A few more Timor chickens :-)

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Fri Feb 28 20:28:10 MST 2003


Ben:
>>Some on the left like to paint the socialists (mainly the DSP of
Australia) who called for intervention to help the East Timorese in the
same light as the social-democrats who voted for war credits in 1914.<<

I'm not one of these, it is a silly comparison-- about as relevant as
Brest-Litovsk. It was just a mistake, the trouble is you won't face up to
it.

David:
>>the impression I get is that there had been a virtual black out by the
bourgeois press in their reports about the atrocities committed in East
Timor  up until 1999. Am I right? If so, then the question becomes: why all
the attention in 1999?<<

I don't think you could say it was blacked out in Australia (though no
doubt much was suppressed) and the general public had a very good
appreciation of it. I remember going door to door about it, and finding the
reception remarkably favourable. The attention in 1999 was because they had
a referendum and the UN was there -- but it did  nothing to protect the
Timorese when the time came. The UN and the Australian government let the
Timorese be slaughtered, then sent in troops later to turn the place into a
neo-colony. It's probably true they misjudged the situation and were in a
temporary panic, as one of our correspondents has documented with no undue
economy of words. But once they decided to send the troops, they recovered
very quickly, the Australian government soared in the polls, and
imperialism was perceived to have "redeemed itself" as Ramos Horta says.

Clinton:
>>Just because some Australian Marxists - and an overwhelming majority of
the Australian and East Timorese populations - took a view similar to
Ramos-Horta on one issue, they are not hitched to his gravy train in
perpetuity.<<

Unfortunately they are, as long as they won't face up to the consequences.

***
BTW, there was an anti-war demo in Dili the other day.



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