Tuesday, July 26, 2005

To Ambassador Moriarty: Shut Up!


American ambassador to Nepal, James F. Moriarty sporting a blogdai-approved appendage.

The old sour apple is at it again. Ambassador Moriarity shows his contempt for Nepal and his spoiled impatience at being stationed in Kathmandu with yet another series of clueless quotes. Blogdai wonders what genius in Washington told Moriarty to conduct his speech with blunt, frightening alarmism. Is this the U.S. voice in Nepal? Out of touch, tabloidish, and with just a cursory knowledge of Nepal's political history. There is an obvious attempt here, and in prior Moriarty statements, to talk in a demeaning way towards Nepal. http://kantipuronline.com/kolnews.php?&nid=46735:

Moriarty's latest:

"Why would the Maoists be willing to give up now? Their party fought insurgency for nine years and now they see their opponents crumbled, dividing themselves, mired in acrimony," he said.

"If I were a Maoist, I'd think I was making good progress...I would try to put differences between the parties and the palace, and get them to do the Maoist business of tearing down the political structure," he added.

In an amazing feat of stupidity, Moriarty unfurls the full length of his intellectual vapidity as he opines the following:

-The Maoists got stronger after Feb. 1 takeover.
-The King tried to reach out to the Maoists after the takeover.
-Babu Ram's return has made the Maoists stronger.
-Nepal's very existence is at stake.

Moriarty, after almost predicting the patter of little-red feet down Durbar Marg closes by saying: The Maoists have to realize that they have no hope to victory. Why then the imminent disaster scenario, ambassador?

Moriarty also keeps up the drumbeat of "peaceful negotiations" as being the only way to solve the Maoist problem, but then creates his own stalemate by saying that the rebels have not changed their tactics and are bent on overthrowing the government. Blogdai guesses that Moriarty has refused to acknowledge any Maoist history prior to his arrival as ambassador or he would have seen what a fruitless exercise peace talks have turned out to be. Amazing there, James, how you can acknowledge how Maoists probably will not change their tactics yet stress that they must change their tactics and enter into peaceful negotiations.

There is one fact that drives the ambassador's thinking and speech: JAMES F. MORIARTY DOES NOT WANT TO BE IN NEPAL.

We should be aware of this the next time he issues one of his disengaged, callous statements about Nepal's situation.

-=blogdai




29 Comments:

At 7:50 PM, July 26, 2005, Anonymous politicalkanchha said...

Blogdai,

You have done a masterful job in exposing Moriarty's weakness. You have shown that Moriarty's quotes are inconsistent. All I have to say to that is that anyone in the field of politics has to do the same.

Due to your reporting, however, I have come to understand that for an ambassador, Moriarty seems pretty silly (i just can't think of a better word).

You must have to understand that representatives of the US government today have no other option but to support democracy. That's the battle they've been fighting for in Mess-o-potamia.

Well, if only they knew, that DEVELOPMENT must come before DEMOCRACY!

P.S. blogdai, I would like to recommend a couple of books to you and your readers:

1. Can Asians Think? - Kishore Mahbubani

2. Future of Freedom - Fareed Zakaria

3. The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism triumps in the west and fails everywhere else - Hernando de Soto

 
At 8:33 PM, July 26, 2005, Blogger Danica said...

Hey! You got my attention to take a look at your blog..and uhmmm i think its pretty cool..You can also check out my blogs and your comment is very much welcome.

 
At 10:06 PM, July 26, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Fareed Zakaria is the editor of Newsweek's international edition and a fine writer. de Soto's book has been quoted often and it apparently quite the masterpiece of logic; I want, but have yet to, get my hands on both of these books. Thanks for pointing them out.

I agree with you that a U.S. ambassador's job is to transmit U.s. policy, which can also mean support democracy; but does a Moriarty need to make such barbaric, undiplomatic and frightening proclamations in order to get this point across?

I like that development comes before democracy. It makes me realize that quite a lot of things must come to a society before democracy can take root. Compromise, rule of law, independent oversight, citizen safety and SECURITY, to name a few more.

