Leymah Gbowee is a remarkably charming woman. Brings me back to something I heard Ivan Marovic said. That revolution should be fun. She was part of the movement that overthrew the psychotic and gratuitous butcher Charles Taylor and is now tasked with pushing reconciliation.
On Jon Stewart’s show she emphasized how it was hard, how killers and rapists had to live side by side with their victims and families of.
It’s telling because she understands the complexity, doesn’t black or white the issues into good and bad, and looks set to work towards it in non-punitive ways. At the core of it is a loyalty and love for Liberia. There are people on the ground working for reconciliation in Sri Lanka, but there are a few on the sidelines calling for punishment for Mahinda Rajapaksa like he’s Chuck Taylor. Which he’s not. Taylor ran under the slogan “He killed my ma, he killed my pa, but I will vote for him”, recruited child soldiers, etc. If anything, Taylor was Prabhakaran.
The Liberian system is still flawed, even the current President was called to step down under their Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which she’s diverted and tried to overrule. What strikes me is Gbowee’s understanding that this is a Herculean task, and her still having the courage to put her shoulder to the wheel. She’s not abroad tearing down her country. She’s working within her home to make it better, and she does it with pride and charm.