U.S.Crusade | RaceandHistory | RastaTimes | HowComYouCom | News Links | Trini Soca | Africa Speaks
Trinicenter.com Trinicenter.com Trinidad and Tobago News
Online Forums
Create an AccountHome | Account | World News  

International Watch
  • Home
  • AvantGo
  • Feedback
  • Search
  • Stories Archive
  • Submit News

  • Categories
  • Africa Focus
  • Arab Spring
  • Audio & Video
  • Book Review
  • Caribbean
  • Inside U.S.A.
  • Invasion of Iraq
  • Israel-Palestine
  • Latin America
  • Medical
  • Pakistan
  • Pandora's Box
  • Racism Watch
  • Satire
  • US War on Iran
  • US War on N Korea
  • War and Terror
  • War on Russia
  • War on Syria
  • World Focus
  • Zimbabwe

  • Old Articles
    Friday, February 08
    ·
    Wednesday, February 06
    ·
    Tuesday, February 05
    · Savage Capitalism or Socialism: A Conversation with Luis Britto Garcia
    Sunday, February 03
    · Canada vs. Venezuela: The Background Gets Even Murkier
    Thursday, January 31
    ·
    Monday, January 28
    · The History - and Hypocrisy - of US Meddling in Venezuela
    · Canada Is Complicit in Venezuela's US-Backed Coup D'état
    Wednesday, September 26
    · Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
    Friday, September 21
    · US Disregard for International Law Is a Menace to Latin America
    Saturday, August 25
    · How Long is the Shelf-Life of Damnable Racist Capitalist Lies?
    Thursday, August 09
    · Martial Law By Other Means: Corporate Strangulation of Dissent
    Wednesday, August 08
    · North Korea and The Washington Trap
    · Venezuela Assassination Attempt: Maduro Survives but Journalism Doesn't
    Sunday, May 20
    · The British Royal Wedding, Feelgoodism and the Colonial Jumbie
    Friday, May 04
    ·
    Monday, April 09
    · The Bayer-Monsanto Merger Is Bad News for the Planet
    Tuesday, March 20
    · Finally, Some Good News
    Thursday, March 15
    · Zimbabwe Open for Business, Code for International Finance Capitalism
    Friday, January 12
    · Shadow Armies: The Unseen, But Real US War In Africa
    Wednesday, December 13
    · The U.S. is Not a Democracy, It Never Was

    Older Articles

    Features

    Sudan''s Crisis

    Zimbabwe: Land Reform and Mugabe

    U.S Coup in Haiti

    Venezuela and Chavez


      
    Caribbean: Unintelligent intelligence
    Posted on Sunday, January 26 @ 04:34:52 UTC
    Topic: Trinidad and Tobago
    Trinidad and TobagoBy Raffique Shah

    BRITISH government intelligence agencies are little better off today than they were 30 years ago. Then, between MI5 and MI6, they were supposed to know if the then leader of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev, was picking his nose, the kind of toilet paper he used, and even what he and his wife did, and when. Today, at best, these and other agencies (there's a special intelligence/operations unit outside of these that reports directly to the Prime Minister) will have available to them modern electronic eavesdropping devices. They, like the Americans, also rely heavily on satellite images that are said to be capable of telling the colour of one's jockey shorts as you sit in your living room.

    Yet, for all their reputation and their superiority (the Americans' CIA wasn't in their class, it was said, but the Israelis' Mossad was deemed the best), in 1970 they were unaware that at least two lieutenants in the T&T Regiment, trained at Sandhurst, had leftist tenden- cies.

    In the face of the Black Power uprising that raged for months with distinct anti-colonial rhetoric, none of these "intelligence" agencies warned the then Prime Minister, Dr Eric Williams, that he could expect trouble in the army in the event that his government decided to confront the protestors. So much for their "superior intelligence".

    Fast-forward to 1990 and the attempted coup by the Muslimeen. Islamic fundamentalism had gained ground globally following the overthrow of the Shah of Iran in 1979, and with its anti-American theme, all the above-mentioned agencies will have focused heavily on activities by "suspect" Muslim groups. Here in Trinidad, the Muslimeen were very vociferous on all kinds of issues, and although the average Trini expected some kind of violence (not necessarily a coup), none of these "brilliant" agencies had a clue on what Abu Bakr was up to. In fact, we later learned that the arms used by the Muslimeen to take over the Red House and TTT came from the US.

