Coup Apologist Walsh Under Fire

"Coup apologist Walsh under fire"

By Fiji Democracy Now
"As people born and bred in Fiji we at FDN have always found it irritating and often downright insulting when confronted with the patronising likes of neo-colonial relics such as Crosbie Walsh. But we don’t always say so (after all, shouldn’t the natives know their place?). But today we’re delighted to draw your attention to a wonderful piece of writing in which the carping coup apologist gets a well deserved pay-out from veteran Pacific affairs writer, Michael Field."

 I really must be getting under their skin. The Australian anti-govenment blog has missed a critical inconsistency in their argument: neither I nor Michael Field were born and bred in Fiji.  Yet they find me "insulting" and a "relic" and Michael "wonderful"  and a "veteran."  There must be some other reason for their forked judgment. But for the record, I suspect I was living in Fiji before most of them were born or bred.

For readers not quite understanding FDN's annoyance, see Michael's rebuttal to my posting identifying him as another blogger who gets things wrong.  I published the rebuttal under "Read and Be Entertained, It's Pure 'Field Genius'" on Wednesday 10th.  Make sure to read the comments in one of which I answer his accusations and inuendos. The story that started the spat, "Michael Field: Another Blogger Who Gets it Wrong," was published on March 4th.  Readers should note, although it's pretty obvious, that Field, FDN and the other blogs who have published Field's comments (but not mine) do not actually address any of my arguments.

Makes good weekend reading?


Habakuk said…
Let us forget the petty squabbling of two men outside of Fji. Let us get back to the substantive issues.

A good place to start would be the whereabouts of Peceli Rinakama.

Or the fact that three lawyers have had their computers confiscated for being suspected bloggers !!!!

We in safety accross vast oceans sometimes take our liberties for granted. Sorry Croz if someone hurt your feelings. If you want to keep responding to dribble you descend to Mr Field's level.

I have tried as hard as I can to take a neutral position. I make every effort to be as objective as possible.

Let us all put the egos aside for a minute. PLEASE

The Commander has done some good things. Fiji has had a chequered past when it comes to politics and self realisation.

We need to air our comments with a view to taking Fiji forward. To sit and cry over spilled milk is a waste of time and energy.

The allegations of corruption against former government leaders seem to be akin to WMD's in Iraq.

The coup was initiated out of "necessity". While there is differing views on whether that it is justifiable, the fact is Fiji MUST return to the polls pre-2014.

Democracy can be tedious and cumbersome. It is not a perfect system. Nor is the current system in Fiji. It is a military dictatorship and it is impossible for any reasonably minded person to support it. That does not mean we have to oppose it either.

However, I support the road map in theory, but I am starting to doubt whether any of the objectives will be achieved.

If you support the the current regime then you do not have to support all of their actions.

Croz, I implore you to shift back into the middle ground. You must acknowledge that all is not well in Fiji. Quanibulu and White Frangipani, I enjoy reading your comments, and I implore you both to not turn a blind eye to the shortcomings of the current regime.

I feel alone in the middle ground. The reason I post comments on this side is that it is not as vicious in personal attacks on individuals as the other sites.

But as polite and objective as we may be, there are some serious violations occurring in Fiji. No PR machine can gloss over such violations.

For me to have any respect whatsoever for this regime, they would need to get to the polls ASAP.

As I have commented about NSW, once a government is in too long systemic corruption creeps in. The separation of powers gets diluted to the point of non-existence.

This regime has held power for 3 1/2 years. By 2014 it will be closer to 8. Regardless of VB's attempts to be transparent, the current regime will become more and more polluted.

I fully appreciate the frustration of the anti-gov bloggers. I also apprciate the position of the IG supporters.

Am I the only one on the island of middle ground. Come and join me there is plenty of room.
Hula Girl said…
It would be good if FDN could stick to the issue. Many people respect what FDN has to say.

But stay with the issue...
Croz Walsh said…
@ Habakuk, It's not personal or ego. The recent C4.5 and MH stories had to be addressed. I don't anticipate more for a while.