-=blogdai

 
At 12:35 AM, July 27, 2005, Anonymous Felicity said...

Blogdai, you've taken another detour from your original blog theme: the sham democratic process in Nepal and the King's assuption of power.

Now, petty diatribes against Moriarty seem to be your favorite sport. If you want to compare political appointees you only have to look at the Nepali ambassador to the U.S. I had the opportunity to listen to a speech he made after Feb 1. "The King is a benevolent man, a true savior of Nepal." Yeah, right! I'm still waiting to see that happen.

At the luncheon that followed the speech, I was seated at the table with the Ambassador. To all the Non-Nepalis, he encouraged tourism and emphasized safety in all areas of Nepal. To all Nepalis he pressed them to invest in the bright future of Nepal. Yeah, right! The future is still murky to me.

Forget the politicans, there isn't an ounce of difference between them.

There is a question I would like for you to address:

Will Nepal survive the current crises without foreign involvement?

Thanks.

Felicity

 
At 6:34 AM, July 27, 2005, Anonymous Alison said...

Felicity,

I am not an apologist for blogdai, and let me state at the outset that I do not want to attack your post.

I consider my personal opinion to be quite far removed from any loyalty to the previous 'democracry' as personified by the political parties; vehemently opposed to the Maoists (in ideology and action); and most certainly removed from the 'interests' of the US.

While I do not intend to defend any comments made by the Nepali ambassador to the US, I must state from personal experience (as at March/April 2005) that there is absolutely no danger to the tourist in Nepal whatsoever, and I plan to travel to Nepal again later in 2005.

I felt far safer in Kathmandu and Pokhara in March/April 2005, than I do currently in Australia, or than I did, for example, in London or Washington in 1996 (and would most certainly feel now given recent events).

Given the intellectual superiority which is constantly claimed by the US, (despite evidence to the contrary I might add) one could be forgiven for expecting Ambassador Moriaty to provide some insights greater than that which are given by the political parties in Nepal.

Unfortunately, this is not supported by the evidence. To my mind, Moriarty provides no more realistic alternative than the political parties in Nepal. And in fact, only serves to inflame the current situation, while being supported by a level of authenticity (by virtue of his position although not his actions) that is certainly not enjoyed by the Maoists or the political parties.

Felicity, I agree that the future for Nepal is far from assured; however, discouraging non-resident Nepalis from supporting their homeland will not benefit the future of Nepal.

I am sympathetic to your question of whether Nepal will survive without foreign invovlement, and I do not profess to know the answer...

However, unless a major oil reserve is found in Nepal, foreign (ie US) involvement will simply not occur...

Otherwise, there would have been meaningful foreign intervention in Bosnia, Rwanda, the Sudan, and Nepal etc etc etc etc...well before now.

Alas, Nepal is blessed 'only' with incredible scenery, history and culture and the most lovely and welcoming people one could hope to find.

And while there are many of us which celebrate that...unfortunately in Western political considerations, this really does not amount to much.

Alison

 
At 7:41 AM, July 27, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Will Nepal survive this? Those of us who live and work in Nepal can say that Nepal will always find a way to get by.

The only reason we all worry about Nepal's survival is because of the rhetorical brinkmanship practiced by Moriarty and the Western media. We've been hearing about Nepal's imminent demise ever since the first Western journalists decided to spice up their otherwise boring Nepal coverage with tabloid-like fodder bent on increasing readership.

Look at a real drama: the murder of Birendra and his family. If that received only average coverage in the west, as it did, what hope does a fledgling journalist have, or a fledgling ambassador for that matter, of getting their point across to a spoiled and bored West unless they "sex-up" their story a bit?

I would love to forget Moriarty and consign him to the dust-bin of history. Unfortunately, this man is the voice of the U.S. in Nepal and his every utterance is taken seriously by Nepalis. If the lone superpower in the world is predicting a Maoist takeover, then what hope do Nepali's have of solving the issue on their own, right? He has blown his responsibility to maintain a stable U.S. position and voice in Nepal and he must be challenged for it. If not here, then where?

