What could have Firestone done under the circumstances it faced in Liberia:
"The best and safest course was to await a resolution of the Liberian civil crisis and the establishment of a lawful government recognized and accepted not only throughout Liberia, but among the nations of the world," he said.Schremp acknowledged that the company had signed the memorandum of agreement with Taylor. It had paid taxes to Taylor's government. It had abided by Taylor's edicts. But, he said, the company never attempted to take sides in Liberia's conflict. It simply had no other "practical alternative."
What was Firestone's motivation?
On Bridgestone's balance sheet, Firestone's Liberian plantation wasn't a large item, generating about $104 million in revenue and $15.6 million in profits in 1989, the year before the civil war. But the 15 percent profit margin the plantation achieved that year was a bright spot on a corporate ledger drowning in red ink.Top managers "were under a lot of pressure from Akron to get the plantation going," said Ken Gerhart, the Firestone manager who ran the company's soda bottling plant in Monrovia. The plantation "was very, very profitable. It was very efficient." (Bold not in original)
The role of the U.S. Embassy under Ambassador DeVos:
De Vos, dressed in a rumpled suit and bow tie, and large, square glasses, was sweating profusely. He greeted Taylor. Then, he introduced Ensminger, tan, fit and mustachioed."This is Mr. Ensminger, the director general of Firestone," De Vos said.Taylor looked puzzled. "Oh, he works for the embassy now?""No, America works for him," De Vos replied.