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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 January, 2005, 16:29 GMT
Why did US base escape tsunami?
Diego Garcia
Diego Garcia became a US military base in the 1970s
Following the tsunami, conspiracy rumours have been circulating on the internet of how the US base at Diego Garcia managed to avoid casualties while other islands suffered huge losses.

The US Navy's official Diego Garcia website said the island wasn't hit by the devastating tsunami because it is surrounded by deep waters and the grade of its shores does not allow for tsunamis to build before hitting land.

The site said the earthquake generated a tidal surge on the island estimated at six feet.

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Is America a power for good or ill in the world? Was there a malign hand at work, or has America's role in the crisis in fact been a model of humanitarian leadership.

Let us know what you think. Is this just anti-US sentiment on the web or something more worrying?

You can read and send us your views from this page.

All islands in that part of the world were wiped out. How could anyone believe Diego Garcia was spared?
Mark C, Philippines
It has become a way of life for people to look at things with a suspicious eye, especially if US is involved. I think it more now than before. The Iraq war and WMD reports have damaged the publics' confidence and trust. It's sad because America with it's military might could handle world crisis in a much better way.
G.Amirthalingam, London

While I am sure the US did their research when picking the site for their base I am also sure that the tsunami was expected. They could have used that information to protect themselves and their property but why weren't the places around warned? There wasn't much they could have done but forewarned is forearmed.
Mehrun Rahaman, Trinidad & Tobago

I have actually worked and lived on Diego Garcia, my firm belief is that the island and propositioned ships stationed there were damaged severely, but due to the importance of the base in the supply line for operations in Iraq, this rumour of "no damage" is just disinformation put out by a lying and paranoid US government in the interest of security. Come on, every other little island in that part of the world was wiped out. How could anyone believe Diego Garcia was spared.
Mark C, Philippines

I'm sure for most people in the world, the mere mention of the name, Diego Garcia, would illicit the response ... 'who?'

As Diego Garcia speaks volumes about the hypocrisy of the current superpower, the US, and its imperial mother, the UK, the fact that it exists, who owns it, how it came to be, and what purpose it serves should be of greater concern to the world than any fanciful theories about tenuous, conspiratorial connections with the tsunamis. However since 911, and now with an election in Iraq just days away, misfortune makes a habit of being advantageous to the Bush administration. Conspiracy theories should then come as no surprise.
David, Singapore

Are we really to believe that somehow the United States was able to make an entire island safe from tidal surge? How ridiculous! There is so much envy for American success that people will seemingly grasp at anything to tear down America.

Those are American helicopters out there aiding in the recovery, without whose service there would be starvation and death aplenty. Let us thank God that such a force for good exists on this earth, for clearly we have not the capacity to provide such assistance.
Martin Riggs, Manchester

Good grief! I cannot believe the loonies that insist on blaming everything on the US. And I cannot believe that the BBC fosters such rubbish. I want my license fee refunded! Stuart Copeland from Birmingham needs to remove his tin-foil hat!
Nigel, London

Rather than a conspiracy, is it not more probable that the US simply conducted ocean topography surveys and risk assessments before locating an expensive military base in the region? Not a luxury afforded to fishing villages.
Catherine, London

Actually, since this island is British owned and merely "leased" to the United States Navy, Commander James Bond disclosed the evil plot to the American commander, who then promptly raised the "Anti-Tsunami" barrier which encircles the island...
Eddie, New York

When it comes to just about any story relating to the good character of the US, it amounts to the same thing: For those who believe, no explanation is necessary, for those who don't, no explanation will suffice
D Morriss, The Hague
My greatest shame is to hear commentators and politicians trying to analyse and shape the reasons behind this giving. Can't we do anything from our own spontaneity without having to produce an explanation because the 'social analysts' can't understand what's going on? Maybe more time raising support or getting 'on their bikes' would be more appropriate; possibly we've had more than enough of them and are proud to do something 'unexplained'. God help us all if the relief so desperately required were organised by the sociologists.
Ted Frankland, Brighton

This is ludicrous. US assets aren't hit by what was a natural disaster, so the BBC naturally starts a discussion about why Diego Garcia was unaffected, as if the 'excuse' of favourable ocean topography could be fabricated!
Rhys, UK

The US government was obviously stepping in to help Kimberley Quinn by getting her off the front page.
Sandie, UK

With all due respect, this is ridiculous. Next there'll be 'theories' suggesting that the US set off the earthquake with a nuke so they could go helping in the aftermath with plenty of PR opportunities for photos of US military personnel looking after Muslim kids. Please! Grow up world!
Rik Pike, New York

Why do you even give these 'theories' and comments any time? They are absolutely barking mad! A huge natural disaster in SE Asia and all the loonies can do is find some contrived and twisted reason to blame the US...and you lot are gormless enough to waste licence payers money on it. When it comes to just about any story relating to the good character of the US, it comes down to the same thing; "For those who believe, no explanation is necessary, for those that don't, no explanation will suffice."
D Morriss, The Hague

It IS ODD. And I don't think its anti-US sentiment but something a lot more worrying about all these conspiracy theories. What if it isn't just paranoia after all? Should we be scared? Who profits? (With anti sentiment, fear, or else?) Please do approach these questions. Thank you.
Al, Brazil

Its about time the BBC and the "liberal left" stop with the evil empire innuendo re the USA. The only aircraft carrier with significant numbers of helicopter support to actually deliver aid is from the US military. The UN which have done nothing but talk about aid. Stop with bashing the US as they probably will again be the main catalyst to rebirth of the region
John Mckee, Braintree UK

I'm not sure I buy the anti-American conspiracy theories flying around the web at the moment, but I am concerned by the chain of events leading up to the Tsunami disaster. Seismic testing for oil and minerals (or "sound bombing") has been going on in the sea around Tasmania for many years now. These tests create low frequency sound waves that penetrate up to 40km below the ocean floor. On Dec 24th an earthquake reaching 8.1 on the Richter scale hit the ocean between New Zealand and Tasmania. Three days after this Australian tectonic plate shift we saw the devastation of the Sumatra earthquake and following tsunami. Unusual in itself, this is made more so by the fact that it's rare to see more than one earthquake worldwide measuring over 8 in a year. Natural disaster or not, I'd be interested to know more.
Victoria, London

Are conspiracy theories some sort of illness pervading the world water supply? Extremists are saying the US caused the quake by "nuclear tests" and now the BBC adds to the mire by asking the loaded question..."What did they know???" Couple all of this with the term "competitive compassion" and we all look like fools. Perhaps we should heed the quote: 'Tis better to remain quiet and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.'
Robin Powell, USA

Could it have been an attempt by the Neo-Conservative Christian Right to let set off an atom bomb, in order, to open the gates of hell and put out the flames with the water. That's the sort of weird dream I had the night before the earthquake. I wonder if there has been any underwater caverns opened up which have lowered the overall oceans water level? This would be a considerable aid to place, which are currently below sea level, but aided by false barriers.
David Moore, Nantwich

What I would like to know is why did the USA not inform India and others, or take action to prevent the extent of the casualties when they first learnt of the Tsunami occurrence. To be honest nothing would surprise me about how far the USA administration is willing to go to maintain its coercive dominance over the world. Would they use the "Star Wars" technology to cause an earthquake? I want to know who gains from the aid money being spent? Is it only going to continue the cycle of dependence? Is it going to boosting the economy of the country where the aid money will be spent (probably over priced US firms)? People only have to look at the Truman doctrine, the Regan administration and Bush administration to see the policy of maintaining the status quo in the developing world to recognise things need to change.
Stuart Copeland, Birmingham

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