What’s Happening In East Timor & Why It Matters

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

The Nobel prize-winning president of East Timor, Jose Ramos-Horta, is in critical condition, breathing on a ventilator.  Timorese Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao survived an attempted coup against him and Ramos-Horta. Ramos-Horta was shot in the back of the head and the stomach…  Now Gusmao has declared a 48 hour state of emergency.

Rebel leader Major Alfredo Reinado and another insurgent are dead.

Much more below…

The Guardian reports:

The prime minister of East Timor today declared a 48-hour state of emergency, including a nocturnal curfew, after renegade troops attempted to assassinate him and the president.

Xanana Gusmao escaped what he described as a failed coup attempt unharmed. But the president, Jose Ramos-Horta, was in a critical condition and on a ventilator after he was shot when the rebels fired on his official residence at around dawn.

Ramos-Horta has been flown to Darwin on Australia’s remote north coast for medical treatment.  And in comes Oz:

The Australian prime minister, Kevin Rudd, decided to send another 150 troops to beef up the 800-strong force of peacekeepers stationed in the impoverished south-east Asian nation since factional violence in 2006 left 37 people dead and 150,000 homeless.

Australia’s relationship with the tiny nation of East Timor is long and critical in the region.

The 21st century is recentering on the western Rim of the Pacific and the shores of the Arabian Sea.  East Timor, the lonely tip of an Indonesian controlled archipelago has suffered continuously for the last half century. Including the most intensive genocide since the Holocaust.

Why does this matter? The genocide followed the Nixonites/Ford and Carter strongarming of genocidal dictator General Suharto, who died on the 27th of January. Indonesian mass murder in East Timor killed thousands upon thousands of Timorese in one of the world’s smallest nations.  One third of the population. For 25 years Democrats and Republicans have held the Timorese over the flames and shaken their fingers

As for those two links I just listed, they’re from Democracy Now! The New York radio/television program hosted by Amy Goodman. The same journalist who was nearly beaten to death in 1991 by Indonesian soldiers during the Dili Massacre. The same Dili where Ramos-Horta was just shot today.

It’s believed Amy Goodman and her fellow surviving journalist Allan Nairn survived because they were Americans: the guns that struck their bodies repeatedly, fracturing Nairn’s skull were American.  Australian journalists in E. Timor didn’t meet the same fate.

Not only did the massacres in the 70s continue to 1991, they continued into 1999. When the Indonesian military prosecuted Allan Nairn. (He was later freed).

Allan Nairn questioned Bill Clinton security advisor Richard Holbrooke on their role as accomplices in Indonesia’s repression and imperialism during the 90s. And he questioned Bill:

ALLAN NAIRN: President Clinton, you sold weapons to the Indonesian military. You brought General Suharto, the Indonesian dictator, to the Oval Office and offered him F16s. The next day, a White House official told the New York Times Suharto was “our kind of guy.” Your administration under the JCET program sent Green Berets into Indonesia. They trained the Indonesian Kopassus Special Forces in advanced sniper technique, urban warfare [why would the Indonesian SF need this?] and similar tactics. In 1999, in April, when the Indonesian military and their militias massacred–

BILL CLINTON: Get to the point.

ALLAN NAIRN: I’m getting to the point. I’m getting to the point

BILL CLINTON: Get to the point.

ALLAN NAIRN: Yes, I’m getting exactly to the point. You were just talking about freedom in Timor– [in a speech]

BILL CLINTON: You want to make a speech. [Projection?] Give him a hand, he’s got a good speech.

ALLAN NAIRN: I wanted to ask you about the facts, President. In 1999, in April, the Indonesian military and their militias massacred fifty people in the rectory in Liquica. They hacked them with machetes. Two days later, Admiral Blair, the Commander for the Pacific, your commander, met with General Wiranto, the Indonesian commander. He offered to help him in lobbying the U.S. Congress to get full U.S. military training restored. He made no mention of the Liquica massacre. During that same period, the Indonesian militias rampaged here in downtown Dili. They attacked the house of Manuel Carrascalao. They massacred the refugees there. Yet you continued for months with aid to the Indonesian military. Why?

BILL CLINTON: What is your question, sir?

ALLAN NAIRN: Why did you continue with aid to the Indonesian military if they were killing civilians?

BILL CLINTON: First of all, I can’t answer the question you asked about Admiral Blair. You’ll have to ask him that because I’m not aware of that.

ALLAN NAIRN: He was working for you.

The nearly dead Prime Minister Gusmao formed and led a rebel organization Falantil in the brutal mountains after Indonesia invaded his homeland in 1975. For 17 years they fought while the Timorese suffered through the complicity of Washington. In 1991 the Santa Cruz massacre was the climax of all the degredation and slaughter that the Timorese would bear from Indonesia. In 1992 Gusmao was captured and spent seven years in prison while the Timorest fought on for independence. Released in 2002 he became the founding president of the finally realized nation of East Timor.

Future President Ramos-Horta also returned to East Timor after a quarter century of exile that same year.

The same year the Bush Administration wanted to restore Clinton’s recently ended military aid to Indonesia.

For seven years Timor’s nationhood has stood on the edge, aided in no part by the Bush Administration. An administration which revived the genocidal career of playboy madman Henry Kissinger. Of course, Kissinger had been central in Gerald Ford’s 1975 “green light” of Suharto.

A quarter century of war and devastation had rotted East Timor inside out, and the tensions were finally ready for an unimpeded eruption.

2006, a riot broke after 600 Timorese soldiers were dismissed for desertion. The highest ranking of them Alfredo Reinado.  Five were killed and 20,000 fled their homes.

Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Portugal [Timor’s colonizer] sent troops in to stabilize the country.  The UN Has had five missions in Timor-Leste [its official name] since 1999.

President Gusmao requested the then Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri resign.  Over a potential give-away of yet more military weapons, to Timorese civilians.

That August, Alfredo Reinado escaped from his prison in Dili.

This is the size of East-Timor. The size of the modern world. And the size of the compression of generations of mayhem and indifference, whether by Indonesians, Nixonites, Bushies or other enablers…

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    • nulwee on February 11, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    You may have seen me on Daily Kos, where I’ve crossposted. Also crossposting to Mydd and Eurotribune.

  1. and I had only heard of Timor by extensive study of New World Order/Illuminati oriented web sites.

    • DWG on February 13, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    When we felt threatened because of the Cold War struggle with the Soviet Union, we felt justified in supporting dictactors who gave us access to resources or strategic bases. Now when we feel threatened by “terrorists” we feel justified in supporting dictactors or invading countries to gain access to resources or strategic bases.  Our leadership on the world stage sure has not amounted to much beyond arming the insane.

    I knew about Clinton, but did not remember Carter being a booster of Suharto.  That saddens me.  Clinton claiming not to know what Adm. Blair was doing is as big a lie as “I did not have sex with that woman.”  

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