Oh No, Mr. Shaw !

The Caribbean Is One Nation.

                                                                    Oh No, Mr. Shaw !      

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 It was only a matter of time before soldiers decided to intervene directly to protect their own, to exact justice if not revenge, against two-bit criminals who dare to attack, to murder, their comrades.” Raffique Shaw, Trinidad Express, 7/5/2014

Today (7/8/14) we carry a very serious article by Raffique Shaw, a columnist of the Trinidad Express. We find it difficult to castigate Mr. Shaw, himself a former soldier and one extremely versed both as a journalist and participant in military affairs and politics in Trinidad and Tobago. He is one of those rare Caribbean citizens, who has had and apparently continues to have a bird’s eye view of the Political/Military complex of Trinidad and Tobago.http://mahoganycoconut.blogspot.com/2014/07/trinidad-army-backlash-was-predictable.html
However, we unapologetically part company with several aspects of his article especially in cases where he endorses vigilante military intervention in fighting crime in the twin island state. For Mr. Shaw, more than many other citizens of Tand T must be aware of the inherent dangers, when soldiers who are sworn to protect their fellow citizens become a law unto themselves and can settle scores in any form or fashion while we the citizens look on as mere spectators.
The Mahogany Coconut Group warned Trinidadians more than five years ago, that their country was travelling to a very dark place, such as that, now described by Shaw. The MCG (Mahogany Coconut Group) predicted that unless swift and determined action was taken against the criminal element, all hell would break loose. We are sorry to report that this has happened!
Mr. Shaw should realize that once the actions of the army are endorsed, the way will be clear for the police and other paramilitary and enforcement groups to act in the same manner. Trinidad and Tobago cannot afford or endure such. Indeed we boldly state that no Caribbean country should allow any similar action to take root.
We must always think of those caught in the crossfire of such activity. The same criminal element that took the life of the soldier that caused this action from his fellow comrades, is also saying if you “touch one you touch all and if you kill one you kill all…….” Mr. Shaw asserts that is also the mantra of the soldiers as they seek vengeance for their murdered mate.
Unfortunately civil society cannot sing from the pages of those criminals who are seeking to destroy what this region has been trying to build for close to two hundred years. Or since the abolition of slavery.
For if those sworn to protect our citizens become a law unto themselves; we may as well abandon the Caribbean ship. Oh yes, Mr. Shaw, the collateral damage is not worth the war. As much as we understand you, we cannot agree with you. There must be another way. You know that all out violence will perhaps leave your Black and Indo brothers and sisters maimed and destroyed on the streets of Trinidad and Tobago. We hope that you do not believe this to be the final solution to the problems facing your beloved country. 

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