His resignation disappoints me greatly; the reason is the different estimate that he and other Libz place on The Coup of Commodore Bainamarama. Tim thinks the coup should be praised, and Bainimarama hailed as (in Tim's words) a "hero of equality and justice." His reasons for thinking so were as unclear to me then as they are now, but may be deduced from his Open Letter to Commodore Bainimarama -- Tim's first press release as an "independent libertarian".
I say "deduced" because his reasons for thinking the Commodore worthy of support are to me still unclear. A "hero of equality and justice" is to me a figure like Thomas Jefferson, or Frederick Douglass, or William Lloyd Garrison ... it would need an awful lot of evidence that would convince me that the Commodore fits into that pantheon -- and the censorship, beatings and even murders instituted in Fiji since the coup don't speak highly of his chances of being so elevated.
Tim argues that "Bainamarama is determined to make Fiji a nation where indigenous racism has no political stranglehold" and this as "one of the greatest political statements for Equality before the law by any world leader this century."
Bainamara’s intension to abolish the Fijian racist electoral system and have one electoral roll for all can only be described as the highest of political Ideas, and should he be successful, he deserves to go down in history as the greatest benefactor of Fiji!I'm still not so sure. The censorship, beatings and murders do tend to suggest otherwise -- but since the MSM reporting from Fiji has been almost entirely lacklustre one has few facts on which to base a judgement. As I've said several times, I'm still here to be persuaded; if his heroism is so certain, then the reasons for being so certain about it and the facts to back it up should be easy to explain and simple to lay out -- but I've yet to see a full explanation, or those facts.
If anyone has such facts or can state clearly the reasons for supporting the Commodore, I'd be more than happy to see them. The best I can offer as ammunition for either side are these few relevant highlights that appeared recently:
- NBR editor Nevil Gibson suggests, "The Bainimarama coup is widely viewed as progressive because it has a credible finance minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, and is seen as reversing Fiji’s trend toward more race-based policies. Time magazine has this largely complimentary profile." Excerpt:
Bainimarama says entrenched corruption, race-based policies that favored the 51% of Fiji's population who are indigenous, and runaway crime drove his intervention. He rejects [Alexander] Downer's suggestion that he has acquired a taste for power as "the height of insensitivity and arrogance," saying he didn't want to be Prime Minister, and accepted the position only at the urging of his military council. "I hate this job," he says, "but it has to be done. And we are going to stay until we complete this business." How long that will take is anyone's guess... "I have told my troops that power corrupts only if you abuse the authority given to you," he says. "I am continually telling my people, 'This is the line. You can't cross this line. It doesn't do us any good.' "
- The blog Intelligentsiya has become a key site in reporting the Bainimarama regime's activities and abuses every time it does "cross the line," and (reports Idiot/Savant) the military is hunting for them for it, "accusing them of 'portraying a negative image of the Interim Government' - which is apparently a crime in the New Fiji." The bloggers describe themselves as
Free. Fair. Fearless. Intelligentsiya is made up of Fiji Islanders who are libertarians in their own way and who cherish the free flow of news, ideas and information and will peacefully resist any attempts by the country's military rulers to stifle free speech. intelligentsiya will also bear witness, report and discuss human rights abuses by the authorities.