Two of Grenada’s top hotels receive excellent reviews

Grenada has been recognised as a destination to visit as international review experts have singled out two of the island’s leading hotels, the Spice Island Beach Resort and the Calabash Hotel.

U.S News & World Report has ranked Grenada’s leading all-inclusive property, the Spice Island Beach Resort the fourth top-performing hotel in the Caribbean and Trip Advisor ranked the Calabash Hotel as the 8th top-performing hotel.

Calabash was also ranked number 7 of the top 25 luxury hotels in the Caribbean and number 16 of the top 25 hotels for romance in the Caribbean.

According to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA), Rudy Grant it is always a positive move when Grenada gets international recognition like the ones given to the two local hotels.

Speaking to THE NEW TODAY newspaper, Grant describes the accolades as very positive for Grenada’s tourism industry.

“It does demonstrate that in terms of quality and experience and a good visitor experience when you come to Grenada that the hotels here predominantly Spice Island and Calabash that they are offering good quality for money”, he said.

“I’m sure you will also recognize that there are other hotels that are offering good value for money as well,” he added.

The GTA boss made specific reference about the two hotels being recognised as boutique hotels and delivering international industry standards to their guests.

“The service is exceptional, the value that is given, the experience, the feedback from all of the guests is very positive. You know word of mouth is still a very important element and when persons have an exceptional experience … they will tell their friends and they will tell their associates and that can only be to our benefit and it could only be very positive for us so I really am happy,” he told this newspaper.

Grant complimented the operators of the two hotels – Sir Royston Hopkin and Leo Garbutt and their team – for the significant work they have put into their businesses and the industry.
The Barbadian-born Grant pointed out that the success of the tourism sector will have significant economic and social benefits for Grenada and called on everyone to play their part.

“The experience starts when the visitor gets off the airplane and you will constantly hear me referring to visitors as opposed to tourists. There is a deliberate reason I do that because the persons who come here we are essentially welcoming them into our homes, we are essentially saying to them come home to us in Grenada and enjoy what we have to offer and therefore in my mind the terminology of visitor should be utilised because when we have visitors in our homes, we as Caribbean people often bring out the best and the finest,” he said.

THE NEW TODAY Newspaper spoke with Sir Royston on his latest recognition and achievement.

He noted that U.S News & World Report with its over 20 million unique visitors and 120 million page reviews, is a good medium for marketing his hotel.

“A lot of people go online, just like they would go on Trip Advisor. They will put in their comments – this hotel is one of the best, best service I’ve ever gotten, nice experience in the region and they will then tabulate all of that with all their guests comments and … so a lot of it is your guest information… it’s based on how people perceive you to be…”, he explained.

According to Sir Royston, his aim is to stay focus and try to not lose sight on what is important to him and the development of his hotel.

“I don’t look left or right. We challenge ourselves to deliver a beyond an expectation experience with all our guests and that’s why even now during the January/February/March period even December, we have between 55- 60% repeat guests”, he said.

“… Now that says a lot because for a repeat guests to come back, you have to deliver something that he expected so he’s gonna come back”, he added.

Sir Royston spoke of being very proud of the positioning of his hotel and as the owner, he has achieved all of this through the hard work that is delivered by his staff, as well as listening to his guests.

He also congratulated Calabash hotel on its achievement, however, he said there need to be more hotels in the Boutique category as they are the ones who bring in the first class guests.

“Everything is achievable; it all depends on who is running it and the effort that they put into it. The reason why people come to a boutique hotel is that they get better service”, he said.

“…Grenada needs a balance, they need the five star boutiques as myself, Calabash and they still need the hundred, two hundred rooms,” he added.

Resort Director at Calabash Hotel, Adele Garbutt told THE NEW TODAY that their secret is looking after their guests and developing a friendship with them.

“…My family who own the hotel and rest of management …. we meet all guests on arrival so that they know …. the image that we try to create is…more like you coming to someone’s home,” she said.

