Saturday 24th February, 2007

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Who is protecting us?

Prince more of a target for in-surgents.

Soldiers engage in more dress-up and gran’ charge than defending patrimony.

Homeland security not about soldiers and jails.

Everybody run run run

Everybody scatter scatter

Some people lost some bread

Some one nearly die

Some one just die

Police dey come, Army dey come

Confusion everywhere

Seven minutes later

All done cool down, brother

Police don go away

Army don disappear

Dem leave sorrow, tears and blood

Dem regular trade mark

—Sorrow, Tears and Blood, Fela KutiZombie nah go kill

Unless you tell am to kill

Zombie nah go stop

Unless you tell am to stop


Go and kill

Go and die

Not that I’m a fan of the British royal family or anything, but it was quite interesting to note that Prince Harry, son of the soon to be king, was being sent to Iraq to kill.

It’s heartening, at least, for all those mothers now mourning their dead sons that it’s not just poor people’s children being sent to kill other poor people’s children.

Of course the fact that he’s so high-profile makes him and his Blues and Royals regiment even more of a target for the insurgents.

It would be the ultimate scalp really. Anti-West fundamentalists around the world would rejoice. Kind of like I would if the EMA would actually grow some testicles and turn down Alutrint’s Certificate of Environmental Clearance.

But I digress.

I wonder what the delightfully melancholy Princess Di would have said about her boy child being sent to kill people? After she devoted so much of her life to being a poster girl for clean white folks in well-starched safari outfits embracing the unclean, the maimed, the fly-ridden children of the world?

Only for her son to become a certified killing machine. 

I guess that’s the chance you take as a parent. You don’t make their minds, no matter how well you try to shape them.

I mean, who watches their sweet powder-smelling popo and says, ah yes, this one’s going to be one hell of a killer?

My verdict is still out on how I feel about the value of soldiers. On one hand they are state-paid strongmen and I stand in solidarity with feminists all over the world who say take money from the military and give it to mothers. On the other hand, perhaps a soldier also plays an important role as freedom fighter. But that all depends on who is giving the orders. And whose version of freedom we’re going for. 

I feel the same way about the police, security helicopters, the blimp and all the other accoutrements the State has come up with to supposedly protect us.

But it seems like our soldiers engage in more dress-up and gran’ charge than defending our patrimony.

This month marks another anniversary of the 1970 Black Power revolution which climaxed in April with a mutiny of members of the Defence Force after the original Big Daddy Eric Williams declared a state of emergency to deal with the revolting natives. 

Come to think of it, that mutiny was probably one of the most noble things ever to be done by the protective services in T&T.

These days I see soldiers in City Gate and I wonder if they’re there to protect me or kill me if I get out of line.

And from reading the blogs of Iraqis, I get the feeling that they have the same questions about whether the allied forces are there to free them or simply to make it possible for Dubya to get his grubby hands on their black gold.

So the Commissioner of Police will act all pleased with himself that the Carnival was incident-free. And everybody will jump up and say ray. Well allow me to lead the chorus of boos. Because I saw lots of incidents.

I saw lots of incidents of Trinidad protective services intimidating regular citizens, strong-arming people who were trying to enjoy their Carnival.

Between the annoyingly ever-present blimp and security helicopters hovering like a bad dream, I didn’t feel safe. I felt like I was in a war zone. Where the people are the insurgents and the police and soldiers are trying to protect us from ourselves.

This is not the kind of security we need. And I feel like a stuck record saying again that homeland security is not about how many soldiers and how many jails and how many blimps.

Homeland security is defending your nation against marauders of all kinds.

Prince Harry speeds off in his Spartan armoured recon vehicle to defend the rights of the free world but who protects the regular men, women and children of Iraq?

While the blimp is busy watching for crimes in progress, who is watching how to stop them from starting at all?

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