Blessed Are They Who Have Not Seen And Yet Have Believed...

"Sans Humanité" by The Lara Brothers. Uploaded by gamlahund

I found an interesting article in today's online Guardian. Apart from some puzzling statements that stood out in stark contrast to the measured and persuasive tone of Tony Fraser's article, Coup plot: Trying to convince the sceptics. the article really detained me and made me think...again...and I thank him for it. It raises questions for all of us as we try to pick sense out of the knee-high nonsense.

I found this interesting:
"No one genuinely discerning of the state of politics in T&T and the world should be surprised at the measure of disbelief, cynicism, blind support and equally blind opposition to the very serious allegation that a group of people has been planning to assassinate Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and three of her Cabinet ministers."
True. And maybe those who may have felt constrained to be passively cynical in the past are now actively so because of the punishing blows to a renewed hope which they allowed themselves to feel not too long ago.
"But notwithstanding the Prime Minister and the security forces going this far to convince the sceptics, the disbelief continues."
True. But trust, for some of us, is built up over time and if it has been broken over and over with the handling of smaller issues, is it so difficult to understand why it cannot be resurrected on demand, whole and healthy and raring to go, just because this most recent issue is of greater import? Are our spidey senses expected to be so sophisticated that we can detect degrees of honesty and adjust our credulity to suit?

For those who still believe that the Bible gets it right every time about human nature:
"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.---Luke, 16:10"
People have been schooled into cynicism by this leaching of trust and this latest event should be a wake up call for all of us - a lesson delivered from the common gut. When you take people for granted, you should not be surprised to look around in your time of need to find that you have lost a big chunk of your army.

Maybe all this time, I have been transferring where none was felt, my own personal shock onto A. N. R. Robinson. If I have been correct then maybe this latest event will help us to understand the consternation that that physically and politically assaulted Prime Minister must have experienced when on the night of Friday 27 July, 1990, sometime between 10:30 and 11:00, he realised that the only response to his command, "Attack with full force!" was going to be the sound of crickets chirping.

Those of you who read the leaked US Embassy cables relating to Trinidad and Tobago, would have learned that this decision to "take under advisement", the Prime Minister's order to defend his government sans humanité!, was influenced by on-site US intelligence officers.

Winston Dookeran, in his meeting with then US Ambassador Austin on March 7, 2006 thanked the Ambassador for this "wise" intervention.
2) (U) Ambassador Austin met, on March 7, with Winston Dookeran, Political Leader of the opposition United National Congress (UNC). Dookeran was forthcoming, honest and, as the Ambassador openly told him "very likeable". Dookeran was laudatory about one particular aspect of the USG/GOTT bilateral relationship. Referring to the Jamaat-al-muslimeen failed coup attempt of 1990, Dookeran lamented the fact that the assistance provided to the GOTT at that time by the FBI's hostage negotiating team has never been properly acknowledged. When the Ambassador recalled then president Arthur N.R. Robinson's order to "attack with full force", Dookeran said that the advice of on-site US intelligence officers to the GOTT not to follow the president's order was obviously wise. SOURCE
Although I am not a raptor and generally do not support cold, calculating and premeditated violence, what happens in the heat of battle is quite another matter. If you are attacked by an aggressor and under its claws, then you cannot be blamed for reacting with similar force.

Returning to the article, these are the author's points that left me puzzled:
"Understandably, the cynics and believers should be divided into groups: the tribal supporters of the ruling and opposition parties who can be easily led around by their noses, who will see no evil, hear no evil about their party and tribe but will easily agree that the claims and actions of the other are false. This phenomenon of blind loyalty has seriously blighted the politics; it has given us a mass from which there can be drawn no critical thinking, just driven by tribal instincts."
If the author is saying that within the camps of both cynics and believers, there are two groups: the tribal supporters of the ruling and opposition parties, then that's not a problem. That would allow the possibility of cynics AND believers within the ranks of the PP supporters and cynics AND believers among the ranks of the PNM supporters. Seems healthy to me. But if the author is saying that a supporter of the ruling party is automatically an unquestioning believer and a supporter of an opposition party is an unrepentant cynic, that summation seems as binary as the thinking that has been ascribed to the blindly loyal "tribal supporters".

Has the author simply erased some of the rest of us? To name just a few of the lost "tribes" who apparently exist under the radar of political analysts, there are those of us who neither demand nor receive favours, those of us who support NO political party, those of us who may be persuaded to support a party but only AFTER country, those of us who couldn't even begin to choose an "ethnicity" if called to take a side, those of us who have half a brain that we try to use? True, we do not occupy prime time and make plenty noise but I become more convinced that it is within the ranks of these thoroughly acclimatized "tribes" that you will find the best that this nation has fashioned.

The other thoughts which I found problematic were:
"What is more, how could people, those online, the callers and others, think that a government, any government, would place itself in jeopardy simply to win public sympathy which would fizzle if the allegations turn into a hoax?..."

"What seems fair to conclude is that a Prime Minister, the CoP, the Defence Force commander, the Attorney General and the Minister of National Security and threatened ministers could not hold the population in such contempt that they believe they could so deceive. Therefore, it must be that there is substance to the alleged assassination plot."
Is the author suggesting that governments are never deceitful and don't ever tell lies, lies that are well coordinated between departments, lies that are sometimes as fantastic as they are murderous, lies that sometimes have tragic national and global consequences, lies to win public support for decisions which are injurious to that same public, and more lies to cover up the injuries? If readers have never been exposed to the fact that governments lie, Google the subject. There are too many articles and videos to mention here so I will leave it to you.

Is the author also suggesting that governments actually believe or care that there will be negative consequences when their lies are disclosed?

Is the author suggesting that governments never hold populations in contempt?

Finally, I agree fully with the author's conclusion:
"But like others, this columnist has a healthy scepticism of politicians and their parties. What is more, politicians and their parties have earned the disbelief which people have of them. Therefore, the allegation is before the Government and the security forces to be proven, and neither one of the two entities could seek to lay blame on each other for some faux pas which blocks the way forward. Nothing short of an unqualified conviction in the courts would satisfy those with doubts and there can be no long drawn-out investigation and deliberation: the police must go out and find the evidence to convince the Director of Public Prosecutions there is a basis for the laying of charges."
A government is manned by human beings, but we have to keep in mind that a government is NOT a human being and should not be allowed to have a mission of its own that is divergent from ours. As I said before, I have not yet made up my mind about whether the alleged plot or plot within a plot was a hoax. The burden of proof lies with those who made the allegations so I continue to wait. I will be among the first sceptics to add my voice to the "believers" when the evidence before me satisfies.

We can no longer pretend that things are like they used to be. I personally mourn the loss, caused by time and distance and "progress," of the country people who I admired when I was growing up. The women who were like rocks and the men who said, "God willing." and believed it, even though many of them would not accompany their wives to church. I can still see their tough brown legs and arms, the rough, work-hardened hands and fingers that seemed huge and clumsy but whose tenderness fascinated me when wrapped around a freshly unearthed cassava or dasheen. These were the expert weavers of mamoo baskets and the wielders of poyahs, the makers of maracs and warap. They knew about gru gru bef and sapote and how to disappear from view [I kid you not] and the special baths to prepare their dogs for the hunt. Yes, a cacophony dominates the world today, but for me it cannot drown out the silence, that void left by the people and a time that will never come again.

Maybe the scales have fallen from our eyes. Despite all the distractions, it seems that as a nation we have heard the pin drop and now, we are waiting for the other shoe.

Louis, I miss you.


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"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!