Feeling Sorry

Last week (24 Feb 2022) Russia invaded Ukraine. The reported images and videos of the war are distressing. The reports of deaths are heart-breaking. At this time, we should be reminded of the historical lesson that the first casualty of war is normally truth.

We should not ignore history, and naively believe that this is the first war where truth is not the first casualty. Wisdom requires that evidence supporting and opposing our preferred views be rigorously scrutinised – to reduce the risk of making a hasty decision that we may later regret.


People will be exposed to different views of this conflict depending on where they live. Each country’s politically compromised media will only publish views preferred by their political leaders. Contrary views will likely be ignored, or distorted and ridiculed.

When contrary evidence is suppressed, the public may not know that they are being manipulated to be angry at whatever target the media directs them – to suit an agenda that is rarely in their best interests.

When I heard the reported deaths of all of the Ukrainian soldiers on Snake island, simply for defying a Russian warship, I was angry with Russia. When I later heard that they had surrendered and are all alive as prisoners, I did not know what to believe – but I know that I do not want to be manipulated.


One relevant aspect of this conflict for Barbados, is that trade alliances are not military alliances. Ukraine has many trading partners in Europe and around the world. Eighty-one countries signed a letter at the United Nations condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But despite that overwhelming show of support, none of those countries sent their armies to fight with Ukraine.

Ukrainians now understand that obtaining and maintaining a good military alliance with a dependable military power, is a critical responsibility of any Government. A military alliance is insurance against aggressor nations. Every Ukrainian fighting against Russia desperately wishes that Ukraine was a member of the 30-nation NATO military alliance.


When we became Independent in 1966, Barbados had a military alliance with the United Kingdom (UK). The UK is one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, with enough nuclear weapons to deter any other alliance and nation. The UK is also a member of the NATO military alliance, which obligates all NATO members to respond if one member is attacked.

In our Constitutional association, the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) was a part of Her Majesty’s forces [1]. It is during a time of war that the Queen may fully exercise her Constitutional executive authority over Barbados [2]. The BDF were responsible for defending Barbados [3] until the nearest available of Her Majesty’s forces arrived.

Barbados was not in Ukraine’s current uninsured position. Barbados was under the umbrella of NATO by its Constitutional association with the UK. Any nation that attacked the UK in its defence of Barbados, had to contend with all 30 NATO members. That was our insurance against aggressor nations.


Every five years, Barbadian politicians raise their hands and offer to drive Barbados’ bus. If the bus gets a flat tyre, they are supposed to repair it and keep driving safely. If they get too arrogant and start to drive recklessly, then we, the passengers, elect other drivers.

Our drivers were never elected to cancel our bus insurance, and they have no Constitutional authority to unilaterally do so. Tragically, that did not stop them from doing so in direct violation of Section 49 of the Constitution of Barbados, and then challenging any dissenter to go to court – I am the only one who did.

The legality of Parliament’s act to unilaterally cancel our military alliance with the UK, and by extension, with NATO, is currently being decided by the Barbados courts – as our politicians have directed. However, our current uninsured state presents us with a rare opportunity.


Both Russia and Ukraine had legitimate security and economic concerns, that needed an honest evidence-based discussion to prevent war. As an independent nation with no real military alliances, Barbados was well positioned to mediate the dispute, with a neutral rigorous scrutiny of the evidence of both sides.

The main issues seem to be that: (a) NATO was formed to fight Russia, (b) Russia does not want NATO forces on its border, (c) Ukraine shares a long border with Russia, (d) Ukraine fears Russia and wants to join NATO, which would put NATO forces on Russia’s border, (e) Russia requested NATO not to admit Ukraine as a member, but NATO declined that request, (f) Russia invaded Ukraine before it joined NATO – to avoid fighting NATO.


While the first casualty of war is truth, the second is civilian and military personnel. Every death is tragic, and every story associated with each death is emotionally traumatic. Making an emotional decision does not require any effort. We can simply decide that the side we do not support is bad and must be punished. Mediating this matter requires listening to both sides.

Currently, neither side is listening to the other. Those supporting Ukraine are told to believe that Putin is mentally sick. Those who support Russia are told to believe that Zelenskyy is a genocidal Nazi. The world is waiting for an adult to enter the room. Barbados, as a country growing in prominence and with no real military alliances, was in a trusted position to fill that glaring void.


nstead of offering to mediate the dispute as a neutral country, Barbados chose a side and joined Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Jamaica, and Bahamas in signing the letter publicly condemning Russia. Those Caribbean countries’ open defiance will cost them nothing, because they are insured. We seem to have forgotten that we no longer are.

Ukraine accepts that they must fight Russia alone, and are arming civilians to defend their country. They are aware of Barbados’ public condemnation of Russia. But when they learn that our politicians despised our military alliances with the UK and NATO, and harmed all Barbadians by cancelling what they desperately wished they now had, they may pause in their current distress – and feel sorry for us.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

[1] Defence Act, Section 4.
[2] Constitution, Section 63.
[3] Defence Act, Section 5.

227 thoughts on “Feeling Sorry

  1. There was gossip going around that when Woody was in his 90’s, he and a younger guy came to blows over a young lady from Cuba!!

  2. Hants

    What we want with a Stadium with all the obese peeps in Barbados.

    How many gymnasts has the Gymnasium produced?

    Everybody knows it was/is/will be just one more way for the Black Bajan Oligarchs (BBO’s) to enrich themselves.

  3. @555dubstreet March 6, 2022 5:38 AM “do not wish to pay $17.00 pressure or because they know the authors psychology.”

    My response:
    One: do not wish to pay $17.00
    Two: know the authors psychology

    I’ll pass on the spies thingy.

  4. @March 6, 2022 7:55 AM “you need to speak to Bobby Clarke and the historian Trevor, can’t remember his last name right now, to get your facts straight….ya really have no clue about this matter.”

    And how do you know whether or not I know these gentlemen?

  5. @African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved March 6, 2022 10:26 AM
    “Cuddear is older than me by at least a decades…”

    And you know this how?

  6. @Bush Tea “The man seems to be OBSESSED with the goal of cashing in on the centuries of TORMENT, sacrifice and tribulations of our ancestors.”

    The man lives very modestly and has always lived modestly. Started learning his history from OUR elders in rural Barbados just as Marshall has. He did not just get here.

  7. Some ah wunna really killing the blog. 30-0 twice within less than 4years should tell wuuna nuff. But egofowls are egofowls. Ting is sone here ate more scammers than the alleged scammers. Who can forget the pyramid meeting turn that was DOC? I know bout de Airbnb scamma too🤐

  8. “And you know this how?”

    because YOU said it MORE THAN ONCE on BU. check the archives,

    “One: do not wish to pay $17.00”

    i keep telling those who worry the most, don’t need any of you to buy my book….i know yall psychology…that’s the most important thing,

    and since the most dangerous among you already UNDERESTIMATED me in the worse possible way…even after my 10 years on here, it means you don’t know mine and NEVER WILL..that puts the most dangerous at a distinct disadvantage, were i them, i would stay in my corner.

    my book is not the concern of those who worry about it the most, am on my second one, by the time am done there will probably be about 10 of them and those who need to know when they are published, will….i got a WHOLE WORLD to connect with, BU is not even a blip…those whom i appreciate the most, knows who they are and are free to do as they wish…the others who thought i was an easy target, i beg them stay away from me and anything I OWN.

  9. TLSN…hope you are keeping up, in this instance, less is supposed to be even less…..while more remains definitely less….with the sabre rattling.

  10. Cud dear…if ya getting senile…give it up….lol

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