- By Clare SestanovichClare Sestanovich and Sylvie Stein are researchers at Foreign Policy.
U.S. newspaper coverage has linked violent clashes in Kingston, Jamaica, to the recent decision by Prime Minister Bruce Golding to cooperate with U.S. demands for the extradition of drug lord Christopher Coke — a surprising about-face for the prime minister, who initially resisted compliance with the American request. An editorial in the Jamaica Observer provides a broader explanation, portraying this week’s violence as the inevitable result of a long-simmering relationship between Kingston’s political leaders and its drug kingpins:
"If we are to be brutally honest with ourselves, we must admit that we have been laying the foundation for yesterday’s events for a long time. We have, over the years, elected governments that are more concerned with the retention of power than with upholding the principles of truth and justice.
For a long time we have been heading for an explosion as those who have held the reins of government have given succour to criminals in their blinkered thirst for political power."
Casualties may continue to climb (Jamaican public defender Earl Witter conceded, "Frankly, I expect the number [of dead] to rise"), but some Jamaicans are already looking ahead to a nonviolent response to the country’s domestic instability. The Observer supplemented its fatalistic analysis of Jamaica’s political past with a proactive plan for the future, proposing the creation of a Commission of Enquiry to investigate the lapses in policy and security that may have led to the current unraveling.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |