30.5.06

Diego Garcia and the PC Crowd

On 10 November 2004, Diego Garcia, Paradise Cleansed, a summary of Stealing a Nation, the John Pilger documentary which investigated the expulsion of the Diego Garcia islanders by Harold Wilson's government was published in The Guardian.

This is it:

"There are times when one tragedy, one crime tells us how a whole system works behind its democratic facade and helps us to understand how much of the world is run for the benefit of the powerful and how governments lie.

To understand the catastrophe of Iraq, and all the other Iraqs along imperial history's trail of blood and tears, one need look no further than Diego Garcia. The story of Diego Garcia is shocking, almost incredible. A British colony lying midway between Africa and Asia in the Indian Ocean, the island is one of 64 unique coral islands that form the Chagos Archipelago...

In the 1970s, the Ministry of Defence in London produced this epic lie:

'There is nothing in our files about a population and an evacuation.'

Diego Garcia was first settled in the late 18th century. At least 2,000 people lived there: a gentle Creole nation with thriving villages, a school, a hospital, a church, a prison, a railway, docks, a copra plantation. Watching a film shot by missionaries in the 1960s, I can understand why every Chagos islander I have met calls it paradise...

All this began to end when an American rear-admiral stepped ashore in 1961 and Diego Garcia was marked as the site of what is today one of the biggest American bases in the world. There are now more than 2,000 troops, anchorage for 30 warships, a nuclear dump, a satellite spy station, shopping malls, bars and a golf course. 'Camp Justice' the Americans call it.

During the 1960s, in high secrecy, the Labour government of Harold Wilson conspired with two American administrations to 'sweep' and 'sanitize' the islands: the words used in American documents. Files found in the National Archives in Washington and the Public Record Office in London provide an astonishing narrative of official lying all too familiar to those who have chronicled the lies over Iraq.

To get rid of the population, the Foreign Office invented the fiction that the islanders were merely transient contract workers who could be 'returned' to Mauritius, 1,000 miles away. In fact, many islanders traced their ancestry back five generations, as their cemeteries bore witness. The aim, wrote a Foreign Office official in January 1966, 'is to convert all the existing residents ... into short-term, temporary residents.'

What the files also reveal is an imperious attitude of brutality. In August 1966, Sir Paul Gore-Booth, permanent under-secretary at the Foreign Office, wrote:

'We must surely be very tough about this. The object of the exercise was to get some rocks that will remain ours. There will be no indigenous population except seagulls.'

At the end of this is a handwritten note by DH Greenhill, later Baron Greenhill: 'Along with the Birds go some Tarzans or Men Fridays'...

Under the heading, 'Maintaining the fiction', another official urges his colleagues to reclassify the islanders as 'a floating population' and to 'make up the rules as we go along'.

There is not a word of concern for their victims. Only one official appeared to worry about being caught, writing that it was 'fairly unsatisfactory' that 'we propose to certify the people, more or less fraudulently, as belonging somewhere else'.

The documents leave no doubt that the cover-up was approved by the Prime Minister and at least three cabinet ministers.

At first, the islanders were tricked and intimidated into leaving; those who had gone to Mauritius for urgent medical treatment were prevented from returning.

As the Americans began to arrive and build the base, Sir Bruce Greatbatch, the governor of the Seychelles, who had been put in charge of the 'sanitizing', ordered all the pet dogs on Diego Garcia to be killed. Almost 1,000 pets were rounded up and gassed, using the exhaust fumes from American military vehicles...

The remaining population were loaded on to ships, allowed to take only one suitcase. They left behind their homes and furniture, and their lives...

Arriving in the Seychelles, they were marched up the hill to a prison where they were held until they were transported to Mauritius. There, they were dumped on the docks.

In the first months of their exile, as they fought to survive, suicides and child deaths were common. Lizette lost two children. 'The doctor said he cannot treat sadness,' she recalls.

Rita Bancoult, now 79, lost two daughters and a son; she told me that when her husband was told the family could never return home, he suffered a stroke and died. Unemployment, drugs and prostitution, all of which had been alien to their society, ravaged them...

