Charles Taylor Civil War Analysis

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"Mathias, come over here!" shouted my commander, a stern man and one of the largest native-born Israelis I've ever encountered. As Mathis ran over to our group of instructors my commander asked if any of us knew who he was. We looked amongst ourselves and did not know what to make of his inquiry. He was the class clown of the group. His mannerisms were jovial and light-hearted; he would lead the trainees in cadence and song to start each morning. Physically, Mathis couldn't be further from imposing; he was scrawny and comparatively unskilled when evaluated against the others. As he reached us his limbs snapped to attention at his side and he furnished a faint, crooked smile, waiting as my commander set down his coffee before posing his question. …show more content…
Mathis, the class clown and the least assuming of the men I was training, was known as General Death during Charles Taylor's Civil War in Liberia. This name was earned through countless war crimes, the full array of which I can only speculate. The astonishment of this realization prompted me to take on the role of an amateur anthropologist and probe those willing to express their involvement and experiences. Surprising numbers of aggressors were disposed to respond. My regular taxi driver, Ibrahim, for instance, told me of his participation in the conflict and the roadblocks he and his fellow soldiers established with the entrails of slain victims (occasionally enemy combatants, often hapless civilians). Upon earning his trust, he openly began confessing everything his past held. Ibrahim’s was a war of scarcity; petrified of not having enough, he complied with every order given to him by Taylor’s men, eventually being inducted as a child-soldier. On the surface, this man, like so many in Liberia, was a war criminal; however, beneath he was a victim who had realized his mistakes and regretted them deeply. Wanting only to mend the wounds he had created, he volunteered at a nearby school and worked tirelessly in an effort to right his …show more content…
Resolving conflict, one by one, is all it takes to do so. Having served as a medic my entire adult life, my background is one of compassion and I learned the skills necessary to sort through chaos in a methodical manner to do the most good. Extensive study of international relations and the psychology of influence has left me well-equipped to handle conflict at its worst, and people at their lowest. I firmly believe the best place I can use my talents is in a diplomatic setting, either government or private, and that I will be a great asset to the program. I am eager to sharpen my natural skills and develop new proficiencies while at Tel Aviv University and hope to very much to be counted among its alumni in the near

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