NZ Herald on Fiji

April 16th, 2009 at 12:18 pm by David Farrar

The NZ Herald editorial makes an astute judgement:

Nothing foreign diplomacy can do, however, could be as effective as the regime’s economic destruction. The arrest of Reserve Bank Governor Savenaca Narbue has been described as an “act of vandalism”. It is certainly an act of idiocy. Nobody can have the slightest confidence in the currency or the resilience of the desperately declining economy if the soldiers have usurped the country’s financial management.

In the absence of an explanation for his arrest it can only be assumed Governor Narbue was being ordered to take steps he knew to be economically disastrous. Commodore Bainimarama’s monetary expertise is probably no better than his diplomatic sense, which we know to be inept.

Exactly. The Commodore is now determining monetary policy.

Changes of government in Australia and New Zealand presented him with an opportunity to reconcile them to his coup. Sanctions applied by previous Governments had brought no sign of progress towards a restoration of democracy. The Key Government was plainly prepared to try a different approach. But it was barely in office before the commodore was threatening to expel New Zealand’s ambassador over a refusal to renew a study visa for an official’s son.

Foreign Minister ’s response was notably mild, but the threat was carried out. Even now, in his comments on the country’s constitutional destruction, Mr McCully’s remarks do not ring with the righteous indignation that used to be heard from Helen Clark and Phil Goff.

The change of Government gave Bainimarama an opportunity to get sanctions lifted. All he needed to do was make some minor steps twoards elections – such as set a date for the census.

Instead he throws out the NZ High Commissioner over nothing. And now he rules elections out for at least five years.

It is easy to criticise Australia and NZ’s responses. But I don’t actually think the Commodore is entirely rational, and am not sure any policy change from NZ or Australia would in any way change what he does.

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18 Responses to “NZ Herald on Fiji”

  1. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Wonder how all the liberals screaming for gun control in Fiji a few years ago feel about the country now being under the control of the army and the politicised police.

    Much talk and bluster from the international community, sanctions, threats, all to little avail.

    One can’t help but wonder if the threat of armed resistance from the citizenry would have been more helpful in keeping Fiji’s democracy in place.

    Maybe outcomes in Fiji are something NZ citizens need to give some thought to.

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  2. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Baiter – one could also ask why a Tin Pot Little Island Country like Fiji needs to have a crack military trained by the NZ SAS.

    Commodore Banana wouldn’t have been able to take over in the first place if he hadn’t had a band of merry men WITH GUNS either!

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  3. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Commodore Banana wouldn’t have been able to take over in the first place if he hadn’t had a band of merry men WITH GUNS either!”

    He perhaps would not have been able to take over if he hadn’t been the only force with guns.

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  4. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    If my choice was to:

    (a) watch civilians with guns confront Banana’s army with guns, or
    (b) watch civilians without guns confront Banana’s army without guns

    then I would be much more of a starter for (a).

    But as the situation curently stands, most of the population are still better off than they would have been had they died in an armed civil war, so on the whole they are still better off not having guns IMHO!

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  5. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Edit: Oops, obviously I meant I would rather (b) than (a), not being much of a sadist!

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  6. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “most of the population are still better off than they would have been had they died in an armed civil war,”

    Some may disagree, however the point you have missed is that with both sides having guns the chance of a war is lessened.

    As nuclear warfare is a deterrent.

    As in some Middle Eastern countries where Sultan’s rule with their power curbed by sub tribes with their own armies.

    Sometimes I think its a system that works better than democracy, where, with the media and the bureaucracy in on the soft tyranny, (as in NZ) there are very few checks on what government can do.

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  7. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Edit: Oops, obviously I meant I would rather (b) than (a), not being much of a sadist!”

    Obviously you’re a fuckwit. Ever heard of an army without guns? Only a detached from reality leftist could come up with such drivel.

    Why don’t you go and tell your Chicom mates about that idea, spending as they are almost every dollar they earn from international trade on arms and most notably nuclear submarines.

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  8. freethinker (680 comments) says:

    If the UN sent Barmy Bananas soldiers home and the rest of the world suspended aid I doubt the commode would last a week – no cash – no power.

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  9. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    You may have noticed that I don’t really believe Fiji needs a large well-trained army at all.

    “Obviously you’re a fuckwit.”

    Oh dear – and we were doing so WELL there for several posts too. Now go and sit on the naughty step. Go on. You know you don’t use language like that. When you’re ready to sit at the table and have an adult conversation, come and tell me.

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  10. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “You may have noticed that I don’t really believe Fiji needs a large well-trained army at all.”

    Every country needs a group of large well trained armed forces, and a citizens militia to counter it. Gun control is for Hitlerists.

    Banarama knows there is nobody to stop him, and that’s why he can do what he does and is encouraged to do it. The liberals whining about gun control in Fiji some years ago can now observe the fruits of their labours.

    “When you’re ready to sit at the table and have an adult conversation, come and tell me.”

    That’s fine then, you just sit there quiet until you’re told.

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  11. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    “As nuclear warfare is a deterrent. ”

    The difference is nuclear warfare has (traditionally) been effectively unwinnable, which is why it’s such a big deterrent.

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  12. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “The difference is nuclear warfare has (traditionally) been effectively unwinnable,”

    All wars are winnable. One side has to win. The deterrent is the cost of that warfare, as I’m trying to say with guns in Fiji.

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  13. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    Why dont we all be honest for a change The people of Fiji are most certainly no better off than they were under British colonial governance.

    In fact they are worst off from a governance view point. A military dictatorship of one of their own controls them.

    the facts are the PIs dont have the will the capacity or the capability to govern themselves in a Westminster style democracy.

    Hell NZ has struggled with that concept for the past decade so maybe the kettle should stop calling the pot black.

    However IMHO if the Commodore cant or wont avail himself of advice to return his country to a democracy then short of military action from outside the borders there is little to be done.

    JK has wisely told the Chows to butt out and that their presence is not helpful ( just as its not in Zims case)

    But little ole NZ has very little it can do except have Muzza Mc jawbone the Commodore.

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  14. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “short of military action from outside the borders there is little to be done.”

    Going by the liberal’s approach to George Bush’s liberation of Iraq, those who control Fiji can now murder rape torture and commit genocide with impunity if they so choose, given that any invasion to prevent such actions would be considered a breach of Fiiji’s sovereignty. (illegal even)

    Oh hang on. Maybe there is a solution.

    Maybe the UN’s new global expert, Helen Klark, could write some tough letters.

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  15. centreforward (32 comments) says:

    What is the proportion of Defence spending in Fiji and how does it compare with New Zealand? Talk of invading Fiji is silly. It would do more damage than good. Regrettably, this situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. With a failing economy it can only be a matter of time before Fijians become frustrated with the Idi Amin-like antics of its military commander.

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  16. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    I wonder how much influence the Chinese now have over the Fijian army. The Fijian people are having their souls sold by Bainimarama and future generations will be licking the arses of the Chinese. Bainimarama has tasted power and now sufferers from Dear Leader syndrome, believes he is indespenceable. Poor man I doubt he even realises he will be nothing more then a puppet dancing for the Chinese in a few years time.

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  17. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    Of course we could encourage nations to stop training the Fiji military, providing weapons and pay the army for UN ‘peacekeeping’ as this has no discernable benefit apart from allowing a group of buffoons to take over and destroy the Fiji economy. This may be seen as ‘interfering’ according to the apologists.

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  18. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,811 comments) says:

    Why does New Zealand insist on making Mountains out of Mole hills?

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