Garbutt sees the recognition given to the hotel by Trip Advisor as great news for the hotel.

“…There are a million places in the world that people could go to and even more hotels and the fact that they’ve chosen Calabash and they’ve chosen Grenada is really special to us, so we really try and get that across to them and I think that’s what people really do feel, they feel the genuine warmth of Calabash and Grenada,” she remarked.

Alcohol Consumption vs. Economics

In recognition of alcohol being a legal substance in Grenada, Head of the Drug Avoidance Secretariat, Dave Alexander is advocating responsible consumption of the substance to help protect one’s health.

Alexander who is one of the persons responsible for managing and co-ordinating the implementation of the National Drug Programme told a local radio station if measures are not taken with regards to the level of Alcohol consumption in Grenada it could pose a serious health problem for the country.

One of the areas of focus for the Drug Control Secretariat is to implement the National Policy on Alcohol which has its genesis from a report which shows that the Caribbean Region consumes a large volume of Alcohol, which is above the world’s average.

The report indicated that Caribbean people consume 66% hard liquor, 30% beers, and about 4% of wines.

Alexander said local statistics obtained through admissions and treatment at various health institutions on the Island and in addition to autopsies of people whose death resulted from alcohol consumption, point to a problem on hand.

He said it must be noted that there is now a high level of alcohol consumption of females.

The Drug Control Officer stated that whereas in the past, rum shops existed in every community, and was patronised by the men,  in today’s society with the emergence of night clubs, a number of young females would visit these places, and consume a large amount of alcohol.

Alexander also addressed the argument being put forward in some quarters that the sale of alcohol realises economic benefits for the country.

He admitted that the issue of economics versus health has to be taken into consideration in looking at the health dangers of alcohol consumption.

He believes there are other ways in which revenue can be generated besides the massive sale of alcohol.

Alexander made it clear that the Drug Avoidance Secretariat is not saying that alcohol should not be sold as it is a legal product.

“The majority of people who consume alcohol do so in a responsible manner, but you have some who do not and that’s where the problem lies,” he remarked.

According to him, medical experts have shown that a male person should consume no more than three ounces of drinks a day, while a female should consume no more than two.

“Yes it (the alcohol) is bringing money in but look at the social and health consequences of it”,  Alexander argued.

The former school teacher disclosed that there is a number of schools that do not adhere to the National Schools Policy on Drugs.

The document, formulated in 2002, disbands the sale of alcohol at school functions.
Alexander said there are some schools which violate the policy, and proceed to sell alcohol on the pretense of raising funds in aid of school development.

“We prefer to sell things that would destroy the health of the nation to gain a few dollars”, he said.
The National Policy on Alcohol also seeks to address advertisements during prime time in the local media.

New computer system by GTA

The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) will be introducing a new system aimed at ensuring that its competitors do not over power them in accessing “real time” information for the industry.

According to Chief Executive Officer of the authority, Rudy Grant, Grenada is the only Caribbean country that is utilising the CTO Management Information System for Tourism known as MISFT.

Grant said that this month, GTA would be changing the software programme that allows them to have information in real time.

“Within seconds after the data comes into the system, within seconds we will be able to see that data. We will be able to look at what is happening in terms of regions, we will be able to look by utilising the codes, we will be able to see the trends,” he explained.

The CEO pointed out that it is important for GTA to receive the information early because if there is an action which has to be taken with respect to what is happening in the market place or with major source markets, then that action has to be taken immediately.

“When I look at some of the report from last year, those reports come a month after, six weeks after the fact. We may be seeing for instance increase in visitor arrivals but in the North Eastern corridor, there may be a fall-off in visitor arrival numbers and indeed we have to put specific strategies in place to deal with that but it is important that we have the information early and that we’re able to act in a very timely manner to rectify any challenges which we have,” he said.
Grant stated that the new system being installed would allow the authority to have some flexibility.