I think our positions are similar tho' I mention more pro- stories and commentary (where else are they covered?) than you may prefer. I try to encourage Bainimarama to pursue the Roadmap at all possible speed because I think constant negativity achieves nothing. He is also doing some good things about which overseas readers may know nothing. But I'm not uncritical of the regime. Hence most recently my appeal for more flexibility in media censorship and my posts on Rinakata.
Anonymous said…
The blogsites all seem to be shifting their positions slightly.

Croz is going pro
FDN is going more anti
Fijitoday is going midstream

The hole world is changing

The sad state of Fiji said…
Build a bridge and move on!
Field did you over good and proper - and gave us all a good laugh to boot!
Start looking at the bigger picture instead of being consumed by minutiae and ego- you choose to support bainimarama in his destructive coup - you can do this as unlike Fijians under the dictator, you live in a free coumtry.
However many do not agree with your view - eg EU, USA, Australia, NZ, Forum etc etc...anyone who thinks this coup is benefiting Fiji has their head in some dark place.
By the way - it is Rinakama NOT Rinakata that the Fiji military kidnapped and mistreated with a serious violation of human rights - let us all hope he has not been murdered like others under this regime rule?
joe said…
@ The sad state of Fiji

It hurts now that the shoe is on the other foot, doesnt it? Isa !!!, no more freebies, handouts etc. This indeed is a "destructive coup" as you say, in that the blood sucking leeches of Fiji are in the process of being destroyed left right and centre, and they deserve it too. I hope you are still around after 2014 to get a taste of living in a free and democratic country in its true sense. The people that matter most, agree with Croz, ie majority of Fijians. Who cares about EU etc. Arent you aware that those who opposed Frank in the past are now offering matanigasau. Obviously, you were a beneficiary of the now history, SDL crooks. Wake up son and do something worthwhile for Fiji.
Habakuk said…
@ Croz

I believe the PM is essentially a good man with some good intentions. However, you and I both know what the road to hell is paved with.

You and I know, from the various blogsites, that the opponents to the IG are not changing their position. You can suppress people’s right to free speech, you can arrest people and you can confiscate lawyer’s computers for blogging!!!! That will only fuel the fire.

Fiji and Iraq are vastly different. However, one obervation from the Iraq fiasco is that as soon as the dictator was removed , the factions emerged and the place has been chaos ever since. The “roadmap” opponents in Fiji have gone to ground. They have NOT changed their position.

Croz, I believe people like you are invaluable to Fiji. Like me, your heart is in Fiji as the people enjoy life, as we remember in our respective countries, and the family unit still has value.

I am concerned for you that if the PM continues on this path for another 4 years, that your love and loyalty to Fiji will be compromised. Be ready to condemn if the pendulum swings too far. The PM is digging in deeper and deeper. It will be nigh on impossible to remove him at any time. If things don’t go how you envisage, then you may be in too deep to extrapolate yourself. Remain vigilant.

It would appear that the PM's desire to fix the electoral system and go to the polls is veiled by a further desire to remove and suppress all perceived opposition.

The first objective is achievable. The latter objective is not. His attempts thus far, and his continued attempts to bring about the latter objective may prove to be too high a price to pay.

The Duntroon brainwash has a lot to answer for. Young officers I know, who have completed the training, firmly believe they can solve anything and do anything. They see everything as black or white. It takes many years for their conceited arrogance to merge with their life experiences to make for a more rounded and balanced individual. Some of them remain brainwashed.

I sincerely hope your attempts to encourage B to adhere to the roadmap are successful. I would hate to see your integrity compromised at any time. Hence my comments. They are made with respect and gratitude ( even if they are acidic from time to time).
Croz Walsh said…
Thanks Habakuk,As you say, many things can go wrong. I have chosen to support what Bainimarama says he is trying to do, with the occasional suggestion or criticism when I think they are needed. Helping to speed, or at least ease, his stated "way forward" seems a more realistic approach than the inflexible oppositon evident in most other approaches. But I'm hoping also that I may cause some of these people to reflect on whether their inflexible opposition will really help achieve fair and democratic outcomes.

The coup can fail in one of two ways: Bainimarama can be overthrown and Fiji returns to the unfair, corrupt and undemocratic society it became under Qarase. Or the regime can become so firmly entrenched that it abandons its stated goals. Either way, we have a failed coup. I have taken the position that actions that slow down the Roadmap increase the possibility of these equally undesirable outcomes.

As for the anti-government bloggers, I doubt they will change their opinions. Almost all seem to be ethnic Fijians living overseas anxious to maintain Fijian paramountcy and the old ways of doing things. But there are other Fijians, and people of other ethnicity, who support what Bainimarama is doing and many of these live in Fiji. How representative they are, and whether their numbers are declining or increasing, we do not know. But many of my informants seem to think the tide is turning in Bainimarama's favour.

Finally, elections. I'm happy to go along with 2014 as long as people- participation in government and the processes underway are speedily increased (and this requires a much freer media), and that the elections in 2014 produce a government that honours the Charter principles and governs for all the people of Fiji. Race-based parties will not do this.
Habakuk said…
@ Croz

Than you kindly for your detailed response. I consider your observations to be astute and useful.

I feel frustrated and my legs seem to dangle on either side of the fence from time to time. I sincerely hope he gets it right.

On a recent visit I spoke with some who support the PM and some who are SDL through and through. The latter were not able to justify their position, but it was obvious as to why they vehemently stuck to their views. To their credit they were willing to talk to me about a dangerous subject and they do not hold my views against me.

It must be extremely different for the villagers who support the PM in an SDL environment and vice versa.

You can't please all of the people all of the time. It is also difficult to be a white anglo aussie with a Fijian heart. People think you have ulterior motives.

This is once again why I am an Allen Lockington fan. He brings all of us back to reality, with a thud.

I even feel I have no right to blog on the subject of Fiji. However, I know my Fijian friends would expect nothing less. They know how to see my heart. They know I have no malice. That is why I love Fiji and her people.
Field of BS said…
Michael Field is a pompous git and the evidence for that is his extraordinary claim to have some higher powers of perception because he's a "working journalist". Puh-lease!
Keep the faith, Croz said…
If anything, Croz, I think you're trying too hard to be conciliatory and accommodate your opponents' position. The choice before us all is stark: Back the current regime's efforts to produce a non racial Fiji and a more level electoral playing field come 2014. Or back the notion of an election now that we all know will only return those who have brought the country to its present parlous state. Bugger Michael Field and the whole miserable so-called pro democracy lobby. Because they're blind to the fact that the end result of their efforts isn't democracy at all but the reinforcement of a racist, corrupt system that is totally elitist and undemocratic. So, Croz, pull yourself together and repeat after me: Why did I take on this thankless task in the first place? Because I love Fiji and its people and saw a desperate need to present an alternative viewpoint. I passionately believe in the mission I have undertaken and will stick to it with the utmost conviction and resolve. Croz, only time will tell whether yours was a quixotic, undeserving crusade. But you donned your charger and have embarked on the quest so stop wringing your hands about whether you're right. There are too many of us looking to you to succeed for you to have second thoughts or agonise too much about the path you have chosen. There will be many slings and arrows fired at you from the likes of the lamentable Michael Field. But you must have faith in your own powers of analysis and judgement, which I, for one, think are usually spot on. Your humanity and desire for justice is plain to all who visit your blog. So stop being so bloody conciliatory to those who aren't worthy to even hold your tattered but honorable mortar board. Anyway, what qualifications does Michael Field possess? Zip, zero, zilch when it comes to his pronouncements on Fiji, that's for sure. Loloma levu.
caromio said…
@ Crosbie Walsh

.....The coup can fail in one of two ways: Bainimarama can be overthrown and Fiji returns to the unfair, corrupt and undemocratic society it became under Qarase.....'

