Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Blair isn't that bad

by Laurent GUERBY Tue May 30th, 2006 at 06:16:01 PM EST

... according to this Guardian article there's almost worse:

The Indian Ocean paradise of Diego Garcia was once home to more than a thousand contented British subjects. In 1966, Harold Wilson's government sold it to the US in a secret, illegal deal and terrorised the population into leaving. John Pilger reports on the islanders' long battle for justice


Richard Gifford and the islanders refused to accept this and were back in the high court last year. On May 11, two judges found unreservedly in their favour, describing the government's behaviour as illegal, repugnant and irrational. The government is considering an appeal, knowing that the Americans, having attacked Iraq and Afghanistan from Diego Garcia, are furious. The bombing of Iran is planned to take place from this British territory. Both governments apparently still believe they can "wear down" the islanders' resolve. They are mistaken, I can assure them.

More details and maps on wikipedia

I was more than baffled at discovering the history of Diego Garcia when the news of 11 May was brought to our attention in the Breakfast Thread. A diary from LondonYank followed, too: here.

But rambling a bit through the archive, I saw Diego Garcia has been a subject that has been constantly mentioned throughout the past ET year. Oui pointed at it in November, in his comment here.

This seems a subject which outrages anyone who hears about it - except British government(s) apparently. Thanks for the update. Let's keep the subject alive on ET.

by Nomad on Tue May 30th, 2006 at 06:54:04 PM EST
Agree with Nomad...keeping this in the news is important...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Wed May 31st, 2006 at 04:02:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't like Prime Minister Blair all that much but I would be willing to trade:


And I'd even throw in a years supply of potato chips - "crisps," to the heathen unwashed - AND I'll let you put lemon on them.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue May 30th, 2006 at 07:24:40 PM EST
It is awful isn't it ? British colonial racism at its very worst.

And the shame keeps coming as well. there is something stubborn and dogmatic about the British establishment in refusing to recognise injustice and do the decent thing with regard to these people.

Personally, I don't believe they can return, the yanks have probably cacked up the island too much. Plus it's a marginal environment, I doubt they have the local knowledge or skills to survive there any more.

But they should be compensated generously. Very generously.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 31st, 2006 at 07:29:45 AM EST
Blair could give them peerages.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 31st, 2006 at 07:35:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is the first comment on ET that actually made me laugh out loud.

Seriously, though, Diego Garcia is a blot on America's conscience every bit as much as the UK's, and I was horrified to find out the story there.

by Rick in TX on Wed May 31st, 2006 at 11:57:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder if there are stories of this kind in other states, like my own France which has a few Island there and there. Some even became famous after some nuke tests but I don't know if population were sold/deported or exposed to significant pollutions.
by Laurent GUERBY on Wed May 31st, 2006 at 08:45:15 AM EST
Didn't France conduct nuclear tests in Algeria?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed May 31st, 2006 at 09:01:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, the first tests, went on even after independance. The very first were open air. Then there was "burried" tests (not really underground: just a pile of sand moved over the bomb). One went real badly: the yield was "too good" for the crap over it, and it blasted through. The jargon in french for that is a "débourrage". A delegation of official including a minister watching the test from a mile away was sprayed with radioactive sand. He's still there to tell on TV though...

by Pierre on Wed May 31st, 2006 at 09:35:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries