WWNS: Timor´s second occupation.

sipila at SPAMkominf.pp.fi sipila at SPAMkominf.pp.fi
Sun Oct 17 10:01:59 MDT 1999

Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the Oct. 21, 1999
issue of Workers World newspaper


The story has moved off the front pages and the top of the television news.
But Australian troops are firmly planted in East Timor and on the border
with West Timor, which is part of Indonesia. And now the Pentagon has a
ship with over a thousand sailors and marines right off East Timor's
capital of Dili. Big U.S. helicopters are delivering trucks and other
implements of war to the Australian, British, Thai and other Asian troops
in the Interfet "peacekeeping force."

It is no time to lose sight of what's going on in Timor. Indeed, the
progressive movement worldwide had better pay close attention to what this
occupation army is doing.

Remember that Washington put the Indonesian military in power in the first
place, assisting the generals in the bloody overthrow of a progressive
nationalist government in 1965. The U.S., Britain and Australia then gave
tacit approval to Indonesia's invasion of East Timor, a just- liberated
Portuguese colony, in 1975. Now the brutal Indonesian military has been
replaced there by the direct occupation of the imperialists themselves.

The intervention force has already shown its reactionary bent by trying to
disarm the East Timorese liberation movement. It calls this being
"even-handed," because the Interfet troops were also disarming the fascist
"militias" set up by the Indonesian army. Of course, this would have left
the guerrillas and their people completely defenseless and dependent on
outside forces--which is what the imperialists wanted.

The Timorese leaders, however, refused to disarm, even though it meant
risking a confrontation with the Interfet force they had invited in to
expel the Indonesians.

Then Australia's Prime Minister John Howard tried to take the East Timor
landing 10 steps further by declaring a general policy of Australian
intervention in Asia. In an attack of sudden frankness, he even declared
that Australia would be the Pentagon's deputy sheriff in the region and
that Australia's goal would be to maintain the stability of Indonesia and
the protection of Western business interests.

Following the angry reaction of Thai and Malaysian leaders, and a shudder
from the Australian ruling-class media that had wanted to keep these goals
undercover, Howard tried to retract some of these statements. But the cat
was out of the bag. The imperialist troops were not there to liberate East
Timor but to keep the Indonesian archipelago-- its oil riches and its 80
million workers--under the control of the imperialist banks.

- END -

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