“This new system provides access as well for all of the Marketing Executive and it provides the option of …making productions based on the history. One of the things that we would be doing is taking along the information that exist in the present MISFT system and we will be transferring that to the new system that we have, where we can manipulate that data to look at any trends and to look at what is happening over the years,” he said.

In recent years, tourism has emerged as the leading industry in Grenada in both foreign exchange earnings and employment generation and opportunities.

Men called upon to get tested for HIV/AIDS

Coordinator of the Drug Control Unit, within the Ministry of Education Arthur Pierre

Coordinator of the Drug Control Unit, within the Ministry of Education Arthur Pierre

Coordinator of the Drug Control Unit, within the Ministry of Health, Arthur Pierre has expressed concern that men in Grenada are not willing to come forward to be tested for HIV/AIDS.

Pierre, who spoke to local reporters, pointed to statistics, which shows that more women than men are coming forward to be tested for the dreaded virus.

“Women are generally health seekers, they would go and find out what is going on with them. A lot of men are not coming forward and getting tested. A number of our men folk are coming down with HIV and that is a cause for concern,” he said.

“You (men) need to go and get tested. Get an HIV test, find out what is happening. You might save your life and the life of somebody else. Government is allowing persons to get tested free of cost,” he added.

According to Pierre, a number of persons came forward and took the HIV/AIDS test in January but no new HIV/AIDS cases were recorded.

However, he noted while that is a good sign, it does not mean that persons are not infecting themselves.

“If they are not protecting themselves then they are at risk,” said Pierre as he explained the different categories in which the Ministry of Health calculates the HIV/AIDS statistics.

“We have three categories – HIV surveillance where persons are tested and diagnosed with the HIV infection, AIDS – where persons move on from the infection to the actual disease (and) AIDS and Death Related cases – where persons would have died because of AIDS related illnesses,” he remarked.

Pierre disclosed that the Ministry of Health has noted a drop in the number of persons affected with the HIV infection moving on to the AIDS disease in the last few years.

He said that several of the persons diagnosed with the infection have been adhering to the medication, which is the cause for the drop in numbers.

“When we have adherence, we see limited numbers moving on from HIV to AIDS, ” Pierre said, while emphasizing that “the medication allows persons to be able to survive or control how the infection interferes with their immune system.”

“As it relates to AIDS surveillance, we had 20 persons in 2011, 10 persons in 2012, 11 persons in 2013, and in 2014 we only had four persons (three males and one female) going on to AIDS,” he added.

Pierre pointed out that in 2014, a total of nine persons succumbed to HIV related illnesses, while seven deaths were recorded in 2013, compared to previous years when the death toll recorded was higher.

“This” he said,  “compares to other years when the numbers were in the ‘teens,’ so it tells us that persons are trying to adhere to the use of the medication.”

“Collectively, from 1984 to 2014 we have 537 cases (349 males as compared to 188 females), noted Pierre as he called on the men of the nation to go and get tested for HIV/AIDS.

Benefits for Agriculture as a result of CELAC forum

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Clarice Modeste Curwen has briefed reporters on some of the benefits that Grenada can expect following the recent meeting between officials of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) held in Beijing.

Addressing reporters at a recent post-Cabinet press briefing at the Botanical Gardens in Tanteen, St. George’s, the female government Minister said that the high-level meeting resulted in several initiatives for the Ministry of Agriculture.

She stated that the Minister of Agriculture, Roland Bhola is working very diligently to get the best he can for “our farmers and for the food security in the country as a whole”.

“I know recently he had a meeting with donors to look at the Zero Hunger issue and the arrangement we had with China at La Sagesse Mission”, she said.

According to Minister Modeste-Curwen, the agreement is due to end in September “so we are already looking at renewing the contract but also to expand it and for a three year period…”.

She told reporters that government was looking at getting involved in new variety and high quality vegetable seeds and flower seeds.

