New Age for Aussie and Kiwi Imperialism
Warwick Kenneth Fry
wfry10 at SPAMscu.edu.au
Thu Sep 16 18:09:34 MDT 1999
I do maintain that it was reluctant. You seem to forget that it
was an emergency. Two weeks was morelike the time frame when it became
obvious that a second rape of East Timor was occuring. Clinton was able to
evacuate half a state in 4 days once it became evident that a hurricane
was about to hit it.
Okay - I'll concede that it wasn't that lonely little cadre of
DSP-ers yelling outside his office window that finally convinced Howard to
It was actually the crucial action of the skeleton UN staff who
refused to leave the compound when the UN administration wanted to
evacuate *everyone*. This was back when it was 'only the militias' who
were causing the trouble. Of course if these people had left when they
were told to there would have been no witnesses to the collusion of the
military with the militia, and the Indonesian elite would have been able
to duck the blame for the rather impressive massacre of between 10 and 20
thousand East timorese in the short space of ten days.
But to me, those UN Staffers (and I bet *their* bosses are cursing
them for propelling the UN into a situation it would rather have avoided!)
also represent 'the people' and reflect the attitude of 'the people' of
The Australian government may not have been 'destabilised' in the
sense that we have our own 'emergency', but it, and its'
imperialist/colonialist functions are starting to come apart. The truism
of the Australian/American alliance is being questioned in a way that the
US tariff on Australian lamb ("Clinton likes it rare") never did. The
'special relationship' with the Indonesian military has been abandoned as
a bad job. We are witnessing the subversion of a considerable power
Thanks again to the resistance of the East Timorese people.
On Fri, 17 Sep 1999, Philip L Ferguson wrote:
> Warwick fry reckons the Australian ruling class has been reluctant to send
> troops and has been exposed for its complicity with the Indinesian
> Warwick, this just won't wash. It took about a week for the Australian
> government to decide to send in troops and the force they are sending is
> fairly close to the size of what they committed to Vietnam. Hardly a sign
> of reluctance, my friend!
> 4,500 Aussie troops is the equivalent of about 75,000 US troops. This
> indicates enthusiasm, rather than reluctance!
> The NZ government last week was talking about sending 250 troops, a few
> days later this became 350, now they are talking of a thousand troops.
> This is the equivalent of about 80,000 US troops. NZ was pretty committed
> to the Vietnam War, but NZ troops in Vietnam never went over about 600. So
> this would be NZ's largest troop commitment since WW2 (or maybe since
> Korea, I'm not sure about the size of the NZ forces committed to Korea).
> In other words, these are the most significant deployments of Australian
> and NZ troops, at the least since Vietnam, possibly since Korea or even
> WW2. This is also the first time that Australia and NZ have provided *the
> leadership* of a multilateral force, and in that sense, the intervention
> represents a significant step forward for our ruling classes. Australia
> and NZ, especially Australia, will also be numero uno in a force which
> includes the troops of Asian countries, which seem to be keen to line up
> with the Western Alliance against Indonesia. So the white bourgeoisie will
> also be reminding their Asian 'allies' what their place is in the New World
> Moreover, the intervention is allowing both Canberra and Wellington to
> erase any public memories of their complicity with Jakarta in the slaughter
> of Timorese and suppression of the Indonesian masses. Because large
> sections of the public in Australia and NZ support the intervention, the
> Aussie and Kiwi ruling classes are paying no price whatsoever for their
> years of complicity and duplicity. Instead the populace is caught up in
> wanting 'our boys' to sort out the Indonesians. Playing the 'moral' card
> of 'humanitarian intervention' is allowing Canberra and Wellington to
> redeem the high ground.
> All in all, it is a great day for Australasian imperialism and national
> chauvinism. A bad day for the Timorese and the rest of the people -
> including the left and working class in Australia and NZ - in SE Asia and
> the South/West Pacific region.
> Philip Ferguson
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