When Pres. George Bush launched the Iraq War, he was supported by the ‘Coalition of the Willing.’ One of the willing partners was the tiny Baltic country of Latvia, which sent a small contingent of troops to Iraq. The contingent participated in numerous operations. Though their role was not primarily combat, the insurgents did not discriminate between foreign soldiers sent there to fight and those who were supposed to handle support duties. One Latvian soldier was killed during the two-plus years they spent in Iraq.
The point of this story is this: A group of soldiers, sent to a faraway country embroiled in a bloody and bitter conflict, were safer than a citizen of the Federation of St. Kitts-Nevis is today in his or her own country.
In this issue’s murder story, a reporter records the remarks of a citizen whose attitude was that bad people were killing bad people, so it is no big deal.
We do not accept that. We hope that the vast people of this Federation do not accept that thinking, either.
Murder is a foul, cruel thing. Accepting the notion of “He had it coming” as a justification for lawlessness is a throwback to uncivilized times.
There is also a tactical reason for condemning murder: bullets. When a weapon is fired, the bullet goes and goes until it is stopped by an object or runs out of energy and falls to the ground. A bullet is an equal opportunity killer. If it misses the guy who “had it coming,” it might find its way through a wall or past a tree and settle in the body of a completely innocent person Ð someone who had nothing coming but the promise of a life that could be lived out.
The year is about half over and the Federation has 11 murders on its hands.
What will it take for the people of the Federation to ostracize the perpetrators of these acts? Is there a magic body count number that will make people shout, “Enough!”
The 25th anniversary of this nation’s independence is turning into a blood-drenched mess.
It is time for the leaders of the communities, the government and churches to band together, publicly, and end this orgy of murder.
Today’s issue contains a story from Observer reporter Lesroy Williams, who tried in vain to get a progress report from the Government on the investigation into the fatal bridge collapse that occurred one month ago on St. Kitts.
Mr. Williams did not get answers. He got stonewalled.
Stonewalling is the time-honored tactic of those who are inept, criminal or both. A public body that is operating in a responsible, ethical manner has a tendency to offer at least some information about their activities.
So far, the government has proven itself to be quite good at building stone walls.
Too bad the same thing can’t be said for their bridges.