WikiLeaks erinnert an Diego Garcia, das geraubte verlorene Paradies

Deportation von der Insel im Indischen Ozean - Filmdokumentation “Stealing a Nation” von John Pilger und Buch "Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia" von David Vine

Der Guardian veröffentlichte am 3.Dezember die von WikiLeaks offen gelegten Dateien in dem Artikel "WikiLeaks: Foreign Office accused of misleading public over Diego Garcia" und lenkte somit die Aufmerksamkeit auf die Spionage- und Militärinsel Diego Garcia, die 750 Kilometer südlich der Malediven eine wichtige strategische Lage einnimmt. Darin wird das britische Auswärtige Amt beschuldigt, eine Irreführung der Öffentlichkeit über das Schicksal von Tausenden eingeborenen Inselbewohnern durchgeführt zu haben, die aus ihrer Heimat vertrieben wurden, um den Weg für einen US-Militärstützpunkt zu ebnen, der von der US Navy und der US Air Force genutzt wird. (1)

Mehr als 2.000 Inselbewohner - von dem Auswärtigen Amt inoffiziell als "Man Fridays" bezeichnet - wurden von der heute unbewohnten britischen Kolonie Diego Garcia in den 1960er und 70er Jahren auf Druck des US-Verteidigungsministeriums vertrieben und die meisten leben heute in den Slums von Port Louis, der Hauptstadt von Mauritius sowie auf den Seychellen und in Grossbritannien. Das Auswärtige Amt hat mit Rückendeckung durch die USA zugunsten des militärisch-geheimdienstlichen Komplexes eine lange juristische Schlacht geführt, um zu verhindern, dass die Menschen in ihre Heimat zurückkehren können. Nach der Vertreibung wurde anschliessend noch in den sechziger Jahren ein gemeinsamer Militärstützpunkt von Grossbritannien und den USA errichtet. Im Jahr 1973 installierte der US-Geheimdienst NSA eine Lauschanlage.

Die Insel wird immer weiter als Militärstützpunkt ausgebaut: seit dem Jahr 2010 sind auf Diego Garcia insgesamt 3.200 US Soldaten stationiert. Vier strategische Langstreckenbomber des Typs Northrop B-2-Bomber wurden zusätzlich im Zuge der Operation Enduring Freedom 2001 zu den auf Diego Garcia stationierten Boeing B-52-Bombern sowie Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker zur Luftbetankung) und AWACS-Flugzeugen verlegt. Von diesem Luftwaffenstützpunkt flogen zuvor auch US-Bomber in die Golfregion (Zweiter und Dritter Golfkrieg) sowie zu den Einsätzen in Afghanistan (Foto: Northrop B-2, U.S. Air Force, Wikipedia). Hunderte 192 BLU-116-Sprengköpfe werden geliefert, wie im März diesen Jahres bekannt wurde. (2)

Eine B-2 „Spirit“ über dem Pazifischen Ozean

Eine B-2 „Spirit“ über dem Pazifischen Ozean

Die USA unterhielten dort ein der Öffentlichkeit bis zum Jahr 2003 unbekanntes geheimes CIA-Gefangenlager, das danach als offizielles Konzentrationslager weiterbetrieben wurde.

Der Vertrag mit Grossbritannien läuft noch bis zum Jahr 2016 mit einer zwanzigjährigen Verlängerungsoption.

Die Insulaner kämpfen noch um ihr Recht, für immer nach Hause gehen zu können. Zur Zeit liegt ihre Klage vor dem Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte. Die Einwohner des letzten verbliebenen British Indian Ocean Territory direkt neben den Salomoninseln haben den Status britischer Bürger (Grafik: NOAA/Wikipedia).

Chagos Archipel

Chagos Archipel im Indischen Ozean

Ein geheimes diplomatisches US-Dokument, dass von WikiLeaks veröffentlicht wurde, offenbarte den letzten inoffiziellen Plan des Auswärtigen Amtes, die 55 Inseln rund um Diego Garcia, das British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) - als grösste maritime Schutzzone der Welt zu deklarieren und damit jede Chance auf eine Rückkehr ein Ende zu bereiten. Mit Diego Garcia gehören die Koralleninseln zu der Grossen Chagosbank, dem grössten Atollkomplex der Erde.

