IS THE US AMBASSADOR TO THE FSM MEDDLING IN THE CHUUK STATE INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT??

The Amended FSM-US Compact of Free Association is supposed to be built on mutual respect for the sovereignty of the compacting parties. The Amended Compact was signed on the ambassadorial level between the two nations. NOWHERE in the Compact does it allow the ambassador of either county to go into the other country to directly and personally participate in the local political process to influence the outcome of a local election or plebiscite.

The current US Ambassador to the FSM, HE Ambassador Riley, has recently distributed a video program in which he personally talks about the Chuuk Independence Movement, discouraging the Chuukese voters from supporting Chuuk's Independence Movement and stating that the United States may not be willing to enter into a separate Compact of Free Associatio with an Independent Chuuk Nation. Admittedly, a separate Compact with the US is one stated goal of the Chuuk Independence Movement, primarily to secure the privilege of the Chuukese/FSM citizens currently residing in the US jurisdictions by virtue of the existing Amended Compact. Ambassador Riley is now distributing his political video to the Chuukese internet audience and is scheduled to hold a meeting on July 18 at the Chuuk High School with interested Chuukese voters. Ambassador Riley claims his program is some sort of public service education program to share pertinent information with the Chuukese voters on their Independence Movement.

Apparently, the Ambassador believes the Chuuk State Government must have made an ill-informed decision in creating the Chuuk State Political Status Commission and its subsequent endorsement of the Commission's recommendation for Chuuk State to pursue political independence from the FSM consequent to the difficult experience within the FSM constitutional federation and to the scheduled termination of US Compact financial assistance in 2023. The Ambassador uses the threat of likely interruption of Compact assistance to the Chuukese people, including interruption or termination of the privilege for citizens to live and work in the US a reason for the Chuukese people not to support their state's official decision to pursue Independence from the FSM. OBVIOUSLY THE US AMBASSADOR'S ACTION IS CALCULATED OR INTENDED TO INFLUENCE THE CHUUKESE VOTERS' INCLINATIONS OR VIEWS BEFORE THE SCHEDULED PLEBISCITE IN MARCH, 2019.

The American Government, of which Ambassador Riley is the official personification in the FSM, calls the alleged Russian meddling in the recent US presidential election "a violation of American democratic sovereignty." They even hire a former FBI special prosecutor and spend millions of dollars investigating the allegations. The entire world community agrees with the American indignant reaction. Even the Russians themselves deny the accusation, thereby admitting to the international norm against meddling in a sovereign nation's local political process.

What then, are we to make of the US Ambassador's action in conducting his own public campaign for the purpose of discouraging the Chuukese people from supporting their freely elected state government's official program to pursue separation from the FSM?? The Ambassador in his video remarks, does not even try to understand the underlying reasons for the Chuuk State Independence Movement. He simply claims that the current Compact arrangement between his country and the FSM or Micronesian entities is the best sort of arrangement there can ever be considering all the historical, social, economic and security circumstances surrounding the special relationship between the United States and the former Trust Territory or Micronesian islands.

It probably is not very nice to confront the US Ambassador with the many anomalies in the history of American colonialism in the Micronesian islands leading up to his lauded Compact relationship. But it is probably to his benefit to refresh his memory on why even some notable Americans like former US Ambassador to the UN, HE Donald McHenry, called the current Compact relationship "the culmination of A TRUST BETRAYED." It is in fact sad and insulting for Ambassador Reily or any other official American dealing with the Micronesian people to call the Compact relationships "the best there can ever be" considering the "Long and Winding Road" history of US colonialism in Micronesia and the current JEMCO micro-management of the current Amended Compact, all of which confirm such views like Ambassador McHenry or that of the former Press Officer to the Micronesian Compact Negotiation Committee, Paul Frederick Kluge, who, in his "The Edge of Paradise," considered the Compact Relationship "some kind of an indefinite postponement of the American obligation to develop the Micronesian islands to a real economic sustainable level."

Ambassador Reily does not really need to remind people that one of the foundations of the Compact Relationship is the American need to control the Micronesian Archipelago for military purposes. We understand that since the 1948 formative meetings of the United Nations in San Francisco, where US military strategists insisted that the Micronesian islands be labelled as a "strategic trust territory' to enable the Administering Americans utilize the islands for military uses, despite the fact that the US did not fight bloody wars in all of the Micronesian islands except for Peleliu, Kwajelein and Saipan and found Tinian an ideal bombers base from which to bomb Japanese cities. (In the case of Chuuk, according to the available history of Operation Hailstorm, the American fleet was simply hovering 100 miles outside the Chuuk Lagoon, between the Halls Islands and Nama island to receive much damage other than 36 planes shot down over the Lagoon to the Japanese 284 planes and 4o some ships destroyed).

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Comments

  • continued from page 1

    If Ambassador Riley and anybody should really know, the Compact privilege to enter and live in the US is not really something to be proud of and used in a public campaign against the Chuuk Independence Movement because, for one thing, it is part of the failure of the Administering American Government's original obligations to develop the islands to a sustainable level as Mr Kluge and Ambassador McHenry observed. A more sinister reason is that the privilege is in fact the implementation of the controversial Americans' "Solomon Report" and "Nathan and Associates" reports of the 1960s, both of which reports recommended that "to achieve American strategic interests in Micronesia, the US would have to destroy Micronesian societies and cultures, move the islanders to the urban centers or to the US, to make them permanently dependent on American assistance, and secured permanent American strategic control over the region." Confirmation of the two reports' awful recommendation came during Compact negotiations were underway and some of the American negotiators were rather sympathetic to the Micronesians' unwillingness to agree to part from their islands to allow US military uses of the islands. That infuriated Ambassador Riley's former boss then at State, Dr. Henry Kissinger, (himself a descendant of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany), who reportedly exploded: "There are only 90,000 Micronesians out there, who gives a damn!"

    We would like to believe that Ambassador Riley would give a little damn about the sovereignty of the islanders than his former State Department boss, We already gave Ambassador Riley's Deputy Chief of Mission and the Hawaii State senator, Mr Kalani English, who also interviewed members of the Chuuk Political Status Commission, assurances that the Chuuk Independence Movement is simply an attempted remedy for the inadequacies and inequities under the FSM constitutional federation and is equally based on Benjamin Franklyn's "self evident truths...one of which is that all people are ordained with certain inalienable rights...to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." We definitely ask Ambassador Riley not to use the authority and prestige of his Government to undermine the Chuukese people's sovereign right to provide for their perpetual survival as a people.

    Sabino S. Asor
    Chairman
    Chuuk State Political Status ESG Committee
    Republc of Chuuk

    :

  • @Taxi-Womw, If I am not mistaken, I clearly heard Ambassador state that he, and most likely the US Government are at will to fully support your efforts. Additionally, he stated possible outcomes with good intentions for transparency and to clarify, the US government's position on the secession of Chuuk from the FSM. Nothing in his statement displays any kind of meddling. After all, he is the Ambassador and it is within his duties to comment on matters pertaining to the US-FSM treaty. These are typical diplomatic measures to inform and educate in such situations. Please bear in mind that Chuuk is still a part of FSM and not yet a Republic. Maybe it is not yet appropriate to be nipping at the hand that is feeding us?
  • Ambassador Riley stated quite clearly that the U.S. has no intention of negotiating any new compacts...not with Chuuk, nor with anyone else.

    I believe him. If you don't, you can easily meet with him and ask him for yourself. image
  • I would say though, that his stating that there will be no more negotiating the compact but will be fully supporting their efforts to secede kinds of make you think. Chuuk, will just be one less mouth to feed? Ouch!
  • Perhaps. My take is that Ambassador Riley, speaking for the U.S. government, hopes that Chuuk does not secede.... but he respects the right of the Chuukese people to decide their own future. That seems fair to me.
  • Let the chuukese decide this one for themselves Mr.Ambassador. There is enough confusion already as it is.
  • I am very glad that the honorable ambassador clarifies the U.S. position on this matter. I do not see it as meddling in our internal affairs, rather it is informing us Chuukese of the U.S. stance on this secession attempt. Now that we have heard the U.S. position loud and clear, it is up to us to decide. For myself and the future of our Chuukese people, I would rather stay the current course. Secession will be a disastrous option.
  • I think the US should meddle. After all, the US taxpayers are picking up the tab.
  • Taxi-womw,
    As the Chairman of the Chuuk State Political Status ESG Committee, I thought that your responsibility is to educate the Chuukese on the pros and cons of separation but not to campaign for it. It looks like you are abusing your authority. Also, when did Chuuk become a republic? This is a serious issue as it will impact the future of Chuuk and not funny.
  • years of talk talk no action?
  • FactsMatter: If what you said were true that US is not going to negotiate a New Compact, then why is FSM gearing up to negotiate another Compact????
  • Oalong: When the U.S. Ambassador to FSM states clearly that the U.S. has no intention of negotiating a new compact, I believe him.

    I have no doubt that some FSM politicians want people to believe otherwise, but I don't believe them. It takes TWO governments to negotiate a new international agreement, not just one alone.
  • I understand the US Ambassador getting interested because there have been so many false statements about the U.S. from the pro-secession movement groups. I mean, any country would send an ambassador to clear things up if there are lies being spread in their country's name.
  • FactsMatter: Thank you for your response. I have the same understanding and wanted to clarify this understanding. FSM has already spent thousands dollars gearing up for another negotiation with the US. Is a good use of our limited financial resources? I believe not!!!!!
  • Although the Compact's annual health and education sector grants will expire in 2023, it is my understanding that the Compact does not totally end. Many valuable Compact programs and benefits MAY continue.

