We have reached a time when it is becoming difficult to separate fact from fiction, and lies from truth, as our leaders seem to be more interested in pursuing a path of corruption fueled by selfish greed and a quest for absolute power.
Overseas, we are faced with the possible onset of a major world war, which will no doubt have a negative effect on us as Jamaicans as we are a net importer of goods from Europe and we will be affected one way or the other. So, we must be interested in the developments there.
One of the world’s military might, Russia, led by Vladimir Putin is on a quest to rekindle the old Soviet Union which came to an end some thirty years ago, with each nation state going its own way, to chart its own destiny.
Mr. Putin, named as one of the world’s richest men, seems not to be content with being rich, but want to use his nuclear might to coerce the unattached countries in eastern Europe, to join with him in reconstructing the former Soviet bloc.
This will enable him to challenge the might of the western powers of the United States, France, Britain, Germany and the other member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, NATO.
It is in furtherance of this idea, Mr. Putin, unprovoked and undisturbed, has decided to risk the lives of young Russian conscripts, by invading the sovereign territory of Ukraine, driving millions of people from their homes, bombing cities and hamlets destroying people’s homes and killing thousands of persons. All in the name of power and greed!
On the other hand, the inequalities become obvious, as, unlike the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the usually loud voices of the international community were strangely silent when the United States invaded the sovereign nations of Iraq and Afghanistan without just cause, killing thousands of persons and destroying the rich cultural edifices of both lands.
In addition, the international voices have been silent, with no offer of international help for the people of Nigeria who have been devastated by Boko Haram which has forced people from their homes to seek refuge in foreign lands. They have received very little to no help from anyone, with hundreds suffering the indignity of becoming refugees in other people’s lands.
Yes We are living in catastrophic times where the lives of innocent civilians are sacrificed in the wars of their masters. Not only in Ukraine.
Hundreds of thousands of Afghan and Syrian citizens have been forced to flee in search of food and safety in the past year.
Five million children are now facing famine and agonising and painful death, and many of whom are being sold on the international market just so they can survive. Yet, there is no mention of it anywhere, not in the mainstream media, and no mention of any international humanitarian response.
The million dollar question is: what makes their humanitarian crisis in Africa so unimportant. Is it the colour of their skin? Is it because they are not European?
What about the plight of the Palestinians who continue to suffer under the yoke of the Israeli inflicted apartheid system which has rendered the West Bank settlers to be less than human in their own country, ably abetted by the United States and Britain.
There is no doubt that all wars are evil and deserve condemnation. On the other hand, all victims deserve the type of support that is being rightly afforded the Ukranians who have become the unwilling victim of an evil aggressor.
We must be reminded that we live in a hypocritical world, where some countries, because of their military might, take on to themselves inordinate rights and powers; Equally, we live in a country, where some people, like some countries, are more equal than others.
Now let's turn our attention closer to home, where it seems that some people, like some countries, are more equal than others. Last week, during his budget presentation, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, in reacting to media reports about five members of his Cabinet who were caught at a party disregarding the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA) by failing to wear face masks and disregarding physical distancing protocols, made light of the matter on the floor of parliament, and asked them to pay one hundred thousand dollars each for their breach.
Many people whose lives were destroyed because they were arrested by the police and fined by the courts under the DRMA, were not happy with the fact these members of parliament were not brought before the courts and made to pay the full 200-thousand dollar fine.
Government must always ensure equity in the application of the law, and never reinforce the distasteful idea of two Jamaicas as this will further contribute to the lack of trust in the country’s social and political institutions.
It is said that to whom much is given, much is expected.
The prime minister also announced the revocation of orders under the Disaster Risk Management Act, throwing open the doors of the country to the SARS-CoV-2 Virus, at a time when we should be most careful as to how we manage this disease and its many variants.
This has not has not gone down very well with some members of the medical fraternity and in particular the Medical Association of Jamaica whose president Brian James says that the COVID-19 crisis, which is still gripping other countries, could thrust Jamaica into a fifth wave within a month.
This he says is even more worrisome, due to the low vaccination rates among Jamaicans pointing to China and sections of Europe currently experiencing a spike in cases linked to the new BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron.
Dr. James pointed out that Jamaica's history shows that once COVID-19 is widespread in certain countries, it will multiply in Jamaica and much faster.
"Our history so far over the past four waves is that whither the UK goes, there we shall go within about three weeks to a month.
And let us not forget, this precipitous opening, has the potential to send the country back into lockdown if we are not careful how we handle the virus at this time.