How and why oppose Australian military ties with Indonesia

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Mon Jul 7 20:54:50 MDT 2003


Max Lane writes that:

>>a demand or campaign demanding that an imperialist state stop doing
something it is already doing, i.e. helping not a “benighted” state but a
repressive state carry out its repression and instead reverse its policy
and hinder such repression actually serves to explain and educate and
emphasise to people that the so-called “western democratic good guys” are
NOT “democratic good guys”.<<

Max’s logic here is that even though we know the imperialists are bad, we
should demand that they do good things. If we can build a mass campaign,
maybe we can even force them to do good things; if not, at least the people
around us will learn lessons about the imperialists. The flaw in this logic
is simple: if Australia comes in and brokers negotiations in Aceh, THIS
WILL NOT BE A GOOD THING. Because:

a.	it will establish the TNI-dominated Jakarta government as a legitimate
party to any settlement. Whereas in fact they are the oppressors and should
be kicked out, full stop.

b.	the imperialists will use the negotiations exactly as they have used
negotiations in Palestine – to incorporate the leadership of the
resistance, and thereby strangle the movement.

Do I think “mass campaigning” is impossible? Not at all, I remember the
movement against the Vietnam war. In that movement, there were those who
wanted us to campaign for “negotiations”, but I think we were right to
stick to “Troops Out Now”. 







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