By SUZANNE MILLS
I wonder if the Opposition Leader now feels right insular for having lambasted the Government for co-sponsorship of a United Nations Security Council resolution on the fight against terrorism. Does he feel the slightest remorse?
A month or so ago Rowley pronounced that TT could ill afford to declare war on terrorists at a time when “you can stay away.” He was addressing constituents at the People’s National Movement St Ann’s East Constituency annual conference at the San Juan North Secondary School in Bourg Mulatresse, no doubt playing to his crowd.
But now that TT citizens are leaving home to jihad in Iraq and Syria, does Dr Rowley understand that no one is immune from terrorism whether you assent to a security resolution, or not. Did Abu Bakr attempt a coup because we supported the US? We don’t have to sign on a dotted line to attract ISIS. They are already here. They are everywhere.
“In any international issue, you put Trinidad and Tobago interest first,” he pontificated, which is a heck of a selfish mentality when ISIS is beheading and raping and plundering and selling women. What about our responsibility to the international community, to those children and women? What the devil did he mean when he said that little Trinidad and Tobago has to be careful to walk among the gears and not get crushed? So it’s ok for ISIS to crush the weak and the innocent?
There are times when the imaginary rule book has to be tossed out of the window, when for example you get a Hitler and a Nazi State exterminating people as if they were rats and you have to join the cause, regardless of perceived danger to yourself, danger that you actually invite by hiding behind technicalities. Didn’t we join the international boycott of South Africa during the era of Apartheid? This sponsorship is not decision by vaps; it is not action which is wild and reckless; this is decision based on moral outrage and the need to protect our national security. It is not prostration and gallerying: it is grown up foreign policy. Dr Rowley always feels he can dismiss or second guess the Prime Minister, as if she were feeble minded and out of her depth.
And try as we may we can’t separate our interests from the interests of the US, which no one can argue started this fire/backfire in Iraq when it invaded over a decade ago. But given that terrorism is a global reality, we really can’t be that insular. The more we co-operate the better off we are: we can share intelligence.
Just recently the US imposed stricter rules for citizens of countries who benefit from the visa waiver programme, as many from these countries have signed up to fight for ISIS. But the Obama administration was clever enough not to go as far as some right wingers wished it to and cancel visa waivers altogether because it recognised the advantages of sharing information and security co-operation.
And isn’t that what a “small” country wants? Security co-operation? Going our own way is more perilous, especially as ISIS is recruiting fighters via the internet. If ISIS is making the world a village, how then can countries not respond in kind? Newsday ran a story about one man taking his family to fight for the Islamic caliphate, but how many other nationals are already over there?…READ MORE