Hayden white-ants Timor success

Alan Bradley alanb at SPAMelf.brisnet.org.au
Wed Oct 25 04:50:00 MDT 2000

Sorry, I messed up my first attempt to send this.
Alan Bradley

> From the Courier-Mail (Murdoch paper in Brisbane)
> Hayden white-ants Timor success
> Ian McPhedran
> 25oct00
> FORMER governor-general Bill Hayden has accused the families of five
> Australian-based newsmen killed in East Timor in 1975 of pursuing the
> matter for compensation.
> He also supported Indonesian claims that the newsmen were killed in
> "crossfire" at Balibo, describing the five as being "thoroughly unwise".
> And he slammed the Howard Government's successful intervention in East
> Timor as a "frolic".
> The outspoken former Labor leader and foreign minister between 1983 and
> 1988 praised Australia's 25-year policy of appeasement towards Indonesia
> and lauded the policy's author Gough Whitlam as well as former Indonesian
> dictator Suharto.
> His 10-page speech at the University of Tasmania last night made no
> of the thousands of East Timorese murdered by Indonesian troops between
> 1975 and last year.
> Mr Hayden was in the news two weeks ago when he attacked the Aboriginal
> "sorry" campaign and the authors of the stolen generation report.
> The former Ipswich policeman was a leading advocate of the Indonesian
> appeasement policy in his term as foreign minister.
> During his five-year stint he never visited East Timor which last year
> voted to end 25 years of repression triggering an outburst of violence
> destruction by pro-Indonesian thugs supported by the military.
> Mr Hayden also contradicted recently released government documents which
> showed officials knew that the five newsmen — Greg Shackleton, Gary
> Cunningham, Malcolm Rennie, Brian Peters and Tony Stewart — were in
> before the Indonesian invasion.
> "Perhaps some of this sustained focus on the five journalists . . . might
> be connected to a damages claim," he said.
> "I deeply sympathise with the survivors of those unfortunate journalists,
> but it has to be recorded that they were thoroughly unwise to put
> themselves in the line of crossfire at Balibo."
> Indonesia has long maintained the men were killed in crossfire despite
> witnesses telling of their brutal, cold-blooded murder.
> Mr Hayden was a member of the Whitlam Cabinet, but in his speech he
> any connection with the 1975 Indonesia policy.
> However, he did admit pursuing it with some vigour from 1983 to 1988 as
> foreign minister when Bob Hawke was prime minister.
> Mr Hayden said the success of last year's Australian-led operation in
> Timor was due to United States threats against Indonesia.
> "Frankly, the Americans saved our bacon," he said. "We should remember
> before we embark on any other thinly thought-through frolic like that
> "The East Timorese have been given a desolation and told it is freedom.
> "That leaves me deeply uneasy about the way the policy which brought this
> about was thought through or, I suspect, needed to be thought through
> rigorously rather than treated as a good idea on a comfortable Canberra
> afternoon."

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