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Robertson continues to defend Liberian dictator, but other evangelicals are critical
Liberian President Charles Taylor does not have many friends. And for good reason. The dictator has been indicted by a U.N.-related court for crimes against humanity, has fomented armed rebellion across West Africa, and has been accused of rape, mass murder, using child soldiers, and other atrocities in his days as a militia leader.

During President Bush's trip to Africa, this week, Liberia has been a top priority. He and other officials have repeatedly called for Taylor's resignation. "Until Charles Taylor is out of politics, there isn't going to be any stabilization of the situation in Liberia," National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said last week. "Charles Taylor needs to leave because Charles Taylor is the problem. And Charles Taylor is, by the way, not just a problem for Liberia. … [He] has been a source of insurrection and insurgency in surrounding countries. And the efforts to make stable places like Sierre Leone, in which the British are involved, are extremely important to the stability of West Africa. So Charles Taylor is a problem on a number of fronts."

In fact, the U.S. is sending a military team to Liberia to support several West African nations' efforts to bring peace there. More U.S. forces may be sent later, but has promised not to "overextend our troops."

All of this is widely supported by American Christians, with one notable exception: broadcaster Pat Robertson.

"We're undermining a Christian, Baptist president to bring in Muslim rebels to take over the country," he said on his 700 Club show Monday. "And how dare the president of the United States say to the duly elected president of another country, 'You've got to step ...

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July 2003

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