    In my view, the FSM and RMI governments should actively and continuously engage with U.S. officials to ensure the continuance of as many of these programs as possible .

    Specifically, the FSM and the RMI should try to convince the U.S. that the continuance of dozens of valuable programs will benefit BOTH the U.S. and its partner countries, the FSM and the RMI.

    Investing some human and financial resources into this effort makes sense to me
  • So, is the FSM still does not know what would happen comes 2023? I bed the differ, couldn't we just depend on our Embassies for such continuous engagements and not waste our limited but valuable funding sources?
  • Tirow womi. I understand the concerns that the pro-secession group have. What the Honorable Ambassador stated may or may not stand comes negotiations if it ever occurs. The U.S. may or may never come to the table.

    But I tend to agree, a foreign officer holding public forums that carries political implications (influencing local politics), regardless of the subject matter, is an interference with local politics and sovereignty and exclusionary rights of the host. Whether the subject matter is secession or not is irrelevant. Foreign officers should never participate in the local politics; any acts to the contrary is a violation of the people's right and sovereign rights of the state. Such actions cripples and incapacitates the locals' freedom and sovereignty. I just don't see the FSM Ambassador holding public forums to dissuade/encourage or influence U.S. politics.

    Now to the topic at hand, the Ambassador could have mentioned this to appropriate persons who can then relay the message. But again, I beg to differ: U.S. not willing to negotiate may be the views of some high officials in the U.S. as of today, but it is not conclusive but mere opinions, just as the secessionists' opinion and position which is based on current world politics. Nothing that have been said from either sides is a fact until actually discussed by the appropriate officials. Let the Ambassador speak his mind but within proper channels and not meddle in our local matters. We have to remember, he is the U.S. Ambassador and is looking out for the best interest of U.S., not FSM. After all, his duty is to USA. Affirmatively stating that U.S. will not negotiate or enter into a new compact could be a political maneuvering designed not for the best interest of FSM but for U.S. and U.S. alone.

    Thank you pwan tirow.
  • I think its interesting that the US Ambassador has conducted public meeting on this, yet, the FSM President hasn't done anything to address the issue.
  • The Commission lied to the Chuukese about USA and Chuuk having a new Compact. Commission never talked to the USA in the first place. The end result well, understandable.
  • Timid,

    Commission did not lie about the new compact. Them HOPING to secure a new compact is not the same as LYING. But let's get back to the topic. The concern raised by the commission about meddling or participating and influencing local politics is a legitimate concern. This is what I call BULLYING on the part of the U.S. (if you haven't notice, they do at us as inferiors). It shows a lack of respect for our autonomous sovereignty to be free from outside interference, regardless of the subject matter. Whether we talk about independence or not is irrelevant to the fact that they INTENT to influence our beloved citizens' limited or lack of understanding of their rights. Why didn't they also come in and hold public forums about dual citizenship? Because in U.S.'s best interest, even though allowed in the U.S., dual citizenship is not favored and they'd rather have Micronesians choose and pick their allegiance. When it comes to independence, it is in their best interest (NO, they are not doing it for us) to keep the compact as it is and not form another. Is it possible? Yes. Do they want to? Well, according to Ambassador, no. The timing of the visit itself is suspect. As I said, Ambassador should meet with Chuuk leadership and not the public. This is classic political maneuvering.

    Loyalty

  • Loyalty,

    You must be from a different world oblivious to what has been happening to Chuukese both at home and abroad. Hoping to secure a Compact? In whose crazy mind would allow that since Chuuk is already in a Compact as part of the FSM. USA never want to interfere in Chuukese affairs as it is insignificant and it has no international recognition. Nation-state does not negotiate with a state within a nation-state get that right, Loyalty. It is in your imagination that the USA look at Chuukese as inferiors, why would then USA bother to sit with Chuukese few days ago if it thinks they are inferior. The USA can just shut up its mouth and deal only with FSM. The USA meeting the leaders of Chuuk? Are you serious? What for? Does the public not have the right to speak to the Ambassador? Dual citizenship, the Commission is dreaming, what political drugs are they on? Get your facts right.
  • Timid,

    Not trying to be arrogant or anything but your statement above stated the commission "lied." I addressed that by stating the being HOPEFUL and LYING are two different things. Whether that hope has a reasonable basis is a completely different issue. Calling them liars would be correct if they are 100% sure the U.S. will NOT/NEVER grant another compact and they intentionally and deliberately withhold that fact from the public. That is why it's called hope because there is no certainty.

