According to the American patriot, Thomas Paine, “He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent which will reach himself”. These words are even true today because journalist Peter Kieh Doe, who was noted for vigorously defending the status quo by going to the extreme, has now joined those of us who in the past were lumped together as unpatriotic for defending the civil, human and constitutional rights of the Liberian people. Has Mr. Peter Kieh Doe refined his views to adjust to changing times? Or is this a new discovery? I find this quite interesting. However, time will tell!
Regarding the above, let me to quote some of Mr. Peter Kieh Doe’s diatribes against The Perspective and Ms. Musue Noha Haddad, who at the time served on the staff of The Perspective. In an article titled: “The Survival Guide of the Perspective Website and a Photographer”, published Thursday, August 9, 2001 on the AllAboutLiberia.com website of Charles Taylor’s government, Mr. Peter Kieh Doe wrote:
“In today’s world, some people of their own volition must say or do worst things to get what they want. For them, it does not matter whether such approach to life has the propensity to unjustly destroy other people”.
Having made such a profound statement, Mr. Doe went on to exhibit the same practice he said he was against. From here on, you be the judge:
“Writing fairy tales is now an ebullient vocation for photographer Musu [Musue] Haddad and the entire staff of ‘The Perspective’ website including Tom Kamara’s paper grotesquely called New Democrat.
“Certainly, we pity their condition because these individuals cannot really compete to earn a decent living in modern and technological society such as America. So, the only way they can butter their bread is by saying or writing falsehood about Liberia.
“These failed political ‘journalists’ are very desperate to convince western governments that Liberia is not fit for human habitation.
“Fortunately or unfortunately, there are some attentive ears and credulous hearts out there that are interested in any information, which demonizes African governments in general, and the Liberian government in particular. The whole scenario can best be described as a barter system.
“In other words, these failed self-imposed exile Liberian political ‘journalists’ always imagine and then concoct all the crimes in the world arguing that such crimes are committed by the Liberian government”.
I guess, the United Nations too, must have ‘imagined and then concocted all the crimes’ Charles Taylor has been charged of committing!
Continuing his diatribe, Mr. Doe further states: “Reciprocally some western governments simply supply the potluck to these lazy bones and flunkies calling themselves journalists at the ‘Perspective website.’ This is sheer quislingism on the part of The Perspective Website”.
Not surprising and not stopping here, Mr. Peter Kieh Doe aim and personalizes his attacks. Listen to this:
“Ms. Musu [Musue] Noha Haddad, a photographer of ‘The News Newspaper’ in Liberia, currently, residing in America, decided to achieve her life time ambition.
“She wants to become a member of something called ‘Hurbert Humphrey fellowship.’ Musu [Musue] had to give a speech and that speech must contain only the negative things in Liberia as if to say no human being is living in Liberia and nothing positive is in the country. In her harangue, Musu [Musue] said: ‘Press freedom only existed during the Interim government of Dr. Amos Sawyer.
“This assertion made by Musu [Musue] is a lie. Unlike Musu [Musue] and the ‘Perspective’ who presented President Taylor as an outright brute, I cannot say that former Interim President Sawyer is a devil. I have to admit that Dr. Sawyer has his good side. For no human being is a total brute or a total angel. Only a barren mind like Musu [Musue] would argue the forgoing statement to the contrary.
“Nevertheless, it is a fact that the notorious degree 88a promulgated by Sawyer’s predecessor the late President Samuel Doe survived the Sawyer administration. Dr. Sawyer did not repel decree 88a. This draconian decree banned freedom of speech, expression and association.
“…Musu [Musue] further argued that the Liberian government closed the Hirondelle funded Star Radio. Yes, Star Radio has stopped operation in Liberia. Everybody [who are the everybody? My comment!] knows that Star Radio is a political Radio station. It is not a religious Radio station. And it is owned and operated in Liberia by foreigners. Can foreigners create and operate a political Radio station in the heart of Washington, D. C [sic] and or London?
“The Liberian government’s decision to close Star Radio is not a violation of the law of Liberia. The Star Radio issue was put to rest many months ago. So, Musu [Musue], please stop flogging a dead horse. I wish to caution Musu [Musue] to stop calling herself a journalist. Because she is not a journalist. She is only an amateur photographer.
“We are aware that a certain editor who he and Ms. Musu [Musue] Haddad have a social relationship wrote stories and credited those stories with this photographer’s by-line. Musu [Musue] is not even a photojournalist. Probably another male special friend of Musu [Musue] is writing for her in the United States. What a self-deception on the part of Musu [Musue].
I trust by now you have gotten enough of Mr. Peter Kieh Doe’s faulty line of argument; but please bear with me for a moment to add his concluding remarks.
