DESTINED FOR GREATNESS - a novel Wednesday Ramblings... Summer Fiction

Stabroek News
July 30, 2003

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Chapter One

Captain Mike Singh carefully applied the last of the polish to his regulation 48-eye commando boots and placed the cap back on the tin of Prussian black Kiwi polish. His gaze rose slowly to the horizon to survey the works he had helped bring about. And then he sighed the sigh of a tired man, but also one who was deeply pleased.

Years, nay decades of lobbying the Neo Cons, including a period in exile during the disastrous Hilary Clinton presidency, had come to fruition in the Essequibo River on the little island called Hog or as the boys at the Pentagon liked to call it Atlantic Southern Supply Hub On Latitude near Equator or more charitably, the poor man’s Pearl Harbour.

At that moment a squadron of Blackhawks was decamping from the USS George WB, parked off Grand Trulli island, while around it a flotilla of quaint natives’ boats were sending up plantains and prostitutes for the crew. A frigate steamed by, its sharp prow neatly cutting a little brown boy’s canoe in two. Singh felt a curious detachment as he watched the boy flap his last and sink beneath the water. It was the price of progress... of peace.

The port was buzzing. An anti-terror exercise in Bolivia had just successfully concluded and the first Walmart was expected to open next week. Now the troops were hungry for shore leave before the planned invasion of French controlled Mustique. No one was supposed to know that, but Singh did. There was a lot he knew that many, many people did not and would never know. It was a burden his broad shoulders were willing to bear.

He chuckled at the knowledge that he was to be honoured at the White House next week for his efforts. Imagine! A little Guyanese boy to be honoured in the cradle of democracy! He was actually salivating at the thought. He wiped the drool from his chin. The wisdom of his vision, articulated all those years in a series of then widely derided letters to a paper known as the Stabroek News, was at last being recognised. The criticism had stung but had goaded him to greater efforts at what they had called boot licking, or worse, but which he called good old American lobbying.

Now he was way inside the Beltway, part of the Washington elite that wore dinner jackets every night and hatched plots while standing at hotel urinals. That was where he had always wanted to be since as a child, growing up in this God forsaken land, he had seen a beleagured Nixon wave from the helicopter for the last time. He had wept for that man, whose visage would eventually be made immortal at Mount Rushmore.

And he snorted a laugh as he recalled how far he, Little Mike, had come from the quaint wooden houses and bumpy roads of his ignorant childhood. Co-operatives, weren’t they a hoot! Illegal flour and corned beef! No wonder he had fled to the land of milk and money.

Now his village and many others had been demolished by the coastal superhighway stretching from Caracas to Cayenne, where ten-mile convoys of Humvees and armoured vehicles rumbled high above the flooded plains. Many natives now worked on Leguan, or as the GIs would call it Fast Food Island, where there was every type of franchise and what was better the ingredients were grown locally.

Who said the US was not giving back? Steroid injected cows the size of trucks roamed synthetic green pastures, supersized chickens clucked in million unit capacity pens. All sustained by genetically enhanced feed shipped in by barges from Florida. The first consignment of beef was set for export to Brazil. Guyana was finally exporting beef! A triumph for the local politicians wherever they were. Of course there were detractors, but Singh had long since had them ousted from power. A toothless Bharrat Jagdeo gave speeches and wrote little noticed columns in the Mirror on US hegemony.

But was this all worth it? Singh never gave a thought to such a question. It was all part of glorious Pax Americana. Just as the Romans had built roads going nowhere so the US needed a naval base cut out of the swamp, if only to prove it could be done.

Oh and how it had been done! Not a bird had sung for the last ten years. Singh began to pull on his boots, savouring the complexity of the laces. For him it had all meant one thing: no one could ever again say he was a complete and utter lunatic.


Ambassador Harper flies to Caricom
Guyana’s Ambassador to Caricom, Elisabeth Harper officially left for her posting yesterday morning opposite the National Library... via Trinidad, just to make it seem more real. She was waved off at Timehri by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rudy Insanally and greeted with a red carpet welcome by Caricom Secretary General Edwin Carrington two hours later on the same tarmac. Unfortunately her letters of credence were sent on to Barbados where they were strip-searched and made to sit in a freezer. Nevertheless Harper was chauffeured into Georgetown while making sure to remark to Carrington how fascinating the country looked.

In a comment to the press, she said she looked forward to finding out more about Caricom and strengthening ties between the two countries. With the single market reaching a crucial point she expects to be doing a lot of shuttle diplomacy and has been given a bicycle for this purpose.


Question of the Week
Let’s see if we have this right... Taxpayers are being forced to pay what amounts to a $260M subsidy to around 500 vendors who do not and never will pay taxes?

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