    You seem to be saying two contradicting things here though: describing Chuuk affairs as "insignificant" and U.S. not looking at us as "inferior." The only explanation why Chuuk affairs would be insignificant is because we are inferior. Did you miss the part where Ambassador mentioned that people in the U.S. are not as friendly and receptive to us as the ones before? Anyway, that's going off the topic so I'll leave it at that. I'm sure I'm just not reading it correctly.

    I am well aware that nation-states only negotiate with nation-states. That just proves my point. Then talk to FSM only and not come to Chuuk. Let Chuuk deal with its own affairs. Why come? Because breaking up the nation (opening up that airspace and waters in the central FSM) will be a detriment to the U.S. because it would expose the U.S. military presence in FSM. No? Isn't that why the Ambassador came? Not because they love Chuuk but because they want to protect their strategic advantage? The Ambassador did not come to lay out facts but to discourage the Chuukese. Words are words but intentions/motives are not hard to infer when there is no other explanation. It's not because they love Chuuk. If they love Chuuk, tell the FSM to do something (because after all, nation to nation only) We are not that naive to take them for their words.

    The public have the right to speak to the Ambassador, but again, nation to nation as you said. Let the people tell their leaders to voice their concerns. Oh, and no the people did not ask for it, the Ambassador volunteered to come. No one requested that he come to Chuuk.

    You are not getting my explanation with the dual citizenship issue. That issue is insignificant to the U.S. because it does not pose any threat to the U.S. That is why the Ambassador did not launch a campaign or conduct public hearings on that issue when it was in the ballots. The secession movement, on the other hand, will affect the U.S. that's why Ambassador came. That is the reason they came. They want to protect their interest, not the Chuukese's. Yes, how ever anyone want to spin that, they came to protect their interest, not because they love and care about Chuuk.

    Again, I am not advocating nor am I condemning the secession movement. I am however opposing Ambassador's interference.

    Loyalty
  • edited July 21
    Loyalty,
    You are not arrogant, but you have a misplaced view on the Ambassador's revealing USA position on the FSM. The movement is in Chuuk and so no need for him to state USA position in Palikir because the home of Chuukese people is in Chuuk. So it makes sense for him to go to Chuuk. Good to know you are well aware of the international protocol regarding nation-state engagement. From what Chuukese have been saying is that the Commission members lied to them about Chuuk going to have a separate compact with the USA. When the Ambassador stated USA position in Chuuk, then the public expressed its anger towards the Commission's lie. The USA interest is already sealed in the FSM which Chuuk is part of. He did not have to go to Chuuk, but it is a courtesy call for him to explain to the Chuukese people about USA position on a separate compact. So I do not see see how the Ambassador interfere. The Commission is making out as if it controls Chuuk and so the Ambassador is not allowed to enter the state. The national government has commented on its position, but no the Commission is just too stubborn fearing the truth about its lies already out in the public. You can call it interfere and I will call it a lie. Let's leave at that my friend.
  • Thank you Timid. I understand your point of view. Let's hope for the best for Chuuk. And whatever decision Chuuk makes, lets also respect that.
  • The real issue here is not a separate Compact for Chuuk, the real issue here is what caused Chuuk to want to seek full independence and separation from the FSM?

    All Independence movements throughout recent history have always been borne out of the inherent desire in all humans to seek out something better. The same thing happened to the US Colonies in the New World a couple centuries ago.

    When the US Colonies felt that they were being taxed unfairly by their English masters, they understood that they needed to seek something better than an unfair system.

    So in a way, I think this is exactly what is happening in Chuuk. The majority of Chuukese who live in Chuuk are immersed in this current outdated system which was a product of the 1960s, and does more to hinder and curtail progress than to advance it.

    And so by virtue of this understanding, I truly believe that the issue of a separate Compact or lack thereof for Chuuk is a non-issue. The real issue here is what is the root cause of Chuuk's desire to separate from this outdated and old system of Government which we know today as the FSM.

  • Coconut,

    That is true. I couldn't agree more.
  • Coconut,

    If that is true, then why Chuukese are so divided? Do u really believe this movement is born out of the populace desire for something better? Do u know how many community hearings were done by any member of CSL prior to the formation of the cimmission? None!
    The people of Chuuk did not initiate this. It has been orchesrtrated by select Chuuk lawmakers with behind the doors push by some former Chuuk leaders, some of whom have had alleged shady business dealings.
    So lets stop this pretense that this secession is out of Chuuks people desire for something better. We, the Chuukese people, were fed with this nonsense. Now its blowing up in the face of these perpetrators.
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