In closing, he wrote:
“…No one in his/her real mind could expect those failed political ‘journalists’ at the so-called Perspective to commend President Taylor for the clemency he granted the three Liberian prisoners. For ‘the Perspective’ never saw the good side of President Taylor and the Liberian government why? The reason is simple: These individuals called ‘The Perspective’ were officials of previous governments in Liberia. They contested the presidency and other public offices during the 1997 elections in Liberia. But they were defeated. You see God does not make mistakes.”
By the way, this is news to my ears! Why would Abraham M. Williams, George H. Nubo and I Siahyonkron J. K. Nyanseor, founders of The Perspective run for the position of President of Liberia and other elected offices in 1997 without knowing anything about it? I wonder why? Perhaps, it is a ‘fairy tale’ or an imagination of Mr. Peter Kieh Doe, the same practice of his that he accused The Perspective and Ms. Haddad of.
Mr. Peter Kieh Doe ended his article in this manner:
“…Finally, let me inform “The Perspective” that deception, lies and mischief will not catapult it to the leadership of Liberia. So Musu [Musue] Haddad/Perspective continue to seek porridge for survival while well-meaning Liberians march forward with reconciliation, peace and national reconstruction”.
As you will notice, Mr. Peter Kieh Doe’s tirade that The Perspective and Ms. Musue Noha Haddad use lies and shrills accusation to debase political discourse in Liberia, is a fascinated exercise in dishonesty, hypocrisy, and irony of unintentional sort. However, “The Survival Guide of the Perspective Website and a Photographer” brought to the debate individuals like Madain Zodoan (who Peter Kieh Doe (aka Bernice S.S. Bernard) accused of being J.G. Bertuah), Alkarlay, and Bernice S.S. Bernard.
In the August 7, 2001 article, titled: “Who Set The Standard?” written by Madain Zodoan, published by The Perspective, Zodoan wrote:
“I read with amusement, Peter Kieh Doe’s platitudes floated on the Internet about The Perspective’s laudable efforts in informing the world about the actual happenings in Liberia, as well as his bizarre invectives, insinuations and barrage of calumnies against one of Liberia’s foremost female journalist, Musue Noha Haddad.
“A popular Liberian parable says when bathing in the bathroom, if a crazy man enters and runs away with your wearing and you run behind him naked, you’ll also be considered as a crazy man. Against this backdrop, I don’t expect The Perspective to dignify the barking of a dying dog. In my view, so is the case with Peter Doe, the notorious street corner writer in Monrovia who’s now floating fallacies on the net for crumbs”.
Although, Mr. Peter Kieh Doe says by his own standard that Ms. Haddad is not a journalist, much more a photojournalist, yet she was declared Journalist of the Year - 1998 by a panel of experts appointed by the Press Union of Liberia in commemoration of World Press Freedom Day that year. Again, in March 2000, another independent panel of experts declared Musue as Photojournalist of the Year - 1999 during a PUL award night. (Culled from: “Who Set The Standard?”)
Ms. Haddad was among the 22 journalists invited in August 1998 by the United States Government to tour the U.S. under its International Visitors Program. In November 1999, Ms. Haddad was part of the delegation that went to Ethiopia at the invitation of the UN Economic Commission for Africa during which she skillfully covered the international women’s conference. “The UN recognized her as Liberia’s foremost female Journalist for which it invited her,” says Zodoan.
Also, Ms. Haddad has earned credential as a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow in journalism from the University of Maryland as well as a prestigious diploma in human rights education from the Columbia University in New York.
Those who are preoccupied with presenting the other side their perception as true, will go to every length to hide the truth about those they dislike or hate. A classic example is while Mr. Doe kept informing his reading audience that Musue was not a journalist, he deliberately chose not to mention that in 1994, Musue earned with honors a diploma in Journalism (for two years of study) from the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ). And while at GIJ, she was awarded the prestigious Nelson Mandela Award as the best student in photojournalism. (Culled from: “Who Set The Standard?”)
Ms. Haddad has since earned a Master’s degree in International Policy and Practice (2006) from George Washington University, and is enrolled in another Master of Education program. (SEE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musue_Noha_Haddad)
As for The Perspective, we are still around doing what we do best since June 1996 providing our local and global audiences with valuable information, while Mr. Peter Kieh Doe’s former boss Charles Taylor was forced to resign his position as President of Liberia, arrested, sent to Sierra Leone, and is now on trial in The Hague, accused of crimes against humanity. Mr. Peter Kieh Doe has, either moved on to serve a new master, or is in the market looking for the highest bidder for his service.
