As most of you know, I was “out of it” for a while due to some real world work and other committments. While I was mainly off the Internet for those few weeks, I got so busy that I even fell behind on reading my local newspapers and watching local news stories on TV.
I wasn’t completely out of it, however, as I did my best to check my news reader to skim the headlines, but not much else. Today, I picked up last Sunday’s Trinidad Express (Oct 26th 2008) newspaper, and randomly flipped it open to page 4 where I saw this:
Now I’d heard and read snippets of Powell’s endorsement, but I had *no idea* that the soldier in question was a Trinidadian. Like Powell, I was taken aback by the hateful language emanating from the McSame-Failin campaign. All those shouts of “terrorist” and “kill him” sent chills up my spine.
If Jesus were on Earth today, I’m sure he’d beat them like they were snakes disguised as moneychangers in a temple.
My condolences to the Khan family. We just celebrated Eid earlier this month in TnT. I’m sure Kareem was missed. He is the 2nd (dead) Trinidadian soldier who’s made an impact on the American political scene. I’d mentioned the first, Kendall Frederick, in my post “Who Are These Jokers, Anyway?”
Kendall got killed by an IED, too. He was on his way to getting his citizenship papers regularised when the bomb exploded as his convoy passed.
The general was quite right in my view to call out the Republican party for not doing enough to stop the name calling, the race baiting and the fear mongering. They’re encouraging it deliberately, and that’s wrong.
Trinbagonians are a blessed people. We’re tolerant of almost everyone and anyone I can think of, with very few exceptions. Muslims have played very important roles in our twin-island state. They’re politicians, policemen, doctors, lawyers. They play a part in every facet of our lives. Even our last head of state (the President) was Muslim. When he died, a lot of people mourned. He was regarded as a good man by all. This is not to say that we don’t have problems with each other as a nation — of course we do.
The thing that gets me about the American religious far right is that they seem just as extremist and fanatical as any of the Muslim terrorists that they love to attack (if not more so, given the lengths they’ll go to smear, right Ashley?)… and they do everything in the name of Jesus!
Jesus was (is) the ultimate man of peace, love and respect for one’s fellow man. Jesus was (is) all for “sharing the wealth”.
Faced with such bigotry and hate from his supposed followers, if Jesus were to come back now, what would He *really* do?
I never imagined that Trinidadians had such a major role to play in the US elections. I’m sure quite a few people would’ve changed their minds following Powell’s endorsement of Obama and strident criticism of the G.O.P. For all we know, that swing could make the ultimate difference when the votes are tallied on November 4th. Powell wouldn’t have made the stirring endorsement without the contribution of that fallen Trinidadian soldier. It carried more poignancy, more weight, more consideration than it would had he made the endorsement earlier in the primary season, when it was clear that Obama had enough votes to be declared the Democratic nominee.
Its even more apt when you consider that Powell himself is a Caribbean son, having Jamaica-born parents.
As I’d mentioned in tail end of my post “The Day I Met Jim Crow”, Powell had only to let out that he was *just considering* running for President when he was besieged by enough death threats to make his wife change his mind. Obama has had to endure all manner of threats against his life since he started getting closer to the prize. Let’s not trivialise it… Powell is just as much of a “war hero” as McCain, if not more so. He was injured in wars, and saw the effects of war first hand. He’s directed troops to fight against enemy troops in dangerous encounters. He helped shape Bush’s foreign and national security policies, until he resigned in 2004.
Powell’s opinion is not to be scoffed, or taken lightly.
As a Caribbean man, while I’m truly sorry for the lives that were lost, I’m proud to say that I’m glad we made a considerable difference in shaping the future direction of the American political landscape.
We helped change the world.
The future of many lies in the hands of the American voter…
Peace and Rice,