Jose Ramos Horta

Nick Fredman sra at scu.edu.au
Fri Aug 22 02:10:57 MDT 2003


[ Nick: i changed your subscribed address from sra at alsid.scu... to
sra at scu... so you should be all set to post directly now. Les ]



[Dear moderators please forward if I'm not joined to the list
properly, I thought I had done with a new work email, though it's
been causing a few problems]

Tom O'Lincoln said in relation to the letter by Vanessa Hearman that
I and now Peter Boyle has passed on:

>what on earth is a revolutionary doing trading
on the fact that they worked for an agent of imperialism?

Since Tom asked me, I'll comment. I passed it on as I thought it was
interesting the major 2 liberal dailies gave prominence to a fairly
long letter that very much contradicted the orgy of anti "Islamic
terrorism" coverage in the media yesterday, including Horta's views,
in the same papers but more so in the more conservative Murdoch daily
the Australian, and I pointed there were other letters on the same
lines.  Part of the relative different between these conservative and
liberal organs were I think that Murdoch's gave more prominence to
Horta's views.

Without presuming to speak for Vanessa, I had interpreted her
comments on her East Timor work with Mellor as 1. establishing
qualifications to make fairly extensive comments (hard to get in a
capital city daily) opposing US occupation of Iraq and UN complicity
and 2. pointing out the difference between the role of the UN in East
Timor and Iraq, which is undeniable, even if one wants to see this in
a strictly limited, relative and quantitative way, to better point
out the nefarious pro-imperialist role of the UN in Iraq. Vanessa
didn't mention the sanctions which would have helped her argument,
but this was fortunately mentioned in other letters, and on Wednesday
morning Tariq Ali got nearly 30 minutes on the national public youth
radio network explaining the background to the attack including the
sanctions and current events (at the time broadcast this station may
have had an audience of up toaround 500 000, about double the 2
dailies mentioned).

I mention this media stuff as it's interesting that a few more
anti-war and anti-imperialist messages are getting in the liberal
media, a reflection of the recent mass movement, the absence of WMDs,
the diastarous occupation, and the residual anti-imperialist
consciousness of masses of Australian people, albeit at a fairly low
and liberal level. Just to make things clear I contend that the
outcome of the East Timor struggle was certainly not a best-case
scenario, was a very partial and contradictory victory, but in this
particular case the normally pro-imperialist UN found itself abetting
real independence and the ability of working people's organisations
and the left to organise (as oppose to being exterminated which was
the only other option), while of course aiming to safeguard
continuing imperialist economic exploitation of East Timor,
exploitation which was of course much more severe under Indonesian
rule (eg East Timor oil wealth is being ripped off, but previous
plans envisaged a much worse rip off). The DSP was never a cheer
squad for UN rule as Tom implies, but always argued for a brief and
strictly limited intervention, and criticised all pro-imperialist,
anti-working people actions, including in a fairly detailed GLW
article I wrote from Dili in January 2000. Concurrently the DSP of
course continued to criticise the much-more directly pro-imperialist
activities of the UN not least being the Iraq sanctions.
--
***********************************

Nick Fredman
Student Rights Advocate
Southern Cross University (Lismore)
Student Representative Council

Shop 9 Plaza, SCU Lismore

Ph: 6620 3044
Email: sra at src.scu.edu.au
web: http://www.lismoresrc.org.au/

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