She said that if Grenada can produce its own flowers, this will go a long way for the country in terms of reducing on imports.

“We have the tourism sector and other sectors that do need a lot of flowers as part of their activity. We believe that … we need to expand so that we can provide instead of these entities importing a lot of their flowers, we can provide it because we have very good soil,” she explained.

Minister Modeste-Curwen pointed out that Grenada has to minimise as much as possible its importation bill and to instead improve on Foreign Exchange earnings through increased exportation of goods.

She also spoke of other plans in the Agricultural sector including technical support in vegetable farming, fruit trees, flower culture and livestock, especially artificial insemination.

“The Ministry is already making arrangement to expand the training of the technical staff so that they can train other local farmers in terms of artificial insemination,” she said.

In addition, there are also plans to set up 10 green houses to facilitate the growing of plants that are not compatible with the tropical climate.

Grenada Cancer Society benefits

Country Manager, Nigel Ollivierre (left) making cheque presentation to Dr. McBarnette (right)

Country Manager, Nigel Ollivierre (left) making cheque presentation to Dr. McBarnette (right)

CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank Grenada Ltd. is hoping to raise a minimum of EC$25, 000 this year towards the fight against cancer through its annual ‘Walk for the Cure” initiative’.

The event will bring together local cancer support service providers, corporate businesses and the public in fundraising activities in all 17 CIBC territories in the region.

This is the fifth consecutive year the event is being held in Grenada with all proceeds being presented to the Grenada Cancer Society to assist with their operations.

The initiative began as a tribute to the communities CIBC FirstCaribbean serves, when it marked its tenth anniversary in 2012.

Local Manager, CIBC FirstCaribbean, Nigel Ollivierre on February 5 presented EC$16, 783.43, representing funds raised during last year’s event to President of the Grenada Cancer Society, Dr. Barrymore McBarnette.

“We are hopeful that we could raise probably about EC$25, 000 this year,” Ollivierre said, during the brief handing over ceremony at the bank’s headquarters’ in St George’s.

“…We had EC$16,000 last year, the year before we had just about half of that and I don’t want to venture too much to say EC$32,000 but we are looking at a minimum of EC$25, 000, he added.

According to Dr. Mc Barnette, cancer has been the leading cause of mortality in Grenada for the past five years and that his clinic usually attend to “about 68- 69 new patients each year.”

Dr. Mc Barnette said the funds received would assist in “cancer education and treatment related programmes”.

World Cancer Day was observed on February 4 under the theme “Not Beyond Us.”

The day was started in 2005 by the International Union Against Cancer in an effort to raise awareness and highlight the need for a positive and proactive approach to cancer and to emphasise the fact that solutions exist.

“Cancer is something that has touched the lives of most of us directly or indirectly,” said Ollivierre, who affirmed the bank’s commitment to raising cancer awareness.

He went on to say: “…First Caribbean supports all efforts to raise public awareness for all types of cancer including early detection, treatment and an urgent need for a permanent cure. We consider this to be a very worthy cause and we will continue to champion it going forward”.

Last October, more than 100 people, along with 15 sponsors joined FirstCaribbean on their fourth annual ‘Walk for the Cure’, through the streets of St. George.

Fund raising activities for 2015 include a luncheon in March, a raffle, walk-a-ton, tea and fashion show, and a breakfast among other internal activities among the bank’s staff.

The Cancer awareness event is expected to climax with the bank’s signature twilight ‘Walk for the Cure’ this October on a date to be announced.

Ollivierre said the “Walk for the Cure” event would coincide with the Pink Ribbon Society’s annual “Cancer Awareness Walk of Hope.”

G’da intensifies marketing for international Cricket in April

Grenada has intensified marketing efforts as the country prepares to host the 2nd Test match between West Indies and England at the National Cricket Stadium April 21-25.

