But Gbagbo refused to concede, using the security forces to fight. The international community, including the US and the UN, has called for him to step down, and he has been accused of war crimes.
The crisis has escalated since the end of February 2011, with clashes between armed forces loyal to Gbagbo and Ouattara in the western and central regions of the country, as well as in Abidjan, the financial capital. Armed combatants have committed war crimes, including executions of detainees and targeted killings of civilians and destruction of their property, Human Rights Watch said.But despite that, it seems that the Republican right disagrees.Think Progress tells us:
Well, because Gbagbo is a Christian, and Ouattara is a Muslim, and even the most bloodthirsty Christian is better than a Muslim. And because Inhofe is a member of the Fellowship. You remember the Fellowship, don't you? They were exposed in a book by Jeff Sharlett as a theocratic threat to American democracy. They run the infamous C street house in Washington DC where conservative CHristian lawmakers including Inhofe often reside. And they are very, very active in exporting conservative Christian culture wars to Africa, including the infamous Uganda "kill the gays" bill. (More in this report from Public Eye (PDF)).
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) took to the Senate floor yesterday to give a lengthy speech in defense of incumbent Gbagbo and his powerful wife, whom Inhofe called “good friends.” Inhofe painted a picture of the conflict in polar opposition to the facts on the ground….
Why would Inhofe defend a war criminal tyrant in contradiction to every international human rights organization and his own government?
Now, can you imagine the outrage if a Democratic Senator directly contravened his government's overseas policy to support a dictator who ignores democratic rule? And the real insult is, you're paying for it! According to Salon,, Inhofe and Gbagbo are both linked to The Fellowship, and moreover,
Inhofe has been traveling to Africa regularly since the late 1990s and, while the trips are paid for by the taxpayer and typically involve some official business, the senator also engages in missionary work.And it's not just Inhofe.
"Everybody says this man is an evil thug who needs to go," said [Pat] Robertson introducing one segment in January. "That's not true. He's a Christian, he’s a nice person, and he's run a fairly clean operation in the Ivory Coast." Robertson later pointedly noted that the U.N. is "controlled so much by Muslim countries."Think Progress tells us how the far right media is supporting this culture war:
…Last night, Fox News Host Glenn Beck defended “the current Christian president” Gbagbo, downplaying the atrocities he has committed, and excusing his refusal to leave office by saying that “he fears that [Ouattara] is going to round up all of [his] supporters and kill them all.” Beck also attacked President Obama for supporting Ouattara, noting the challenger is “a Muslim.”Although it was reported that Gbagbo was getting ready to leave, now it appears he has hunkered down. The Christianist crusade against Islam is being fought in the blood of Ivoirians. And I find it very difficult to find anything "Christian" about it.
And today, Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson, who has repeatedly defended the dictator, said that Gbagbo’s impending departure is a “great tragedy” because the country is now “going to be into the hands of Muslims.”
While it seems clear now that both sides in the Ivory Coast have some blood on their hands, according to human rights monitors, Gbagbo has much much more, and is clearly violating the will of his people. But to Inhofe, Beck, and Robertson, it seems this doesn’t really matter, as long as he’s not Muslim.
Update 4/11/11Mr Gbagbo has been captured.