Reply to Phil, Gary, Carrol, Jonathan and others

Warwick K. Fry wfry10 at
Thu Sep 30 20:08:48 MDT 1999

            Gorgeous rhetoric. Could even be interesting theory in some
contexts. What is it doing for the East Timorese? People?  What has it done
for the East Timorese (People) over the last 25 years, and what will it do
for the East Timorese over the next 25 years?

    It is the rhetoric which echoes uncannily the rhetoric of the
apologists in the Australian  Foreign Affairs and successive Australian
government elites which gave the nod, the rationalisations for the
Indonesian military elites to intervene, in 1975 and systematically rape,
take and break down the ethnicity of the East Timorese people. The marxist
voices in Australia were those which critiqued and resisted that process.
It was the voices of the successive petit bourgeoise Australian governments
which rationalised the process, with the argument that acceptance of
Indonesian 'sovereignty' was really the 'best thing' for the East Timorese,
and Australian (the only nation which accepted that 'sovereignty' apart
from Indonesia) was somehow 'saving East Timorese lives.'  I can remember
shouting at Bill Hayden when he threw up this same perverse argument ( ...
that by acceding to Indonesian demands we were somehow saving Timorese
lives, and critics of that policy were somehow complicit in making things
hard for the East Timorese, and therefore hypocritical!).

       Get real  - pragmatic  - scientific - whatever you want to call it.
That self delusional rhetoric *cost* hundreds of thousands of  East
Timorese lives, without taking into consideration the rapes, the
compulsory sterilisations, the military sweeps through the countryside,
the relocations, (transmigration) the *systematic efforts to destroy the
East Timorese as a people*,  which were a reflection of the regime, a
blatant and insolently undisguised extrusion of the policies  it exercised
over the rest of its empire  -  Aceh, Iran Jaya ...

        Get real! Cease this obscene rhetoric! Look at the East Timorese
people and drop your illusions.

        It is sickening to see the only voices which supported the East
Timorese struggle, being abused by the same thinkers who should
intellectually and ideologically be their comrades and supporters. To
designate the hard work of committed comrades over  25 years as 'whining'
is quite simply, offensive and ignorant.  I can make a case (knowing much
of what went on behind the scenes) that these were the voices which
contributed largely to the survival of the East Timorese as a people.
   The survival of these people seem to have disrupted your tidy mindset of
who are the 'enemies of imperialism'.
   There are your teeth!

Carrol Cox wrote:

> The defenders of U.S./Australian/NZ imperialism return endlessly to the
> fact that the enemies of imperialism are somehow hurting the East
> Timorese. If the Australian intervention could be stopped by a few
> scattered marxist voices, there would at least be a basis in empirical
> reality for this whining. But the friends of imperialism are not doing
> one blasted thing for the East Timorese. They are only taking the
> cheap route of being super-moral and sympathetic in words while
> being utterly unable to make any difference in reality. To pretend
> that this kind of unneeded support for imperialism is contributing
> to the saving of Timorese lives is pure hypocrisy.

> If I were to adopt the posture of the friends of imperialism and
> shed hypocritical tears for the East Timorese and express verbal
> support for the Australian/NZ saviors, it would either  have *no*
> effect, short or long range, on the world *or*, it would have the
> effect of confusing and demoralizing the people in Bloomington/
> Normal Illinois who have been struggling in various ways for 20
> years in solidarity organizations or anti-intervention drives. It
> would weaken the already pretty toothless local forces who
> oppose imperialism, and it would reduce the resistance the
> next time the U.S. sends its forces to crush a local liberation
> struggle.
> For the most part what we say or do on this list has no impact
> on the world. But the impact of the supporters of Australian/
> NZ imperialism (if any) would be to weaken resistance to
> U.S. intervention in Colombia by contributing to the
> demoralization and confusion of anti-imperialist forces.
> Carrol

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