May 21, 2010

Obama's lesson in Realpolitik

By David Paulin

Obama's foreign policy bumblers are getting a lesson in realpolitik in an extradition standoff with Jamaica -- which may not be the best place for a Caribbean vacation right now. Kingston, the capital, is on a "knife's edge" of tension, report Jamaica's media outlets. Residents are braced for civil unrest. Security forces are out in force.

Jamaica's leftist elites, for their part, have gone into an anti-American frenzy not seen since President Bush's U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

The epicenter of the gathering storm is Kingston's gritty Tivoli Gardens area -- longtime home to an alleged drug lord and arms trafficker named Christopher Michael Coke, 41, who is wanted by U.S. authorities. There, in what some call a "state within a state," Coke and his gunmen have for years operated with minimum harassment from the police -- thanks to loose ties with political leaders and fierce loyalties they've cultivated with poor residents.

Now, anticipating a raid by security forces, Coke and his gunmen have reportedly thrown up barricades booby trapped with gasoline-filled canisters, barbed wire, and live electrical wires. They're heavily armed -- ready for a flight as police attempt to serve an arrest warrant on Coke. Backed up by his gunmen, Coke has ruled this section of West Kingston for years, serving as a "community leader" by providing an ad hoc if not thuggish government for poor residents.

The showdown comes after Jamaica on Monday finally signed a extradition request from the United States for Coke -- after stonewalling the Obama administration for months and voicing concerns over Coke's "constitutional rights." As an American Thinker article reported last March, Jamaica's political leaders claimed American law enforcement authorities had violated Coke's rights with wiretaps and the use of unnamed witnesses -- all cited in an indictment unsealed last August by the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York. However, the more likely reason for the extradition standoff was that Jamaica's political leaders were protecting Coke. They had much to lose by extraditing him.

Known as "Dudus" to Jamaicans, Coke has for years been the alleged leader of Jamaica's "Shower Posse," which has distributed crack, cocaine, and marijuana in New York City and elsewhere while smuggling weapons back to Kingston. No doubt, a disproportionate number of the victims of Coke's drug trafficking and violence have been poor and black Americans. Coke is one of the world's "most dangerous narcotics kingpins," say U.S. officials.

For the rest of the article, go to The American Thinker.

For more coverage of Jamaica's State of Emergency (which major media outlets are not covering in depth) go to the websites of Jamaica's two major newspapers: and


Travel Alert
Bureau of Consular Affairs
This information is current as of today, Sat May 22 2010 07:21:54 GMT-0500 (Central Daylight Time).

May 21, 2010
The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens about developing security concerns in Jamaica, particularly the Kingston area. The possibility exists for violence and/or civil unrest in the greater Kingston metropolitan area. There are unconfirmed reports of criminal gang members amassing in the Kingston area, as well as mobilization of Jamaican defense forces. If the situation ignites, there is a possibility of severe disruptions of movement within Kingston, including blocking of access roads to the Norman Manley International Airport. The possibility exists that unrest could spread beyond the general Kingston area. U.S. Embassy Kingston is taking extra security precautions. This Travel Alert expires on June 21, 2010.

U.S citizens should consider the risks associated with travel to and within the greater Kingston metropolitan area. U.S. citizens are urged always to practice good security, maintain a heightened situational awareness and a low profile. U.S. citizens in Jamaica are advised to monitor local news reports and consider the level of security present when venturing outside their residence or hotel.


Sunday, May 23, 2010


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