The behaviour of the Blair government is, in many respects, the worst. In 2000, the islanders won a historic victory in the high court, which ruled their expulsion illegal. Within hours of the judgement, the Foreign Office announced that it would not be possible for them to return to Diego Garcia because of a 'treaty' with Washington - in truth, a deal concealed from parliament and the US Congress. As for the other islands in the group, a 'feasibility study' would determine whether these could be resettled.

This has been described by Professor David Stoddart, a world authority on the Chagos, as 'worthless' and 'an elaborate charade'. The 'study' consulted not a single islander; it found that the islands were 'sinking', which was news to the Americans who are building more and more base facilities; the US navy describes the living conditions as so outstanding that they are 'unbelievable'.

In 2003, in a now notorious follow-up high court case, the islanders were denied compensation, with government counsel allowed by the judge to attack and humiliate them in the witness box, and with Justice Ousley referring to 'we' as if the court and the Foreign Office were on the same side.

Last June, the government invoked the archaic royal prerogative in order to crush the 2000 judgment. A decree was issued that the islanders were banned forever from returning home. These were the same totalitarian powers used to expel them in secret 40 years ago. Blair used them to authorize his illegal attack on Iraq."
F.G. Mohamedbhai told us more in the 2005 edition of Isis Magazine:

"Picture this scene: November 1966... The 3000 inhabitants of Diego Garcia, the largest island in the archipelago, wake up for their daily routine... They are neither rich nor educated but are happy to have been born on this paradise island. The 'Ilois', as they are known, lead a peaceful and quiet life. They are a hindrance to no one, surviving for over 100 years mainly through fishing and tending coconut plantations.

Fast-forward to November 2001. A B52 bomber lands on Diego Garcia after a series of heavy bombings in Tora Bora, Afghanistan. The airstrip vibrates as the giant aircraft touches down, its mission accomplished. Diego Garcia is now one of the largest overseas American military airbases. There are more than 2,000 troops, anchorage for 30 warships, a nuclear dump, a satellite spy station, shopping malls, bars and a golf course. The island, now entirely at the mercy of the base, is known to Americans as 'Camp Justice'.

But what of the several thousand Ilois who used to inhabit Diego? The brutal after-effects of Britain's colonial past are more or less accepted. But nowhere is this more starkly shown than in Diego Garcia, which must rank as one of the most woeful of the tales to emerge from British and America's conquests.

Geographically speaking, the islands are of strategic significance. They were in the heart of an area prized by the then Soviet Union and China. Thus, in the 60s, the 'decolonisation era,' when Britain and other nations began to rid themselves of many territories whose inhabitants were anxious for self-government. They kept Diego Garcia.

Instead, an agreement was reached between the Labour Government of... Wilson and the American administration to convert the island into an American military base by granting the U.S a 50 year lease of the island. In return? The debt Britain owed to the U.S for the supply of Polaris nuclear missiles was written off.

There was just one snag. The U.S did not want any civilian population around the base. To deal with this, a systematic policy of resettlement was initiated by the UK government. Once there, families accustomed to going Mauritius were told they were not allowed to return.

Eventually, the coconut plantations were closed down, food supplies ended and in 1970, the Ilois were called together and informed that they had to leave. Surviving Ilois recall that they were allowed only one suitcase.
To add insult to injury, a British Ordinance was passed in 1971 authorising the banishment of the Ilois and made their return unlawful...

In 1968, then Foreign Secretary Michael Stewart wrote that 'by any stretch of the English language, there was an indigenous population and the Foreign Office knew it.'

Yet on April 21, 1969, in a secret memo to Harold Wilson, Stewart proposed that the government lie to the UN 'by presenting any move as a change of employment for contract workers - rather than as a population resettlement'... In reality the exercise was a mass deportation. Most of the Ilois were deported to Mauritius.

The trauma of their deportation, unemployment, poor accommodation and illiteracy meant that they failed to integrate into Mauritian society... Nothing was done to help them adapt to the alien society they had been thrown into.

