It is fashionable to accuse the US of being an imperialist nation due to its extensive activities and interests overseas. The US, though, is sadly short of exotic tropical possessions, in contrast to one of its biggest and most self-righteous detractors, France, which is still a true imperialist, presiding over a bona fide colony of brown-skinned natives who have had the temerity to express a desire for independence.
Now, I am not sure exactly what the political arrangements are with respect to Tahiti. It is interesting to see that the French are placing their own self-interest ahead of Tahitian independence.
France is likely to oppose any move towards independence. Thousands of French troops and civil servants are based on Tahiti.
And a sweet posting that must be.
“French Polynesia is part of France’s aspirations to have a presence in every ocean and any loss of territory would have an impact on their status as a power with global reach,” said Mr Maclellan. “The territory also has a huge exclusive economic zone, with rights to fishing and sea bed minerals.”
Classic imperialist/exploitative greed, non?
The Tahitians have been heavily subsidized by France, a way of getting French taxpayer to foot the bill for the aforementioned sweet civil service postings and for whatever sweetheart deals French businesses get for all those fish and minerals. However, in a real shocker “allegations of corruption, poor economic management and a desire for fresh political blood” have led to a political victory for the pro-independence party over the political hacks who stood for continued subjugation to the French imperium. In the punchline, the new leader is aligning himself more closely with the nearby Anglosphere nations.
Will the usual suspects who decry US imperialism at every turn show up to protest the real item when practiced by the French? Will there be international objections to the heavy-handed tactics the French bureaucrats will employ to defend their perquisites? Will one of the last outposts of colonialism disappear? Stay tuned.