Fiji (reply to Lou Paulsen)

Philip Ferguson plf13 at SPAMstudent.canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Aug 1 18:37:11 MDT 2000


Lou Paulsen wrote:

>To me, all the evidence clearly suggests that imperialism was pleased with
>Chaudhry, was infuriated with Speight, and is at best cold toward Qarase.
>If I have properly understood your position, you believe this is just
>backwards: that imperialism was horrified by Chaudhry, incited Speight, and
>conspired with the military to bring the Qarase government; and all their
>pronouncements which would lead anyone to an opposite conclusion are merely
>sham and puppet shows.


Lou, I can't help wondering whether you just scan-read my posts, or
actually read them properly.

I have never indicated that imperialism was "horrified by Chaudry" or
anything like it.  Even the DSP hasn't gone that far.  I said they could do
business with Chaudry.

I also never said imperialism incited Speight.  They were annoyed with his
coup.  But it also may have served a purpose.

Fiji is a small place, and there has been a military dictatorship there for
most of the last 13 years.  So people at the top, especially in the state
apparatus such as the Army etc, must have a reasonably good idea of what is
going on.  It seems rather difficult to believe, then, that people like
Rabuka and the top military brass were not aware that a plot was afoot.

The Fijian Army, which is overwhelmingly Melanesian-Fijian in its tops, the
officer caste and ranks, is a creation of imperialism and earns quite a bit
of money for Fiji by taking part in imperialist interventions around the
world (aka 'UN peace-keeping').  (Indeed, the Fijian Army is larger than
the NZ Army.)

Now, if the Fijian Army didn't want to overthrow Chaudry itself, it would
be very convenient, would it not, if someone else did the dirty work, and
then the Army moved in and cleaned them out, while appointing a new
government.  The object - the end of the Chaudry regime - would be
accomplished and the Army would not look too bad.  Indeed they have been
able to make themselves look like the people who have restored law and
order.

Lastly, you (and a few other US people on the list) talk as if the
Melanesian-Fijians are racially oppressed within Fiji.  Yet, clearly this
is not the case.  The racially oppressed population is the Indo-Fijians,
who are virtually banned from owning land and have consistently been kept
out of political representation, out of the Army and out of various other
key sectors of society.  And both times a political party led by
Indo-Fijians, but attempting to appeal across the communal divide, has won
elections, it has been overthrown in coups.

Philip Ferguson


















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