Sorting Out the Enemy

Warwick Kenneth Fry wfry10 at
Thu Sep 16 07:38:48 MDT 1999

On Thu, 16 Sep 1999, Philip L Ferguson wrote:

> Our main task is to find ways to challenge the illusions that workers in
> our own countries have about *our* ruling classes, governments and states.


                That is the most sensible thing I have heard you say - why
then can't you see that East Timore *is* destabilising that government,
and it *is* challenging the illusions about our ruling classes. I don't
know about overseas, but certainly the independent press in Australia is
making the point very heavily, that the situation in East Timor is a
result of the collusion of the Australian and Indonesian elites.

        I mean let's get something straight. I genuinely believe that
sending Australian troops to East Timor *WAS THE LAST THING* the
Australian government wanted to do! And the US and other colonial powers,
for that matter. They were forced to do it because of the situation
highlighted the moral, intellectuall, political and ideological bankruptcy
of Australian foreign policy (particarly where East Timor was concerned
over the last 25 years!)  and they were finally exposed -tragically at the
expense of the East Timorese battlers.

        I maintain that the East Timor tragedy has made the Australian
people look at their government  - their whole administration with fresh
eyes. We who have been involved with the East Timor issue have known that
the corrupt, elitist foreign affairs and intelligence departments have
sacrificed the 1/2 to 1 million East Timorese to their egos, and careers,
and inabilities to admit they were wrong (not to mention, greed, and
ideological and political blindness), but now the Australian public are
seeing it too!

        Ideally, the Australian government should be arming the FALINTIL -
now if you want to get up and scream that in your Prime Minister's face, I
won't stop you, but I don't think that would achieve much, and it might
even do some damage.

        The East Timorese have shown the Australian people that their
Emperor has no clothes. And the Australian left has always supported them
in their struggle. Surely we can wear that little shred of solidarity?

> Our task is most immediately to oppose the intervention of Australian and
> NZ troops in East Timor.  The fact that the most important left-wing
> organisation in Australasia/South Pacific area actually demanded Australian
> troops go in makes this task a great deal harder.

        And do what we can to help the few survivors survive a few years

<snip ... >

> I hope the DSP leadership will reverse their position, although the signs
> do not seem to be propitious.  The longer the DSP leadership holds to its
> current awful position, the harder it will be to reverse it and the more
> likely it will become entrenched as a response to 'humanitarian
> imperialism', especially when conducted by the DSP's own ruling class.
> Philip Ferguson

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