EYEWITNESS: Drawing a line…


…against drug criminals

A couple of decades ago, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, outlined the strategy the US military would be using to go after the Iraq forces in the quest to remove Saddam Hussain  from power. “First we are going to cut it off, and then we are going to kill it.” That was it!! You couldn’t be more direct than that, could you?

Well, right here in Guyana, our own Brigadier General David Granger, now President of Guyana and Commander of our Disciplined Forces, made some pretty simple and direct statements when he announced his strategy to take on the drug lords here. “There are a few criminal people who are holding us back, and I am going to find them and put them away.”

Pressie was in Lethem, where another airstrip had been uncovered – this time with an aircraft that was clearly being used to fly in cocaine and other drugs that were later smuggled into the States.

Now we have to notice the difference between the statements of the two generals – Powell used the pronoun “we” – referring to all the US forces, but Pressie said “I”, meaning himself. Now your Eyewitness knows that Pressie – at the age of 78 – isn’t going to be running out there Rambo-style to take out the bad guys. What his language means is he’s taking this Guyanese “war on drugs” very personally.

But we have to remember that even with the greatest army, air force and navy the world had ever seen, the US wasn’t able to finish the Iraq war — which for all intents and purposes is still ongoing. In that conflict, the Iraqis were motivated by their nationalistic and religious ideologies that have seen them morph into all kinds of entities that aren’t bound by borders or battle zones. We’re living in an age of “total war”.

And it is for this reason it’s unlikely that even Pressie’s more personalised threat will lead to the elimination of drug trafficking through Guyana. In the wars on drugs, the combatants are motivated by one of the most destructive forces on planet Earth today – money-fuelled greed. Money in such quantity that the human mind cannot comprehend so many zeroes following the number 1!

The US, with its NSA satellites in the sky, CIA assets on the ground, and Special Forces with helicopters – not to mention local forces in Colombia – weren’t able to win the war on drugs.
Why is it that Pressie thinks it’ll be any different here? Maybe he should set his sights on capturing those four escaped killers?

…on CSEC subjects

The kid from Queen’s who just passed TWENTY-FIVE SUBJECTS at CSEC is sure to unleash another round of debate on how many subjects candidates ought to be allowed to write.

Former Education Minister Roopnaraine represented the old guard who believed that eight subjects or so were just about enough. Interestingly enough, Roopnaraine was also from Queen’s, and in fact won the Guyana Scholarship that sent him on to Cambridge University.

What these folks misread is “dis time na lang time” and kids are much more exposed to a host of other sorts of info that needs to be assimilated. In the scholarly community, they talk about two kinds of intelligences represented by the “fox and the hedgehog”. The Fox knows a little bit of many things – but the hedgehog knows a lot of one thing.

The 25-subject-kid put it well…what he did isn’t for everyone, but those who feel they could do it shouldn’t be barred.

The 21st century needs as many foxes as it can produce.

…on wandering kids

Your Eyewitness just found out that most of the kids who end up at Onderneeming’s ironically named “New Opportunity Corps” were brought in under some archaic English law against “wandering”.

Imagine kids being inducted into a course of criminal behaviour just because they “wandered”!!



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