Your experiences with Moriarty are intriquing, any more?

-=blogdai

 
At 11:03 AM, July 27, 2005, Anonymous Scott said...

Blogdai, I've been reading your blog for sometime now. Well done. It's nice to hear someone talk about life in Nepal without being righteous or didactic.

I ran in the expat circle in Kathmandu for a few years. You're right, Blogdai, Moriarty could care less about the well-being of Nepal. I also had a good friend who was the consulate in Calcutta. The sad news is . . .

None of what an ambassador (nor any US employee at an embassy) says has anything to do with what they think. On the ambassador's desk sits a nice outline, stating what he may or may not say on hundreds of topics, accompanied with keywords to use.

The fighting with the Maoists will trickle along for years and years. The Kinds erratic and mostly brainless rule will continue as long as medical clinics in the UK operate. Nepotism in politics will thrive so long as people have fathers with money.

And Felicity, sad to say, no one will intervene in Nepal. There are no superheroes in Nepal's future. No one, at the last minute, will jump out of the shadows and rescue the country. The US & other Western countries will not intervene in Nepal so long as there is a war on Islam, uhm, I mean, "terrorists" on CNN every night.

The outlook?

Moriarty will continue to read statements prepared by interns in DC. The King will be as helpful as he has been so far, so long as he's alive and medical clinics in the UK operate. Maoists will limp along in an uncertain enough path for the folks in Kathmandu not to get too nervous. And nepotism will direct Nepal's future generations of political leaders, so long as people have fathers and those fathers have money.

If you get the chance, ask the embassy about the little machines with secure connections that instantly relay messages/comments/statements to the State Dept., where monkeys wielding red pens edit their version of US policy in Nepal.

Beware.

 
At 1:51 PM, July 27, 2005, Anonymous Felicity said...

Allison, this is a blog. No preface is needed to your postings. Postings are not personal attacks but merely personal opinions. Agreement and disagreement are both valuable contributions.

Blogdai IS entirely competent to respond to posts of differing opinions. However, on this occasion, I totally agreed with his assesment of Moriarty and, in fact, I expanded that same view to
all government appointed functionaries and provided by way of example the Nepali ambassador to the US.

Scott very clearly described the boundaries set for foreign government representatives. I am dismayed that Blogdai describes Nepalis as so naieve as to believe
a puppet.

I think the subtlty of my original posting was lost.....I was offended when told tourists are not targeted by the Maoists. Only Nepalis are being killed, so, don't worry about having a bad holiday. Further, that those who left Nepal for education and sustainable incomes should now invest those earnings in a country with rampant corruption,sketchy infrastructure, and a God King that decided he was in charge and yet has no plan to improve the lives of his subjects.

The Nepali disapora in the US has been very active in opposing the King's power grab but no one I know has any plans to return to Nepal. As much as the US is defamed, people are still risking their lives to come and no one is clamoring to leave. Support for one's country is not only defined by financial investments. Remittances to Nepal represent a significant percentage of the economy. IF the situation were better, no doubt many Nepalis would return.

The US should keep it's nose out of Nepal. They have their hands full at the moment and have only disastrous foreign policies in place.

I don't see an effective power broker on the scene in Nepal. If no one will assist the Nepali people (PLEASE note I did not say
invade, intrude, demand, etc.) how
much disruption is tolerable?

 
At 4:50 PM, July 27, 2005, Anonymous Alison said...

Felicity - from reading your most recent post, (and then re-reading your original) it is clear that I did misunderstand some of your earlier comments - thanks for clarifying...
Alison

 
At 7:46 PM, July 27, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

We are a very civil blog, indeed.

Scott! Welcome. I agree with Felicity that your comments are dead-on. We would all like to hear more of what you have to say.

I am reminded of an event a few years ago. A wild-eyed right wing columnist with no insight on Nepal spouted off about how Maoists would soon run the country. Withing days, Nepali papers were saying how the West thought a Maoist takeover was imminent. They did not bother to realize that this Western fop was editorializing recklessly about Nepal's situation. Instead they took his writing at face value and ratcheted up the anxiety level.

Again, I am also reminded of the riots caused by off-handed remarks by Hritik Roshan and Madhuri Dixit.

The point of this exercise is not to show Nepalis as naive, but rather as politically astute; absorbing everything the world says about their country and taking it very seriously.

Just a tiny bit of research or insight on Moriarty's part would have told him this and saved many a nervous Nepali the anxiety of believing that the U.S. is already setting up Nepal as a failed state.

-=blogdai

 
At 10:50 PM, July 27, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'A wild-eyed right wing columnist with no insight on Nepal'.... hmm i wonder why this reminds me of monsieur alex perry...where is he...would love to read some of his latest dispatches on nepal..cmmon even i need a laugh once in a while

 
At 11:04 PM, July 27, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Yes, touche'

But I was referring to one Nathan Browne of STRATFOR. Google the article, it's hillarious.

-=blogdai

 
At 11:46 PM, July 27, 2005, Anonymous haude said...

But blogdai Maoist coming to power is very likely (and soon) if the parties side with them don't you think?. Moriarty may be inconsistant and silly, but there is some truth to it...scary as it may sound. They seem to pretty much control most of the places except the cities. I now need their permission to go to my own village in eastern part of Nepal to meet my relatives (this was not the case just few years back, they are pretty much running a parallel government now, and I cannot imagine how it must be like on the western side). They demonstrated their will pretty effectively with their choke hold in Kathmandu about a year or so back. Well, if Kathmandu equals Nepal, then it probably will take some time, not as long as RNA is there. As far as I am concerned, they have I guess around 2/3 of Nepal and if that is not a ominious sign...what is then?

 
At 7:57 AM, July 28, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Maoists do control the countryside.
Simply because no one from the government is out there policing.

As we see, whenever the RNA makes and incursion into the country these days, the Maoists tend to scatter. These are no longer the days of Phaphlu: where 200 Maoists stood toe-to-toe with the RNA.

Maoist takeover? When we see them with an army the size and strengh of the RNA then we can talk about it.

Maoists survive now because they do not consolidate. Units are small and undetected. The minute they try and muster 5 or 10 thousand rebels in one place, the RNA will be there.

-=blogdai

 
At 10:17 AM, July 28, 2005, Anonymous PoliticalKanchha said...

Blogdai,

Your comments are always pithy and incisive. No beating around the bush with this gorkhali.

You are correct in reminding your readers that a Maoist victory is nowhere in the horizon. NOWHERE!

If I may diverge, I would like to point out that the political leaders (as incomepetent as they are) have made it pretty clear that they will not join hands with the Maoists until they use violence to achieve their means.

I agree that Madhav Nepal is trying to get traction from wherever he can as he has no power right now. But all that has happened between the parties and Maoists is hopes for talks. And that's just that. There's nothing concrete coming out of it.

 
At 12:02 PM, July 28, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey scott....cmmon we all know that an ambassador lands up with a broad outline on what to say etc etc.. but believe me no intern in DC tells Moriarty to go play golf with Paras.

 
At 10:20 PM, July 28, 2005, Anonymous Felicity said...

Scott,

"The King will be as helpful as he has been so far, so long as he's alive and medical clinics in the UK operate."


I'm not clear about your reference to the King and medical clinics in the UK. I have read in the past that Princess Helen Shaw had state funds approved for her treatment in the UK. But no reference was made to the type of treatment. Is there a genetic medical condition among the Royals?

Thanks
Felicity

 
At 7:08 AM, July 29, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

No, there is a condition called "wealth" however, that allows the Royals to jet to the best hospitals in the world for any reason. Our King and his family seem to favor U.K. treatment.

-=blogdai

 
At 3:29 PM, July 29, 2005, Anonymous Felicity said...

Thanks for the clarification Blogdai.

What is your view of Tom Daschel's
parting statement that was published by Kantipur online?

 
At 3:35 PM, July 29, 2005, Anonymous Felicity said...

