In an airplane the yoke is used to steer right and left and also to increase or decrease altitude. Pull the yoke back and the plane climbs higher; push forward to descend. When speeding along the runway the yoke is pulled back which enables the aircraft to lift and fly. I personally, as a Pilot, always look forward to that instant when the front wheels leave the ground…it’s exhilarating!

There comes a moment when it is absolutely necessary that the yoke of life is pulled back in order to climb to higher heights. Liberia, for the past 163 years, has been speeding along the runway of time but never lifting off the ground. Perhaps we have been unwilling or afraid to pull back the yoke until now. This generation will lift Liberia above the cloud of mediocrity, backwardness, illiteracy, corruption, poverty, ignorance and disease. There will be resistance, but the forces of CHANGE shall prevail! Log into TQ Harris
Vision for Liberia:

The 2011 elections will be meaningless if Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and others listed in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) report are allowed to participate without first addressing allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity. If this issue is not properly resolved, it is likely that gains made thus far might be reversed. Liberians are sick and tired of dealing with individuals who have no respect for rule of law and we are not going to take it any more!!!

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and those listed in the TRC report must be told in no uncertain terms that the issue of war crimes and crimes against humanity is not going away regardless of how many threats they make. They must account for their role in the rape, torture and murder of more than 300,000 Liberians!

Is there anyone who believed Charles Taylor would be forcibly removed from the Presidency and taken to jail for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone; while persons accused of identical crimes in Liberia not face justice? Is it conceivable Liberians could be restrained from taking action against those responsible for the carnage, now that Chucky Taylor has been sentenced to 97 years imprisonment by the U.S. Government? Did Ellen and the others truly believe Dr. George S. Boley, Sr. would be dragged into U.S. Court to account for his role in the atrocities; while they parade themselves as respectable political leaders? This is the kind of selective justice that often leads to all-out violence and impedes Africa’s progress.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been generous in giving Ellen Johnson Sirleaf an excellent opportunity to gracefully extricate herself from her quagmire. It would be unwise were she not to exploit it to the fullest. Not being allowed to hold public office does not prevent Ellen from serving her country if she so desires. By rejecting the TRC recommendations she risks a full blown trial and all that comes with it. If Ellen insists, she will be given the opportunity in a court of law to prove her innocence. However, I hasten to remind President Johnson Sirleaf of her predecessors – Presidents Doe and Taylor – who refused to heed the warnings and ended up facing disastrous consequences.

To those who believe all is well…that Liberia is back; I must warn you, there is likely to be severe turbulence ahead! The fact that those who wrecked this nation are still playing hardball is a clear indication we are a long ways from landing.

For much of this country’s history critical decisions have favored a few rather than the majority. As a result, illiteracy is high; unemployment is high; sickness & disease is high; poverty is widespread; corruption is rampant; and, Rule of Law is nonexistent. Those bearing the greatest responsibility for the mass destruction of lives and properties between 1989 and 2003 must face justice!!

If the cold-blooded murder of 250,000 defenseless men, women and children is not resolved Liberia will inevitably experience a repeat of the senseless violence. This we must not allow!

To the international partners, we ask; what is most important: protecting the interests of a select few, or ensuring the safety of the larger population? If the interests of the majority are paramount – as it ought to be – then you must support the formation of a Special Court, Screening of Candidates for the 2011 elections, and Funding the Opposition. Without this, Liberia will continue to be a violent, lawless nation and the epic center of instability within the West African sub-region.


The Author: T. Q. Harris, Jr. is a member of the Free Democratic Party (of Liberia) who is expected to be a Presidential candidate in the 2011 Election. Mr. Harris in 1997 was the Vice Presidential nominee of his Party. He is currently the Chairman of Liberian Contempt UPS. To get more information:;;; and Phone: (562) 256-4271 Liberia: (231) 6 538827

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