They Know Not What They Did

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If there was not a clear reason to vote for Solutions Barbados in the upcoming General Election, then our recent vote at the UN should be the final straw.  Our politicians have once again recklessly put us in grave danger.

The US decided to locate their Embassy in Jerusalem.  Barbados was thinking about publically criticising that decision with our vote in UN.  So the US Ambassador, Nikki Haley, gave us citizens a clear warning. “On Thursday there will be a vote at the UN criticizing our choice. And yes, the US will be taking names.”

The warning did not seem to deter our politicians, so Ambassador Haley made her statements even more explicit.  “The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out in this assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation,” and to ensure that we would be without excuse, she added, “We will remember it when, once again, we are called up to make the world’s largest contribution to the U.N., and we will remember it when many countries come calling on us to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit.”

Our politicians could not be dissuaded from adamantly angering the US and potentially harming Barbados for symbolic reasons.  Ambassador Haley explained that the US will put their embassy in Jerusalem regardless of how countries voted.  She also stated “But this vote will make a difference on how Americans look at the UN, and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the UN.”

While our politicians were praising themselves for their principled stand, Ambassador Haley identified the countries that would remain under their good graces – Barbados is not listed among them.  She noted “We appreciate these countries for not falling to the irresponsible ways of the United Nations” and included the following Caribbean countries: “Antigua-Barbuda, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, and Trinidad-Tobago.”

Did these Caribbean countries vote with the US?  No. They simply abstained from participating in an exercise designed to embarrass the US at the UN.  We are a friend of the US – well, perhaps until that last reckless vote.  Barbados frequently opposes positions supported by the US without our friendship being put at risk.  However, the US suggested that our friendship would be put at risk if we voted to embarrass them on this occasion.

There may come a time when all responsible Barbadians will fully accept the consequences of our politicians’ attempt to publically embarrass the US at the UN.  However, such action should only be used as a last resort when it is the only remaining option.  Because friends try moral suasion first, not international disrespect.  Further, the offence would need to be grievous, like genocide, or killing people because of ideological differences – not their decision to locate their own embassy.

Our politicians are supposed to represent our interests.  It was not in our interests for the BLP to recklessly borrow in our names to the point where our debts became unsustainable.  It is not in our interest for the DLP to have brought us to the brink of economic ruin.  It is not in our interests for our politicians to have made us one of the most economically vulnerable nations on this planet.

Other countries with our level of debt have devalued their currency long ago.  We have had 20 Government bond downgrades.  We are desperately selling every national asset of value before we will be surrendered to the IMF.  We have been blacklisted by the European Union as a tax haven.  Now, our politicians are trying to get us blacklisted by the US.  Why?  What was so important for our politicians to risk our children’s future?

Our politicians have recklessly chosen to place Barbados in a conflict that they have not demonstrated any level of understanding whatsoever.  The Arab-Israeli conflict is primarily a religious conflict, and not a political one for politicians to get themselves involved in.  It is rooted in Mohammed’s final command that “Two religions should not be allowed to remain in the peninsula of the Arabs.”

Islamists on the peninsula will never violate Mohammed’s final command, regardless of any type of political compromises that their politicians reach.  As long as the Islamic nations teach that Israel is part of the peninsula, then it does not matter what Israel does or does not do, Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state will never be accepted by the surrounding Islamic nations.

One non-military route to a sustainable solution is through meaningful discussion, by Islamic religious leaders, on whether Israel is situated outside of the geographic and political boundaries of the Arabian Peninsula.  If Barbados has a burning desire to enter this conflict, then we can play a meaningful role in this solution by facilitating such a discussion – not by putting our economically vulnerable population at risk by attempting to publically humiliate the US.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer, an analyst of history, and the founder of Solutions Barbados.  He can be reached at


3 thoughts on “They Know Not What They Did

  1. There is good reason why no previous American President has attempted to make Jerusalem the capital of Israel. There is also a good reason why the Palestinians MUST have their own country. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict MUST be resolved before making Jerusalem the capital of Israel. I believe that Solutions Barbados should rethink what they have said on this matter.

    • Hi Michael:

      I appreciate your view on this matter. Please note the following.

      1. The US President did not and cannot determine the capital of a sovereign country. Israel has declared Jerusalem to be their capital and the Palestinians have declared east Jerusalem as their future capital. Therefore, both sides of the dispute agree on this one thing.

      2. The Arab-Israel conflict has its root in Mohammed’s final command that only one religion should be on the Arabian Peninsula. That is why the Islamic countries will never accept a Jewish state regardless of how favourable a political solution may be to the Arabs.

      3. You may remember that Egypt’s President, Anwar Sadat, was the first of Israel’s neighbours to recognize Israel’s right to exist on the peninsula. His decision to sign the Israel-Egypt peace treaty in 1979 was unpopular in the region, and he was assassinated within 2 years of signing the treaty.

      4. The religious root cause needs to be resolved before a political solution can be found. However, it is not fair to wait a further 70 years for this 70-year old conflict to be resolved. Therefore, once Israel does not object, then embassies should be considered in Jerusalem. Also, once the Palestinians do not object, embassies should be considered in east Jerusalem.

      Best regards,

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