A 1981 Report on the Survey on the Conditions of Living of the Displaced Ilois Community stated that fifteen years after the first wave of deportation, most of them were homeless or living in refugee camps. 40% still had no jobs... the vast majority still live in abject conditions....

In 1999, the Chagos Islands refugee Group brought judicial review proceedings in the High Court in London to challenge their removal... They took issue with the legality itself of the 1971 British Ordinance, which purported to outlaw their presence on the territory. A groundbreaking and historic victory ensued when on 3 November 2000, the High Court quashed the Ordinance...

Soon after the judgment, the Foreign Office announced that a return to Diego Garcia was out of the question. The British Government then conducted a feasibility study on resettling the exiles but excluded Diego Garcia, the most habitable of all the islands, from the study because of the presence of the base... Fearing that the British Government was once again trying to deceive them, the CRG commissioned their own independent study, which came to the opposite conclusion.

In 2002 the islanders and their descendants, now numbering 4500, returned to court claiming compensation, allegedly after two years of British Foreign Office delays. Notoriously, Justice Ousley rejected the claim and allowed counsel for the government to attack and humiliate the Ilois in the witness box.

In June 2004, the British government used an obscure royal prerogative to make two Orders-in- Council forever banning the islanders from returning home, reversing the 2000 court decision... Article seven of the new International Criminal Court leaves little doubt that what was done to these gentle, tenacious people was a crime against humanity...

The Chagos story is a vivid illustration of how far the world's superpowers are ready to go to further their own interests ahead of any other considerations. The number of breaches of international law and human rights committed by the British and Americans throws some light on how much they truly value those very principles which they claim are the bedrock of their own societies. Bush and Blair's vision of globally spreading democracy and human rights will remain empty rhetoric as long as they persist in flouting democratic principles."
As can be seen from the above, Tony Blair, as touchy-feely, politically correct and 'inclusive' a Prime Minister as it's possible to imagine, did not care to 'include' the Diego Garcians in his World Order ministry.

When he judged his own backbenchers overly sympathetic to their cause, he chose to use the antiquated parliamentary device of the Royal Prerogative to deny any possibility of a parliamentary debate taking place and booted them back to Mauritius with sweet FA in the way of compensation.

This was the true face of 'democracy' and 'inclusivity' in Chairman Blair's Britain.

I don't think much of the British politician, too many are self-serving, too many are greedy, all are dishonest at times and every one of them would keep those truths from you that point up their own or their party's ineptitude, corruption and treachery. However, once in a while, some our parliamentarians get it right. In September 2004, an Early Day Motion that sympathised with the islanders and condemned those who had used them so badly was tabled in the Commons.

At the time the EDM was introduced around 550 members of the British parliament were in a position to signal their agreement with its critical message if they had wanted to.

Alan Meale and 65 others did just that and they should be commended for so doing. However, almost 500 MPs chose not to sign it. Is this OK by you? Do you think the non-signers were right to be as unconcerned with the fate of the Diego Garcians as this?

Harold Wilson's government was the first to introduce the concept of political correctness to the British people.

This sinister, Marxist device was used to quell the enormous disquiet generated as the indigenous population was colonised by Indian subcontinentals and West Indians in the 50s and 60s, by Ugandan and Kenyan Asians in the 60s and 70s and by everyone who has had the money to get here ever since.

Those who stole the homeland of the Diego Garcians, have, likewise, stolen this country from us over the course of the last sixty years.

The New World Order establishment that Harold Wilson belonged to sought to destroy all notions of pride in and love of one's own land and people. To effect this change the NWO decided that the aeon-long, earth and family-nurturing systems of our forefathers would be replaced by a global village. This would be controlled by an authoritarian elite who would always know what was best and would never allow the commonsensical opinions of the masses to interfere with their self-serving Utopian visions.

At the same time that Wilson and co. were sneering at the British 'Fascist' if he dared to point out that the mass influx of non-native peoples into a previously homogeneous population was bound to stir up trouble at some point, they were treating the native people of Diego Garcia with a callousness and contempt that the average fair-minded 'Fascist' would find difficult to stomach.