In providing an update to the media on Tuesday, Sports Minister Emmalin Pierre told reporters at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing that promotional efforts have been extended throughout the region and the wider Diaspora.

“We are not only targeting our locals,” said Minister Pierre, noting that the occasion is “rightfully a historic and major accomplishment for the country, “which has in the past “struggled to attract international matches.”

“We are targeting persons within the Diaspora, Trinidad, England, the United States. Our Grenadians and friends who are out there and would want to come in – not just to view the game but to share in this special moment with us,” she said.

The Sports Minister said the sale of tickets for the highly anticipated event is being managed by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and would be available to the general public through the Office of the Grenada Cricket Association (GFA) by the end of March.

She pointed out that tickets would be available for “as low as EC$15 per day based on the current quotation,” adding “that the price ranges all the way up to EC$40 per day.”

Additionally, she said “extremely high priority” is being placed on preparing the field to ensure that it is at the highest standard for the test match.

“This is probably one of the most important aspect as it relates to preparation…we can be denied having the games here on the grounds that our field is not adequately prepared and ready,” she remarked.

“We have invested in additional equipment and personnel for that purpose,” added the female minister who said that the Chinese Ambassador to Grenada, Ou Boqian “has come forward and pledged support for the minor repair work that has to take place on the Stadium.”

Meanwhile, the hosting of the upcoming cricket match has created contention in relation to the staging of the country’s Inter-Col games at the same venue.

The premier sporting event for the nation’s secondary schools has been held temporarily in recent years at the National Stadium, pending the completion of the Athletics Stadium, which is due for completion in June.

However, in order to facilitate the cricket match, it was recently announced by the Ministry of Sports that next month’s Intercol would be held at Progress Park in St Andrew for the very first time.

Although local sporting officials have rated the park as the best suitable venue at the moment to host the event, concerns have been raised as it relates to the venue’s ability to accommodate the athletes and the mass crowd that usually attend the games.

In addressing the issue on Tuesday, Minister Pierre acknowledged the challenges but said that a number of measures have been taken to address them.

The Sports Minister, who did not go into much details, said a special press conference would be held very soon to reveal all the specifics for the successful execution of the event on a date to be announced shortly.

Additionally, Minister Pierre gave assurance that “Government has taken the decision to do everything possible to ensure the smoothest transition (of the event) from the National stadium to Progress Park.”

PM Mitchell calls on Supervisor of Elections to declare St. Kitts elections

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, on Tuesday, called on the Supervisor of Elections in St. Kitts-Nevis, Wingrove George, to declare the results of the elections held on Monday.

Dr. Mitchell issued his appeal Tuesday morning as voters in the twin island federation waited for the Electoral Commission to officially release the results.

“From what I understood is happening is that the Supervisor stopped counting votes in certain constituencies and this is rather frightening.

“Therefore my own position and speaking on behalf of the government and people of Grenada..is that I am calling on the Supervisor of Elections  to declare the results of the elections as the people expect..the people have voted, let the mandate of the people prevail and that’s the way I see it.

“It is therefore disheartening and difficult to understand that as we sit here this morning that the people of St. Kitts have not had an official statement from the supervisor of elections as far as the results are concerned.

“Therefore the entire Caribbean region is certainly looking at this and cannot sit by and allow what is happening in St. Kitts to continue”.

Prime Minister Mitchell says Grenada does not want to interfere with the internal politics of St. Kitts but he feels the pain for what the people are going through.

He stressed that the development in St. Kitts has implications for the entire Caribbean

“My heart right now aches for the people of St. Kitts and by implication the Caribbean region as a whole …whatever happens in one country in the region in terms of the perception of the democratic process and the principles of our parliamentary system certainly affects every single Caribbean country as a whole.

“So I ache for St. Kitts and I ache for the people of the region at this time.  In our normal process of elections in this region, we have a name for meeting the fundamental principles of our parliamentary system and especially as far as our elections are concerned”.