Blogdai, your thoughts on Daschle's statement?


King should call parties for dialogue: Daschle


KOL Report

KATHMANDU, July 27 - Former US Senator, Tom Daschle Wednesday said the King should take the initiative to invite political parties for talks to end the present political deadlock.
“It is incumbent upon the King, given his stature, to call upon the political parties to become partners in a dialogue to restore democracy and peace to Nepal and make this a priority of His Government,” he said at a press meet today before winding up his week-long Nepal visit.

The former US senator said that the Royal Commission for Corruption Control should be dissolved and “all political prisoners including former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and former minister Prakash Man Singh” should be released.

“…corruption cases should be referred to the constitutionally-created Commission for the Investigation of the Abuse of Authority,” Daschle said.

He said that the political parties should commit publicly to genuine party reform, internal democracy, transparency and accountability and removal of corrupt figures from their ranks.

“The need for reconciliation between the king and the mainstream political parties is immediate,” he said.

Daschle also urged the King to remove restrictions on peaceful assembly and expression.

He said that his meeting with the King was “encouraging,” but added, “We have not yet seen his words being put into action.” (dds)


Full text of Tom Daschle’s statement:
I want to acknowledge and thank the National Democratic Institute (NDI) for supporting my visit to Nepal. In this past week, I have met with His Majesty King Gyanendra, political party leaders, civil society representatives, business people, and many others. My purposes in coming to Nepal were three fold: to express to the people of Nepal the strong support of the American people for the restoration of democracy and democratic institutions and the resolution of the violent Maoist insurgency; to assess the current political crisis; and to urge Nepal’s political leaders to come together expeditiously to resolve Nepal’s crisis, recognizing how the current impasse imperils democracy and progress.

It is clear that the Maoist conflict must be resolved through a political solution and that this will be most effectively undertaken after reconciliation is achieved between the political parties and the Palace. The need for reconciliation between the King and the mainstream political parties is immediate. All personal and partisan considerations should now be put aside for the good of the Nepali people.

It is incumbent upon the King, given his stature, to call upon the political parties to become partners in a dialogue to restore democracy and peace to Nepal and make this a priority of His Majesty’s Government. HMG must also respect and restore all civil and political rights, including freedom of the press, and the resumption of news broadcasts on FM radio. He must also remove any restrictions on peaceful assembly and expression. The Royal Nepalese Army must continue to improve its performances in respecting the human rights of both civilians and combatants while fighting against the Maoist insurgency. All political prisoners should be released, including former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Prakash Man Singh, and the Royal Commission for Corruption Control (RCCC) should be dissolved and corruption cases referred to the constitutionally-created Commission for the Investigation of the Abuse of Authority (CIAA). Attempts by the Palace to consolidate royal power through controls on the civil service, the education system, NGOs, the press, and other areas should be reversed and ended. Corrupt individuals and convicted criminals should have no place in His Majesty’s Government. Without a resolution of the crisis and a quick return by the Palace to constitutional norms, there will be growing civil unrest and growing discontent in Nepal with the institution of the monarchy.

Political parties deserve praise for the many achievements made under the twelve years of parliamentary democracy, and for the current unity of purpose that they are now displaying. Nevertheless, they can and should do more to alleviate the political crisis. Understanding that corruption has in no way been limited to political parties, but has been present in many Nepali institutions, political parties must nonetheless demonstrate to the Nepali people a willingness to improve their performance and fight corruption where necessary. They should commit publicly to genuine party reform, internal democracy, transparency, and accountability, and the removal of corrupt figures from their ranks. They should also offer a clear and detailed blueprint for change, progress, and peace to the people and recapture the Nepali people’s faith through their actions and commitments. They should also unconditionally and unambiguously offer to begin dialogue with the King, regardless of past wrongs, real and perceived.

