Mac on DSP

Philip L Ferguson PLF13 at SPAMstudent.canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Nov 23 13:56:19 MST 1999



Jose G. Perez writes:

>Behind the action of every state, and socalled multinational (in reality
>imperialist alliance) organizations, stands the bourgeoisies'  "bodies of
>armed men." An unarmed London cop of yore was no less an expression  of this
>than an American police SWAT team operating from armored personnel carriers
>with M-16s.

Indeed, and this is why Marxists are equally opposed to cops as the
front-line of the state apparatus.  We are equally opposed to them
regardless of whether they are 'unarmed' bobbies 'of yore' or tooled up
cops of today.

Now apply that correct insight of yours above to East Timor!


>Imperialism being what it is, in  99.9% of the cases this is a no-brainer.
>The case of East Timor, however, was the other 0.1%. In that case the policy
>of the imperialist countries was to formally recognize the right of the
>Timorese to control their OWN destiny; it was a policy of RETREAT from their
>previous policy of direct subjugation of the people of East Timor through
>their surrogates in Jakarta.

No, the ruling classes in the West did not *retreat*.  They advanced.
Instead of relying on a surrogate in the form of a Third World government
(Jakarta) they have moved to a more *direct* form of control through their
own imperialist agency (the UN) and through their own troops.

I find it difficult to believe that you view the UN, the representative of
imperialism globally, as preferable to a Third World country like Indonesia.

If the world is divided between imperialist (oppressor) and
imperialist-dominated (oppressed) nations, as Lenin held (indeed, this was
central to his theory of imperialism), then the UN is clearly an instrument
of imperialism.

For East Timor to become an imperialist neo-colony is no advance from being
a province of Indonesia.  And the people on the left who have facilitated
that shift have done no favours to the East Timorese and no favours to the
workers of their countries (eg Australian and NZ workers) by encouraging
Canberra and Wellington in large-scale foreign intervention.

Last night the weekly 'Tuesday Documentary' on TV1 here in New Zealand was
an hour-long special called 'Keeping the Peace', all about NZ
'peacekeepers'.  The list of places where NZ troops are and have been
stationed over the past decade was really quite extraordinary - it crossed
the globe from Cambodia to Sierra Leone to Angola and Mozambique, to Sinai
to the Gulf, to parts of the Pacific.

The 'documentary' did not investigate any of the political reasons for this
substantial list of enagagements.  Instead it focussed entirely on the
'peacekeepers' themselves, who they were, what they felt, what nice helpful
activities they were involved in, what their husbands and wives were doing
and felt, blah blah.

At a time when Australian and NZ military engagement abroad is at a level
never seen before in our histories - outside of World War - and when there
is *no critical debate or investigation at all* of these activities, it is
*more important than ever* that Marxists should be demystifying them, and
the 'humanitarian' mystique around them, not caling for more intervention.

Cheers,
Phil















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