[Marxism] Jose Ramos-Horta: imperialist mouthpiece

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri May 14 07:59:37 MDT 2004

Jose Ramos-Horta: Keep fighting the good fight

May 14, 2004
THE new Socialist Government in Spain has caved to the terrorist threats 
and withdrawn its troops from Iraq. So have Honduras and the Dominican 

They are unlikely to be the last. With the security situation expected 
to worsen before it improves, we have to accept that a few more 
countries - who do not appreciate how much the world has at stake in 
building a free Iraq - will also cut and run. No matter how the 
retreating governments try to spin it, every time a country pulls out of 
Iraq it is al-Qa'ida and other extremists who win. They draw the 
conclusion that the coalition of the willing is weak and that the more 
terrorist outrages, the more countries will withdraw.

As a Nobel Peace laureate, I, like most people, agonise over the use of 
force. But when it comes to rescuing an innocent people from tyranny or 
genocide, I've never questioned the justification for resorting to 
force. That's why I supported Vietnam's 1978 invasion of Cambodia, which 
ended Pol Pot's regime, and Tanzania's invasion of Uganda in 1979, to 
oust Idi Amin. In both cases, those countries acted without UN or 
international approval -- and in both cases they were right to do so.

Perhaps the French have forgotten how they, too, toppled one of the 
worst human-rights violators without UN approval. I applauded in the 
early '80s when French paratroopers landed in the dilapidated capital of 
the then Central African Empire and deposed "Emperor" Jean-Bedel 
Bokassa, renowned for cannibalism.

Almost two decades later, I applauded again as NATO intervened -- 
without a UN mandate -- to end ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and liberate 
an oppressed European Muslim community from Serbian tyranny. And I 
rejoiced once more in 2001 after the US-led overthrow of the Taliban 
liberated Afghanistan from one of the world's most barbaric regimes.

So why do some think Iraq should be any different? Only a year after his 
overthrow, they seem to have forgotten how hundreds of thousands 
perished during Saddam Hussein's tyranny, under a regime whose hallmark 
was terror, summary execution, torture and rape. Forgotten, too, is how 
the Kurds and Iraq's neighbours lived each day in fear, so long as 
Saddam remained in power.



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