The Vicious Cynicism of David Miliband

by craig on May 11, 2010 8:28 am in UK Policy

Diego Garcia remains one of the worst atrocities of all time British foreign policy – and it continues under New Labour. In 1971 Britain commenced the forced removal of the population of the Chagos Archipelago to make way for a huge US airbase. This base has been used for bombing Iraq and Afghanistan, and as a torture centre under extraordinary rendition.

The Chagossians were rounded up by military force, transported over 2000 miles and dumped without support on a variety of faraway islands. Many subsequently died. The term “genocide” has not commonly been applied to Brtain’s treatment of the Chagossians. Genocide is an overused word. But if what Britain did – and is still doing – to the Chagossians is not genocide, then the word has no meaning.

It has taken many years for an effective lobby to grow up for the small, dwindling and shattered group of survivors of this atrocity. But progress has been made, interestingly with a lot of effective support from horrified ex-FCO and Royal Naval personnel. Progress has been made through the UK courts – but has been resisted tooth and nail, on behalf of their US masters, by Jack Straw and David Miliband.

Miliband has now produced what is one of the most cynical acts in the history of British foreign policy. Dressed up as an environmentalist move, and with support from a number of purblind environmentalists, the waters around the Chagos Archipelago have been declared the world’s largest marine reserve – in which all fishing is banned. The islanders, of course, are fishermen.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36139130/ns/world_news-world_environment/

The sheer cynicism of this effort by Miliband to dress up genocide as environmentalism is simply breathtaking. If we were really cooncerned about the environment of Diego Garcia we would not have built a massive airbase and harbour on a fragile coral atoll and filled it with nuclear weapons.

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34 Comments

  1. It’s easy to get carried away when commenting on blogs but Milliband will make the perfect Labour leader. It is a continuation of evil.

  2. Stealing a Nation,

    a Special Report by John Pilger –

    http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-3667764379758632511#

  3. shame on us…..V sad….

  4. Nuclear weapons…now or previously?

  5. Ishmael

    now

  6. When asking jack Straw during a live election debate on Ummah TV, why we are supporting the logistics of a future attack on Iran by having bunker busting bombs delivered to Diego Garcia, he proclaimed to have no knowledge of it.

    I agree, Milliband would use this environmentally pristine environment, should it be still uneffected by US operations which usually leave a mess, something I can’t believe, to keep the original inhabitanats away from their ancestral graves and their homes and heimat.

    I am also surprised that nobody as yet has taken up the cudgel on behalf of these people, by any means possible.

  7. The british government has got form

    Palestine

    St Kilda

  8. Highland clearances

  9. “The sheer cynicism of this effort by Miliband to dress up genocide as environmentalism is simply breathtaking.”

    That phrase could apply to either Milliband, of course.

    Thank you for for reminding us, Craig. There has been precious little publicity about this atrocity over the years.

  10. John Pilger made his film Stealing a Nation for ITV (when it was a halfway decent channel and not the trash it is today) in 2004. He had been reporting on the expulsion of the islanders for many years before that as had Mark Curtis.

    Mark Curtis, Web of Deceit: Britain’s Real Role in the World, Vintage, London, 2003, Chapter 22.

    John Madeley, Diego Garcia: A contrast to the Falklands, Minority Rights Group, London, 1985

    Tim Slessor, Ministries of deception: Cover-ups in Whitehall, Aurum, London, 2002, Chapter 2

    Simon Winchester, Outposts: Journeys to the surviving relics of the British empire, Penguin, Harmondsworth,

    2003, Chapter 2.

    Also highly recommend ‘The Blood Never Dried’ by John Newsinger now available again at the Book Depository.

  11. The Irish potato famine was another example of british genocide. They could have helped, they did not.

  12. So what is the future of our foreign policy? Jeremy Bowen and various luminaries discuss … http://bit.ly/b80Bfn

  13. So what is the future of our foreign policy?

    Same as the past

  14. About 2 months ago, there was a URGENT petition saying something very close to: ‘only a few days left to sign before the UK government scraps plans to make the Chagos Islands a marine reserve… Stop people exploiting and damaging the area there’. It was hurring people to sign. I was horrified because the instant I read the petition, I knew exactly what the plan was; being a huge fan of JP.

    I urgently compiled a report with details of Pilgers work and the plight of the Chagossians as well as their warnings about this supposed ‘reserve’ and I sent it out to the channels that sent it to me.

    Most people were TOTALLY unaware of this dreadful scheme and the Chagossians. People signed the petition thinking they were simply trying t preserve the environment.

    Another nail in the coffin of Justice, civil behaviour and the people of the Chagos Islands.

    What’s the LD’s position on the Chagos Islands Craig?

  15. Yes I got the same lwtc247. I can’t remember the name of the outfit but it was a deceit as you say. I wrote to them to protest but never got a reply. I have been on about the Chagos islanders for some time but there seems to be little interest in this terrible injustice.

