cj#983, rn-> East Timor… Chomsky doesn’t get it


Richard Moore

Dear cj,

Below are some interesting angles and background on the East Timor situation.

In cj#982, Chomsky quoted the following NY Times piece as giving the 'very
clear' reasons for US inaction:

    ...the Clinton Administration
    "has made the calculation that the United States must put
    its relationship with Indonesia, a mineral-rich nation of
    more than 200 million people, ahead of its concern over the
    political fate of East Timor, a tiny impoverished territory
    of 800,000 people that is seeking independence."

Chomsky may be satisfied with this explanation, but it just doesn't make
sense.  Indnoesia is in debt to the IMF, suffered mass civil unrest last
year, and is dependent on Western investments and on US arms and
assistance.  There is no Soviet block for Indonesia to run and join, even
if it wanted to.   What possible danger does Washington face from
Indonesian disfavor?  Since when does the master fear the slave?  Besides,
it is _US arm twisting - such as the threatened arms cutoff, and who knows
what else behind the scenes - which are compelling Indonesia to submit to
the Australian-led force, and to publicly rotate their leadership cadre.
Furthermore, if the US only wanted to avoid conflict with Indonesia, it
could have simply kept the two-decades media blackout going as regards East
Timor genocide, and maneuvered to avoid the UN plebescite from occurring.

As I see it, the evidence is clear that our US/NWO leaders _wanted to make
a public issue out of East Timor, and they wanted a local, regional force
to carry out the ensuing intervention.  The NY Times piece, rather than
being a candid explanation, seems more like a cover story - it is aimed at
a non-mass establishment audience who, disturbed by what they see on
television, are seeking an 'insider' reason for what's going on.  Given
Chomsky's reaction, the NY Times propaganda team did a pretty good job...
you know their motto,  "Whatever fits, we'll print as news."

As to _why our leaders wanted these developments, one needs to notice the
sequence of intervention innovations over the past decade or so, of which
East Timor is only the most recent.  One also needs to keep in mind the
regional kultur-kampf architecture of the new world order regime.  Just as
NATO is taking on a more aggressive imperialist role in its region, so is
Australia in its region.  Such powers are the rooks and bishops on the NWO
chess board.  The US is the Queen, kept in reserve for major battles.
Simply by being there, it pins the pieces of the enemy.  It may be
Australian ships that sail to East Timor, but it's the US fleet and bases
that provide the implicit cover.

You know the story of the smuggler?  The border guard inspected the
donkey's load every day, and could never find any contraband.  But he was
_sure smuggling was going on.  Years later he met the fellow and asked him
what he had been smuggling... "donkeys."

It's the same thing with intervention.  We concerned citizens - the border
guards of truth and justice - keep inspecting the baggage: we sympathize
with the people of Kosovo and of East Timor, and we say 'no contraband' in
_this intervention.  We don't notice that interventionism itself is what's
being smuggled right under our eyes.  As IMF diktats have been creating
unrest worldwide, the rate of Western interventions has been accelerating
rapidly. This is what we should be noticing.  Each time there's less
fanfare, less worry about legal authorizations, and less opposition -
despite what you might assume from Internet discussions.  The road to hell
is paved with good intentions, and the road to a global military regime is
paved with the skillful manipulation of human-rights sympathies.


Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 09:47:54 -0700 (PDT)
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Tom Condit <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: East Timore & Intervention

Look, the guns killing people in East Timor came from the U.S. The troops
deployed there were trained by the U.S. The C.I.A. probably tutored the
Indonesian military in setting up "militias" to front for them in the
massacre (although it's typical of North American arrogance to assume that
no one is capable of doing evil deeds without our instruction). If the U.S.
sends troops to intervene, they will do their best to preserve the
Indonesian status quo. If they cut off military aid, they'll resume it the
minute people aren't looking.

It's no coincidence that the Australia government is pushing hardest for
intervention. Australia has traditionally been strongly allied with the
Indonesia murderers and has major economic interests there. Imperialist
intervention will serve the needs of the imperialists first, and those of
the people of East Timor last. Sure, there'll be some "humanitarian"
fallout, but if you don't want the whole history of imperialist massacre
which has been the history of the 20th century to continue through the 21st
century, then at some point you have to refuse to be tricked, refused to be
drawn into their game, and simply and flatly say: "No! We're not for your
military intervention. We want all military aid to all governments cut off,
and we want our own government disarmed."

