Wow what a story! A plot to blow up an aviation fuel pipeline and tank farm at one of the world’s largest airports allegedly masterminded by West Indian muslim extremists. I’m using allegedly because I refuse to participate in a lynching by media. But lets be clear here, IF they are guilty and found so having received due process from the courts they should face the full weight of the law. I have no sympathy or tolerance for people who think innocent civilians are somehow “legitimate targets”.
But lets look beyond the immediate media fireworks (sorry, maybe that was a bad choice of words) what does this mean for the Caribbean?
Well given the awareness of the Caribbean in the US, we are likely in the short term to all tarred with the same brush as potential terrorists “Isn’t the Caribbean all part of Jamaica?” we’ve all heard the refrain. I’m sure the region’s tourism authorities are chewing antacids by the fistfull right now. Hopefully that aspect of it will blow over to some degree. The region does have very good tourism marketing boards and they will go to work on smoothing this over. For all of our sakes I wish them luck.
The other thing that will probably come out of this is that “all of a sudden” the Caribbean will reappear on the US’ foreign policy radar. If we’re brutally honest we have been all but forgotten as Bush has been occupied with places further afield. This may be a good thing, or it may not. We will probably find that suddenly aid is available for security related issues which will be a refreshing change after being “punished” for refusing to exempt the US from the international war crimes tribunal.
Maybe there’s an opportunity here… perhaps it might be possible to convince the US that their best defense in the Caribbean is strong healthy economies with strong governments with the resources to do things like enforce the law, and provide jobs for people.
Let’s just say that I’m not encouraged by what I see in the historical record here.