Fwd (GLW): Did the East Timor intervention kill off `Vietnam syndrome'?

Gorojovsky Gorojovsky at SPAMarnet.com.ar
Mon Jan 29 09:22:45 MST 2001

En relación a Re: Fwd (GLW): Did the East Timor intervention ki,
el 29 Jan 01, a las 23:49, Alan Bradley dijo:

> From: "Gorojovsky" <Gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar>
> > a) had ever existed an East Timorese struggle if in 1945 a part of what
> > was to be Indonesia had not been under the heel of the Portuguese
> > semi-Fascist dictatorship?
> Probably not.  But it was.

Then, question (c): what is a consequent Marxist to do with this? Allow me to
pose a similar example [and think it twice before you answer, because as you
see I woke up quite tricky today, ;)]. Was India imperialist when they
militarly took possession of Goa and Dili? Had there been a Goanese (?)
movement towards "independence" -perhaps Ulhas can tell us if there actually
_was_ something like that-, where would you have put your support to?

We Marxists do _positively not_ accept passively the consequences of
imperialism. NONE of them.

> Actually, if the Indonesian state hadn't been such a bunch of gorillas,
> there might not have been an East Timorese struggle either.  But they were.

This is a completely different matter. In the best case, what you are saying
implies that since the Indonesian state (the state? Sukarno included?) was "a
bunch of gorillas", it is reasonable to support the cleaning up of the Zoo by
"our boys". Nothing too palatable, I am sure, for you (not to speak of myself).

The political problems of Eastern Timor will not only not be solved by an
eventual East Timorese independent government after the Australian troops leave
(if they ever do). At best, and if Indonesia can recover from decades of
imperialist regimes (which I guess both you and I expect) then they will
finally become a garrison state, protecting heavy Australian investment in oil,
with Australian support, against the Indonesian claims for unification.

Please where I write Australia read "Australia as front bully for the West,
etc.". This argument is simply repeating my argument (rather old by now) on the
eventuality that a State of Learsi appears in Eastern Timor. Without expulsion
of local populations, but simply by creating an anti-Indonesian enclave with
the original settlers of Eastern Timor...

> > b) are the Indonesian claims and the Australian army equivalent?
> No.  Neither are oranges and apples.

Oranges and apples are both fruit, and both edible. I will rephrase the

b) are the Indonesian apples and the Australian oranges equally edible, or we
believe that one of them is emetic and should be opposed UNDER ANY

> In the end, there is only one legitimate claim to sovereignty in East
> Timor, and that is that of the East Timorese themselves.  To establish that
> claim, all necessary means are permissible.

By no means. There is no possible sovereignty for East Timorese. Sovereignty is
based on the possibility to defend yourself. The East Timorese will never be
able to do that. It will always be a fake sovereignty unless it is allied with
the struggle of the Indonesian (Indo-Malay) peoples against imperialism. And,
even if this were true, not "all necessary means" are permissible. Not the
protection by an imperialist army.

> It is *essential* for Australian leftists to unconditionally support the
> national liberation and democratic struggles happening in Australian
> capital's self-proclaimed sphere of influence.

On this we do fully agree, provided national liberation and democratic
struggles are _that_, and not a fully acceptable reivindication of respect to a
national (?) or cultural (?) minority that is transformed into a struggle for
statehood that will eventually and unescapably weaken the whole struggle of
national liberation. If you ask me, well I believe that _today_ (don't know if
yesterday) the "national liberation" of East Timor is playing exactly that

> Nestor, if any Australian leftist held your position, they would be scabs
> and *genuine* social patriots.

It is my view (and I guess it should be a matter to be debated among Australian
leftists, in particular) that the greatest boulder that the Australian
bourgeoisie finds in order to establish its own sphere of influence (wow, are
we returning to the early 20th century?) is NOT the creation of small,
inevitably dependent, states along "national / cultural" lines, but the
constitution of a powerful center of power which will incorporate those areas
to the common struggle against imperialism in general and Australian
bourgeoisie in particular.

If a new Konfontatsi (it is you who taught me about this, remember?) was to
take place now, would an independent East Timor (remind this: independent from
Indonesia) benefit Australia or the dark skinned peoples of the area?

The above was question (e).


Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar

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