As the world turns
There is terrorism everywhere!!!

September 11, 2001, a date to remember. As I write this article Osama and Saddam, the two kings of terror are in the spotlight. Arafat is back in control, appointing his own man as Prime Minister but the real man of the moment is Osama. He released a tape which indicates that the worst is yet to happen. Not a good time, September 10, to be reminded of what happened on 9/11/01.

There is no doubt that we live in fear, especially the citizens of the USA. As we look at the various nightly talk shows, especially on Fox as the hosts discuss the status of developments around the world, we will notice that the Caribbean is never on the news. This is good for us as we can truly claim that we are in a zone of peace. The news networks thrive on sensationalism and are primarily interested in stories that ignite responses of fear. Nothing sensational to the scale that reaches their criteria seem to occur in this part of the world, not even the major hauls of illegal drugs which are prevented from finding their way to the USA. It is time for viewers of the major networks to begin to bombard them with positive news happening in Caribbean. It is time for the world to know of our contribution as allies of the developed world.

In spite of the negative developments around the world, life goes on and some positive developments are taking place alongside the activities that wants to immobilize the world. There continues to be hope but people will always be who they are and In some parts of the world, many people refuse to leave their homes. They imprison themselves. Many refuse to look at television and listen to the radio. They block out the sources of information that are likely to sadden their lives. Right here in St. Lucia, I am amazed at the number of people who claim that they do not need the newspapers nor listen to talk shows and news programmes. Every time I hear such remarks, I feel badly for such persons, as they are attempting to live outside of the real world and that is a dilemma. We need to pay attention to those things that are likely to develop and threaten the safety of law-abiding citizens. We must do more to arrest the negative developments that are impacting on our country. Right in our back yard, there is the potential for them to escalate and bring about situations that can transform our peaceful society into a living hell.

In reality, what is demanded of us is for law-abiding citizens to enter into battle by collaborating with the police and other agencies against those who are bent on changing the status quo and transform our society into one of fear. Terrorists in the wider context can be found right in our midst. What are we doing to prevent this from escalating? The establishment of institutions to execute preventative programmes to arrest the negative trends that are raising their ugly heads must be a top priority. Here in St. Lucia, we are moving to put in place institutions and programmes that seek to deal with the threats of lawlessness. However, many feel that effective implementation is necessary. There seems to be the will on the part of the Government to get ahead with what has to be done, but there is the problem of money to fuel the programmes.
The problems that drive our youth into a state of restlessness must be addressed. Some people are calling for a type of national service to discipline our youth. There is need to give hope to our young people by equipping them with skills for life. There is urgent need for Technical Schools, at least four of them in the major population centres across the island.

The school curriculum should include motivational lectures and studies in the subject areas of salesmanship and marketing. Big business has a role to play and it seems to me that some large companies will have to revisit their advertising and promotional budgets and put some money into people development. The time has come for businesses that are currently seeking to maximize sales from existing disposable income to begin to sow seeds that will guarantee a flow of such income on a sustainable basis. We must do everything to prevent home grown terrorists that will make our peaceful St. Lucia a living hell. We must commit to the task that will ensure that the situation is not worsened by our neglect.

The ideas highlighted in respect of tackling the problems at the source should not be different anywhere as these problems are global in scope. Why are young people getting involved in terrorist activities, sacrificing their lives by becoming suicide bombers? It is more an issue of having no hope, all they see and are involved in are the wicked plans of leaders who exploit them. The answer in my mind lies in empowering the less fortunate everywhere, especially the youth.

Those of us who enjoy real freedom should do our best to preserve it. The leaders among us need to step out and lead. In the meantime, I say to the preachers who call for prayers, prayers alone will not help. We have been praying for years but it is time for works. There is work to be done, get out in the communities and be seen to be making a difference. Use some of the churches income to feed the hungry in the community, help create jobs, counsel our young people. The Messiah – fed his followers and commanded his disciples to do likewise. Too little of this is happening. It is now time to act, not to talk, we know what is needed, let us do it.

Keep the Faith
Ed Harris@Large