Tom Condit

The Peace & Freedom Party needs 12,000 more registrants in California by
October 5. Phone 800-345-8683 to get a registration form.
Visit our web site at http://www.peaceandfreedom.org

"Among the vanquished the poor people went hungry,
among the victors the poor people went hungry."
-- Bertold Brecht

Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 13:23:40 -0500 (CDT)
From: Mark Whitaker <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: A MISSING TIMOR PUZZLE PIECE: raw material extraction favortism
for United States and Australia

[Various bits of information and suppositions.]

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 09 Sep 1999 13:03:26 +1000
From: Bruce Moon <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••

Most readers of this list will by now heard of the TIMOR TRAGEDY.

Given the brutality and obviously compelling nature of the violence in
film, the media have -- correctly -- portrayed this issue in its graphic
form.  Unfortunately, the background issues are yet to properly surface.

I post the following on the basis that -- yet again -- crude oil politics
is structuring the geopolitical outcome.


I'd like to express a viewpoint about the TIMOR situation that seems to be
overlooked by the Australian (and thus global)  media.

The media have -- rightly -- focussed on the issue of TIMOR as both a
democratic and a humanitarian matter.  In this portrayal, the 'baddie's'
are the Indonesian government.  To some degree, the lack of forcefulness by
the UN post election announcement is also being portrayed as a problem.

In a larger geo-political portrayal, the 'baddie's' are the Australian
government.  How so, you ask?

The Timor Shelf - North Sea continental seabed is rich in hydrocarbons
(crude oil, gas, etc.) and is the source of over 80% of Australia's
transport energy requirements.  Moreover, the methane gas extracted from
the region  provides energy to industry in both Australia and Japan.  The
LNG [liquified natural gas) industry is currently worth around A$1.3
billion to the Australian economy.

When considering the reserves of methane in the pacific region, Australia
and Indonesia command control over some 55%.  As the world moves from coal
to methane as an industrial energy source, this strategic position is
extremely valuable.

Some years ago, Australia signed an agreement with Indonesia to codify
(that is, carve up) the extraction rights for hydrocarbon resources from
the Timor Shelf.  While the terms of that agreement were heavily influenced
in favour of Australia, the second primary beneficiary was the US sector of
the oil development industry.

Australian Foreign Minister Downer has made no mistake about Australia's
preference for TIMOR; it should stay with Indonesia.  This decision is not
based on any respect for Indonesia -- successive Australian governments
have paid scant regard for Indonesian interests -- rather, the decision was
always premised on maintaining the joint agreement over hydrocarbon usage
of the Timor Shelf.

A new state of Timor would eventually push for a renegotiation of the Timor
Shelf agreement.  Clearly, it is sitting astride a very productive
hydrocarbon reserve and with little other economic potential, it would have
no alternative than to stake its claim to production revenue.  The losers
in such an eventuality would be both Indonesia and Australia.

The posturing by the Australian government over the intentions of the
Indonesian government to rebuke the Timorese for not selecting the
inevitable choice needs to be seen in relation to its long term strategy.
There is little doubt that the use of the term 'invasion' by Minister
Downer and Prime Minister Howard is mere posturing to allay the Australian
public sentiment of anger at the lack of responsible action.  If the
Australian government had really wanted to ensure peace was to be
maintained in Timor after the election, it would have developed this option
months before the election date.  As an aside, the reason why the
Australian police 'supervisors' were put into Timor without arms was
precisely because Indonesia wouldn't let armed officers into the area.

Most will not know that the Australian government operates a covert
surveillance service of Indonesian activities from the Australian mainland.
The base for listening to the telephone conversations by key Indonesian
Ministers and military leaders is located outside Toowoomba On the east
coast of Australia).   Leaked knowledge indicates that the Australian
government was advised more than 2 months ago that Indonesia had no
intentions of letting Timor become independent.  If this information is
correct -- and there is no reason for suspecting it to be false -- it means
that the current posturing of the Australian government is merely that;

Like the Gulf War, the Timor conflict is not really about issues of
democracy.  Rather it is about maintaining the current agreements over
access to a prolific hydrocarbon resource.

Subject: One Million Indonesians Died In U.S. Backed Coup
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1999 04:10:32 -0400
x-sender: •••@••.•••
From: The Wisdom Fund <•••@••.•••>
Mime-Version: 1.0

[THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views]

     Released September 15, 1999
     The Wisdom Fund, P. O. Box 2723, Arlington, VA 22202
     Website: http://www.twf.org -- Press Contact: Enver Masud
     Artilce: http://www.twf.org/News/Y1999/0915-Indonesia.html

     One Million Indonesians Died In U.S. Backed Coup

          by Enver Masud

          WASHINGTON, D.C. -- One million Indonesians are reported
          to have died in the U.S. backed coup that led to the
          Suharto presidency, and the occupation of East Timor.

