A bit late but worth commenting on.
Stephen Franks calls for some realpolitik on Fiji.
He warns that Fiji under PM Bainimarama may move even further into the Chinese camp if New Zealand continues to adopt a hard line on demanding new elections.
Bainimarama is less racist than what he replaced. He is probably less corrupt. But most importantly, he is clearly in power. A basic principle of international relations is realism. The de facto ruler is the ruler.so we ‘eat that’ unless we have the power and the nerve to topple that ruler.
Bainimarama is more democratic than the Chinese we’ve been cuddling up to, more rational than Mbeki and his fellow ex terrorists we’ve failed to denounce, and more capable than the regimes we are spending millions propping up in East Timor and Solomon Islands.
When compared with how we’ve treated other regimes we hold our noses with, our Fiji policy is bullying hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy might be justifiable if it was also pragmatic and unavoidable, but the result is a shambles. Ask any of New Zealand’s formerly Fijian Indian population, who have been following it closely.
We are displaying our incompetence to the worried US and Australia, Even the EU are baffled at our naivety as we drive Fiji unwillingly toward China.
China must be astonished by our bumbling as their once remote dream of getting naval port facilities in the middle of the South Pacific becomes more tangible by the day.
For how long will our pathetic forces be able to help our small island neighbours enforce their fisheries zones if there is a real and hostile naval presence in Fiji, sheltering pirate fishing fleets?
Murray McCully, please abandon the Peters/Clark folly.