    The Americans, who were (and still are) the global police, had no idea that arms were purchased in their country and were to be used in Trinidad for an attempted coup. In fact, well before that-in 1979- the arms that Maurice Bishop used to overthrow the Eric Gairy government were purchased in the USA and shipped to Grenada. It was long after the coup that the Americans did a "trace" on the arms, much the way they did after the failed coup in Trinidad in 1990.

    The point I'm making is that these intelligence agencies are not the super-efficient information-gathering machines they are made out to be. They are not only fallible, but in many instances incompetent. In fact, like our Special Branch, they are known to have fed wrong or distorted information to their political directorates, sometimes with devastating consequences.

    For example, how come they did not know in advance of Saddam Hussein's attack against Kuwait back in 1990? The Iraqis had squabbled with Kuwait over allegations that the latter were extracting crude from a common border-deposit through lateral drilling. The signs were there that Iraq would not tolerate that, so the attack, if not the invasion of Kuwait, should have surprised few intelligent people. Still, America and its allies were caught with their pants down.

    Today, we are hearing and reading reports emanating from these same intelligence agencies, and accepted by their governments, that Trinidad and Tobago is host to "Islamic terrorists", hence a country to be "blacklisted" for Americans, Britons, UN personnel, and now Australians. What is the basis on which they decided that we have "terrorists" here? What evidence is there that fundamentalist Muslims are bent on attacking visitors from those countries? None, I say. Some publicity-seeking pseudo-Mullah makes statements about "jihad" and spews other anti-American, anti-British rhetoric, and these reports are interpreted to mean there's imminent danger to mainly white foreigners who visit this country.

    While one cannot dismiss out of hand the ranting of a madman, there is nothing to suggest that this country is in danger of being taken over by Islamic fundamentalists, or foreigners are at greater risk from bandits and murderers than nationals. In fact, outside of a handful of xenophobic zealots who span the spectrum of religions and ideologies, Trinis, if anything, are noted for our friendliness towards all foreigners, something that visitors notice as soon as they settle down in taxis on the way to their hotels. Indeed, there may be complaints about "dirty Port of Spain" and vagrants littering downtown; but none about hostility from the average Trini.

    So why would any government or tourist agency abroad issue warnings about "terrorists" being active in Trinidad? It is we Trinis who have to face the virtual army of bandits, kidnappers and murderers who stalk our once-peaceful country.

    We natives also have a government that is burying its head in the bloody sand, treating crime with kid gloves when it is clear we need to use the iron fist. We have to cope with a self-destructing public health service with culpability lying at the feet of both the Government and our hypocritical doctors. If anything, we are the ones who should be protesting the dereliction of duty on the part of government. We should let Prime Minister Patrick Manning know that given our stance on incompetence, nepotism and corruption, for any government that short-changes the people, it will be a case of "easy come, easy go".

    But for foreign governments to brand us in the same category as Afghanistan or Palestine or Northern Ireland, it's patently unfair. Travel advisories for countries that are steeped in crime (and we are low on that list: think of Brazil, Colombia, hell, even the so-called "inner cities" of London, New York and LA) are not abnormal. And if we have to pay a price in terms of tourist arrivals because of our inability to deal with crime, then so be it.

    To suggest, though, that we have amongst us "terrorists" who pose a danger to foreigners is unjust in the extreme. And to see a former Prime Minister support T&T's name being dragged in the mud of terrorism on the basis of badly flawed intelligence reports, one needs to ask if the man is sane...or sober.

    Except for the transient Trini who would turn "refugee" in a flash based purely on his or her politics, most of us are destined to live and die here. We must, therefore, resist, with one united voice, inept foreign agencies and governments branding us with stamps of their choice. In David Rudder's words, we must be "Trini to the bone."


     
    Related Links
    · All Trinidad News
    · Trinidad and Tobago News
    · More about Trinidad and Tobago
    · News by ZeberuS


    Most read story about Trinidad and Tobago:
    Trinidad aligns with USA threatening Caricom counties in Petrocaribe scheme


    Article Rating
    Average Score: 0
    Votes: 0

    Please take a second and vote for this article:

    Excellent
    Very Good
    Good
    Regular
    Bad


    Options

     Printer Friendly Printer Friendly



    Homepage | Trinidad News | Africa Speaks | U.S.Crusade | Fair Use Notice


    Copyright © 2002-2014 Trinicenter.com
    Trinicenter.com is a 100% non-profit Website
    You can syndicate our news using the file backend.php or ultramode.txt
    All logos, trademarks, articles and comments are property of their respective owners.
    PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2004 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL.
    PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
    Page Generation: 0.19 Seconds