Reply to Jose

Jose G. Perez jgperez at SPAMfreepcmail.com
Sat Sep 25 08:26:58 MDT 1999



>>Has Jose actually called for the use of Australian troops? He seems to be
defending the right of the people of East Timor to call for help from the
UN. I personally don't question their right to do that. But it is one thing
to have the "right" to do that, and quite another matter to actually do it,
given that countries like Cuba don't run the organization.<<

I actually go beyond defending the right of the people of East Timor to call
for help from the UN. I believe under the circumstances of the last month or
so, revolutionaries should have taken a supportive stance towards their
demand. And right now I oppose, for example, a campaign around the slogan
"Australian Troops Out Now" or anything like that.

I do not support workers in imperialist countries making the "send the
troops" demand on their own, or campaigning around it. I also now think that
to have made the demand for a UN blue helmet force the central axis of a
campaign in support of the Timorese independence movement would have been a
mistake. The central axis should have been and should be the demand for
recognition of the independence of East Timor.

I argue that the current UN deployment is simply the extension of the UN
policy embodied in the referendum by other means. That policy has a
contradictory character; on the one hand, UN decolonization is
decolonization, the formal recognition of the right of a given people to
self-determination and independence; on the other hand, it is a mechanism
the imperialists have set up to control the national liberation movements by
containing any upsurge that may accompany the achievement of independence,
i.e., to limit the gains strictly to formal independence.

In this case, the Timorese independence movement has chosen --unanimously,
as far as I can tell-- to accept a UN decolonization process, obviously as a
compromise, as a lesser evil. They did so, as far as I can tell, as an
implicit recognition that they do not have the strength to drive out the
Indonesian military by force. In doing so, they implicitly, and explicitly
made any number of concessions which tends to put East Timor under UN, i.e.,
imperialist, tutelage.

I do not at all fault the Timorese for having made concessions with a gun to
their heads. But I think what the solidarity movement should be about is
demanding immediate recognition of Timorese sovereignty without any fetters,
restrictions or limitations. Having recognized that the independence
movement of East Timor was the legitimate representative of the people of
East Timor by negotiating the pact with them, and having registered through
the referendum that the people of East Timor want independence, the UN
should immediately recognize the independence of East Timor and the
independence movement as the defacto provisional government.

Jose



-----Original Message-----
From: Jonathan Flanders <jon_flanders at compuserve.com>
To: marxism at lists.panix.com <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Date: Friday, September 24, 1999 11:35 PM
Subject: Re: Reply to Jose


>>> Jose, defending Aussie imperialism in East Timor does not become you. <<
>
>Has Jose actually called for the use of Australian troops? He seems to be
>defending the right of the people of East Timor to call for help from the
>UN. I personally don't question their right to do that. But it is one thing
>to have the "right" to do that, and quite another matter to actually do it,
>given that countries like Cuba don't run the organization.
>
>
>The problem is that the in  Australia, calling for UN intervention *is* in
>reality calling for Australian troops. What the DSP and its friends should
>have done is to call for cutting off all military aid to Indonesia. Allan
>Nairn and others have said that if that had happened immediately after the
>referendum, the orgy of killing in Dili never would have happened.
>
>Winning this demand would really have helped the people of East Timor, and
>exposed the complicity of the Australian state with the Indonesian
>military. The DSP position has done neither.
>
>Incidentally, Amy Goodman of Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now just spoke at a
>Siena College meeting here this week. My wife attended it. Over 250 turned
>out.
>
> Jon Flanders
>


---

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