnson Sirleaf had promised to help lift his travel ban in case he would support her. Some other pro-Taylor politicians chose to stand as independents in this election (most importantly Daniel Chea and Edwin Snowe – the latter with the formidable slogan “it will Snow”), a sign of their willingness to shift to UP. Taylor’s old party NPP, lead by his wife Jewel Taylor, threw its lot behind CDC in the second round, but my guess is that in a longer perspective many more of the Taylor crowd, his “pepper bush”, will appear on the UP side once Taylor is sentenced by the Special Court for Sierra Leone and his loyalists are ascertained that he will not reappear in Liberia. If he on the other hand will be released, political power will be shifted back to him (and he is still very popular among the people) and some of the assets and profits from within the Taylor business sphere will be awarded Taylor.

Drilling for Liberian oil

Natural resource boom. There is currently a big interest in natural resources and Liberia has the potential of becoming a very wealthy country if they are exploited in a good way. Liberia has however always been plagued by informal deals with big international companies, government officials and a variety of brokers receiving extraordinary profitable deals and money under the table. During the time of the utterly corrupt interim government under Gyude Bryant Liberia started auctioning predominantly off-shore oil concessions (but also one on-shore). A global witness report has unravelled several cases of corruption, and observers with good insights in the business points out that contracts signed with the current government is given much lower income to the government than is normal in the business (the recent deal with Chevron and a Nigerian company has supposedly given Chevron 70% and the Nigerian company 30% of incomes, whilst Liberia is totally left out. In regular contracts the government should receive 20-30% – but now the only income they will get if oil is eventually pumped up is from tax). Similar contracts with much too limited incomes for the government is signed in all sectors of the natural resource market suggesting that government officials involved in signing such contacts are in the receiving end of considerable bribes.

Problems in the bank sector. The Government of Liberia has signalled their interest in boosting the business sector, but this appears to be true only for large companies. In the mean time it is almost impossible for mid-size business to obtain bank loans in Liberia. Even though companies can put land and property as security Liberian banks typically refuses to give out loans. Instead these companies are approached by bank employees informally offering private loans on short term basis. You can receive 2000 USD from a bank employee on a ten days basis and having to pay back 2500. This is seriously hampering the possibilities for smaller companies who are not part of the government “circle”. On the other hand people within this circle can get loans even without any form of security.

Son of the President. Robert Sirleaf is allegedly increasingly involved in all sectors of natural resource extraction (but also demanding bribes from smaller companies). It is believed by some that most large scale deals are brokered by him. He was for instance involved in the recent oil deal with Chevron. Although it should also be acknowledged that Robert Sirleaf is involved in many community development projects, it is interesting to note how yet another son of the President is reaching notoriety. Charles Taylor’s son Chuckie led the feared ATU unit during his father’s presidency and a few years ago he was sentenced to 97 years in US prison for among other things severe torture committed in Liberia. Although economic crime and torture is not the same, crime is crime is crime, as Maggie Thatcher once said.

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Election Riots

The police used their big Guinea whips yesterday (see my previous entry). On November 7, CDC organised a “peaceful” party march intended to show their continued discontent urging people to boycott the election today. It appears to have turned ugly quite quick. The police tried to prevent the protestors to leave the party compound in Tubman Boulevard and started using teargas on the CDCians. The CDC supporters threw rocks and looted private property. The police fired live bullets into the crowd leaving at least one person dead and several wounded (there are a few clips uploaded on youtube). At some stage peacekeeping forces got involved. There are a few issues important to highlight here:

First, as stated in previous entries, CDC has taken the role as the voice of the grassroots. Ordinary Liberians are still very poor, still lead fragile lives and have not seen any real economic improvements since the end of the war and the election of the Unity Party. People see UP, not as a party for Liberians, but as a party catering for a small national elite. As dissatisfaction is rife it does not take much before people start to riot, but it takes good judgement to quell it.

