Probe Coast Guard shooting Express Editorial
The shooting incident involving the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard which resulted in the killing of a baby and injury to his mother demands a full and independent enquiry.
Comment from Kian
I am deeply disturbed by the reporting of the Coast Guard actions against the Venezuelan boat that caused the death of an infant.
As a nation, we need to understand our constitution, institutions and the purpose of their existence and operations. The constitution allows a government (run by politicians), the Judiciary (run by qualified judges, magistrates etc), armed services (army, coast guard, police, air & sea support). The armed services are NOT civilian controlled. In the case of the Army and Coast Guard, they represent our line of defense against armed insurrection, enemy invasion and border patrol.
Border patrol by its nature is NOT a humanitarian operation, even though there are occasions when in the course of their duties they may undertake missions such as the rescue of individuals and search for missing people and bodies. The operation mission of the Coast Guard described by the media is, by its nature MILITARY. Not rescue, not humanitarian.
That means that force might and could be inevitable. Again, the action described by the media (the smuggling of illegal immigrants into the country) is NOT a mission of mercy. To make matters worse, the Pilot of the boat engaged in an offensive action by attempting to ram into the Coast Guard’s ship. The re-action of the Coast Guard MUST be military in nature, against the perpetrators. It is therefore valid and within its right to defend itself against piracy and aggression. As an ex-military person, I am appalled to see the extent of the media persecuting the actions of the military without an official report on the incident.
It is unfortunate that a child became a casualty of the operation. But it is damning to hear the comments coming out of the mouths of politicians and civilian officials. To me, it shows a sign of ignorance of people who regard themselves as ‘learned’ and ‘servants of the people’. I felt compelled to add my piece to this reporting because it seems like the civil part of our population has gone on a course that is contrary to the purposes for which we serve. While the Coast Guard may humanly regret the result of their operation. They were within their rights and the law to defend the country against perpetrators regardless of how they look or how old they might be. That is the OATH the military takes.
I have heard comments emanating from public figures to the nature that the action should be treated as criminal – RUBBISH!!!! It is a defensive operation that occasioned the death of a helpless infant and for that, we ALL should express our heartfelt sorrow. The accusations especially by the politicians and public officials are STUPID because they Monty know how to differentiate a civilian operation from a military operation.
I just felt compelled to make this observation because people’s comments are all over the place as though the Coast Guard went out on a police operation to intimidate the oncoming boat.
The media need to do a better job of informing the population when incidents like this occur. The military always does a post-mortem on operations such as this one and there will be a report. But I hate when ill-informed politicians make ill-informed statements.