Tough Problems require Tough Action!

Moving forward in Syria, a caretaker government without President Assad is vital in order to resolve the structural differences between the sectarian groups; militant or otherwise. A political solution has always been first and foremost the preferred response as opposed military action; but ideological disparities must not prevent an unified secondary position.

There are many different roads to peace; clearly the long road in Syria has failed to produce the desired plan. The international community must not allow this horrible civil war to drag on for other five years, two or even one more year. It has to be brought to a grinding halt, one way or the other.

Syria is a fractured nation and can only be made whole through broad political consensus leadership which strikes a balance amongst the core of that leadership. The on-going talks, must view such practicality not as impossibility but an eventuality. The world is replete with major examples, including two world wars and countless other civil wars, where millions of people died, but for the sake of humanity such viciousness was terminated to bring about peace for generations.

What is so special about President Assad that the global community cannot find within itself another workable solution to end the barbaric killing of the Syrian people? There is no comfort in the truth, but let it free the Syrians- Assad will not end this war, Iran will not end it and certainly, even if President Putin of Russia wanted too, he cannot do it alone.

Are the European Union and its leaders comfortable with the thought in allowing a dictator to continue to destroy the future of Europe’s political and social cohesion? The EU leadership needs to abandon its soft answers to the harsh realities which are bearing only temporary results to Assad’s role in their migrant crisis. Assad must not and cannot be rewarded for his crimes against the Syrian population; his crimes against humanity cannot be shielded because of the involvement of Russia and Iran in the fight of the common enemy-ISIS.

Assad must be brought out of hiding from behind the legitimacy of the war against terrorism for his atrocities. ISIS is a problem, so too is Assad, the root cause of the problem. The notion that Syria would be left in a vacuum, if he departs is a fallacy. Isn’t Syria in the very same predicament, as in Yemen and Libya? Is there a better chance for unity and peace in Syria on his exit? Is Syria going to more divided or less into different sectarian provinces, as it is now? Is Assad’s removal guaranteeing the ending of the civil war between the groups? Is there going to be a formation and a commitment to real peace after he demits office? Would there be a unified Syria? Is his removal going to curtail the outflow of refugees?

No one knows the answer to these logical questions, but it is the right start in the right direction to bring justice to a man who has ordered the murder and destruction of his people- to allow him to continue in power based on an ad nauseum argument that Syria will fall into a stateless dysfunctional societal vacuum (like Libya and Yemen) is farcical. Repeating isn’t Syria in the same position as these countries today with Assad in power. Assuredly, it can only get better without Assad.

This cannot be the underlying rationale to facilitate, aid and abet a dictator to remain in power, it should be the reason to hasten his removal from power. Since it is his actions which has created the political turmoil and vacuum. To continue with this false premise that there is no one better than Assad is akin to saying it would have been better off to leave Hitler in charge because it would of created a political vacuum in Nazi Germany.

 

 

 

 

8 Year of Political Trying- “Happy Errol Barrow Day Barbados”.

By David Bryan; Attorney-at-Law

The economic wilderness engulfing the landscape of Barbados has crept undoubtedly into every family home across the length and breadth of this Island. Let’s be blunt; the last 8 years under the Democratic Labour Party has been more down than up. The majority of Barbadians have spent the bulk of their time just trying to survive this slow moving storm of recession which has over-shadowed their lives.

As we celebrate January 21st, 2016, for ‘the father of Independence’ -the Rt. Excellent Errol Walton Barrow, there is no loud parliamentary table thumping which can be heard for any substantial gains of socio-economic development under this current DLP government when compared to the significant achievements donned by the “dipper”.

Errol Barrow was an outspoken Prime Minister, a political maverick and visionary who led with bold, imaginative ideas that capitulated Barbados from a series of “villages” to a modern society through his path of economic “adventure”. Fast forward to 2016, the opposite of Barrow’s real politick of ingenuity is all but disappeared.

I dare say, the citizens of our country have spent much time agonizing in trying how to keep their heads above water, trying to pray that someday things will turn around financially, trying to pay their light and water bills to avoid disconnection, trying to buy the basic food for themselves and household members-without becoming malnourished in the process, trying to find ways to get more money in their pocket, trying not to dip into their life- long savings (if they have any at all), trying to keep their house from being sold because they can’t pay their mortgage, trying to keep their businesses afloat, trying not to send home anymore employees, trying to last out to the next Budget to see if anything in it can assist, trying to last until Crop Over, trying to last until Christmas and the end of the year, trying trying….

Trying to see if they can get the N.I.S cheques, trying to get their pension on time each month, trying to get V.A.T returns, trying to get Tax refunds, trying to pay the bailiffs, trying to pay hire-purchase companies, trying to get ‘little’ water to cook and bathe with when the days come, trying to get a job, trying not to get laid off, trying to keep healthy and not go to the Q.E.H, trying to get the right prescription drugs (if they have them in stock), trying to avoid the pot-holes, trying to get money to pay road tax and car insurance, trying to find gas money for the vehicle each week, trying, trying….

Trying to pay the children’s school fees, trying to get lunch money for them, trying to pay for them after secondary school if they want to go to UWI, trying to get a loan to send them to UWI; trying to get a roof over their heads, trying to buy land and house for the longest time, trying to pay the rent to the Landlord, trying to pay the hiked professional fees by the end of January every year, trying to get a tax ease somewhere, somehow with government, trying, trying….

As I reflect with a clarity and a forthright honesty, this is not the Barbados I was born in, educated by and worked for; this Barbados represents all that has gone wrong for the majority of people but ‘right’ for a select few within the inner circle of the halls of government.