Nevertheless, what prompted me to write this article is, not too long ago while surfing the Internet, I came across an article of Mr. Peter Kieh Doe the ‘sage’ of the defunct AllAboutLiberia.com, who in the past would go to every length to destroy anyone or organization he felt stood in the way of his ‘elephant meat’, is now advocating for a different cause.
This new Peter Kieh Doe seems the slightest bit odd to me, considering a man whose first line of defense was slandering any individual or the opposition who disagreed with the policies of his boss, for which he would debate and defend without real consequences about the issue, and engaged in a political discourse that resembled a “professional wrestling match”. But to my surprise, Mr. Peter Kieh Doe’s article was not filled with his usual distortions, factual errors, and vicious invective slanders. Perhaps, he has come to the realization that “Calling those who point out mistakes ‘unpatriotic’ is in itself ‘unpatriotic’”.
In his most recent article titled: “A round of Battles Over President Johnson-Sirleaf’s Second Term…Setting the Record Straight”, published Thursday, August 23, 2007 on The INQUIRER’s website, Mr. Peter Kieh Doe writes:
“MAY-DAY GREETINGS! I have watched with interest a round of battles triggered by a call by some people from Grand Gedeh County to the effect that President Ellen John-Sirleaf should run for a second presidential term of office. Though President Sirleaf while contesting as a Presidential candidate in 2005, said she could only serve for only one term if she were to be elected. Indeed, she was elected. But during a recent visit to Southeastern Liberia, some people of Grand Gedeh County, requested President Sirleaf to contest a second term of office.
“Commenting on the second term request, the managing Editor of The INQUIRER Newspaper, Mr. Philip N. Wesseh, said that people should be concerned about the need to address issues germane to rebuilding war-ravaged Liberia rather than calling on the President at this time to contest a second term of office. The ink on Wesseh’s article was yet to dry, then a man or woman identified himself/herself in the April 23rd edition of the Daily Observer Newspaper, put the issue aside, and dashed into the gutter.
The writer who is identified as Cherub Zarkpah, wrote:
“Honorable advisor, instead of casting your sight on Grand Gedeh citizens, could you please come home and tell the people of New Kru Town where you grew up and did your primary and secondary education, to stop building zinc round houses without toilets and turn to building concrete houses with toilet, since development is your major concern, because what we see in New Kru Town tends to give one a picture of what is in Sinoe County where majority of the Kru people live.“
To which Peter Kieh Doe gave this response:
“Before I go further, let me correct tribalist ‘Cherub Zarkpah’ of Congo Town or the Daily Observer. There are concrete buildings and toilets in New Kru Town. The entire Kru ethnic group, a Cherub Zarkpah is insulting has produced some of the finest daughters and sons of planet earth. The very President Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf who this ghostwriter is pretending to love so much for which he is insulting Kru people, has a maternal lineage to the Kru people. The world’s soccer legend George Weah is a product of Kru people. Let me stop here because the list is long. So, no toilet in New Kru Town? What an insult! Juah Nimene might be turning in his grave.”
The type of argument that Peter Kieh Doe and now, Cherub Zarkpah of Congo Town has put forward reminds me of the conservative radio and TV personality Sean Hannity is accustomed to by finding everything wrong with being liberal, including his charge that “Liberals train our children to criticize America, not to celebrate it”; to which Al Franken gave this brilliant response:
They don’t get it. We love America just as much as they do. But in a different way. You see, they love America the way a four-year-old loves her mommy. Liberals love America like grown-ups. To a four-year-old, everything Mommy does is wonderful and anyone who criticizes Mommy is bad. Grown-up love means actually understanding what you love, taking the good with the bad, and helping your loved one grow. Love takes attention and work and is the best thing in the world.
That’s why we liberals want America to do the right thing. We know America is the hope of the world, and we love it and want it to do well. We also want it to do good.
When liberals look back on history, we see things we’re very proud of. And we also see some things, which might have seemed like good ideas at the time, but turned out to be mistakes. And some things we did, well, they were just bad. That doesn’t keep us from loving our countryit’s part of loving our country. It’s called honesty. What do you think is more important to a loving relationship: honesty or lies?” (Al Frankel, Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, p. 24)
Like liberals, we who are critical of the policies of our government, love our country Liberia too! That does not mean, we love our country any less than those who blindly support the government’s policies. In this regard, we agree with Mr. Philip N. Wesseh for saying, people “…need to address issues germane to rebuilding war-ravaged Liberia rather than calling on the President at this time to contest a second term of office”. The likes of Cherub Zarkpah of Congo Town, just don’t get it! Peter Kieh Doe has finally gotten it!
I thought to let you know where our new “born again” defender of the rights of our people, Mr. Peter Kieh Doe stands on issues these days. Let’s wish him good luck in his new found crusade!
© 2007 by The Perspective
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