Team Unity, an amalgam of three opposition parties, has claimed most of the seats in the elections to form the next government in St. Kitts-Nevis.

Led by Economist Dr. Timothy Harris, Team Unity has announced that it had won at least seven of the 11 seats that were at stake in Monday’s poll.

Sr. Gillian makes perpetual Vows

Sis Gillian Jerome makes her perpetual vows

Sis Gillian Jerome makes her perpetual vows

In the Year of the Consecrated Life as declared by the Universal Roman Catholic Church, and on the day that secular world observes Valentine Day, the Diocese of St. George’s-in-Grenada welcomed Sr. Gillian Angela Marie Jerome as a Religious Sister of the congregation of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother (SSM).

In a playful, joyful religious ceremony held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception last week Saturday, Sr. Gillian took the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to become a religious sister.

During the almost two-and-three-quarter hour long Ordination Ceremony, Sr. Gillian prostrated herself before Bishop Darius who examined her to verify her readiness and willingness to become a Religious Sister.

The head of the local Roman Catholic Church applauded the call of Pope Francis for this year to be observed as the Year of the Consecrated Life which he said is a gift to the Church.

The Bishop stressed that by Sr. Gillian giving up privileges and advantages, and in so doing it was not just for her sake but also for the sake of the Church and the Nation.

The Roman Catholic clergyman used the occasion to appeal for vocations to both the Religious and Priestly life.

He admonished the young people to emulate the example set by Sr. Gillian who heeded the call to come forth and serve the Church.

Bishop Darius also challenged parents to encourage their children to become Priests and to become more Religious.

He said he is aware of parents discouraging their children but they are the ones who will complain that they have no Priests to serve them at the Parish level.

“So young people, I am encouraging you to look at Sr. Gillian and emulate her courage,” he added.

Formation Director of the Religious Congregation that is based at Gouyave, St. John, Sr. Julie Marie Peters spoke of how delighted the Religious Community is in having a local woman accepting God’s call.

Sr. Julie told Good News Catholic Radio Station that the Sisters are very grateful to God for “this wonderful blessing”.

In preparation for the final steps to become a Religious Sister, Sr. Gillian who is from Victoria, St. Mark will be engaged in a 30 day silent retreat.

After making her first vows, Sr. Gillian was placed in charge of the Youth Ministry of the Diocese.

The young sister’s journey began two years ago with visits to the Convent in St. John’s, and later did her initial training in the United States along with her Apostalacy and Noviciate before returning to the Caribbean.

She first worked in St. Lucia before coming to Grenada, and was taken under the wings of Sr. Julie who guided her formation.

Sr. Julie said during the time of Sister Gillian’s temporary vows, had she felt the Religious Life was not for her, she had an opportunity when the vows had expired to return to the secular life.

Before entering the convent, Sr. Gillian worked at the Caribbean Argo Industries Limited.

With a grateful heart, Sr. Gillian gave thanks to God for the many people and groups that played a part in her formation.

She recognised that the celebration to mark her perpetual vows is one of love, and expressed her joy that it took place on Valentine’s Day.

Obama has wrong-footed Republicans in his war on ISIL

SAUNDERSUS President Barack Obama, in the eyes of the Republicans in the US Congress,  is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.  This is now particularly obvious following his proposal to the US Congress that it authorizses military action against ISIL (also called ISIS) to bring an end to the reign of terror they have unleashed directly in the Middle East and in targeted countries in the West.

Immediately after President Obama’s proposal to Congress, leading Republicans, who had accused him of dithering and delaying in dealing firmly with ISIL, criticised his plans.  They have argued and continue to argue for a full scale war to destroy ISIL.   But, the Republican Party is divided on the issue and despite the noise being sounded in the media, President Obama has wrong-footed them in two ways.

