Coup in the Maldives
Well here's a head-scratcher. The Religion of Peace backs a coup that overthrows a democratically elected government on Tuesday. On Thursday the US recognized the new government. There were reports that the police and security forces forced the president out, but Victoria Nuland, spokeswoman for the US State Department, saw no problem because "President Waheed, as you know, has committed to forming a national unity government." Of course he did. All any new tyrant has to do is coo magic words like "national unity government" and we bow before him.
But, asked a reporter, was the transfer of power handled constitutionally? "Well, our view, as of yesterday-and I don't think that that has changed; obviously we'll collect more information going forward-was that this was handled constitutionally."
Such a benign interpretation of events lasted all of a day. Here is Ms. Nuland on Friday: "I got myself in a place yesterday that was not borne out by the facts." Remember Hillary's ad in the 2008 campaign about being ready for that phone call at three a.m.? Three years later, her State Department is still not ready for that call--not at three a.m., three p.m. or any other time.
How did Mohamed Nasheed fall out of favor with the Obama Administration? One would think that his biography is tailor made for progressives:
Nasheed's resignation marked a stunning fall for the former human rights campaigner who had been jailed for his activism under the 30-year rule of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Nasheed also became an environmental celebrity for urging global action against climate change, warning that rising sea levels would inundate his archipelago nation.
The crimes Mr. Nasheed is alleged to have committed overshadow all those good works:
The party of Mohamed Jameel, who was sworn in as home minister this week, issued a pamphlet last month claiming that empty bottles of alcohol, which is forbidden for Maldivians, were found in offices of Mr. Nasheed's government. It blamed the government for planning to sell land to Israel. And it said the then-president was working to undermine Islamic law in the country.
Drinking alcohol, selling land to Israel, undermining Islamic law--the charges read like a laundry list of urban myths in countries dominated by the Religion of Peace. So Ms. Nuland is now committed to getting to the bottom of what happened to the "former human rights campaigner" and "environmental celebrity."
"We will work with the government of the Maldives, but believe that the circumstances surrounding the transfer of power need to be clarified. And we also suggest that all parties agree to an independent mechanism to do that," she said.
I do hope the State Department can get to the bottom of the most serious charges, the empty bottles of alcohol and selling land to Israel.
Henry Percy is the nom de guerre for a technical writer living in Arizona. He may be reached at saler.50d[at]gmail.com.