I would have thought that you are actually describing Fiji as it exists today. You really do need to take a long holiday Crosbie. Michael Field may be flawed but at least he has the decency not to pretend to be something he isn't, which is more than can be said of you.
Mio My-oh said…
Caromio, you're such a bore. Your occasional tedious appearances in these columns are far less enlightening than even the most mundane of Crosbie Walsh's musings. So it's you who really needs to take a holiday, my dear. To suggest that the estimable Mr Walsh lacks decency and is engaged in pretence is an outrageous slur. You badly need a period of intense self reflection in the Tuscan idyll in your own head.
White man's burden said…
This notion of Michael Field's that white men have no business "telling the natives" what to do completely misses the point about events in Fiji. The "natives" are solely responsible for stuffing up the place against all the advice ever proffered by white men or men of any hue for that matter. Field's problem is that he never lived through the latter British colonial period and the early years of independence, when Fiji was a thriving, happening place. Why was it so successful? Because that glorious era predated the post modern self flagellation about colonialism or neo-colonialism that has much of the world, including Michael Field, in its grip. There's nothing wrong with advice from the white man or anyone else so long as it's good advice. Let's get one thing straight. Fiji's tragedy is the assertion by one race - the indigenous Fijians - of their ascendency over all others, including the white man. Call that progress? Michael Field does, even if by default. Because if you stand for a bastardised democracy, as he does, that enforces the dominance of one race, it's not a democracy worth having. That's the core of the issue in Fiji and ought to be the gist of any respectable story from journalists like Michael Fields. What do we get instead? Overt ranting by someone in the thrall of the SDL, its beneficiaries and the so called human rights lobby, and consumed with personal rage over his continuing exclusion from Fiji. Notice how Field has even turned on the people for whom he once stood shoulder to shoulder - the local Fiji media? How dare they deviate from the Field party line. All that, even I can stomach. But what I can't abide is his sanctimonious embrace of the tired old 1960s UN Decolonisation Committee bleat about white men interfering with the natives. You can mount a compelling argument that most problems in Fiji, at least, can be traced back to the day that the white man stopped carrying his burden. But even if you don't accept that, it's absurd that Field would regard Crosbie Walsh's "advice" as somehow less than acceptable because of the colour of his skin. Let's face it. The guy's a dickhead.
Coward's corner said…
For Michael Field to teasingly allude to more sinister information he possesses about Nazhat Shameem without elaborating is the epitome of cowardice. He obviously fears a writ yet attempts to trash her reputation anyway with a sly nod and a wink. The man is a disgrace to journalism.
Habakuk said…
@ Keep the Faith

To assert that Croz is "being conciliatory" is withour foundation. Mr Crosbie's position is very clear and he seeks to offer advice to the IG if they are prepared to heed it.

To be conciliatory is to appeal to the opponents to see both sides. If you make no concessions whatsoever, none will be returned.

Two wrongs don't make a right.

I disagree with you. I consider the approach of Croz is more powerful than outright close minded support for one and derision for the other.

As you rightly say, Croz loves the Fijian people. That includes Peceli Rinakama.

The diplomatic approach is the way to go. There is never a need to get personal. Let the facts speak for themselves.

@ Mio

I don't agree with what you say, but I would fight tooth and nail to preserve you right to say it.

Once again, let the facts speak for themselves. As soon as you get personal and subjective your point is lost forever.
Playing the man said…
Attention Keep the Faith. Isn't it "mounted" your charger instead of "donned" your charger?

And Croz, I don't think this gentlemanly policy of not attacking the man should apply to those who attack you or anyone else.

I see Michael Field has been attacked personally in a few postings. I don't think these should be deleted given that you've published his article attacking you and Justice Shameem.

Sometimes the argument and the person making it can't be separated and this is one of those cases.
Dulcinea aka Keep the Faith said…
Sorry, Playing the Man, you're right. I should have said mounted. A slip of the tongue and a slip off the stirrups. But keep tilting at those windmills, Croz.
Caromio said…
@Mio My-oh said...

The fan club still at work I see. At least you remembered me - must be very good, that database of yours.

No parades today? Buttons and medals to polish? Didn't make the latest peacekeeping contingent then? Never mind, you still have a country to trash, don't let me keep you.....
Oh dear said…
No need for a data base, Caromio, when you're on permanent idiot watch. The bleeding obvious always loom large on one's horizon. So you're a conspiracy theorist as well? A burly soldier under every bed. As if.

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