Die Zulassung steht im Widerspruch zu der öffentlichen Position des Auswärtigen Amtes, dass der geplante Park keine Auswirkung auf das "Recht auf Rückkehr" der Insulaner hat und dieses nicht beeinträchtigt. Für die Inselbewohner ist das maritime Naturschutzgebiet ein Trick, um ihre Rückkehr zu blockieren und sagen, dass es für sie dadurch unmöglich sein wird, dort mit dem Verbot der Fischerei - ihrer wichtigsten Lebensgrundlage - zu leben.

Unter diesem Link ist ein Satellitenfoto der NASA der Insel Diego Garcia abgebildet, auf dem die Schönheit und Zerbrechlichkeit des Atolls im Indischen Ozean die schmutzige Verwendung als US-Spionage- und Militärstützpunkt mit Rockwell B1 Jagdbombern am besten kontrastiert sowie den irrsinnigen Krieg und ständig weitergehende Aufrüstung.

Das Dokument des US-Aussenministeriums beinhaltet die Aufzeichnung eines privaten Treffens zwischen hohen Beamten des britischen Auswärtigen Amtes und ihren amerikanischen Kollegen (3):

Friday, 15 May 2009, 07:00
C O N F I D E N T I A L LONDON 001156
NOFORN
SIPDIS
EO 12958 DECL: 05/13/2029
TAGS MARR, MOPS, SENV, UK, IO">IO">IO, MP, EFIS, EWWT, PGOV, PREL
SUBJECT: HMG FLOATS PROPOSAL FOR MARINE RESERVE COVERING
THE CHAGOS ARCHIPELAGO (BRITISH INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORY)
REF: 08 LONDON 2667 (NOTAL)
Classified By: Political Counselor Richard Mills for reasons 1.4 b and d

1. (C/NF) Summary. HMG would like to establish a "marine park" or "reserve" providing comprehensive environmental protection to the reefs and waters of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), a senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) official informed Polcouns on May 12. The official insisted that the establishment of a marine park -- the world's largest -- would in no way impinge on USG use of the BIOT, including Diego Garcia, for military purposes. He agreed that the UK and U.S. should carefully negotiate the details of the marine reserve to assure that U.S. interests were safeguarded and the strategic value of BIOT was upheld. He said that the BIOT's former inhabitants would find it difficult, if not impossible, to pursue their claim for resettlement on the islands if the entire Chagos Archipelago were a marine reserve. End Summary.

Protecting the BIOT's Waters

----------------------------

2. (C/NF) Senior HMG officials support the establishment of a "marine park" or "reserve" in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), which includes Diego Garcia, Colin Roberts, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) Director, Overseas Territories, told the Political Counselor May 12. Noting that the uninhabited islands of the Chagos Archipelago are already protected under British law from development or other environmental harm but that current British law does not provide protected status for either reefs or waters, Roberts affirmed that the bruited proposal would only concern the "exclusive zone" around the islands. The resulting protected area would constitute "the largest marine reserve in the world."

3. (C/NF) Roberts iterated strong UK "political support" for a marine park; "Ministers like the idea," he said. He stressed that HMG's "timeline" for establishing the park was before the next general elections, which under British law must occur no later than May 2010. He suggested that the exact terms of the proposals could be defined and presented at the U.S.-UK annual political-military consultations held in late summer/early fall 2009 (exact date TBD). If the USG would like to discuss the issue prior to those talks, HMG would be open for discussion through other channels -- in any case, the FCO would keep Embassy London informed of development of the idea and next steps. The UK would like to "move forward discussion with key international stakeholders" by the end of 2009. He said that HMG had noted the success of U.S. marine sanctuaries in Hawaii and the Marianas Trench. (Note: Roberts was referring to the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and Marianas Trench Marine National Monument. End Note.) He asserted that the Pew Charitable Trust, which has proposed a BIOT marine reserve, is funding a public relations campaign in support of the idea. He noted that the trust had backed the Hawaiian reserve and is well-regarded within British governmental circles and the larger British environmental community.