Secondly, the national security apparatus is still too linked to the political party. They typically see their role as protecting the government, those in power, rather than servicing the citizens. The ordinary police officer knows that if a new government takes over, there is a risk that his or her job will be given to somebody with political ties in the new government. Big Man politics plays a prominent role in the government sector. Thus to many police officers (although not all) employed at a opposition demonstration, the opposition is perceived as a threat to his/her income. As in the events yesterday indicates, some police officers took their job a little too personal.

Thirdly, the CDC leadership should have a fair share of critique. They have not acted maturely, but to the contrary been fuelling the frustrations of their supporters. Their so called proofs of election fraud in the first round have not been substantiated. Their critique of the NEC chairman was successful and eventually led to his resignation – they should have celebrated that victory and stopped right there. The CDC is aware that they will lose today’s election and ought thus in a democratic way accept this. Instead they keep manipulating their supporters, maybe with a glimpse of hope that they will scare away opposition voters, delay voting, but more likely as a way of not loosing face. CDC is a weak organisation with a lot of disparate voices and it will be interesting to see their development at the next presidential election. At this point it is hard to see that they would rule Liberia in a better way than Johnson Sirleaf and her UP.

Fourthly, as most political parties have employed former commanders as election campaigners and mobilizers as well as operators of party security, it is quite clear that they are both aware of the capacity of these old war elements and that there could potentially be a need for their violent skills. Glimpses of that were shown yesterday, but the potential is much larger. Let us hope that the logic of democratic violence is not taken any further.

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Off stage politics

The politics of confusion has been ruling Liberia over the last week. Where we in ordinary terms would expect to see a fury of activities with election rallies, heated debates and people in party hats and t-shirts parading the city, there has been little of that. Instead over the last few days CDC supporters with capacity to influence the electorate have openly given their support to the UP in what looks like jumping off a sinking ship in an election that has for outside observers turned into a political charade by the CDC. Meanwhile UP people have been going around in CDC strongholds of Monrovia and beyond with ample promises of local development projects.

Finally yesterday the CDC standard bearer Winston Tubman, at a news conference, called on all CDCians to stay away from the polls on November 8. The reason for the boycott is according to Tubman that the NEC has been unable to address the allegations of fraud in the first round and the committee has not been structurally improved in order to guarantee that the alleged fraud will not repeat itself in the second round. Infighting within the CDC, in combination with that many within the party realise that their chance winning the election is too slim is more likely to be the real reason. One has to remember that the party is dependent on private resources for campaigning and very few economic strongmen would be interested in spending money that will not render any benefits. After all money spent in the Liberian election is seen as an investment in the political economy and with the anticipated outcome that it will multiply. CDC is currently not a worthwhile investment.

Maybe this development is also showing us something more about political life in Liberia. One could suggest that real political power is measured behind the scenes with parties flexing muscles of numbers in rallies and by showing financial strength. In the second round it is especially about adding support from the smaller parties of the first round. Due to strong ties of loyalty between Big Men and their followers politicians are rather certain that a majority will vote the way the leader of their first round party chooses. UP has won that competition by far. Maybe it shows us that the real result is in the game between first and second round played out off stage far from the electorate and the election itself is only there to rubber stamp it especially for the international community. I am also not very keen on having two rounds of voting in situation like this. Unless the parties are financially on par it severely benefits the rich party who can buy over the smaller parties on their side – it is not in the best interest of democracy.

In the few days remaining to the poll date we only have to wait and see how frustrated CDC supporters will react. Will there be CDC organised protest marches in the following days? Will CDCians try to prevent people from voting and will this situation lead to flares of violence and looting of property? This is in many ways dependent on the political maturity of people at the higher level of CDC, but one should remember that they only have nominal control of their electorate which to a considerable extent consists of poor people, in part guided by former commanders from the civil war. Does military command and control still work and if so, how will it be directed? I was hanging out in a Monrovian ghetto today. There people’s thoughts were already well beyond the elections. A police officer smoking his joint told me that the police have bought big whips from Guinea which they will use on unruly people in case of riots. Let’s hope they will not have to.

