Who Will Stop the Killing?

With Bush's credibility on the line, American troops head toward Liberia. But are they ready to assert their power?

It would be hard to design a more tragically absurd war than the one raging in Liberia. Battles are fought mainly by untrained, doped-up kids from the countryside, and no one on either side has effective command of the ragtag militias. The majority of casualties are civilian. Most combatants avoid fighting, preferring to spray bullets at the other side and then run. The rebels' only stated goal is the ouster of President Charles Taylor, a recently indicted war criminal who insists he is willing to step down and go into exile in Nigeria but keeps creating excuses to postpone his departure....

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