FAIR: U.S. ROLE MISSING FROM EAST TIMOR COVERAGE

Krishna Lalbiharie umlalbi0 at SPAMcc.UManitoba.CA
Wed Sep 1 21:11:22 MDT 1999




>Date: Wed, 1 Sep 1999 17:45:37 -0500 (CDT)
>Reply-To: can-aj at pencil.math.missouri.edu
>Originator: can-aj at pencil.math.missouri.edu
>Sender: can-aj at pencil.math.missouri.edu
>Precedence: none
>From: "Hart, Peter" <PHart at fair.org>
>To: Multiple recipients of list <can-aj at pencil.math.missouri.edu>
>Subject: FAIR: U.S. ROLE MISSING FROM EAST TIMOR COVERAGE
>
>FAIR ACTION ALERT: U.S. ROLE MISSING FROM EAST TIMOR COVERAGE
>
>September 1, 1999
>
>The ongoing story of East Timor's referendum on independence has received a
>moderate amount of coverage in the mainstream media. But news outlets have
>frequently failed to put the Timor story in a full and accurate context.
>
>For example, in reports from East Timor's capital, the Associated Press and
>some other news outlets continue to use the dateline "Dili, Indonesia,"
>implying that Indonesia has a legitimate claim over East Timor. This
>formulation is comparable to a dateline of "Kuwait City, Iraq" in the months
>following Iraq's illegal annexation of Kuwait. The Washington Post (8/31/99)
>reported that Timorese were voting on "whether to remain a part of
>Indonesia."
>
>More importantly, many stories fail to note two crucial facts about East
>Timor's nearly 25-year struggle against Indonesian occupation. First, the
>Indonesian occupation has been extraordinarily bloody, resulting in the
>deaths of more than 200,000 Timorese, out of a pre-invasion population of
>approximately 600,000.  A recent AP story noted that an "estimated  2,000
>Indonesian troops have died fighting separatist guerrillas since Indonesia
>invaded  East Timor  in 1975," but failed to note the massive numbers of
>Timorese who have perished.
>
>Others seemed to confuse the deaths caused by the occupation with those
>caused by the resistance movement. ABC News' Charles Gibson said that "It's
>been an extraordinary violent independence movement there with hundreds of
>thousands of people killed" (Good Morning America, 8/31/99).
>
>Secondly, news consumers are not informed that the U.S. backed Indonesia's
>invasion of East Timor. President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry
>Kissinger visited the Indonesian capital of Jakarta in December 1975, just
>before the invasion was launched, where they were told of Suharto's plans to
>attack the island (Washington Post, 11/9/79).
>
>The following month, a State Department official told a major Australian
>newspaper (The Australian, 1/22/76) that "in terms of the bilateral
>relations between the U.S. and Indonesia, we are more or less condoning the
>incursion into East Timor... The United States wants to keep its relations
>with Indonesia close and friendly. We regard Indonesia as a friendly,
>non-aligned nation--a nation we do a lot of business with."
>
>Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who was then the U.S. Ambassador to the United
>Nations wrote in his memoirs (A Dangerous Place) that "the Department of
>State desired that the United Nations prove utterly ineffective in whatever
>measures it undertook" to reverse the invasion. "This task was given to me
>and I carried it forward with no inconsiderable success," Moynihan reported.
>
>Finally, according to the State Department, 90 percent of the weapons used
>in the invasion came from the United States. Two years later, as the
>atrocities in East Timor were reaching a peak, President Jimmy Carter
>authorized an addition $112 million in weapons sales to Indonesia.
>
>ACTION: Please call on local and national news outlets to stop treating East
>Timor as a legitimate part of Indonesia.  And ask them to include the facts
>about the consequences of the Indonesian invasion, as well as the role the
>U.S. has played in supporting the illegal occupation.
>
>To contact the Associated Press, write to:
>
>Associated Press
>Thomas Kent-- International Editor
>(212) 621-1655
>mailto:info at ap.org
>
>Also, read FAIR's previous coverage of East Timor and Indonesia at:
>http://www.fair.org/international/east-timor.html
>











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