Those who suffered the ordeal of listening to the leader of this nation on the media on January 26 must have been left stunned. Many ex-soldiers, some old, some quite young, called me to express their displeasure and distaste.
Unfortunate incidents occurred in the wee hours of that Saturday morning. Our condolences go out to the bereaved families. And it is tragic that our once peaceful, and beloved, nation has been coming to this tragic pass with indecent haste over time.
When this nation's leader ventures to make snide remarks and invidious innuendos against other leaders, he is virtually telling hotheads and cranks to go out there and exact revenge, albeit without a shred of evidence that the ex military were tacitly involved in the commission of this heinous act.
It is indeed sad that eleven people did lose their lives at the hands of assassins. Instead of attempting to pour oil on troubled waters, Mr Jagdeo in his customary "know all" mode raves and, in reality, makes insipid statements against former military personnel, which could be construed ultimately as veiled threats. The aspersions cast by Mr Jagdeo in his press conference fits the heads of many military and all, for sure, will be taking umbrage at this. The question is, will there be any type of response? I honestly doubt it.
What needs to be made abundantly clear - and I say it with the firmest conviction - is that we were soldiers with the highest nobility and courage in this dear land unlike the cowardly phantom death squads. Soldiers of our ilk do not wage war on civilians, much less on children.
The military has been used, and is still being used, contrary to established norms, to supplant the police in their crime-fighting role. This is simply not done. The police are 5,000 strong.
Unfortunately, the Commander-in-Chief has never looked back at the retired servicemen; some of whom are walking the streets destitute. Some are wallowing in the filth and stench of the Dharm Shala; others are simply foraging for morsels of food in garbage bins. What level of loyalty can be expected from those rather hapless young ex-service men who are running away from the army in countless droves, tired of neglect and even torture by KGB /Gestapo-type elements within the establishment, all under the stewardship of their beloved Commander-in-Chief? Quite unexpectedly and luckily they haven't turned to crime as happened after the American Civil War and the Vietnam War.
It is clear that such an insipid and incendiary statement cannot only plant the seeds of dissension amongst the populace but spur those that follow him to acts of folly. The President did not experience the atrocities of 1962 and 1964: he was a mere boy, a babe in arms. However, his perceived actions through the former Minister of Home Affairs and infamous phantom squads can only lead this nation down a path that will leave far too many reaping the grapes of wrath.
I suggest as Commander-in-Chief, the President should put on his battle dress and lead from the front into the backlands of the mid East Coast. The time has come for the President to face reality. Coming after Burnham and Cheddi, he had the greatest opportunity to be a fine leader, and he blew it!
Friday, February 01, 2008
One man army
Many soldiers were upset by the President's remarks
Tuesday, January 29th 2008
Posted by Guyana 360 at 4:38 pm