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The Forum > Article Comments > East Timor: a lesson in why the poorest threaten the powerful > Comments

East Timor: a lesson in why the poorest threaten the powerful : Comments

By John Pilger, published 13/4/2012

Not even Pol Pot succeeded in killing, proportionally, as many Cambodians as the Indonesian dictator Suharto killed or starved in East Timor.

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A powerful piece.

I wonder what future generations will have to say about Australia's foreign policies, say from Keating onwards.

In brief:
- We are bogged down in yet another meaningless struggle- in Afghanistan, and all kinds of semi-plausible justifications are produced for the deaths that occur on both sides: "We must finish the job".. "We can't leave the task unfinished..." "We are fighting terrorists". Yes, and the medieval church was fighting evil, so it kept saying. Yes, and the Spaniards were saving South America from superstition. Afghanistan all sounds far too much like the Vietnam mess.
- we are scared to say "boo" to the US. Look at the huge fuss made when Bob Brown merely raised his voice in the Parliament when that pinnacle of wisdom, George W. Bush, was speaking
- we are incapable of standing up to Indonesia, whose dubious Kopassus troops we support and which happily passes refugees on for us to deal with
- and although we think we have helped or saved East Timor, the record looks very suspect.
West Timor, and West Papua: it is another horror story, but we dare not do anything to irritate Indonesia. A study of the Indonesian army and what it is doing in league with business to rape this region would be illuminating, if the ABC would get into it.

Thanks, John. A disturbing and worrying critique.
If only half of it is right, we should all be downcast and ashamed.
Posted by Bronte, Wednesday, 18 April 2012 5:23:29 PM
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