This Barbados has lost its philological mooring and ideology which once looked out for the people first. Where our hopes, aspirations, dreams and ambitions were pregnant with excitement of what tomorrow would bring by successive governments, who always looked after their wants second.

Rest assured the harsh economic realities of everyday Barbadians open up as sure as the sun comes up each morning. In it all, Barbadians, have lost their voice in the duly elected officials of this government, who have neglected their duty to champion the rights of its people for a more equitable economic enfranchisement for all.

A Barbados which is so off-course, that it cannot be found in the ‘Bermuda Triangle’ of failed fiscal monetary policies of the Prime Minister Stuart led government and that of Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler. These policies are having marginal positive trickle down impact upon the everyday lives of ordinary Barbadians and the economy.

Finally, democratic institutions fail not because of policies but because of man’s failure to institute policies to ensure a thriving democracy. One may ask is there no silver lining to be found with this government? My answer in 24 months. Happy Errol Barrow Day.

 

 

The Reality of Davos

WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

INSTRUCTIONS

Delegates are allowed 10 minutes to read through the questions before starting to write. This 10-minute period is in addition to the days allowed for the forum.

Delegates MAY write during the time allowed for reading through the questions.

  1.  Section A consist of ONE question. You MUST answer this question.
  2.  Section B consist of ONE question. You MUST answer this question.

SECTION A

Read the following extract carefully and in your own words, write your answer of approximately 250 to 300 words in length.

You MUST write in Standard English.

Question 1.

” Davos Man, finding it boring to shake the hand of an obscure Prime Minister, prefers to meet Microsoft’s Bill Gates”.

                                                 (1997 Editorial- “In praise of Davos Man” -The Economist)

Write an essay supporting or opposing the views of this quote.

SECTION B

Read the following extract carefully and in your own words, write your answer of approximately 400 to 450 words in length.

You MUST write in Standard English.

Question 1.

” The 1% Davos Man, finding it unrealistic to globally impact real change on the lives of poor people, prefers to meet the elite”.

                      (Davidic House -paraphrasing the 1997 quote in Editorial of “In Praise of                                Davos Man”- The Economist)

Write an essay supporting or opposing the views of this quote.

Societies Must never get Immune to the Brutal Loss of Life

“ When the righteous are in authority the people rejoice: but when the wicked bears rule, the people mournProverbs 29: 2 –King James Bible

 When those in power cease to become outrage and adopt a nonchalant attitude to the political assassinations of its elected officials, who had courageously taken a stand against the corruption within their community; one must question the motives as to what is the purpose of political life, and leadership? How is that leadership fighting for the safety and the security of their fellow brethren?

No doubt, the bravery of Mayor Gisela Mota must be remembered in Temixco, Mexico. But, the brazen murder, by those who feared her because of her vow to stamp out corruption, cannot be forgotten. Those like her and those who have gone before her, hundreds, if not, thousands of electoral candidates and officials-including the death of other Mayors- must be afforded greater protection by the government of Mexico.

It is indeed unacceptable, that death is the norm during an electoral process, and democratic elected officials are unsure whether they are going to return home after they arrived at work. For Mayor Mota, to be gunned down after 24 hours of being voted in by her constituents, constitutes the highest form of demagoguery against the will of the people.

This form of ‘criminal vigilantism’ should be condemned by the President of Mexico not only in words but in deeds. Nothing short of extreme actions is required for this dire predicament in order to return the state to a level of normalcy. The chronic, widespread violence facing such cities in Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras against the political establishment in the form of some sort of daily gun target practice- calls for the vehement crack-down of these gangs.

Denial of the truth and facts of circumstances will not cover-up a lie. The situation in Mexico for the most part is bordering on a broader national security issue which has to be urgently addressed for the elected officially, for those seeking office and for the citizens’ future in Mexico.

 

Strong Diplomacy will end Wars: Weak Attempts for Peace will Continue Conflicts!

It is difficult for most to imagine the sheer hardship, devastation, suffering, the personal, physical, mental and emotional strain placed on populations; whether individually or as family as a direct result of the ravages of war.

Most individuals take for granted their access to basic humanitarian necessities of everyday life experiences: food, water, shelter, medical amenities, transportation, jobs and education-to just name a few. But for war torn states, the reality is, it is hard for persons to ignore the true extent of the death, discomfort, inconvenience, the lack of building infrastructure, hunger, disease, poverty, affliction and oppression.

Inexperience does not make a strong compelling case to continue wars, diplomacy and the drive to succeed in finding the solutions that work towards a feasible peace process does. The geo-political wars dominating the countries of Yemen, Libya and Syria respectively are the prime examples that war is not fought in the abstract. War is real; and so too should be cease-fires which set about the engines for the advancement of peace.

Genuine peace brings genuine peace. Peace sown in discord, mistrust, betrayal, un-forgiveness, resentment, bitterness, anger will bring only more war. Parties to the peace process must strive to find the real common ground of the heart to ‘truth and reconciliation’ in order to move towards the objective for a workable plan of peace.

There has to be a point where men honour the Agreements they have signed and put aside their differences in order to invoke the larger perspective. Agreements which do not respect the integrity of the process, makes a mockery of the system and the people who are looking to their leaders for practical solutions.

Finally, peace will always bring prosperity in one form or another. Let it be that 2016 marked the year where peace is not elusive, but accords are signed and honoured in the spirit of humanity; so as to move onward to the next phase-where the actual re-construction of the landscape for these nations begin.