    When you think how the general public seem to support the wars judging from that weekly theatric in Wootton Basset it is hardly surprising. I know the ghouls who line the streets there are not representative of the whole population but indicative of a national belief that war is noble and glorious. characteistic.

  16. Article on Diego Garcia here: http://glennbarder.livejournal.com/4977.html

  17. avatar singh

    11 May, 2010 - 1:41 pm

    you wrote “Progress has been made through the UK courts – but has been resisted to”

    No! no!! No!!! progress has not been made through briti9sh court which as usual -fitting for a kangaroo court type set up -said in judegemnt that those dispalced people of deiogo garcia have been hard done by british govt. and have bene victim but I , the judge can not grant them compensation because that would be too much burden on the british people and govt. such arguemnt was not heard when the british unfairly demended more than billions from Libya for bomn=bing of lockerbie disaster .such are the british courts, british govt and british media -rather shoudl we say anglosaxon media and court and govt!

  18. There is a British naval contingency on Diego Garcia and once again I will try hard to get information on:

    1. Why were US bunker busting bombs(MOAB) delivered to the joint Naval Port. Seen loaded on C130 after Iraq war!

    2. Naval sources say detainees were held on a US ship in Diego Garcia waters (Brit club). Why?

    3. The legal agreements between US/UK over the use of Diego Garcia have been broken (letters) more importantly they contain secret annex’s not published that describe the deportation of indigenous people from the island, a secret waiver of debt to the US and more recently THE BOMBING OF IRAN’s IAEA protected nuclear establishments staged from the island.

    We also note from talk in the ‘officers club’ that US exploration of oil contractors have been given accommodation on the island.

    So Mr Miliband – isn’t it about time you came clean with the British people before I have to violate the OSA!!!

  19. Some time ago, some spokesman of some human rights organisation complained in all seriousness that this arrangement meant that fish from Chagos had more rights than people from Chagos.

    I can’t find the original. Can anyone help?

  20. Craig,

    thank you for drawing my attention to this. I’d seen mentions of Diego Garcia, but with so many issues to look into, the importance of this one had not registered with me.

  21. “So what is the future of our foreign policy?”

    Google: Cecil Rhodes.

  22. Click on to http://www.chagossupport.org.uk – has the full background, the blog, the ongoing struggle – some people have been aware and campaigning for years, though admittedly it has never had the shock front page treatment it deserves.

  23. Owen Lee Hugh-Mann

    11 May, 2010 - 7:33 pm

    Progress was made in the courts with repeated judgements made in the Chagossians favour, so an Orders in Council decree was used to quash them. It’s in the small print of UK Ltd’s terms and conditions,

    “The government reserves the right to do whatever the hell it likes no matter what the law says.”

  24. Craig

    It’s a shame that you don’t understand the meaning of the word “atrocity” – this is the kind of moral relativism that only a lickspittle could dream up. And as you are now a member of the parties of government how does it feel to be in charge of the war in Afghanistan, the war on terror, and all the other things you have spent your recent career attacking?

    I think you won’t remain a member of your party for long as you seem to have a natural dislike of any form of responsibility and “discipline”. Ha Ha.

  25. The Chagossians should demand to be trained to do the ‘scientific research’ and be allowed back to their homes.

  26. I am inclined to agree with Eddie on this. I have been very influenced by your blog Craig and in some areas will continue to be, but the assertions in this item seem to me over-blown without any kind of back-up. The evictions happened before Milliband was an adult, let alone in power. You manage to give the impression that the labour Government is responsible for what you describe here as genocide along with pretty well every evil committed in the world. This is unbalanced and untrue.

  27. trust the west not to starve these people to death….build a mcdonalds

  28. ‘I think you won’t remain a member of your party for long as you seem to have a natural dislike of any form of responsibility and “discipline”. Ha Ha.’

    eddie

    craig is not like you then eddie. Ha Ha.’

  29. Owen Lee Hugh-Mann

    12 May, 2010 - 11:57 am

    While it’s true that Millipede wasn’t responsible for the original disgraceful episode of ethnic cleansing, (rather than genocide), of the Chagossians, he has certainly been instrumental in perpetuating the injustice. Similarly, nobody would accuse French post-war governments of being guilty of the crimes committed by the Vichy regime, but they have used the excuse of Vichy “illegitimacy”, (legally they deny its very existence), to refuse restitution of property sequestered from Jewish families. There is no logical basis for this, as if the Vichy governmemt had no legal basis to order the seizures, the property should still belong to the original owners. The argument is applied selectively however, to continue to deprive them of a legally responsible authority that they could take to court in order to regain their property.

  30. Richard Robinson

    12 May, 2010 - 12:38 pm

    “The evictions happened before Milliband was an adult, let alone in power. You manage to give the impression that the labour Government is responsible”

    It was originally done under Wilson, was it not ?

    (chorus: it depends what you mean by “the”)

  31. Dear Craig Murray,

    Is there any chance you could get an article on David Miliband into The Guardian? Miliband seems to be enjoying enormous popularity now — people are totally unaware of his dark side.

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