Wednesday, May 11, 2011

PEP Statement on Targeted Assassination of Osama bin Laden


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Over the past week, the political and economic leaders of the United States of America (USA) and their multi-national media corporations have been proclaiming to the world that the assassination of Osama bin Laden is an act of national greatness.

Well, we should all just pause for a while and soberly consider precisely what message this proclamation is imparting to impressionable children and adolescents all over the world.

Our children are being told that it is the ultimate in greatness for a large and powerful nation to send a team of its most ferocious military warriors to invade the territory of another much weaker country, to corner an unarmed physically decrepit old man, and, in the absence of this man ever having been subjected to any judicial process of trial and conviction, to cold-bloodedly shoot him to death in the presence of his wife and children! This, the youth of the world are being assured, is not just national greatness, but the ultimate in national greatness!

Some-body - some small and morally clear-sighted nation - has to tell the "Emperor" that he is "naked", and that his actions are a perversion and a repudiation of international law, and of the sacred principles of justice and morality. And so, acting on behalf of and in the name of the people of Barbados, we say - let little Barbados accept this challenge of speaking truth to the powerful, pompasetting, morally deluded USA.

You see, the citizen of Barbados is the citizen of a country whose government has never invaded any other country, never bombed any foreign city, never carried out any political assassination nor ever committed any other crime against humanity!

Indeed, many of us in Barbados often wonder what it must feel like to be the citizen of a country whose government routinely murders and exterminates other human beings in one’s name. What, we wonder, does it feel like to be the citizen of a nation that exterminated 3 million Vietnamese, that dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that wiped out hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, that has carried out scores of illegal foreign invasions, and that has assassinated foreign leaders ranging from Africa’s Patrice Lumumba to Latin America’s Salvador Allende? How is the average American citizen able to live with the consciousness that such acts of barbarity are routinely committed in his or her name?

But in addition to this, little Barbados is also qualified to point out the Emperor’s nakedness for another reason - long before September 11, 2001, we experienced our own version of 911!

We would like to remind the world that on the 6th of October 1976 - almost exactly 25 years before September 11, 2001 - the 250,000 people of Barbados had to deal with the horrific tragedy of having a Cuban civilian airliner, filled to capacity with 73 passengers, blown out of our Barbadian air-space, as a result of the machinations of a cabal of anti-Cuban terrorists operating with the support and complicity of the USA’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The people of Barbados were faced with the horrendous task of retrieving the mangled, dismembered bodies of the 73 victims from the Caribbean Sea, and of coming to terms with the shock and trauma that this unprecedented act of terrorism generated in our small 166 square mile nation.

But in spite of the justifiable feelings of national outrage, the primary instincts of the Barbadian people and government led them to pursue a civilized approach of legality and due process of law! This manifested itself in the immediate and successful efforts of the Barbadian authorities to secure the arrests in Trinidad of the two Venezuelan functionaries who had planted the bomb and their two CIA financed handlers in Venezuela; the sending of Barbadian Police investigators to Trinidad to interrogate these two malefactors; the setting up in Barbados of a Commission of Enquiry into the tragedy; the engaging with the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago on determining the most appropriate way of dealing with the captured terrorists; and the making of a collective decision to put the four captives on trial in Venezuela.

It should be noted that both Barbadian and Cuban Police and intelligence personnel travelled to the locations in which the culprits were being held in Trinidad and Venezuela - not for the purpose of assassinating them, or attempting to assassinate them - but for the purpose of ensuring that a proper legal process was put in place!

This is how civilized nations, governments and people behave! They do not succumb to the ‘law of the jungle’ nor to the evil philosophy that "might makes right".

Almost 30 years after the tragic events of 6th October 1976, Mr Ricardo Alarcon, the President of Cuba’s National Assembly of People’s Power paid the ultimate compliment to the governments and people of Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago when he publicly stated that - "Barbados and Trinidad, it must be said, acted with great dignity and honour" - and acknowledged the "meticulous, rigorous, serious investigation done by people who respect themselves, people from countries that are small but which know how to respect their sovereignty".

It is because of this history and background that we, the people of little Barbados, can and must point at "the Emperor" and tell him that he is naked!

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