The ‘Usual Suspects’: Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau
Posted on December 28, 2012 by Akashma Online News
Source Daily Kos
by James Risser
If you give it some thoughts to the UN Vote for Palestine only 5 countries VOTE NO, US, Israel, Australia, Panama and Czech Republic, the other 4 countries couldn’t even be considered independent countries. Even thought they are declared independent Nations, they wholly depend on US.
So Israel should really be concerned about its standing against the world.
The only time I personally ever hear or read about the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau is after a vote at the United Nations.
There has never been a diary written about this grouping of four countries, so why are they considered ‘the usual suspects’? In fact, I have no idea why anyone would even click on this diary, and if there is an award for the least significant diary of the day, this may be it.
But, if you did click here, you may now be curious and are asking: ‘why oh why are they ‘the usual suspects”? Well, these countries form the supporting block of countries that the United States can depend on, along with Israel and Australia, to customarily vote as a block of six.
In fact, the only time I personally ever hear or read about the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau is after a vote at the United Nations.
This brief diary offers an explanation of why this unbreakable pact exists.
For the geographically-challenged, such as myself, who have no idea where these four countries are, here is a map, courtesy of wikipedia.
The first secretary in the Australian Embassy, Jonathan Chew, gently but firmly set me straight. Nauru is an independent nation, he explained to me. He could assure me that Australia does not dictate to independent nations how to vote in the UN. Australia opposed the draft resolution this time, too, as it has before, because it felt that it was not sufficiently balanced and therefore would do nothing to promote peace, and Australia, of course, supports efforts to promote peace. Evidently, this is also the view of the United States, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau and Nauru. At least half the people of Israel support the main points of the UN resolution, as does the vast majority of the people on the planet, but it’s nice to know, that we have friends and that we’re not alone.
The Australian writer of this piece goes on to explain that:
Nauru is very much dependent on Australian financial support. It is hardly a tourist resort and its main service for Australia is running an offshore detention centre.
Parenthetically, the writer adds:
(While the conditions there are atrocious it is no Guantanamo Bay. The people kept there are asylum seekers who fell foul of the Howard government’s “pacific solution” policy.)
I had never heard of this ‘pacific solution‘ before today; maybe everyone else knew about it. Sounds rather sick though:
The Pacific Solution was the name given to the Australian government policy of diverting asylum seekers to detention camps on small island nations in the Pacific Ocean, rather than allowing them to land on the Australian mainland.
Regardless, it does have a vote at the United Nations. I leave it to the reader to ponder on how many votes it has cast inconsistent with Australia.
REPUBLIC OF THE MARSHALL ISLANDS-Population 54,816
Between 1946 and 1958 the United States tested 67 nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands, including the largest nuclear test the United States ever conducted, Castle Bravo.
The results of these ‘nuclear tests’ are still to be found in its residents. Here is young child:
The United States also maintains the U.S. Army’s Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll. It is an important aspect of the Marshallese economy, as the Marshallese land owners receive rent for the base, and a large number of Marshallese work at the base.
The combination of the litigation over the nuclear remains of America’s experiments, and the fact that the
United States Government assistance is the mainstay of the economy.
may be the reason why we can count on their vote, no?
Palau’s government web-site
Palau has a constitutional government in free association with the United States. The Compact of Free Association was entered into with the United States on October 1, 1994, also marking Palau’s independence.
Following the defeat of Japan in WWII, the Carolines, Marianas and Marshall Islands became United Nation’s Trust Territories under US administration. Palau was named one of six island districts. As part of this arrangement, the US was to improve Palau’s infrastructure and educational system in order for it to become a self-sufficient nation. This finally came about on October 1, 1994, when Palau gained its independence upon signing of the Compact of Free Association with the United States.
The Compact of Free Association with the United States provides Palau with $500 million in US aid over 15 years in return for furnishing military facilities
Those freely associated states are where we tested some dozens of atomic bombs even as the locals went about their daily routines. As a Nation we did great harm to the indigenous peoples of these islands and we owe them some restitution. In 1986 we entered into a Compact of Free Association (Compact) with the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). Each year between 1986 and 2003 the US sent $1.5 billion to FSM and $1 billion to RMI. It may be these large sums of money that helped to attract Abramoff and the GOP to the Pacific. It certainly helped to attract the Tan Family to the islands.
Now, in November 2003, Congress passed and Bush signed the Compact of Free Association Amendments Act of 2003. This increased the funding to $2.1 billion for FSM and $1.5 billion for RMI for every year until 2023.
Under the terms of the Compact of Free Association with the United States, Palau will receive more than $450 million in assistance over 15 years and is eligible to participate in more than 40 federal programs. The first grant of $142 million was made in 1994. Further annual payments in lesser amounts will be made through 2009. Total U.S. grant income in 2005 was $25.9 million.
Having once boasted the second highest per capita GDP in the world thanks to its fabled phosphate mines, Nauru is today destitute. With the seeming depletion of readily accessible phosphate reserves in 2000, mining on a large-scale commercial basis ended [snip]
Although Nauru had a nominal per capita GDP in excess of $2,700, its economy is in deep crisis, and the resumption of mining promises only a limited respite as the country seeks to find a sustainable economic future. [snip]
Trade between the United States and Nauru is limited by the latter’s small size and economic problems. The value of two-way trade in 2005 was $1.6 million
They too, are part of the Compact of Free Association, and receive millions of dollars of support for furnishing the United States military facilities.
Hmmm, that may explain it.
It is rather sad that the only way America can get people in the world to vote in accordance with its extremist ideology is to simply buy them from states whose people, if they want to eat and live, have to sell their vote to the United States.
So there you have it; ‘the usual suspects’ explained. Four countries, spread over hundreds of the world’s tiniest islands, most uninhabited, each of the four with a vote in the United Nations. Each beholding to either the United States or Australia for their very existence. It is downright shameful that this country stoops so low…
But, 150-something to 6 or 7 sounds a lot better than 150-something to 2 or 3, doesn’t it?