In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 27, 2008 / 21 Adar I 5768

Mann Overboard

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Most Americans won't have heard of Simon Mann and may wonder why they should care that he is being held illegally in one of the world's most notorious prisons, where torture is routine and human rights nonexistent.

They might care because that country holding him, Equatorial Guinea, is a major provider of oil to the U.S. and because U.S. companies — including Marathon Oil, Amerada Hess and Chevron Texaco — dominate oil exploration there.

They might care because Mann, a British, Eton-educated former Special Air Service officer and, some say, "mercenary," who is accused of planning to overthrow Equatorial Guinea's (EG) corrupt government, has apparently been abandoned by officials and others who once supported him.

All that remain are his wife, Amanda, who recently established a Web site (www.freesimonmann.com), his seven children, a handful of friends and his attorney.

Mann's story, familiar to Brits through countless news reports and at least three books, has the feel of the espionage movie it will doubtless become. In short, he and a planeload of more than 60 soldiers landed in Zimbabwe in March 2004 where they were trying to purchase arms before heading to EG, allegedly to overthrow President Teodoro Obiang Nguema and install a democratic government under opposition leader Severo Moto, who is in exile in Spain.

As reported elsewhere, Spain was well aware of these plans and even sent two ships to EG, but Mann didn't get that far. He and the others were arrested on the tarmac in Zimbabwe. Mann, now 55, was tried and sentenced to seven years in a Zimbabwe prison but was released for good behavior after serving just three. Immediately upon his release earlier this year, he disappeared for several days. His lawyers say he was kidnapped in what they called a Mann-for-oil deal between Obiang and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

Mann resurfaced Feb. 1 in EG, where he was paraded in shackles before television cameramen and has been imprisoned since.

The situation may be dire, according to friends who expect him to be tortured for information leading to his coup backers. (Obiang, who enjoys his reputation for cannibalizing his enemies, has made colorful promises regarding Mann.) Mann's supporters are hanging their hopes on outrage among those who may just hate the West's moral code of convenience enough to make a difference.

Obiang, president since 1979, has long been known as ruthless and corrupt, but was largely ignored by the West because, well, who cared about Equatorial Guinea? The former Spanish colony was of little importance until liquid gold was discovered near Bioko Island in the mid-1990s.

Suddenly, Obiang was a hail-fellow-well-met, a "good friend" of the U.S., according to Secretary of State Condi Rice, who in 2006 welcomed Obiang to Washington, where he owns two houses. His flamboyant, playboy Lamborghini-driving son, Teodoro, is a Malibu neighbor of Hollywood stars. President Bush reopened the U.S. Embassy in EG in 2003.

One may argue that a fellow who gets involved in overthrowing corrupt governments accepts a certain risk. But one might also insist that even men who live dangerously deserve due process and an assurance of basic human rights.

This is unfamiliar terminology to prisoners at Black Beach prison where disease, torture, starvation and death are commonplace. Amnesty International has reported the imprisonment of a woman — wife of an imprisoned political dissident — who shares a cell with 80-100 men without bathroom facilities or privacy. According to Amnesty International, her crime has yet to be determined.

Mann is believed to be shackled and handcuffed 24 hours a day and kept in solitary confinement. Others in his group who preceded him to Black Beach are believed similarly restrained.

Why should anyone care about Simon Mann? After all, thousands of people with no private wealth or social connections are daily tortured, languish and die in third-world prisons.

The answer may be because you have to start somewhere. Simon Mann puts a high-profile name and face on horror where a woman corralled unprotected with 100 men slips through the cracks.

Confounding matters is the fact that Americans are divided as to what constitutes torture and when torture is appropriate. "Never" is the only answer in a nation that reserves the right to express moral outrage when others do the unthinkable.

The world's eyes are on Obiang. With Simon Mann — and the poor woman down the hall — Obiang has an opportunity to prove critics wrong about his rule of inhumanity, and the West has a chance to make good on its pledges to protect human rights.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

Kathleen Parker Archives

© 2006, WPWG