First, Obama does not need Congressional approval for the action he proposes so the Republicans cannot overturn his request.  The authorisation of use of military force (AUMF) is a law passed by Congress that empowers the President to use U.S. military force.  But, while Obama wrapped his proposal in the paper of national unity, he is fully aware that he does not need their authorisation; his objective was precisely what he will achieve – Congressional approval from which the Republicans cannot distance themselves.

A White House briefing states: “Although the President already has the legal authority he needs to take action against ISIL, he has noted that we are strongest as a nation when the President and Congress work together. A bipartisan authorisation of the use of military force against ISIL would provide a clear and powerful signal to the American people, to our allies, and to our enemies that the U.S. is united behind the effort to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL”.

Second, the Republicans also know that while the Constitution empowers Congress not to authorise the provision of money that the President needs to conduct a war, it does not allow for Congress to compel the President to fight a war.  In this connection, the Republicans will eventually have to accept Obama’s proposal and, therefore, become part of the authorisation of it.  Once they have done so, they will not be able to carp at a plan that they have themselves endorsed.

Obama also knows that he is on safe ground with the majority of the American people who do not want their soldiers to die in wars that do not threaten the borders of the United States. That is why on February 11, in announcing the proposal to Congress for the AUMF, he publicly said: “I’m convinced that the United States should not get dragged back into another prolonged ground war in the Middle East.  That’s not in our national security interest and it’s not necessary for us to defeat ISIL.  Local forces on the ground who know their countries best are best positioned to take the ground fight to ISIL — and that’s what they’re doing”.

Millions of Americans would have breathed a sigh of relief and Obama’s popularity ratings would have risen.  Within their own ranks the Republicans are well aware of this reality, and it will cause the majority of them to temper their criticism of Obama on this issue.

The danger the Republicans face is that if they continue the rhetoric for greater involvement of US military on the ground, they will lose support from the American people in the 2016 Presidential elections. Obama himself won wide backing for his own election to the Presidency in part because of his strong opposition to the wars waged in Iraq and Afghanistan, by his Republican predecessor George W Bush that cost American lives and depleted its treasury.

The man touted to be most likely to succeed for the Republicans in the next Presidential elections, Jeb Bush, has been very careful in his response to Obama’s proposal, saying: “We should not be timid about expressing exactly what their (ISIL) goals are … to challenge our way of life, and I think we need to develop a world strategy to take them out.”

Those words aren’t much different from President Obama’s statement that: “This resolution reflects our core objective to destroy ISIL.  It supports the comprehensive strategy that we have been pursuing with our allies and partners:  A systemic and sustained campaign of air strikes against ISIL in Iraq and Syria”.  In other words, like Obama, Jeb Bush is not advocating unilateral US combat involvement.

For Obama’s part, while playing to US sentiment against the involvement of combat troops to battle ISIL by saying, “I do not believe America’s interests are served by endless war, or by remaining on a perpetual war footing”, he was also careful to speak to the deep anger and vexation of Americans over the four American hostages who have died in ISIL’s custody – at least three of them beheaded.

In a three-page letter to Congress in which he named US citizens James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Abdul-Rahman Peter Kassig, and Kayla Jean Mueller, Obama said if ISIL is left unchecked, it “will pose a threat beyond the Middle East, including the United States homeland.”  Therefore, he has struck a balance that would appeal to the majority of Americans.

As matters stand ISIL has overplayed its hand by the beheadings of its captives, and by the cruel and reprehensible burning alive of a Jordanian fighter pilot.  While these beheadings, and the burning, were shocking enough to be successful in drawing worldwide attention to ISIL, they were equally successful in creating deep revulsion and disgust at ISIL’s barbaric tactics.

No well-thinking person – anywhere in the world – supports such behaviour.  Consequently, apart from hardline, militant jihadists, there are few people in the world who today would not wish to see ISIL not only “degraded” but “destroyed” to use the words with which President Obama described his objective.

(Sir Ronald Sanders is a Consultant, Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at London University and former Caribbean diplomat)