Home Commentary Dis-Armed Forces Day Versus Soldiers’ Gentility: A King Solomon Complex Archetype

Dis-Armed Forces Day Versus Soldiers’ Gentility: A King Solomon Complex Archetype

by News Manager

By: Mwalimu-Koh Blonkanjay Jackson (MsEd, EdM)
Education Emancipator, Social Advocate, Scholar

Thinking Thoughts
In my Thinking Thoughts, I reflected the recent standoff between aggrieved army wives, and Rtd. General Prince Charles Johnson and the Republic of Liberia, which led to the scale down of the traditional February 11 Armed Force Day (AFD) celebrations. While the incident served as a litmus test for President Boakai’s administration, it appeared like an unprecedented disarming of the Armed Forces of this West African nation which is currently in transition. Albeit the method of resolution had a striking lesson and semblance of the King Solomon Complex..
The King Solomon Complex

The King Solomon Complex is where an individual compromises or gives up their right for the greater good instead of personal satisfaction. First Kings 3:16–28 is an account of how King Solomon resolved a matter similar to the recent incident in Liberia where a highly trained soldier, and President Boakai gave up their power and rights for the sake of the peace and stability of the nation-state, regardless.
According to the story, two baby mothers who were living in the same room went to King Solomon to decide a dead baby ownership case. One of the women said, “While we were asleep, my friend rolled over her baby, and it died. Then my friend got up and took her dead baby out of her bed and laid it next to me and took my living baby. In the morning when I got up to feed my baby, I saw that he was dead. But when I looked at him in the light, I knew the dead baby was not my son.” After they argued back and forth, in front of King Solomon, he asked someone to bring a sword so that he could cut the baby in two parts to give each of them a piece. One the women immediately agreed that the baby should be cut into two, “Yes, cut the baby, that is the right thing to do” But the other woman, asked King Solomon to give the living baby to her friend because she knew the living baby hers and did not want him to die for personal reasons.
Based on that concession statement, King Solomon discerned that the woman who agreed for the baby to be destroyed simply for her personal satisfaction was not the true mother of the child; hence, the baby was given to her friend and the case was closed.
Dis-Armed Forces Day or Armed Forces Day
My Brabbies, February 11 of each year is celebrated in Liberia as Armed Forces Day (AFD). Unfortunately, this year, 2024, there has emerged a groundswell of opinions that AFD should be referred to as Dis-Armed Forces Day instead of Armed Forces Day because of incidents that bridled its observance. Frankly, several disarmaments occurred on that day.
First, to retire two highly trained generals in a minimally populated fighting force to civilian life was disarmament. According to Global Firepower, Liberia’s military is made up of 1,500 active personnel and zero reserve personnel as of 2024. While one cannot question the wisdom of the highest office, the basis of the decisions remains to be deciphered. Second, the disgruntled army wives disarmed Armed Forces Day when they placed the country under siege by blocking major routes especially the gateway to the only international airport. Third, the protesters disarmed the already disarmed Chief of Staff , general Prince Charles Johnson, when he resigned from his ministerial position, “for the sake of peace and stability.”, as he averred.
Gentility of RTD Gen. Prince Charles Johnson
My Brabbies, gentility means discipline, refinement, or politeness and that is what the RTD General Prince Charles Johnson exhibited when he resigned. The General could have challenged the allegations of the aggrieved disgruntled army wives. He could have resisted and remained at his new position as Defense Minister. He could have asked for the army wives to produce in court proof of their allegations. A muster (military headcount) could have also been conducted to identify the husbands of the wives who were in the protest to send fear among them. Common sense shows that it is not possible that the soldier husbands were innocent of their wives’ actions. Because soldiers are not allowed to participate in political activities especially protests and demonstrations, they may have used their wives to act. Had the General taken any of those stances, the government would have negotiated with the aggrieved wives and eventually assuaged the situation.
Instead, like the woman of the living baby in the King Solomon story, General Prince C. Johnson who had already been confirmed, granted the aggrieved disgruntled army wives their wish and resigned, regardless of whether they were right or wrong. PCJ disarmed his mind and sacrificed his personal aspiration on Armed Forces Day for the sake of peace in this nation state. PCJ’s reaction was not cowardly but rather archetypical gentility and characterized by the King Solomon Complex.
Gentility of RTD President Joseph N. Boakai
President Joseph Boakai also demonstrated gentility and the King Solomon Complex by accepting the General’s resignation without hesitation. President Boakai could have rejected the resignation; he could have asked for an investigation into the matter while PCJ continued as Defense Minister. He could have retained PCJ and spoken with the husbands of the protesters to advise or encourage their wives to eschew protests and violence because such actions have repercussions on their roles as soldiers and gentlemen.
You know Brabbies, for the duly elected President of a whole country to use his wisdom and appoint a minister and a group of people demand that person to step down, in the first place means they questioned the wisdom of the high office and its due diligence capacity. For a minister who had already been confirmed by the Senate to step down because of protest from a group of people who he indirectly interacted with, is also a sour precedence.
In some situations, one telephone call would have unleashed riot police to tear gas the “freak” out of the group, kicked butts, and dispersed them. Over the last six years, we witnessed how Government Of Liberia broke up citizen protests and student demonstrations by using excessive force and tear gas. Had such an option been taken during the army wives protests, there would have been noise for at least a week, and it would have died down as usual. Fortunately, as a responsible government, the leadership disarmed itself on Armed Forces Day, adopted gentility and the King Solomon Complex, and ameliorated the situation.
The Benediction
Before I be remiss, I salute the gallant men and women of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) for their resolve to sacrifice their lives to protect the territorial integrity of this small West African nation state.
Finally, let me admonish my other Brabbies dem that “sheep luck is not goat luck” Because “army wives” called for the resignation of a sitting defense minister by setting road blocks and the government allowed them to have their wish, does not in no way set a precedence. If you see that as a ticket to arm twist the new leadership, your luck might be different.
To those ends, I hereby beseech my other fellow Brabbies who have that kind of thinking to put the peace and stability of our nation first over our political and personal aspirations. While there is a groundswell of opinions that the present leadership structure development process lacks the expected integrity and finesse, I have a hunch the dust will settle, the storm will soon be over, and the government will be eventually consummated. I have a hunch Armed Forces Day henceforth will not assume the characteristics of a Dis-Armed Forces Day, when the whole government is disarmed by vices, and nothing happened, but will instead be a day when our men and women in arms will be appropriately honored. They will go marching down the streets of Monrovia, appropriately regaled and bathed in the traditional pomp and pageantry that tethers every February 11, Armed Forces Day. It will be well. It certainly will.
My Brabbies, wil you then join me in humming Horatio Spaffford’s great 19th Century hymn “It is Well with my Soul” note the 2nd and 4th stanzas as we anticipate the Saving grace of God o our motherland.

  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well with my soul.
    o Refrain:
    It is well with my soul,
    It is well, it is well with my soul.
  2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
  3. My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
  4. And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.
    Simply Thinking Thoughts

About the author
The Rivercess scholar, critical thinker, and founder of the Diversified Educators Empowerment Project (DEEP), Mwalimu-Koh M. Blonkanjay Jackson holds a Master of Education from Harvard, and Master of Science in Mathematics Education from St. Joseph’s University; he is a Yale University Teachers Initiative Math Fellow and UPENN Teacher Institute Physics Fellow. The Rivercess was a part-time lecturer at the UL Graduate School of Education. Mr. Jackson served the government of Liberia diligently for four years and returned to private practice as Development Specialist and Education Engineer. The Mwalimu-Koh can be reached at 0886 681 315.

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