When monsters rise up


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Category: International Date: 02 Jan 05


If I stood on the bandstand at the turn of the century in Woodford Square and prophesied the events of the year 2004 people would have thrown stones at me, denouncing me as a crazy evangelical.


I would be shouting: “Between the years 2002-2004, the most powerful leader of the Western world will, in the name of God, send his troops to slaughter 100,000 innocent people in Iraq.”


This woman doesn’t make sense, says the crowd.


“He will do that after a business associate, an Afghani called Osama Bin Laden, sends planes crashing into New York’s trade centre, in an act of terror, killing 3,000 people.”


“We don’t believe it,” say the people. “If the murderer is in Afghanistan that’s where he will smoke him out.”


“No, he won’t,” I shout. “George Bush will turn his back to the UN and the world and send his own troops to die and kill in Iraq with only the backing of his poodle, the British Prime Minister. He will say he will avenge Osama’s murder by catching instead Saddam Hussein, who has weapons of mass destruction. But no weapons will be found. He doesn’t mind killing for oil.”


The crowd, half of which wants to migrate to America, say to one another, “America is the richest country in the world and doesn’t need to kill 100,000 people for oil.”


A rotten tomato lands in my face. I continue.


“Between the years 2002-2004 Trinidad will be flush with oil. We will be rich!”


The crowd looks eager.


“The politicians will promise you the world. They will say, ‘Our people will no longer be butchered on the roads. Instead of speeding around, police vehicles will stop to enforce the law. Children won’t leave schools illiterate. Nearly 600,000 Trinidadians who are functionally illiterate will be sent back to school. 400,000 of you who live below the poverty level will be trained to be self-reliant. You won’t die in hospitals like forgotten animals any more.’”


The people look happy.


“But it won’t come true. Ha, ha. Butchery will continue on the roads while the police turn a blind eye. Students will fornicate in libraries. A make-work programme called Cepep will throw money at the poor and illiterate and keep them poor and illiterate and dependent forever by getting them to paint stones. A cadre of corrupt Cepep leaders will control it.


“The medical profession will remain unaccountable so if your loved one dies you have no recourse. If you can’t pay, you die. Ha, ha.”


The crowd grows quiet. One man screams, “You are taking away the only thing we have. Hope.”


I have them again.


“In the year 2004, an earthquake in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the deadliest in 200 years, will rattle Asia so violently that a 30-foot wall of water will swallow and spit out trains, hotels, cars, people, animals, buses in ten countries as if they were stick toys. The tsunami’s arc of water will sweep across Asia, yielding its dead by the tens of thousands by the hour. It will devour up to 150,00 lives, maybe double, as disease from putrid corpses contaminates the living who, as they pick through the stench of mass graves looking for beloved, decomposing corpses mangled with animals and debris will say, ‘This is worse than death.’”


“You talking like the world’s ending,” shout the people.


“No,” I say, “the people of this world are heaping death, war and ignorance on themselves. A man who thinks he is the leader of the free world killed the 100,000 Iraqis and thousands of his own. Your own politicians want to keep us illiterate, dependent, corrupt, and poor (just look at the UN figures) and the calamity of the tsunami could have been prevented by a simple warning system.”


The people got bored and went home to sleep. Seeing their apathy, the monsters under the ocean rose, and in Cabinet meetings stirred their spells for 2005.


Readers wishing to donate to the tsunami relief fund can do so through:

https://www.redcross.org/donate/ donation-form.asp


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All Articles Copyright Ira Mathur