James Inhofe, Pat Robertson and Glenn Beck will be very unhappy about this.
The Ivory Coast strongman, Laurent Gbagbo, was captured on Monday after a week-long siege of his residence and placed under the control of his rival claimant to power, according to the French military and a senior American diplomat.
Both French ground forces and troops loyal to Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized winner of Ivory Coast’s election last year, had pressed into the city toward the residence where Mr. Gbagbo has been holed up.
“It is my pleasure to announce officially that the former president of Cote d’Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo, has been arrested,” said Youssoufou Bamba, Mr. Ouattara’s representative to the United Nations. “He is alive and he will be brought to justice to respond to the crimes he committed. In this way, the Cote d’Ivoire reaches the end of its tragedy, of its nightmare.”
“His era is over,” Mr. Bamba added, saying Mr. Gbagbo was now “under our custody.”
I've been writing about the support Gbagbo had from the religious right for a while now, but the NY Times seems to have just discovered this fact even though they hedge on whether religion is actually the reason the U.N. group got involved, yet they lay out a good case for it.
It is impossible to know for sure if the group sided with Mr. Gbagbo because he is a Christian; his rival, Alassane Ouattara, recognized internationally as the winner of last year’s presidential election, is a Muslim. But to judge by the recent comments of Senator James M. Inhofe, the Rev. Pat Robertson, the Christian broadcaster and former presidential candidate, and Glenn Beck, the Fox News television personality, religion did play a role in their support.
Mr. Robertson, who ran for president as a Republican in 1988 and founded the Christian Broadcasting Network, has been more enthusiastic in his support of Mr. Gbagbo. He has also been more overtly interested in Mr. Gbagbo’s status as the Christian candidate.
Last Tuesday, Mr. Robertson said on “The 700 Club,” CBN’s main news program, that Mr. Gbagbo was the victim of voter fraud. “The U.N. has said the other guy won. Well, that may be, but the problem is, is that this is a country now that has been run by a Christian that is going to be into the hands of Muslims. So it’s one more Muslim nation that’s going to be building up that ring of Sharia law around the Middle East.”
Mr. Beck, of Fox News, is a Mormon, while Mr. Inhofe and Mr. Robertson are non-Mormon evangelical Protestants. But Mr. Beck, too, has put a religious spin on Mr. Gbagbo’s plight.
This was a unification election in the Ivory Coast, so I supported whoever won the election, and Gbagbo lost. Ouattara should be held to these same standards. You've won, so unify your country.