Three Sine Qua Nons: U.S. Assent...

-----------------------------------

4. (C/NF) According to Roberts, three pre-conditions must be met before HMG could establish a park. First, "we need to make sure the U.S. government is comfortable with the idea. We would need to present this proposal very clearly to the American administration...All we do should enhance base security or leave it unchanged." Polcouns expressed appreciation for this a priori commitment, but stressed that the 1966 U.S.-UK Exchange of Notes concerning the BIOT would, in any event, require U.S. assent to any significant change of the BIOT's status that could impact the BIOT's strategic use. Roberts stressed that the proposal "would have no impact on how Diego Garcia is administered as a base." In response to a request for clarification on this point from Polcouns, Roberts asserted that the proposal would have absolutely no impact on the right of U.S. or British military vessels to use the BIOT for passage, anchorage, prepositioning, or other uses. Polcouns rejoined that

designating the BIOT as a marine park could, years down the road, create public questioning about the suitability of the BIOT for military purposes. Roberts responded that the terms of reference for the establishment of a marine park would clearly state that the BIOT, including Diego Garcia, was reserved for military uses.

5. (C/NF) Ashley Smith, the Ministry of Defense's (MOD) International Policy and Planning Assistant Head, Asia Pacific, who also participated in the meeting, affirmed that the MOD "shares the same concerns as the U.S. regarding security" and would ensure that security concerns were fully and properly addressed in any proposal for a marine park. Roberts agreed, stating that "the primary purpose of the BIOT is security" but that HMG could also address environmental concerns in its administration of the BIOT. Smith added that the establishment of a marine reserve had the potential to be a "win-win situation in terms of establishing situational awareness" of the BIOT. He stressed that HMG sought "no constraints on military operations" as a result of the establishment of a marine park.

...Mauritian Assent...

----------------------

6. (C/NF) Roberts outlined two other prerequisites for establishment of a marine park. HMG would seek assent from the Government of Mauritius, which disputes sovereignty over the Chagos archipelago, in order to avoid the GOM "raising complaints with the UN." He asserted that the GOM had expressed little interest in protecting the archipelago's sensitive environment and was primarily interested in the archipelago's economic potential as a fishery. Roberts noted that in January 2009 HMG held the first-ever "formal talks" with Mauritius regarding the BIOT. The talks included the Mauritian Prime Minister. Roberts said that he "cast a fly in the talks over how we could improve stewardship of the territory," but the Mauritian participants "were not focused on environmental issues and expressed interest only in fishery control." He said that one Mauritian participant in the talks complained that the Indian Ocean is "the only ocean in the world where the fish die of old age." In HMG's view, the marine park concept aims to "go beyond economic value and consider bio-diversity and intangible values."

...Chagossian Assent

--------------------

7. (C/NF) Roberts acknowledged that "we need to find a way to get through the various Chagossian lobbies." He admitted that HMG is "under pressure" from the Chagossians and their advocates to permit resettlement of the "outer islands" of the BIOT. He noted, without providing details, that "there are proposals (for a marine park) that could provide the Chagossians warden jobs" within the BIOT. However, Roberts stated that, according to the HGM,s current thinking on a reserve, there would be "no human footprints" or "Man Fridays" on the BIOT's uninhabited islands. He asserted that establishing a marine park would, in effect, put paid to resettlement claims of the archipelago's former residents. Responding to Polcouns' observation that the advocates of Chagossian resettlement continue to vigorously press their case, Roberts opined that the UK's "environmental lobby is far more powerful than the Chagossians' advocates." (Note: One group of Chagossian litigants is appealing to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) the decision of Britain's highest court to deny "resettlement rights" to the islands' former inhabitants. See below at paragraph 13 and reftel. End Note.)

