It was on Friday the 14th of August 2009, when Britain abolished political life in Turks and Caicos. Britain banished Turks and Caicos parliament, cabinet and Prime Minister Michael Misick into nadir. Britain in an imperial proclamation, a reminder of her faded empire “glory” days, also repealed the constitutional right of trial by jury in Turks and Caicos. Britain in an act of unbridled aggression reminiscent of the eras of the worst twin evils of human history, slave trade and colonialism; Britain took over and confiscated the political life of the Island nation of Turks and Caicos.
Britain in one fell-swoop, sacked the prime minister, dissolved parliament and truncated Turks and Caicos’ parliamentary democracy! Britain’s poor excuse for this outrageous usurpation of political public space in Turks and Caicos is that the Island nation is rife, allegedly, with corruption. Britain has, by her takeover or coup, assumed the command and control of Turks and Caicos, and thereby, in a very substantial sense, significantly altered, the way life is lived in Turks and Caicos, until last Friday, August 14, 2009! And it is as if the world barely noticed this political earthquake of seismic proportions.
The world ought to be in uproar. This is flagrant breach of laws, rules and protocols. This is an oppressive usurpation of political power, power which belongs to the people of Turks and Caicos! Britain ought to be told in very clear and certain terms, that the era of slave trade, colonialism and empire brigandage is past. Britain, if unchallenged, might repeat this elsewhere and other powers may seek to imitate Britain’s thievery of the political space of the people of Turks and Caicos. Britain is about to ensnare the world in a slippery slope rule of the jungle of might is right. Britain should be ashamed.
This aggression by Britain against Turks and Caicos portends evils, evils of which consequences could flow far and wide, well beyond Turks and Caicos. The probable ramifications are glaring. And the first question to be asked is, if Turks and Caicos now, what Island nation is next and what nations and continent are next? Is a New World Order about to unfold; in which powerful nations with sufficient audacity and matching weapons of war and sundry armada, could aggressively take over weaker nations under some self-righteous guises?
This nonsense talk by Britain, of colony, protectorate, overseas territory or possessions, even in the twenty-first century, should make anyone decent person’s head spin! It turns my stomach!
Could the invasion of Mexico be foreseen, in which the argument would be that the violence there and the blooming narcotics trade make Mexico an existential threat to the health, wealth and happiness of the United States? And as consequence, the USA takes over Mexico? Or Spain assumes direct control of Mexico? Could the Nigeria Delta crises expose Nigeria to a forceful seizure and confiscation by powerful nations, and in the process, the argument will be made that Nigeria’s resources are too important to the engine-room of the world’s creation of more health, wealth and happiness, and so, it made eminent sense to re-colonize Nigeria?
In the prevailing atmosphere and circumstances, are we about to witness a replay of the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 in which the continent of Africa was divided, between several European nations acting as rampaging pirates and an organized crime organization! And since then, the human conditions on the African continent have been dictated and shaped by these European nations, whether the publicly admit these facts or not. During the preceding 30 years, there have been similar actions, primarily by Britain and America. Britain forcefully asserted her suzerainty over the Malvinas also called Falkland Islands by Britain. And not long after that, the President George H. W Bush invaded and occupied the nation of Panama, in his drive to oust a former operative of the CIA and then president of Panama, Manuel Noriega, accusing him of participation and or tacit approval of narcotics trade.
In more recent years, former President George W. Bush of the United States engineered and facilitated the violent overthrow of the constitutional and legitimate government of the Island nation of Haiti led by Reverend Jean-Bertrand Aristide in February 2004. This was accomplished through lies, deceit and events which demonstrated that the good government of the United States was acting in concert with unsavory criminal elements inside Haiti, persons in Haiti, who were notorious narcotics-traffickers as well as political assassins for hire.
The central theme and lessons in all of these, is, there are patterns emerging and crystallizing. In the rush for more resources, trade expansion and in search of wider reach of spheres of influence, the world should probably brace for more invasions, occupations and forceful seizures of weak nations by nations with sufficient armada and military wherewithal to confiscate such weak nations as exampled above.
Turks and Caicos is not a golf club owned and financed by an oil company, where an unhappy oil company may close the golf club management for bad management. Turks and Caicos had a prime minister, a parliament and a cabinet. If it were determined that Prime Minister Premier Michael Misick, was corrupted and irredeemably so, there are proper procedures and processes for addressing these in a twenty-first century world. A judicial process which seeks to find the truth, the facts and evidence of corruption in Turks and Caicos would have been one such avenue.
All manners of allegations, charges and counter charges of corruption have been made in Turks and Caicos in the past, but more particularly so, in the recent past. Matters actually went out of control and overboard when it appeared that matrimonial acrimony and discord between Turks and Caicos’ Premier Michael Misick culminated into his wife LisaRaye making charges of corruption against her husband. She thereafter became a sort of national symbol for the anti corruption crusade. Since LisaRaye’s public charges or revelations, the press frenzied over the details of her allegations against the PM, and much more.
There are of course other processes. There could impeachments or removal process. There could have calls for new elections and even back channel diplomacy and other pressures which could have been exacted. Britain could have done everything short of the sheer arrogance summoned by Britain in announcing the direct rule and Victorian era colonization of distant peoples.
