As you read this, America’s Central Intelligence Agency will be planning regime change in the South Pacific. The target will be the Solomon Islands.
The US was caught out by Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s signing a deal with China with security/development benefits for the Solomons. Already Beijing has security agreements with Tonga, Papua New Guinea and Fiji but none of those deals provide for the deployment of Chinese armed police and military to deal with local unrest in the Solomons.
The US had left the South Pacific to Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand to manage on its behalf but the lazy racism of European colonisers and patronising attitudes towards the Solomons led Sogavare’s government to look elsewhere – and the US is not pleased.
None of us want to see the militarisation of the Pacific and our backyard becoming a contested ground for big nuclear-armed powers. But the US, UK and Australia have already decided to go this way with plans for nuclear submarines in the South Pacific as part of the US “containment” strategy for China.
The US has been working hard for decades to encircle China and Russia with military bases and ramp up pressure on them both because they pose a challenge to America’s goal of “full-spectrum dominance” which means the US, and only the US, will have the power to shape the world, in every respect, for its own interests. To achieve this the US will brook no opposition.
As a sovereign country the Solomons has the right to decide its own destiny and make agreements and alliances with whomever and whenever it chooses – except when this cuts across US strategic interests.
In response to the Solomon’s decision, a high-powered US delegation went to the Solomons for a 90-minute meeting with Sogavare last week and has pledged to open a US embassy in the capital Honiara.
This is their opening play. From this base they will meet with various tribal leaders, community groups and opposition politicians to decide who they want for Prime Minister. They will oil their most promising relationships with vast wads of cash while working hard to massage grievances and open up the fracture lines in Solomon society. Massive civil unrest will be fostered with the aim of making the Solomon’s ungovernable whereupon they will step in and help install a pro-US “unity” government of some kind with their chosen leaders.
How much cash will it cost? Not as much as the reputed $5 billion spent by the CIA to orchestrate the overthrow of the democratically-elected, pro-Russian Ukrainian government in 2014 but enough to get the job done.
And what will be the response of the Aotearoa New Zealand government? Lots of angst and hand-wringing but nothing else.
This country refused to stand with the people of East Timor overrun by Indonesia in the mid 1970s and we still refuse to support the independence struggle of the people of West Papua – Indonesia in occupation again.
When regime change happens in the Solomons we will stand with the US rather than the people of the Solomon Islands.