          Aid agencies estimate (BBC, September 13) that between
          600 and 7,000 people have been killed and as many as
          300,000 have fled their homes since the UN-backed August
          30 referendum on East Timor's future.

          Now pro-Jakarta militias, angered by President Habibie's
          decision to allow international peacekeepers into East
          Timor, have told aid workers (The Times, September 14)
          that they will take revenge by embarking on a violent
          killing spree in West Timor. Should this occur, would
          the UN approved, Australia led, multinational force
          extend operations to West Timor?

          The wider catastrophe we fear may become reality, and
          the likely winners will not be the Indonesians who
          suffered under 350 years of colonial oppression, and had
          their lives shattered once again when U.S. backed
          Suharto assumed the presidency and ousted President

          G.C. Allan and Audrey Donnithorne, in Western Enterprise
          in Indonesia and Malaya, write "In 1940 only 240
          Indonesian students graduated from the high schools and
          only 37 from the colleges. In that year out of over
          3,000 higher civil servants there were only 221
          Indonesians, and even in the middle ranks a larger
          number of posts were held by Europeans and Eurasians,
          who counted as Dutch."

          By 1945, writes Reba Lewis author of Indonesia: Troubled
          Paradise, 93 per cent of the people were still
          illiterate. After 350 years of colonial domination,
          there were only a hundred Indonesian physicians; less
          than a hundred Indonesian engineers; and in a nation
          dependent upon the efficiency of its land productivity,
          only ten Indonesian agricultural experts.

          Indonesia proclaimed independence on August 17, 1945,
          and on December 27, 1949, Indonesia became legally
          independent from the Netherlands (Holland).

          In 1958 the U.S. attempted to oust Sukarno. Washington
          correspondents Thomas Ross and David Wise in their book
          The Invisible Government, relate how in 1958 the U.S.
          supplied a right-wing rebel force in Indonesia with arms
          and a small air force of B-26 bombers for the failed

          "Between October 1, 1965, and April or May of the
          following year, the right-wing military regime of
          Generals Nasution and Suharto seized power and
          consolidated its strength in Indonesia. In that scant
          seven months as many as a million people were
          slaughtered. The rising toll of victims appeared
          occasionally in the press here, recorded with little
          more passion than a sports score."-- Deirdre Griswold,
          The Second Greatest Crime of the Century

          Until the October 1, 1965 coup, Indonesia was one of the
          most dynamic countries. "The Sukarno government," writes
          Ms. Griswold, "took a number of bold steps in foreign
          policy that shocked the Western capitals and threatened
          to be infectious. Indonesia withdrew from both the UN
          and the Olympic games, declaring them to be dominated by
          imperialism, and started to set up rival international
          bodies. At the very moment that the right-wing coup was
          taking place, a conference against foreign military
          bases, which of course was aimed first and foremost at
          the U.S. with its 3,000 installations overseas, was in
          session in Djakarta."

          After twenty-five years of fighting the Japanese, the
          Dutch and the U.S. imperialists, the 1965 coup and the
          subsequent slaughter of a million Indonesians, paved the
          way for U.S. companies who began arriving in 1966,
          writes Ms. Griswold, for "the feast."

          Unilever setup oil and edible fat plants. Uniroyal,
          another U.S. international giant, got its rubber
          plantation and latex plant. Union Carbide, Singer Sewing
          Machine and National Cash Register got back properties
          expropriated during the revolution. Eastern Airlines
          partnered with the Indonesia airline Garuda; Mobil Oil
          secured oil exploration rights. For a mere $75 million
          Freeport Sulphur got a contract for exploiting West
          Irian copper which is 20 times as rich as ores found in
          Arizona and Utah.

          The U.S. armed, trained Suharto military invaded the
          former Portugese colony of East Timor in 1975 to stop a
          civil war between pro- and anti-Marxist groups.
          President Suharto did what his Western mentors had done
          to acquire colonies or to consolidate their own state
          boundaries, and 200,000 East Timorese are reported to
          have been killed resisting the Indonesian occupation.

          If there is a lesson in all of this it is that wrongs
          cannot be righted until the facts are known and
          understood. Peace and social justice cannot prevail
          until the rich and powerful set an example for the weak
          and impoverished.

          [Enver Masud visited Indonesia in the early 1950's when
          his father was the UNESCO Mission Chief, and several
          times in the mid-1990's as an engineering management
          consultant for The World Bank. He is founder of The
          Wisdom Fund.]

          Copyright © 1999 The Wisdom Fund - All Rights Reserved.
          Provided that it is not edited, and author name,
          organization, and URL are included, this article may be
          printed in newspapers and magazines, and e-mailed to

The Wisdom Fund


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