Je Ne Regrette Rien

-------------------

8. (C/NF) Roberts observed that BIOT has "served its role very well," advancing shared U.S.-UK strategic security objectives for the past several decades. The BIOT "has had a great role in assuring the security of the UK and U.S. -- much more than anyone foresaw" in the 1960s, Roberts emphasized. "We do not regret the removal of the population," since removal was necessary for the BIOT to fulfill its strategic purpose, he said. Removal of the

population is the reason that the BIOT's uninhabited islands and the surrounding waters are in "pristine" condition. Roberts added that Diego Garcia's excellent condition reflects the responsible stewardship of the U.S. and UK forces using it.

Administering a Reserve

-----------------------

9. (C/NF) Roberts acknowledged that numerous technical questions needed to be resolved regarding the establishment and administration of a marine park, although he described the governmental "act" of declaring a marine park as a relatively straightforward and rapid process. He noted that the establishment of a marine reserve would require permitting scientists to visit BIOT, but that creating a park would help restrict access for non-scientific purposes. For example, he continued, the rules governing the park could strictly limit access to BIOT by yachts, which Roberts referred to as "sea gypsies."

BIOT: More Than Just Diego Garcia

---------------------------------

10. (C/NF) Following the meeting with Roberts, Joanne Yeadon, Head of the FCO's Overseas Territories Directorate's BIOT and Pitcairn Section, who also attended the meeting with Polcouns, told Poloff that the marine park proposal would "not impact the base on Diego Garcia in any way" and would have no impact on the parameters of the U.S.-UK 1966 exchange of notes since the marine park would "have no impact on defense purposes." Yeadon averred that the provision of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea guaranteed free passage of vessels, including military vessels, and that the presence of a marine park would not diminish that right.

11. (C/NF) Yeadon stressed that the exchange of notes governed more than just the atoll of Diego Garcia but expressly provided that all of the BIOT was "set aside for defense purposes." (Note: This is correct. End Note.) She urged Embassy officers in discussions with advocates for the Chagossians, including with members of the "All Party Parliamentary Group on Chagos Islands (APPG)," to affirm that the USG requires the entire BIOT for defense purposes. Making this point would be the best rejoinder to the Chagossians' assertion that partial settlement of the outer islands of the Chagos Archipelago would have no impact on the use of Diego Garcia. She described that assertion as essentially irrelevant if the entire BIOT needed to be uninhabited for defense purposes.

12. (C/NF) Yeadon dismissed the APPG as a "persistent" but relatively non-influential group within parliament or with the wider public. She said the FCO had received only a handful of public inquiries regarding the status of the BIOT. Yeadon described one of the Chagossians' most outspoken advocates, former HMG High Commissioner to Mauritius David Snoxell, as "entirely lacking in influence" within the FCO. She also asserted that the Conservatives, if in power after the next general election, would not support a Chagossian right of return. She averred that many members of the Liberal Democrats (Britain's third largest party after Labour and the Conservatives) supported a "right of return."

13. (C/NF) Yeadon told Poloff May 12, and in several prior meetings, that the FCO will vigorously contest the Chagossians' "right of return" lawsuit before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). HMG will argue that the ECHR lacks jurisdiction over the BIOT in the present case. Roberts stressed May 12 (as has Yeadon on previous occasions) that the outer islands are "essentially uninhabitable" and could only be rendered livable by modern, Western standards with a massive infusion of cash.

Comment

-------

14. (C/NF) Regardless of the outcome of the ECHR case, however, the Chagossians and their advocates, including the "All Party Parliamentary Group on Chagos Islands (APPG)," will continue to press their case in the court of public

opinion. Their strategy is to publicize what they characterize as the plight of the so-called Chagossian diaspora, thereby galvanizing public opinion and, in their best case scenario, causing the government to change course and allow a "right of return." They would point to the government's recent retreat on the issue of Gurkha veterans' right to settle in the UK as a model. Despite FCO assurances that the marine park concept -- still in an early, conceptual phase -- would not impinge on BIOT's value as a strategic resource, we are concerned that, long-term, both the British public and policy makers would come to see the existence of a marine reserve as inherently inconsistent with the military use of Diego Garcia -- and the entire BIOT. In any event, the U.S. and UK would need to carefully negotiate the parameters of such a marine park -- a point on which Roberts unequivocally agreed. In Embassy London's view, these negotiations should occur among U.S. and UK experts separate from the 2009 annual Political-Military consultations, given the specific and technical legal and environmental issues that would be subject to discussion.

