DSP, Namibia, Timor

Philip L Ferguson PLF13 at SPAMstudent.canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Nov 23 19:16:51 MST 1999

Norm Dixon wrote in GLW:

>At certain points, the pressure of mass struggle in the Third
>World combined with mass popular opinion in the West has forced
>US imperialism to retreat. Just as the UN is used by imperialism
>when it launches it offensives, that body has often been the
>mechanism Washington's uses to disguise its back-downs or to
>allow its Third World proxies to save face.

None of this has anything to do with Timor.  East Timor was ruled by
Indonesia, a Third World country.  It is as a result of  the removal of the
Indonesians that it will come under the sway of US imperialism.

Imperialism hasn't backed down in East Timor.  Imperialist troops are
currently occupying the country!

Imperialism is reordering its relationships with Third World countries all
over the globe.  It is getting rid of obsolete old dictatorships and
replacing them with more amenable 'democratic' regimes of exploitation,
regimes which will be even more under the heel of the World Bank, IMF and
Washington (and the UN, for that matter).

The DSP call has been for imperialism to do what it was already doing

>A very similar situation to that of East Timor took place in
>Namibia a decade ago. Weakened by the successes of the
>anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and the decisive defeat
>of the South African army's invasion of neighbouring Angola by
>the combined forces of Cuban internationalist volunteers, the
>Angolan army and the guerillas of the South West African Peoples
>Organisation (SWAPO), the US-imperialist backed apartheid regime
>in South Africa was forced to agree to allow Namibia's
>independence. In the US and Europe, a mass anti-apartheid
>movement was at its peak.

This is also *totally* wrong.

The actual analogy would be between Australia and apartheid South Africa,
two imperialist states.  Not between South Africa and Indonesia.  And the
'very similar situation' Norm refers to would be if a mass uprising in
Australia forced the Australian ruling class to get its troops the hell out
of East Timor, like the struggle in south-western Africa (Angola and
Namibia) and South Africa itself forced Pretoria to abandon control of

Unfortunately, when the main Marxist organisation in Australia is in the
vanguard of Australian imperialism on this particular issue, rallying an
anti-imperialist movement in Australia is made rather difficult.


PS: I might also add that I agree fully with Louis' point about the end
result in Namibia, which is nothing to start firing off the celebratory
cannons about.

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