Chomsky et al miss the point re: East Timor

Borba100 at Borba100 at
Sat Sep 11 20:44:15 MDT 1999

The following is the essence of the argument I am planning to make in an
editorial (supported
by a few interesting articles and interviews) in www.emperors-Clothes
tomorrow.  I thought I'd run it by you all for reactions, since it goes
against popular wisdom, especially on the left.

Your thoughts?
Jared Israel

The other day I was chatting on the phone with a left wing friend and I said
, "The US is going to support intervention in East Timor."  And he said "No
they're not."  And I said "I think you're mistaken."  And he said "I KNOW
you're mistaken.  Indonesia is a client state."

Of course, my friend has much history on his side.  The Suharto regime came
to power in a military bloodbath that killed 1 million (conservative
estimate) Reds, unionists, independence-minded minorities, liberal students,
etc., and of course, ethnic Chinese.  The Indonesian invasion of left-leaning
East Timor (following Portugal's granting that colony its independence) set
the stage for another series of monstrous massacres.  In all this the US
(our Balkans friend Holbrook, notably) was involved not as neutral observer,
but as participant, helping plan, supplying arms, etc.  (England and
Australia too)

Based on all this the left thinks the US will side with the Indonesian
military, etc., etc.  But history permits alteration.  This is not 1966 or
even 1990.  This is the new age and the world is a big buffet, and all bets
are off.

Various leftish analyses compare Kosovo and East Timor and argue that the
West's inaction in the latter instance demonstrates it's hypocrisy in the
former.  This is quite mistaken.  First, on Kosovo, it is mistaken, because
in making this argument most leftists accept the media hype on Kosovo - that
the Serbian military acted in "Indonesian fashion" (i.e., acted the way the
US instructed the Indonesian military to act for many years!) and slaughtered
Kosovo Albanians.  Then the leftists add -- but it's even worse in Timor!
The truth is, the Kosovo atrocity stories are being exposed every day as a

And the left is simply in gaga land concerning Clinton's goals in Indonesia.
Clinton/Holbrook are NOT opposed to intervention; their initial public stands
were a phony.  Even as Clinton said NO US TROOPS, marines were already in
Darwin.  Now, have been "pushed" to take action, we have Holbrook warning
that unless the Indonesians buckle under "the whole area could be
destabilized" -- which is precisely what Holbrook says when he is about to
destabilize an entire area.  This is a deliberate policy to breakup
Indonesia, just as most everyone in Indonesia is beginning to suspect.

The Australians have been acting as the US proxy here so that Clinton could
be "FORCED" by a press that is not (as everyone on the left says) blase about
Timor, but which, on the exact contrary, is DELIRIOUSLY outraged - Clinton is
being "forced" (kicking and screaming!) to "accept the sword" once again.  "I
didn't want to attack you-all 'cause it's a hell of a big ol' important
country but the bad ol' Indonesians left me no choice."  If the US elite was
ACTUALLY opposed to intervention, would the press be splashing horror stories
all over page one?  What's forcing Clinton, besides the press -- which is
controlled by his controllers?  There is no PUBLIC outcry, no mass demos,
etc.  (Except in Portugal which as far as I recall is not the head of the
Int'l Community)

Contrary to the predictions made by all and sundry on the left, US and
British military aid HAS been cut off.  The goal here is: destabilization of
the whole string of islands, prevent the takeover by "unfriendly" forces IN
INDONESIA PROPER; this to be accomplished by offending national pride
sufficiently to guarantee preemptive ultra-nationalist attacks on everyone,
especially Chinese as well as any possibly secession-minded minority, not to
mention anyone on the left, causing further destabilization.  The killing in
Timor (probably exaggerated by the interventionist press) is not 90%
concocted, as in Kosovo, and it is true, as the left says, that the US is to
blame for having told the Indonesia  military to take east Timor in the first
place, and armed and trained them for 25 years to do what they did there, but
this killing is NOTHING compared to what MAY WELL happen to  Chinese,
unionists, etc., throughout Indonesia if the West goes in.

THIS IS THE GOAL.  The whole thing (including timing of Timor vote to take
place before runoff elections and in the midst of an economic meltdown, with
an abrasively partisan UN official public stance -- head of UN saying "This
proves once and for all that the Timorese want independence") could not be
more calculated to produce chaos in Indonesia.  Left is living in the past.
Indonesia is no longer simply a cooperative client state.  It is a juicy
morsel that could be lost to the US, Japan, et al. it could suffer the
Malaysian disease (conservative economic independence) -- or worse yet, the
Venezuelan disease (left-leaning economic independence)- so it has to be
broken up and given the Afghan disease (preventive    medicine) Which we will
be witnessing.  Every left wing email I received said "East Timor proves the
hypocrisy of the West in Kosovo."  No no no!  Kosovo proves the extremely
HUNGRY (i.e., aggrressive/acquisitive) nature of current US foreign policy -
for ten years they have been attacking "old friends" (Tito Yugoslavia,
Hussein's Iraq) -- and all the predictions that they won't go into East Timor
(either by themselves or Aussie proxy) because  the Indonesian military is an
old friend misses the point: sharks eat old friends.

The argument that some people on left have made, that Clinton doesn't want to
attack Indonesia because it is big and has lots of oil and other minerals is
ludicrous on the face.  Like saying a shark doesn't want to eat a big, plump,
juicy, WOUNDED shark.

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