Why then, if Wilson was prepared to treat almost 3,000 brown-skinned people on the other side of the planet with such monumental cruelty, did he welcome hundred of thousands of similarly coloured folk into Britain with open arms? Did he not realise that such an invasion was bound to cause problems for the native-born? Could he not imagine a situation, a little way down the line, where the new arrival would come into conflict with the original inhabitant?

Of course he could. If you can construct an argument that can square Wilson's brute behaviour in Diego Garcia, with his pathologically charitable attitude towards the Asian, African and West Indian immigrant who came to Britain from the 1950s onwards, then you are probably one of many these days who do not care too much for the native inhabitants of this island.

At precisely the same time that the Wilson government was doing what they did to the people of Diego Garcia, and, at the opposite end of the spectrum, introducing the first race laws and encouraging mass immigration into this country, they were also introducing an educationally destructive ethos that would guarantee the 'dumbing down' of the common British herd.

As the grammar schools were phased out and the academically interested were forced to coexist with those who were not, the hard-eyed child of the asylum seeker, who spoke no English and came from a land where torture, rape and murder were commonplace, took his seat alongside the innocent, British swot.

Predictably, it soon became unfashionable and, in some cases, downright dangerous, to appear too keen on learning your lessons. In parallel with this, the imposition, in our schools, of a culture of non-punishment, quickly resulted in a loss of respect for those who were trying to teach the newly disinterested.

And so, just a few decades later, we find that an extraordinary number of university students cannot spell, add up or cite their own history.

The process of dumbing-down was not an original concept. It had been implemented in the USA six decades before it was tried out over here. America's patricians were perturbed at the level of intellectual and vocational attainment being achieved by the sons and daughters of the farmers, miners and factory workers of dirt-poor America. The devoted schoolmarm, who set off into the American wilderness from the early 1800s onwards had been doing too good a job.

From around 1904-5, US administrators set about standardising downwards what such effectual teachers could teach. 12 years later the product of the Thought Policemen of the time would march gaily off to war to do their bit for America the Brave.

400,000 of them never came back.

Wilson and co., thus, had plenty of evidence of the benefits of a less learned electorate. They knew that, if they could foist their downwardly equalising 'comprehensive' ideas upon the masses, the kind of intellectually incompetent Briton produced, would be much more readily seduced by propaganda and spin. And their New World Order, world-government, melting-pot vision of the future would be that much easier to install as a consequence.

The Asian Tsunami struck, on Boxing Day 2004.

After the sea had left the land and all was calm once more, almost 300,000 people were dead. The USGS Earthquakes Hazard Programme reported that more than 283,100 people were killed. 14,100 are still listed as missing and, altogether, 1,126,900 lost their homes.

According to USGS, at least 30,900 people lost their lives on the island of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka and Diego Garcia are equidistant from the epicentre of the earthquake that triggered the tsunami.

So how many died at Camp Delta, the US Air Force/submarine base on the island?

None.

No one died.

Almost no damage occurred upon the island of Diego Garcia. Almost no damage occurred upon an island that is no more than 22ft at its highest point.

The great wave that was produced by the earthquake was, generally, between 30 and 45 ft high when it struck the coastlines of the Indian Ocean region.

The USINFO.STATE.GOV website, which as you might imagine, is an arm of the US government, felt obliged to put this message up at its 'Identifying Misinformation' section:

"Following the earthquake that triggered the tsunami in South Asia on December 26, 2004, two misinformation allegations appeared in the media: The U.S. had 'foreknowledge' of the tsunami but withheld it from South Asian countries while warning the U.S. base at Diego Garcia, an island 1,000 miles south of the coast of India in the Indian Ocean, thereby preventing damage there...

Regarding the allegation that the tsunami was caused by underground nuclear testing, the facts are as follows: According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 'no tsunami of any significance has ever resulted from the testing of nuclear weapons in the past.'