Britain cannot pronounce cantankerous married couples in London divorced without adjudication any more than Britain have such power to assume the command and control of Turks and Caicos or any nation on earth for that matter! It is a source of constant amazement to me, the fact that world powers are quick to regard fine tenet of international laws, sovereignty, territorial integrity, democracy etc as nebulous and trite when it does not suit their national fancies and interests. There is this permanence of fleeting definitions of what is proper and make good sense.
This act by Britain full of grimes and is certainly brimming with all the coloration of racism. The bulk of the citizens of Turks and Caicos are peoples of African descent. Britain made blanket statements replete with codes and stereotypes. And the terse statement by Britain upon taking over Turks and Caicos, Britain insisted there was no takeover. And said the following, “This, together with clear signs of political amorality and immaturity and of general administrative incompetence, demonstrated a need for urgent suspension in whole or in part of the constitution and for other legislative and administrative reforms,” the Foreign Office said. The report also recommends criminal investigations into former Premier Michael Misick and four of his former Cabinet ministers”
Britain and other Western government know for a fact, that there are peculia
rities on ground in certain countries, which make perfect democracy a thing to handle rather very carefully, in cognizance of such local conditions. This understanding of democracy imperfect, is why, despite some reservations, Rashid Dostun, an erstwhile warlord in Afghanistan, has return to Kabul, and he might in effect boost Hamid Karzai’s chances of re-election. Westerners have been dealing with Pakistan, even despite the recognition that democracy is imperfect in Pakistan.
This recognition of democracy imperfect and the value of alternate dispute resolution is also a reason why Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein and his followers, are not facing war crimes in Dublin, for their activities in Northern Ireland.
Westerners are well aware, of democracy imperfect, hence they are willing to deal with, and offer winks and nods to Motada Al Sadr in Iraq, even though his past and his stance remain opposed to Western presence in Iraq. Democracy can be unruly and even irritatingly slow and imperfect, imperfect democracy is like sleep, we still get tired, subsequent to our sleep or rest, but sleep or rest is obviously not considered useless, imperfect democracy therefore can be very disappointing, but it is no reason to truncate democracy through coups and egregious rape of constitutional government, as Britain has just done to Turks and Caicos!
Why must the world accept Britain’s aggression against Turks and Caicos, under the pretext of allegations of “amorality, “immaturity” and “corruption” when these allegations have not been tested in court or some other judicial process? But instead, just through a fiat by Britain? Adherence to due process and the rule of law, and a continuing fine-tuning of democracy, is clearly a better option, than this arrogant takeover of the peoples and government of Turks and Caicos by Britain. Why does Britain expect magic or miracles in Turks and Caicos, when in fact, Britain have been tarred and tarnished by a spate of high profile scandals and corruption by parliamentarians in Britain?
Even Sarah Palin, the erstwhile governor of Alaska, apart from saying that America was pursuing God’s will and duty in Iraq, acknowledged that democracy in Iraq will take quite sometimes with military surge and all. Even Sarah Palin is familiar with democracy imperfect, regarding Afghanistan and Iraq. Even Sarah Palin, a foreign policy “wonk” with “strong” policy credential which is limited to her knowledge of Africa as one nation would be surprised at Britain’s incredulous impatient with Turks and Caicos.
Sarah Palin, despite her uncanny foreign policy “savvy”, which again is limited to her ability to see Russia from her bedroom window in Alaska, even she knows, democracy is imperfect in Afghanistan and Iraq, will take time to be close to ours, which by the way, is still work in progress. She has said that America is in Afghanistan and Iraq to do God’s work, but she does say, that the work will take time. Why then, is Britain engaged in these abrupt terminations of tenures for parliament, cabinet and prime minister of Turks and Caicos? There is a pattern for Britain; this is all about the imperial and empire interests of Britain and not the interests of the peoples and government of Turks and Caicos for which Britain purports to act.
Britain grudgingly and reluctantly relinquished political power in Hong Kong in July 1997 and the last so-called governor-general from Britain, Peter Batten departed Hong Kong, and soon after, Britain publicly fretted about democracy and liberty for people of Hong Kong, meanwhile, it never occurred to Britain to have offered self-governance and political independence to citizens of Hong Kong, until mainland China was to have influence at the helms of Hong Kong political strata.
Britain complete takeover, and particularly considering, the abrupt manner in which Britain accomplished this political rape of Turks and Caicos’ democratic government, is very instructive of Britain’s pattern of seeking only her nefarious imperial interests without a scintilla of concern about the fine principles and tenets of democracy, independence or self governance anywhere on earth.
How and why did some person in Britain summarily determined and decided that no woman or man, in the Turks and Caicos population, is as intelligent as anyone from Britain, to govern and administer Turks and Caicos, but only Britain’s direct rule could salvage Turks and Caicos from ruinous corruption? Shouldn’t Germany or Russia be taking over Britain and 10 Downing Street? After all, Britain have had her share of pungent corruption, including the very recent double-dealing scandalous allowance double-dipping by members of parliament in Britain. Japan or Mexico should take over Britain and give corruption etc as the excuse. Britain certainly would then know it, close to home, how it must feel, to be colonized, under any pretext or guise.
The world must stand up to Britain and demand and insist on political freedom and independence for Turks and Caicos. Turks and Caicos should manage their own affairs without Britain’s aggression, interference and meddling. Turks and Caicos should resist this egregious rape of Turks and Caicos’ democracy by Britain and the world must stand up to Britain, even as the world stands with Turks and Caicos against this aggression by Britain.