15. (C/NF) Comment Continued. We do not doubt the current government's resolve to prevent the resettlement of the islands' former inhabitants, although as FCO Parliamentary Under-Secretary Gillian Merron noted in an April parliamentary debate, "FCO will continue to organize and fund visits to the territory by the Chagossians." We are not as sanguine as the FCO's Yeadon, however, that the Conservatives would oppose a right of return. Indeed, MP Keith Simpson, the Conservatives' Shadow Minister, Foreign Affairs, stated in the same April parliamentary debate in which Merron spoke that HMG "should take into account what I suspect is the all-party view that the rights of the Chagossian people should be recognized, and that there should at the very least be a timetable for the return of those people at least to the outer islands, if not the inner islands." Establishing a marine reserve might, indeed, as the FCO's Roberts stated, be the most effective long-term way to prevent any of the Chagos Islands' former inhabitants or their descendants from resettling in the BIOT. End Comment.

Visit London's Classified Website: http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Unit ed_Kingdom

TOKOLA

John Pilger, freischaffender australischer Journalist, Menschenrechtsaktivist, Dokumentarfilmer und mehrfach preisgekrönt, drehte über das Schicksal der Vertriebenen einen umfangreichen Filmbeitrag.

Der Journalist veröffentlicht auch auf der alternativen Webseite für Journalisten Democracy Now!, die von Amy Goodman und Juan Gonzalez gegründet wurde. Link zu den Beiträgen von John Pilger auf der Webseite.

Homepage von John Pilger

Eine zusammenhängende, knapp einstündige Dokumentation ist unter diesem Link bei Google Videos zu finden:

Stealing a Nation, a Special Report by John Pilger

oder in sechs Teilen auf Youtube:

"Stealing a Nation" von John Pilger. Teil 1 von 6

"Stealing a Nation" von John Pilger. Teil 2 von 6
"Stealing a Nation" von John Pilger. Teil 3 von 6
"Stealing a Nation" von John Pilger. Teil 4 von 6
"Stealing a Nation" von John Pilger. Teil 5 von 6
"Stealing a Nation" von John Pilger. Teil 6 von 6

Der Anthropologe David Vine schrieb ein Buch über die Vorgänge:

"Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia". Princeton University Press 2009. Mehr darüber auf seiner Homepage unter http://www.davidvine.net/

Eintrag auf der Webseite des College of Art & Science of American University, Washington, D.C über David Vine und das Buch:

"David Vine’s work focuses on issues including forced displacement, U.S. foreign and military policy, military bases, and human rights. He is the co-author, with the Network of Concerned Anthropologists, of the Counter-Counterinsurgency Manual, or Notes on Demilitarizing American Society (Prickly Paradigm Press, 2009). Since 2001, he has been conducting research about the U.S. military base on the Indian Ocean island Diego Garcia and the expulsion of its indigenous people during development of the base." (4)

In den Medien in der Schweiz schrieb der Tagesspiegel am 7.September 2010:

"David Vines sorgfältig recherchiertes Buch ist eine wütende Anklage. Sein Kronzeuge ist kein Geringerer als der verstorbene Navy-Offizier Stuart Barber, der sich das Konzept weltweiter Militärbasen ausdachte. Sein Sohn Richard Barber versichert im Epilog und in einem Brief an die Zeitschrift «New York Review of Books», sein Vater sei schockiert gewesen über die Grausamkeit, mit der die Einheimischen von Diego Garcia vertrieben worden seien. Militärische Gründe für die Räumung der Insel habe es keine gegeben." (5)

Quellen:
(1) http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/dec/03/wikileaks-cables-diego-garcia-uk
(2) http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3863920,00.html
(3) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/207149
(4) http://www.american.edu/cas/faculty/vine.cfm
(5) http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/ausland/amerika/Die-Insel-der-Schande-/story/15612653

Comments are closed.