In the brave new world of the The New World Order, world peace thanks to the UN with the USA (and it seems, the UK fondly mindful of its imperial past) playing at being the world's policeman, surely genocide is a thing of the past, and we can all sleep safely in our beds no longer fearful of 'the knock at the door'.
Well, maybe not... at least, not for those living in East Timor, since Indonesia's continuing 'police action' in what is supposedly another country continues with the support of the UK government and the consent of the UN. In spite of the fact that four British peace protesters proved to the satisfaction of a UK jury in court that (to quote from an article in The Electronic Telegraph) -
During their seven-day trial, the women agreed that they had broken into BAe's plant at Warton, Lancs, and caused £1.5 million of damage to one of 24 Hawks destined for Indonesia. They were acquitted because the jury accepted the defence argument that they had used "reasonable force to prevent a crime".
(The 'Hawks' are Hawk Jet 'Trainers', aircraft that can be fitted for ground attack role. BAe is British Aerospace, a conglomerate with massive investments in the arms industry.)
I read this sorry tale to be that a British jury, in open court, accepted that Indonesia was committing genocide in East Timor, and using weapons systems supplied by British firms with the prior knowledge and consent of the British Government in the prosecution of that act.
What does the British media have to say about this? Mainly, the comment is along the lines that, if this type of thing is allowed to carry on - i.e. people using direct action to destroy property to prevent a crime being committed - that the rule of law will collapse and anarchy will result. No-one in the mainstream media and politics seems in the slightest bit concerned as to the fate of the Timorese. But then, I guess maybe it isn't fair they have all that oil and timber that the 'friendly' and not at all corrupt regime of Indonesia might find handy.
I thought we went to war to stop genocide - but not if it's the Timorese, the Kurds...
Ain't the The New World Order just fine? I reckon a bit more anarchy would do - less government, not more. What did you do in the war daddy?
Update: Dec 1999 / Jan 2000
So eventually the rest of the world noticed... and what a mess it is still as I write. And no real evidence that the Timorese are going to get a square deal. Too much in the way of valuable natural resources involved for politicians to do more than posture about "human rights" issues while occupying the ground with troops with a main view to plundering that wealth.
"Christopher Lockwood, Diplomatic Editor, writes: The Government has overridden protests from human rights groups and agreed to sell six Hawk aircraft to Indonesia, despite the escalating violence, it emerged yesterday. The order was blocked last September because of army-backed violence against the East Timorese, when the European Union imposed a four-month arms embargo on Indonesia. The embargo expired on Monday."
The Telegraph, January 19, 2000 (London)
Independence Day: 19 May 2002
I still say there's plenty of politicians that haven't answered for their crimes in this sorry affair but, finally, East Timor has achieved independence.
Not that Australia will really let them be independent, with all that oil and gas in the Timor Sea.
They're at it again, this time in Africa, 2003
Check out, "Big Oil and James Baker Target the Western Sahara" by Wayne Madsen. Will as many die as did in East Timor? Notice how International Law and "representative democracy" and like concepts are neatly finessed by the people with money. "More deadly U.N. issues" by Dave Kopel, Paul Gallant & Joanne Eisen explains why the UN will do the usual job of making things worse, not better, for the people living there. Plus ça change, plus la même chose.
The law is just made up stuff, and it's not being made up with the benefit of poor people like you in mind.
May 2006: looks like my May 2002 comment (above) has come back to haunt me…
"More on East Timor's "sudden rebellion." According to Australian sources, East Timor's long sought independence is in severe jeopardy as a result of collusion between the United States, Australia, Indonesia, and the World Bank under pro-Indonesian president Paul Wolfowitz. More astounding are reports that Indonesian intelligence has thoroughly penetrated the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), by using blackmail techniques involving pedophilia and bribes. These techniques have also been used to target former Australian and US ambassadors and other diplomats and military personnel assigned to Indonesia. Wolfowitz is a former US ambassador to Indonesia."
"Australian sources report that Woodside, Australia's largest oil and natural gas company, has been playing hardball recently with East Timor's government over disputed oil blocks in the Timor Sea. Woodside has also been active in oil deals in Iraq's northern Kurdistan region, a major reason for Australia's troop deployment to that war-torn nation."
"Fighting continues between loyal East Timorese government troops and rebel troops loyal to Maj. Alfredo Reinado, who is said to have been supported by secret contracts, arms, and training supplied by covert Australian private military contractors with a wink and a nod from the Bush and John Howard administrations. Bush and Howard met in Washington just prior to East Timor's military rebellion. Australian sources report that the scenario is the same as employed by Autralian neo-colonialists in the civil war-plagued Solomon Islands: secretly support a rebellion, force the government to call on Australian military assistance, and then declare the country a "failed state" and permanently establish a military and political presence in the country."
"East Timor's government led by Xanana Gusmao, wise to this Australian ploy, a first denied entry to Australian troops, instead calling on help from Malaysia (as a counter to Indonesia) and Portugal (one of the few nations East Timor can trust). However, after the denial of Australian troop entry, Gusmao witnessed a drastic upturn in the rebellion by ex-East Timorese military rebels that directly threatened the entire East Timor government with a coup. The East Timor executive was then forced to accept Australian troops, which are now pouring into the country ahead of troops from Malaysia, Portugal, and New Zealand."
"Quietly looking on is Indonesia, which hopes that a new government in East Timor beholden to the multinational oil industry will give former President Suharto's family's oil firms, trading firms that deal with the state-owned Pertamina, lucrative deals for East Timor's off-shore oil blocks. Meanwhile, big oil has now re-introduced war to East Timor, a nation that lost 100,000 of its people in a brutal war with Indonesia, supported by the past Republican administrations of Ford, Reagan, and Bush I."
- Wayne Madsen Report, 25 May 2006