Oxford Union Debate – June 1950:
“That This House Regrets The Influence Exercised By The U.S. As The Dominant Power Among The Democratic Nations”
“The nations are heading for hell, and it is America which is leading us there…[American influence] corrupts, infects, pollutes whatever it touches”, said CEM Joad in this 1950 Debate – three years before his death, of cancer, aged 61.
In 1966, the US government ‘touched’ Diego Garcia – the largest island of the Chagos Archipelago – in the Indian Ocean.
The US wanted to build a strategic nuclear-military base there, in secrecy. To achieve that, they wanted to be rid of the indigenous people living there – 3000 Chagossians.
And what America wanted as a rising Empire, America got – thanks to the UK Government – who simply tricked the Chagossians, put them on boats and dumped them in Mauritius.
But, much to the surprise of the US and UK governments, the Chagossians fought back – and continue to do so.
To cut a long story short – a monstrous story of suffering and abuse of power – a large proportion of these exiled people (and their families) are here in Crawley – between 2000 and 3000 of them.
Many Chagossians want to return to their homeland – especially Diego Garcia. They are being prevented from doing so by the very governments who colluded in their expulsion.
The story continues…but it serves to illustrate the prophetic words of CEM Joad in 1950 : America “corrupts, infects, pollutes whatever it touches.”