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The Forum > Article Comments > Should Clinton get the Nobel Peace Prize for Timor? > Comments

Should Clinton get the Nobel Peace Prize for Timor? : Comments

By Sasha Uzunov, published 28/8/2009

The US told Australia that a peacekeeping mission was unavoidable in East Timor, but Australia declared the Timorese were on their own.

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Sorry Sasha

Its disjointed and trails off into fragments.

The generalised references to Clinton and Peace Prize appear to be draw cards that are dropped in the next two pages of minute detail about small unit fighting

- with the "Legendary infantry battalion 6RAR from Brisbane" tone...

Pete
Posted by plantagenet, Friday, 28 August 2009 10:23:53 AM
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I don't know about decorating Clinton but I am quite certain that the actions of the Australian Government from John Howard , Alexander Downer down the line should earn time in the dock for their lack of action in supplying peace keepers instead of being so bloody naive as to believe that the Indonesians could be trusted knowing what had occurred in the invasion where they not only murdered Australian journalists, but commenced a blood bath that continued for the next 24 years.

Information detailing atrocities were received by contact radio throughout the occupation that were ignored by the Australian media on the excuse that they were unsubstantiated but printed in the 'East Timor News' an independent journal published in Sydney.These radio reports were intercepted in Australia by DSD and would have been known by the Government

The Howard Government, like subsequent Labor Governments put their 'relations' with Indonesia before the issue of human rights.
The establishment of an agreement with Indonesia regarding the border between Indonesia, Timor and Australia which gave Australia a substantial area of the oil and gas fields which have since been challenged by the East Timorese was the Major prize.

History is now being repeated with Australia remaining silent regarding the human rights violations occurring in West Papua.

No I would not necessarily decorate Bill Clinton but what is within the power of our country is to pay back the proceeds of theft from East Timor of their natural resources.
Posted by maracas1, Friday, 28 August 2009 10:36:12 AM
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If giving political independence to unsustainable states is the prerequisite of getting a Nobel Peace Prize, as it seems to be, then Indonesian president BJ Habibie surely deserves to be a Nobel laureate.

He is the father of East Timorese independence. Habibie single-handedly started a crash program to rid East Timor from Indonesia, without any pressure or urgings from anyone. As he said, he felt East Timor is just a black hole for Indonesian govt subsidies, yet produced nothing back for the country. This subsidy is no longer affordable for Indonesia at that time. That's why in early 1999, Habibie declared that he does not want to hear about any "East Timor" problem by 2000.

The whole referendum and independence of East Timor is the product of Habibie's initiative, nothing to do with Clinton or Howard or whathaveyou. Fact is: no Habibie --> no referendum --> no East Timorese independence.
Posted by Proud to be Indonesian, Friday, 28 August 2009 11:00:20 AM
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Proud to be Indonesian.

The right to freedom and independence is not conditional on 'sustainability' although East Timor will have a good start with a sensibly managed Petroleum fund providing budgetry needs for developing the country's infrastructure.

I'm not sure of his motives or whether he miscalculated on the outcome, but John Howard urged President Habibe to allow a referendum on the choice of autonomy or Independence and to his credit, President Habibe accepted that sdvice. He would surely qualify for nomination for a Nobel Peace Laureate.

The fact that the people of East Timor voted overwhelmingly for Independence despite the degree of intimidation by TNI/militias speaks volumes about their opinion of rule under Indonesia, and the present Indonesian violation of the human rights of the indigenous people of West Papua should tell you something about the ongoing neo-colonial aspirations of Indonesia's ruling elite.

Of course, you should have pride in being Indonesian, I have many Indonesian friends and following on from WW2, as a proud Australian I supported independence for Indonesia against the efforts of the dutch to regain control.
That does not mean however that I am not aware of the short comings of both our countries Governments and their poor records in the matter of human rights.
Posted by maracas1, Friday, 28 August 2009 11:45:23 AM
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A story in need of analysis is the Oz deployment to this event, so don't give it to to the AWM.

I dunno about Clinton, but I do know there were many lessons from the Oz deployment, one of which was that the progressive civilianisation of our uniformed services from the early 80s made the effective deployment of a force in being almost impossible. After all, soldiers need feeding and vehicles need repairing and civilian contractors in an Oz city cannot be deployed in support of the key combat arms. So much for the "Huge" White (Lies?) and the Bomber Beazley sharp end, for without the blunt end, any sharp end is potentially useless.

The soldiers I'd like to hear about are the Gurkhas who secured the LZ for the Oz troops to arrive!

They appear to have been lost in our usual parochial approach to military history. Perhaps a Greg Lockhart "The Minefield" (http://tinyurl.com/sappers) is needed to separate the political from the military and get to the raw bones of our political and military oligarchs attending this sad episode.

PS: Don't wait on any AWM revelations, Bomber Beazley is appointed to the Council of that place. History written by the almost participants?
Posted by SapperK9, Friday, 28 August 2009 5:39:07 PM
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And itís not over yet. Daily paper dated August 28th 2009, sitting in front of me on the dining room table today reads
<EAST TIMOR IN JEOPARDY - The failure to prosecute those responsible for the violence that marred East Timorís 1999 independence vote poses a continuing threat to the countryís stability a new report warns. >

MARACAS 1 :- The Howard government like subsequent Labor Governments put their relations with Indonesia before the issue of human rights. And more to the point, the Indonesian Government put their relationship with the Australian Government and the 12 billion dollars they receive in foreign aid from the Australian Government before their human abuses in East Timor.

I remember seeing the furore in the Indonesian parliament on the news (IT CAME TO PUNCHES BEING THROWN), when the Indonesian Government refused to let the Indonesian army march into the situation after Australia (reading between the obvious lines), informed Indonesia they were sending a peace keeping force and if they valued their 12billion dollars they would not declare war with Australia by sending in the Indonesian Army , not to mention the little matter of them being backed up by America in the advent of such an occurrence.

The groups the Australian Army did do battle with were breakaway militia groups who did not go along with the idea of withdrawing from Indonesia. If the Indonesian army had been allowed to intervene, it would have provoked war between Australia and Indonesia and because the Australian army would have been heavily outnumbered(The IndonesianArmy are a highly trained and a respected force and they have some fairly modern weapons at their disposal as well, America would have had no choice but to come in to support Australia.

America doesnít have the men or the resources to save every country in the world. And still the situation in East Timor festers.
Posted by sharkfin, Friday, 28 August 2009 9:37:20 PM
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