We are sorry and we apologize. We sincerely hope your holidays and family vacation went undisturbed in Hawaii. We say so because the New York Times and other papers you read have carried a story relating to the initiative of the Government of Mauritius to take George’s best ally to the UN-sponsored International Tribunal on Sea Rights.
Though the core issue is about the unilateral decision of the British to establish a marine park in sea waters around Diego Garcia, a related one is the other unhidden truth — the existence in Diego Garcia of the most sophisticated US military base in the Indian Ocean. You just need to ask George and George W about by what route they went into Iraq after Saddam’s grabbing hold of Kuwait and then into Afghanistan and Iraq again after 9/11. Knowing that you don’t trust them much, I would suggest you better have a word with Colin Powell or Swarzkoff for that matter.
Uncle, we presume you don’t know much about our Prime Minister. Just as a reminder. He attended the US Democratic Convention once or twice; he is a good friend of the Clintons, very supportive of the Global Clinton Initiative; and on personal invitation, he also attended once or twice the Annual Breakfast hosted in DC.
The problem is that I don’t know much about him either. The only thing I can safely say is that he is a very good chess player, in the political sense. If he has chosen this course of action towards the British, one must conclude that the guy has done his proper homework, as you do. For the rest, we can leave everything else in the hands of the Tribunal.
These past days folks here are talking a lot about Diego Garcia. The declassification of classified documents (now 45 years old) in the UK on this precise subject, as quoted in the media here, gives a better insight into how things erupted and evolved, discussed and imposed (we won’t say ‘agreed’ at this time).
Uncle, how will you fit in this extended story? In Kreol here, they have a classical line of defense – Pa Moi Sa, Li Sa! But I don’t suggest you make this your own.
But going by the principle of “La Permanence de l’Etat”, it looks like you and your administration, at some point in time through the legal process, will be forced to advise the Queen’s Prime Minister on the issue. And we are sure the US government will claim its right to attend the tribunal sessions.
As a matter of fact, and during the past 40 years plus, Mauritius has systematically claimed its rights and sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelagos. All the time imitating Larry King, meaning speaking softly. At the UN and elsewhere, while benefiting from the timid support of a few friends within the international diplomatic arena.
For the first time since decades, and of late, we have noticed that there has been a paradigm shift in the tone and tenor of our diplomatic language. Uncle, had you consulted an Indian astrologer, just after the speech of our Minister of Foreign Affairs at the last UN General Assembly, he would have most probably given you advance notice that something was being cooked at Newton Tower.
Connecting the dots now, just as the US Congress did after 9/11, we can safely submit that the Mauritian initiative was in the making and was being legally and diplomatically shaped for quite some time inside the corridors of power. And the good thing about Mauritius is that no folk here was connected to Julian Assange. Had it been so, you would have learnt about the Mauritian legal initiative through WikiLeaks! And you would have thanked Assange for being useful to the US, at least for once.
I am very sorry, Uncle. I need to put it bluntly. Throughout this whole episode, and starting right in the middle of the 60s, only one truth has stood the test of time. When it comes to its security and its vital economic interests around the globe, the US is prepared to make a sham of human rights, democracy, and freedom of expression, international law and conventions or outright flouting of UN resolutions democratically upheld at its meetings.
Uncle, the next time you travel to Hawaii, please ensure that arrangements be made for you to visit a monastery situated on the Island of Kauai. It’s a place worth visiting, I am told. And Kauai is part of a bigger mystery, the story goes.
Few folks around here have been there. And their submission is that this place is a wonder. My suggestion to you stands on the premise that good karma harbours good karma. Bad karma harbours bad karma. And this is not virtual philosophy. How much it is relevant to the US is not known yet.
We know little about the deep involvement and the intricacies surrounding the involvement of the US in connection with US politics and international politics and diplomacy, geopolitics, export of democracy, stability of terror driven States where Anglo-American businesses take their bigger share of growth and profits, or promoting status quo where geopolitical instability serves its interests. In brief Uncle, what in fact drives the US or US-sponsored initiatives on Planet Earth is still to be discovered.
For peace, we so often are told. Yes, we agree – in some cases! But, not always. Not everywhere.
I still keep vivid in my mind the image of a young US senator standing alone in Illinois and rightly standing against the war on Iraq. This war which was fought for the wrong reason has not brought peace to that country, not even to the region. It has caused desolation and everything a bad and unnecessary war brings out.
Here, and for all the good reasons on Earth, successive governments, a few in the media and common folks have been standing on their own to keep alive a national prayer for the Diego Archipelagos to be recognised as ours and to uphold UN resolutions on this issue.
To end, let me quote your not so good friend, Paul Krugman, Nobel Laureate. He recently wrote – “…when ideology, backed by vast wealth and immense power, confronts inconvenient facts, the answer is that the facts lose”. In other words, this describes a situation where the law of evidence is a sham. With this as background, folks here are happy that the Tribunal won’t sit in DC!
Uncle, I seize this opportunity to wish you and the family a very happy New Year. A little barbecue in the Rose Garden would be nice to welcome 2011. Here, we will have one at the beach side. Of course, if the Met allows…
* Published in print edition on 14 January 2011