Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Boyne the pot calling kettle black

Published:Wednesday | November 19, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Boyne, the pot calling kettle black


The Sunday Gleaner of November 16, 2014 carried an article by Ian Boyne, 'The raging failed-state debate'.

In his article, Mr Boyne took issue with Cliff Hughes' characterisation of Jamaica as a 'failed state' and argued that, in keeping with the internationally accepted definition of a failed state, Jamaica could not, or should not, be so classified. He further suggested the phrase "... has a particular meaning", and that "if we use that in reference to Jamaica, we are being irresponsible and polemical".

Unfortunately, Mr Boyne did not share with us the category of state he believed Jamaica should be identified as - successful, fragile or failing?

tivoli proof

Further in his article, Mr Boyne asserted that "the Jamaican state demonstrated - and with decisiveness - that it most definitely had the capacity to deal with terrorists who had for long taken part of its territory when, facing a clear and ominous challenge, it stormed into Tivoli and drove out the terrorists".

Dramatic language indeed, and this very emphatic declaration by Mr Boyne just might describe the security forces' intent or mission in Tivoli. Very surprising to me, though, was the presence of 'terrorists' there. I am, of course, assuming that Mr Boyne used the internationally accepted definition of a terrorist and terrorism.

If that is the case, I must confess that, as Jamaicans, we should be terribly concerned at the nature of the security threat we are up against here, and this may very well have determined the reckless manner in which the security forces conducted themselves in Tivoli in 2012, which resulted in the killing of at least 76 Jamaicans.

Mr Boyne could perhaps provide us with some details of the terrorist group that held or had taken part of our territory (Tivoli), and include just how well armed these insurgents/terrorists were at the time of the incursion and where exactly these terrorists have been driven to?

If we use 'terrorists' and 'terrorism' with reference to Jamaica, are we not being "irresponsible" and "polemical", and do we not enter a "slippery slope" if we toss those words around as well?


(Ret'd Colonel)