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Red Eyes

Observers of the wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone typically pointed out how extremely red the eyes of rebel soldiers were. Explanatory factors were typically excessive abuse of alcohol and drugs. I have, in an article on the West Side Boys published in Journal Modern African Studies (46: 3, 2008), written about the concept of making yourself fearful as a deliberate tactic amongst the militia. Here is how a junior commander of the group explained it:

You use Liberian slang, you get a lot of beard, you plait [your hair], you fearful yourself, you know eh? You pull your clothes, wear hot pants and people will know that it is bush he comes from – he is different from those in town. So when you stand up and open fire the people will be afraid. Pa-pa-pa-pa. Yes, you will fearful yourself, so people will say this bad man; I am afraid of him. As you see our car people will say: ‘ah – this is the West Side Boys. They have arrived – they are fearful.’ They will know when we come down from the West Side because they will see a lot of fearful old tubes and old things and so-so fearful weapons. We don’t dress correct. We wear combat uniforms; we wear t-shirts; all kinds of dressing. We fearful ourselves, in that way when you see our bushiness you will be afraid.

In Liberia we have seen similar tactical dressing during the war; from fighting “butt naked”, in life-jackets to donning wedding-dresses, all in order to fearful yourself. I have never really reflected over the red eyes, but when a former commander of one of the Liberian rebel groups yesterday told me that there is a particular leaf in the jungle that you use to fearful yourself, it made perfect sense – the leaf is used to make one’s eyes red.

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I was thinking of my old friend Anthony today when I passed the US embassy. The embassy is increasingly taking over the hill of Mamba Point, the highpoint of downtown Monrovia. I have no idea where Anthony is today, but here I narrate a dream he once had. Entering an imagined Western space would to Anthony [anno 1998], and many other young Liberians, put an end to social suffering, a gaining of personal freedom and indisputable status of next to divine character. Remember that this is a year after the end of the first war and in a city very much in fear of renewed war with the warlord democrat Charles Taylor ruling the country.

When Anthony looks at the moon he can suddenly see a man sitting next to a house. The man appears to be Jesus. He leaves the moon to descend to earth joined by soldiers dressed in white. As it happens he has chosen Monrovia as his destination. The entire Waterside Market is there to welcome him. Jesus walks from Waterside via UN-drive, past Happy Homes, climbing the hill up to the US Embassy on Mamba Point. He enters the embassy compound and sits down with the Ambassador. The crowd is watching as the Ambassador all of a sudden stands up and calls Anthony to come and join them. Jesus, the American Ambassador and my friend Anthony sit down and Jesus tells them in heart-to-heart talk that when time comes he himself will come and rescue everyone. The dream is organized spatially. First Jesus enters the main market area and is greeted by the people. But Jesus does not stop to talk to them. Instead he moves to a space with higher dignity and status, the US Embassy (he passes the EU-compound without a reaction). Now he enters a piece of territory that is not part of Africa but leased by a Western State with a higher order of rank in the mind of Anthony and many others. Here, behind the fence and in rigid security, in place to keep Liberians out, Jesus sits down and talks on equal terms with the US ambassador.

In Anthony’s dream he puts the American on an equal level with Jesus and Liberians much further down. Anthony is chosen as a messenger, a go-between, and included in the important conversation: a role that he was cultivating in his real life as well. I believe that it is not the go-between status that is most important for him, but rather the focus is on the border transgression. (Indeed this transgression is only possible because of his go-between status.) As such he becomes included in the important matters that Liberians in general are only observers of, in the same way as Liberian immigrants are imagined to be included as they enter Europe or North America. Not even a chat with Jesus is impossible. But he concludes with a Christian message from Jesus that even if you are not successful in reaching the confines of the West on judgement day we will all be saved.

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