Jose Ramos Horta & NATO

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky nestor at
Mon Oct 11 17:48:58 MDT 1999

I will resort to a dirty trick here. But a reasonable
trick, anyway.

The fact is that I hope, in the deep of my heart,
that Jo|o Paulo is right with his expectatives on the E.
Timorese (I will be the first one to drink to it if they
fulfill them!). His posting, however, may be easily read
exactly the opposite way. And my dirty trick will show this.
He did not dissolve my forebodings on East Timor.
Not at all. On the contrary, he has fueled them.

El 11 Oct 99 a las 20:57, Jo|o Paulo Monteiro nos dice(n):

> Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky wrote:
> >
> > Why should we not expect Dili to become a Belmopan of
> > Southeast Asia under leaders such as Ramos Horta?
> >
> Of course, this could happen. But it is far from certain.
> The east-timorese are born rebels. Already grave tensions
> (including very uneasy armed stand-offs) are building up
> between FALINTIL and the australian forces. The relations
> with the portuguese government are also tense. I think we
> should have a little more confidence on them.

I may. But the above is EXACTLY what could have been said
of the Jewish settlers in Palestine, 1920s / 1930s.  This
is what I wanted to stress on my "Learsi" posting. "The
Yischuv Jews are born rebels. Already grave tensions
(including very uneasy armed stand-offs) are building up
between PALMACH and the British forces".  "The relations
with the government of the Mandate are also tense".  Do
these sentences tell a different story? Just because we
know the way it ended... Let us go ahead.

> It's really not much more than a gut feeling. I look at
> them and I like what I see. The east-timorese are proud
> and self-reliant.

So were Jewish pioneers in Palestine. Moreover, the whole
Zionist Socialist ideology made of self-reliance a fetish.
This is why the Jewish Israeli workers had THEIR OWN,
closed to Arabs, Workers Central. I hope I will never see
the day when East Timorese Leftist Workers build up a
Workers Central that excludes the non-Timorese workers...

> Of course, we are all only too used to
> seeing leftist leaders betray and sell-out. But can a
> whole people sell-out? This nation has a backbone,
> composed of a vast, highly organized, marvelously creative
> network of tens of thousands of civilian and military
> activists. Could they instantly be turned into an
> undifferentiated mass of slaves and beggars? They have
> shed the blood and the tears of the best of a whole
> generation. They have a mystic and a political culture of
> anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggle. Can they
> stand back and watch their leaders kneel completely to
> imperialist and neo-colonialist domination?

People do not fight because they are "anti"-anything.

People fight for POSITIVE reasons. In the case of East
Timor, a massive inflow of capital (on a per-capita
basis it may be massive even though lean in absolute terms)
would find a "network of tens of thousands of civilian and
military activists" (such as the one it met in Israel)
ready to become the new leading class of an independent
East Timor "naturally" in allignment with the West.

Their mystic and political culture will slowly fade, the
old-timers will eventually die, new generations will appear
that have no need to keep anti-colonialist, and so on. They
will not "kneel completely to imperialist and
neo-colonialist domination".  They are risking to become
their minor partners in an Insulindian colonial outpost, a
new kind of a garrison state if oil in Insulindia justifies

> Maybe the answer is yes, indeed they can. But I'm not
> willing to concede it right away.

No, I am not willing to concede it right away. As you see
from my paragraph above, my concerns are much more serious.
They probably can NOT accept such a colonial situation. But
why not a profitable deal.

> Now, about Jose Ramos-Horta. He is a skilled diplomat and
> globe-trotter lobbyist. He has been patiently working the
> western liberal press and NGO's for some 20 years. About
> ten years ago, he contracted a lobbyist in Washington. It
> was the most poor, idealist and loser of all Washington
> lobbyists (a character that could be played by Paul
> Newman).

This only adds to my distress. You are reminding me of
Theodor Hertzl and of Chaim Weitzmann, as well as of the
Zionist lobby in London during the 20s...

> Ramos-Horta has now climbed all the steps of international
> diplomacy. He is a Nobel Prize winner and feels at ease in
> all of the most powerful chancelleries. He knows thousands
> of influential people all over the world. Some time ago,
> he even managed to have renamed "East-Timor street" the
> very New York artery where an indonesian consulate was
> located.

Well, the main street of Jerusalem is the "Allenby Ave.".
FYI, Gral. Allenby was the British officer who took
Palestine from both the Arabs and (potentially) the French,
who after two hundred years of patient work with the
Lebanese Christians of Beirut saw the Southern half of
their desired Middle Eastern empire swallowed by Britain at
the time of the Sykes-Picot treaty... The Zionists
never changed that name. Your example does not look very
encouraging to me. Imagine the street of the, say,
Turkish embassy in London had been changed to "Jewish
homeland" in 1912... Would you have considered this a
victory for the progressive forces?  No, you wouldn't. And
the Turkish state was not a tenth as worthy of existence as
the Indonesian state is...

> Of course, Horta has had to say nice things to the
> imperialists. He lives in this world. Would he ever go
> anywhere just with strident denunciations of imperialism?
> This certainly doesn't have a good press these days (if it
> ever did). Although formerly a young FRETILIN cadre, he is
> now a pragmatist and a very much de-ideologized man. But
> he is not a stiff anti-communist either.

Are you talking of the leaders of the Left fraction of MAPAM?
Or of Abba Eban?

The litmus test here, dear Joao Paulo, and the litmus test
I do not see Ramos Horta passing, is not whether you are
anti-communist or not, it is whether you are anti-Indonesian
or not. Most Zionists of Leftish leanings were keen quoters of
Marx and Lenin, believe me: even an ignorant as Ben Gurion
believed sincerely that "had Lenin had his way, we would be
living in a good world now".  But all of them rejected the
Arabs. Of course, they had lots of grievances against them.
They did not reject the Arab _feudals_ however, insofar
these feudals accepted the right of the Jewish Yischuv to
hold for themselves a part of Palestine, nor did they
reject the Arab Leftists provided these accepted the fait
accompli that Palestine was to be cut off the Arab world.

What they rejected (and reject) was the intention of the
Arab national movement to unify and revolutionize the whole
Arab world, from the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf if
possible. And THIS was the litmus test. Would the East
Timorese pass this litmus test now, when they seem to have
been opened a door to a protected independence? I do not
know. What I DO know is that, as every Catholic priest will
tell you, "debil es la carne" (weak is flesh).

> Between two
> appeals to imperialist humanitario-interventionist equity,
> he can find the time to have a discrete word with cuban
> officials.

Well, Cubans were wrong on the Israel issue at first. The
Cuban Jews who left for Israel after the Revolution were
considered "repatriates".  And one of them, a millardaire,
paid for the Cuban embassy in Israel (a very nice one, I
knew it in 1971, though if I am not wrong it was not an
embassy any more, it had a minor status).

> Mind you, I don't trust Horta a little bit. But, anyway,
> he is not very popular and won't be calling the shots back
> home. He is seen there as a know-it-all, an exhibitionist
> and a dilettante. A useful mover and shaker in
> international affairs but an insufferable pedant who
> hasn't set foot in East-Timor for more than 20 years. In
> fact, on the CNRT, he is now very isolated. His only
> chance is staying close behind Xanana Gusm|o like a humble
> and disposable servant of the nation.

Dear Joao Paulo, I wish with all my strength that you are
right. I also believe, however, that the East Timorese are
being offered a very interesting opportunity by the
imperialists. And Ramos Horta seems to be the one carrying
it. Under the current circumstances, who knows what will

I hope I am wrong, I honestly do.


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