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 Bahamas Commentary

2005-10-07 15:29:15

Bahamas Government is Pathetic

The evidence is high and mounting to support the strong claim that this nation's integrity and coherence has already been undermined.

We believe that a time is coming when the Bahamian people would have had their fill of promises about what the government proposes to do about this or that problem 'in the near future'.

While we do not know whether a majority of the Bahamian people have had their fill of promises and proposed reviews and surveys, we suspect that the day is not far off when they will -in fact- say enough.

Take for example, the situation where the government itself admits its gross neglect of the Royal Bahamas Defense Force and the new promises about what will be done in the 'near future'.

Governments the world over recognize -as fact- that they have a duty to protect their citizenry from hurt and harm. On the one hand, there is the duty to protect the citizenry from external threat, regardless the source. And on the other, governments have a duty to maintain social harmony and to provide the enabling environment in which business, commerce and family life can thrive.

When governments fail in these two areas, state sovereignty is undermined. In this regard, it is interesting to note that this is happening throughout the Caribbean, as one government after the other is obliged to confess that domestic and international crime is in the saddle.

In a very real sense, the evidence is high and mounting to support the strong claim that this nation's integrity and coherence has already been undermined. The word is that those undocumented migrants who have taken and continue to take advantage of this nation's openness have left this nation's integrity in shreds.

Into the breach enters the United States of America with a so-called Third Border Initiative:

"The Governments of the United States of America and of the Caribbean nations of Antigua and Barbuda, The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, The Commonwealth of Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, the Republic of Haiti, Jamaica, the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Republic of Suriname, and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago pledge to strengthen our cooperation in responding to global and hemispheric challenges in a spirit of partnership and mutual respect."

This help from the great neighbor to the north brings with it a price tag marked "lost of sovereignty."

Sadly, the word is that they are often 'helped' by some insiders in the Ministry of Labor and Immigration. These crooked officials sometimes help themselves to hundreds of dollars, in exchange for turning a blind eye to wrongdoing.

We would be lying if we were to tell anyone that we were surprised when we heard the latest woeful story as to how the nation's land and maritime defenses have been allowed to deteriorate.

We were taken aback by the prime minister's confession that this was his first opportunity to get a first-hand look for himself at the decrepit facilities in Coral Harbour that pose and tries to pass for a Headquarters.

To put the matter of this outrage in its mildest form is easy enough; we were left flabbergasted and bewildered by the news that the Royal Bahamas Defense Force base is seriously run down and that officer morale is at an all time low.

We were -again to put the matter in its most mild form- not impressed by what the Hon. Cynthia Pratt had to say about some of the purported reasons behind the neglect and deterioration of the defense force base.

Those stories about the impact of last year's hurricanes and the ones about how a survey is being done to show the way forward no longer impress. The one about the cost and impact of last year's devastating hurricanes is beginning to wear thin. So too the story as to how an expert review is being done and then the Government will do something is similarly pathetic.

These excuses dressed up as rationalizations will not do for officers who know that they were neglected before, during and after the hurricanes. Most assuredly, they do not mean very much to officers and their enlisted underlings who know all so well about how it has come to be that the defense of The Bahamas has -to an alarming degree- been left up to the good mercies and self-interest of the United States of America.

This is just not good enough. The Bahamian people deserve better and should by whatever means necessary, receive better as regards the defense of the Bahamian Nation.

Editorial From The Bahama Journal

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