Wednesday, January 03, 2007

EXTRAORDINARY RENDITION David Vine, a friend of CONTRAPOSITIVE, has an excellent op-Ed in Tuesday's Washington Post, documenting the embarrassing, morally-indefensible roles played by of the United States and the United Kingdom in causing--and then prolonging--the plight of the Chagossian people.

If you aren't familiar with the details, it's a truly shocking story. Among the facts:

Beginning in 1968, islanders leaving Chagos for vacations or medical treatment on the island of Mauritius were barred by the British from returning and thus marooned 1,200 miles from their homes. The British soon began restricting supplies for the islands, and by the turn of the decade, more Chagossians were leaving as food and medicines dwindled.

In 1971 the U.S. Navy...ordered the British to complete the removals. First British agents and U.S. soldiers...herded the Chagossians' pet dogs into sealed sheds and gassed and burned them in front of their traumatized owners awaiting deportation. Then, between 1971 and 1973, British agents forced the islanders to board overcrowded cargo ships and left them on the docks in Mauritius and the Seychelles.
Read the rest here.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.