The Maoist threat is serious and ongoing and must be resolved. Besides the terrible human suffering caused by this violent insurgency, it is undermining economic progress in Nepal as well as the institutions of democracy. A military victory by either side in this conflict is very unlikely. The only real solution is political. While the social issues raised have legitimacy, the violent tactics the Maoists employ are universally condemned by the Nepali people. The Maoists must respect human rights and stop the abuse of civilians through abduction, extortion, and violence. The underlying social issues driving the Maoist movement should be addressed by a democratic government and the Maoists themselves must renounce violence and take their ideas to the mainstream of politics where the can be judged by the Nepali people in free elections.

The people of Nepal, with the support of the international community, should demand that all parties to this impasse make democracy and peace their most urgent priority. America firmly supports a restoration of democracy in Nepal. And I urge the King to return immediately to constitutional democratic principles. A return to Panchayat-style governance is unacceptable and will only lead to more difficulties for both the nation and the monarchy in the future. The restoration of democracy in Nepal is the only way to achieve progress and peace. The people of the United States and other friends in the international community stand ready and willing to help in this critical effort.

 
At 4:23 PM, July 29, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Daschle was always known as a deal-maker; perhaps too much so. He was fond of fiddling while Rome burned under Tom Delay and other Gingrich desciples. If he had any strengths, they were always realized in the back-rooms of the Senate where his mediation skills where best utilized.

His speech is classic Daschle; leave all the doors open. He jabs very nicely at the parties when he tells them to begin talks with the king immediately. Daschle finds it inconceivable that any politician should burn a bridge like this, and is telling them to straighten up their act.

His is the politics of negotiation and compromise. This works only when all groups to a conflict agree to sit down and work out a compromise, however. The emerging reality of situations in Nepal and other places, is that some groups just do not want to compromise, period. How then to deal with these groups?

-=blogdai

 
At 3:55 AM, July 31, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i do not belive this . How can people be stopped fropm saying the truth. Why torturing the, does not work, killing them does not, and nmeither does jailing. Neither does putting a black sticker over their mouths. If the king wants to stop people having opinions, and expressing themselves I can not think of any way for him to do this, other than cheering everybody up, and killing himself.

 
At 3:56 AM, July 31, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if it's ok for the last king to kill the monarchy, its ok for the present dumber king to.

 
At 3:57 AM, July 31, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the king is the stupidest man in nepal, and tortures the people, he has failed, of that there is no doubt

 
At 3:58 AM, July 31, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the king does not even rule all of nepal, so i will not listen to this pig headed fool

 
At 3:59 AM, July 31, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the king things he is a god, when nobody except his eunuchs do otherwise, well he does have a brain like a pig, and looks like a donkey so he may look like some god in Souther india, but he is not a god.

 
At 4:00 AM, July 31, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hahhahahhaha very funny, he is not a god, and is very corrupt

 
At 10:36 AM, July 31, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Ok kids, save the tit-for-tat jabs for Samudaya, FreeNepal or one of the other shout-fests.

Here, if you think the king is a failure, give me some case histories and examples. Don't just tell, show! As it stands, our readers can't reply to your comments because--well, for one thing, the whole thing sounds like an arguement on a primary school playground--there is no background and supporting documentation provided. Emotional outbursts only carry so much weight here at blogdai.

 
At 7:50 AM, August 01, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Ambassadors, if one can pinpoint their function, speak the way they do to influence opinion as Alison says. They also must speak the party line for the countries they represent. We can get lots of clues as to U.S. and U.K. intentions in Nepal from the words of these doltish envoys.

Opinions manifest themselves in policy decisions, "simple" but true.

Thank to Alison for the article. The Washinton Times is the over-arching, somewhat rightist number two paper in D.C. behind the Post. They have no trouble in seeking out the Babu Ram's of the world and giving them a forum.

Gotta love ol' Babu in the article. He's the "babbling brook" of the Maoist movement. He just can't keep his mouth shut about strategy.

Compare his remarks with the remarks of a district commander highlighted in blogdai's July 17 article: "Maoists don't Negotiate," and you can see that these "good guys" have no intention of changing their position whatsoever; everything is a tactic and everything leads to a Maoist takeover. Talk about autocracy!

-=blogdai

 

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