Timor chickens home to roost

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Thu Feb 27 00:25:41 MST 2003

For weeks the battle of ideas has raged in Australian newspapers. Articles
and letters, for and against war on Iraq. The anti-war writers have been
doing pretty well, demolishing all that "humanitarian intervention" crap.
But wait, here is a pro-war voice with seeming credibility. A voice that
speaks of "liberation" for Iraq. A voice that warns that "if the anti-war
movement dissuades the US and its allies from going to war with Iraq, it
will have contributed to the peace of the dead. Saddam Hussein will emerge
victorious and even more defiant."

Who is this? One Jose Ramos Horta, Foreign Minister of East Timor. Why will
he seem credible? Because he declares that the western imperialist powers
"redeemed themselves" when "a peacekeeping forced led by Australia helped
East Timor secure its independence and protect its people." And he argues
this is a precedent for Iraq. He goes on to quote a Kosovar as saying "I
felt liberated when I saw NATO bombs falling." And much more.

As I read it I can almost feel the war hawks gloating, and the peace forces
feeling slapped across the face.

I don't so much blame Ramos Horta. He does not claim to be a radical, let
alone a Marxist. But those Australian Marxists who demanded the dispatch of
Australian troops to East Timor, and who now try to deny that this helped
legitimise imperialist interventions elsewhere, should look at Ramos
Horta's article and then take a little look at themselves.

Here it is:


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