Barbados Losing the War
Of recent North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un has become the focal point of USA’s foreign policy.
Not long ago it was Saddam Hussein of Iraq, a country that was invaded based on a lie. There were no weapons of mass destruction stupid! The wonton destruction of property dated to the period of Babylonia is enough to challenge those with the strongest faith that there is a God.
We should not forget General Muammar Gaddafi of Libya who was ‘taken out’ because he dared to buck the establishment. All knowledgeable observers agree that Gaddafi was no saint if a Western definition is applied, the BU counter is that leading a country in the Middle East requires an alternative approach to governing in much the same way the West appears to have accepted a communist system of government in China.
Another ‘bad man’ is Syria’s Bashar Hafez al-Assad reported by the Western media as using chemical weapons on his people. Up until 2010 Assad was viewed as a respectable leader in the ME until he took a contrary position on Arab Spring protesters. The world community slammed the door on Syria and a civil war has been fought since that time. We weep at the thousands of civilians killed, the destruction of ancient cities and relic. However, one has to wonder to what extent the decimation of a country mentioned in the Bible is as a result of an ME foreign policy by the West gone bad.
Many Barbadians live lifes oblivious to the inter-connectivity of global economies and the immediate effect caused by the blurring of national boundaries. Although one has to ‘wonder’ at the thought of the only superpower proposing to go to war with North Korea, a lilliputian nation in comparative terms. Barbadians should be concerned that should a military event occur it would have catastrophic implications for Barbados and the region. The impact on our economies as a result of 911 and the Iraq war are recent examples.
A key concern would be the disruption to international shipping lanes and the impact on the delivery of food and other essentials by a country that imports almost 700 million dollars worth. Not to mention the uncertainty caused by a significant military event on leisure travel. No need to remind that Barbados must earn foreign exchange to pay its bills. Last check foreign reserves dipped to less than 10 weeks of import cover as at June 2017 or a smidgen over 300 million, the lowest since 2000.
Instead of promoting a national discussion about how we mobilize our people to tackle food security, we have to listen to head of the Barbados Agriculture Society (BAS) James Paul mouthing about gangs in his constituency, a prime minister attacking a spent force in Arthur and last but not to be forgotten, the deafening silence of David Estwick, minister of agriculture.
If after eight years of witnessing an economy struggling to achieve anemic economic growth and the social decay that has taken root evidenced by lawless members of the criminal underworld waving high-powered weapons in crowed areas is not enough to shape a more relevant narrative by civil society (including our political class), then may God have mercy on our souls..