The United States has not conducted any nuclear tests since 1992. The earthquake stemmed from natural causes, as earthquakes have for millions of years."
On 25 June 2005, the BBC reported thus:

"Six months after the Asian tsunami, a leading international charity says the poorest victims have benefited the least from the massive relief effort. A survey by Oxfam found that aid had tended to go to businesses and landowners, exacerbating the divide between rich and poor."
If you read the Diego Garcia articles written above, and then reflect upon the high-minded insistence of the Wilson government that the British people be tolerant and forbearing in their dealings with the immigrant, you must surely conclude that their strategic game plan did not correspond in the slightest with the desire to treat the poor, suffering foreigner fairly.

Since Wilson's time, all of us have been programmed to attack anyone who strays from the party line.

'Racist,' 'Fascist,' 'Nazi,' 'little-Englander,' 'anti-Semite,' all these unpleasant names were dreamt up by those who would have any truth that reflected badly on their globalist intentions removed from the public's consciousness and the man who would tell such truths vilified and treated with contempt. He who still dares to practice the principle of free speech, in these Orwellian times, may now be imprisoned for seven years for doing so if he chances to speak freely about the wrong things.

In future, when you reach for the anti-Nazi dictionary, think on this: most of those British Nationalists whom the establishment would have you believe are 'racists' and 'bigots' would arrest all of those who had anything to do with the ethnic cleansing of Diego Garcia if they in a position to do so. They would then hand them over to the descendants of those who were removed in the 1960s to be tried for whatever crimes their victims thought them guilty of.

In financial terms, the dispossessed would also be generously compensated, prior to their eventual return when the lease on America's occupation of their land eventually runs out.

That's what those who truly care about 'the people' would do.

What those who have never cared for 'the people' have done is now part of the historical record.

Update 1: On 11 May 2006, the BBC reported thus:

"Families exiled from the Chagos islands in the 1960s and 70s to make way for a US Indian Ocean airbase have won a new victory in their long fight to return. The UK High Court ruled in their favour in their battle to prove they were illegally removed by the UK government...

At the High Court, Sir Sydney Kentridge QC had described the treatment of the Chagossians as 'outrageous, unlawful and a breach of accepted moral standards'. He said there was no known precedent 'for the lawful use of prerogative powers to remove or exclude an entire population of British subjects from their homes and place of birth'...

This is the second time the islanders have won a ruling that their eviction was unlawful. In 2000, the High Court ruled that a 1971 Immigration Ordinance banning people without permits from entering or remaining in the colony was unlawful.

But in 2004, the government changed the procedure under which the eviction was ordered, using its so-called royal prerogative to establish an Order in Council. It is this Order in Council - in essence a government order - which the islanders have now had declared 'null and void'...

The US says it opposes any return on security grounds.

Recently, Jack Straw - then foreign secretary - said that a return was not 'practical'."

Update 2: On 23 May 2007, the BBC reported thus:

"Families expelled from the Chagos Islands by the British have won their legal battle for the right to return home at the Court of Appeal…

The government took the case to the Court of Appeal after two earlier rulings declared the actions unlawful…

Lord Justice Sedley, giving the lead ruling, said the government's use of the Order in Council under the Royal Prerogative - powers that allow action without reference to Parliament - was an unlawful way of preventing the islanders from returning. Lord Justice Waller said the decision had been taken by a government minister ‘acting without any constraint’…

In 2000, the courts ruled that Chagossians could return to their homes in 65 of the islands, but not to Diego Garcia. The then Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, said the government would not appeal. But in 2004 the government used the royal prerogative to effectively nullify the decision.

Last year the High Court overturned the order and rejected government argument that the royal prerogative, exercised by ministers in the Queen's name, was immune from scrutiny. The government took the case to the Court of Appeal, saying the High Court ruling seriously affects the government's control over security matters and its legal relationship with overseas territories…

The Diego Garcia base, which was crucial during the Cold War, has gained new significance in recent years as a launching point for bombing missions in Iraq and Afghanistan."

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