Archive for the 'East Timor' Category

Cold water on a eulogy. Holbrooke.

Richard Holbrooke died today and the praise for the man gushes into the media. Just so we don’t get too giddy, I’d like to throw a little cold water on his eulogy.

Remember who it was who oversaw an increase in weapons delivery to the Brutal Suharto when he was committing genocide on East Timor? Yup, Holbrooke.

He explained why he thought it was ok to have part of the blood of 200,000 East Timorese on his hands during the 2000 presidential campaign:

“The situation in East Timor is one of the number of very important concerns of the United States in Indonesia. Indonesia, with a population of 150 million people, is the fifth largest nation in the world, is a moderate member of the Non-Aligned Movement, is an important oil producer – which plays a moderate role within OPEC – and occupies a strategic position astride the sea lanes between the Pacific and Indian Oceans … We highly value our cooperative relationship with Indonesia.”

Who was it that lied about the Rambouillet accords after he issued the ultimatum to Milosevic in 1999 which called for the defacto occupation of Yugoslavia? Yup, Holbrooke.

Who was part of the team that gave the green light to Milosevic that led to the massacre at Srebrenica? Yup, Holbrooke.

Who has been a big fan of drone attacks in Pakistan with all of it’s “collateral damage” and murders? Yup, Holbrooke.

Anyway, one cannot keep a straight face and say that Holbrooke has been a peacemaker and diplomat extraordinaire.


US secret combinations continue to cover their part of Suharto’s massacres even today.

There is an article by the AFP today that admits that the US supported Suharto dispite what they called “rights abuses.”  However, the article is way to easy on the US, as if we were right to support him, but we should have thrown our weight around a little more to get him to stop his “rights abuses” (is that what we call killing a million of your own people and committing genocide in another country these days?).  The article also lies when it states that President Ford had no reply for Suharto when he said he was going to go into East Timor and attack.  Ford did reply according to National Security Archives recovered papers and said:  “We will understand and will not press you on the issue.  We understand the problem and the intentions you have.”

The article then goes on to show how the official US position is embodied in its memorial of Suharto thru the US embassy:

Following Suharto’s death Sunday, he was hailed by the US embassy in Jakarta as a “historic figure” who “achieved remarkable economic development.”

“Though there may be some controversy over his legacy,” Suharto “left a lasting imprint on Indonesia and the region of Southeast Asia,” the embassy statement read.

Our secret combinations continue to minimize the terror that this man created and that the US supported completely.

The AP brings us some of the survivors stories:

It was the worst mass slaughter in Southeast Asia’s modern history after the Khmer Rouge killing fields in Cambodia.

A frenzy of anti-communist violence stained rivers with blood and littered the countryside with the bodies of teachers, farmers and others.

“They used to dump the bodies here,” recalled Surien, a 70-year-old woman who lived near a bay used as an execution ground. “People called it the beach of stinking corpses because of the smell.”

The CIA provided lists of thousands of leftists, including trade union members, intellectuals and schoolteachers, many of whom were executed or sent to remote prisons.

Another 183,000 died due to killings, disappearances, hunger and illness during Indonesia’s 1975-1999 occupation of East Timor, according to an East Timorese commission sanctioned by the U.N. Similar abuses left more than 100,000 dead in West Papua, according a local human rights group. Another 15,000 died during a 29-year separatist rebellion in Aceh province.

In recent interviews around the city of Blitar, a former communist stronghold, survivors of the atrocities recounted a life on the run, living in caves, being beaten and beheadings of other captives.a

“I am disappointed. I saw great cruelties and am lucky I am not dead,” said Talam, whose simple two-room home overlooks a valley dotted with overgrown mass graves.

Dragging on a clove-cigarette with trembling hands, he described how he was detained by police but escaped. He stumbled across dead bodies in shallow graves and slept in dank caves with hundreds of others, eating what the jungle had to offer for 50 days, until being picked up.

Talam, a former member of a left-wing union for park rangers, said he was tortured and beaten repeatedly during interrogations while detained on remote Buru island, where about 12,000 political prisoners were held, 1,100 miles east of the capital, Jakarta. “Why has no one been put on trial?” he asked.

Of course, the US complicity is only casually addressed in this article as well.

This is how modern day secret combinations work. The example of East Timor.

It’s all coming back now.  East Timor has been packed into the recesses of my temporal lobe for a while now after Indonesia ended its occupation and the massacres stopped.  The murders of over 200,000 people, caused by Suharto and massive support by the US for nearly 25 years, had been tucked away.  However, with the death of Suharto recently, it’s all coming back.  No, I was not a firsthand witness or anything, but I grew to hate what the US stood for by studying the support the US gave to genocide in East Timor.  There is this, for example, coming from Amy Goodman and Alan Nairn at

JOAO CARRASCALAO: I arrived at Jakarta one hour before President Ford and Henry Kissinger landed in Jakarta. And on the same night, I was informed by Colonel Suyanto—he was a top officer in the Jakarta administration—that America had given the green light for Indonesia to invade Timor.

AMY GOODMAN: The United States, Suharto’s main backer, supplied 90% of Indonesia’s arms. The story of East Timor is a story few know about, except those who have lived through it. Six foreign journalists who were there as Indonesia attacked were executed by the Indonesian military. Australian TV correspondent, Greg Shackleton sent this report the night before the frontier town where he was visiting was seized by the Indonesian troops.

GREG SHACKLETON: Why, they ask, are the Indonesians invading us? Why, they ask, if the Indonesians believe that Fretilin is communist, do they not send a delegation to Dili to find out? Why, they ask, are the Australians not helping us? When the Japanese invaded, they did help us. Why, they ask, are the Portuguese not helping us? We’re still a Portuguese colony. Who, they ask, will pay for the terrible damage to our homes?

My main answer was that Australia would not send forces here. That’s impossible. However, I said, we could ask that Australia raise this fighting at the United Nations. That was possible. At that, the second in charge rose to his feet, exclaimed, “Camerado journalist!,” shook my hand, the rest shook my hand, and we were applauded, because we are Australians. That’s all they want: for the United Nations to care about what is happening here.

AMY GOODMAN: The following day, Indonesian troops moved in and executed Shackleton and his crew.

ALLAN NAIRN: The soldiers marched straight up to us. They never broke their stride. We were enveloped by the troops, and when they got a few yards past us, within a dozen yards of the Timorese, they raised their rifles to their shoulders all at once, and they opened fire. The Timorese, in an instant, were down, just torn apart by the bullets. The street was covered with bodies covered with blood. And the soldiers just kept on coming. They poured in, one rank after another. They leaped over the bodies of those who were down. They were aiming and shooting people in the back. I could see their limbs being torn, their bodies exploding. There was blood spurting out into the air. The pop of the bullets, everywhere. And it was very organized, very systematic. The soldiers did not stop. They just kept on shooting until no one was left standing.

AMY GOODMAN: A group of soldiers grabbed my microphone and threw me to the ground, kicking and punching me. At that point, Allan threw himself on top of me, protecting me from further injury. The soldiers then used their rifle butts like baseball bats, beating Allan until they fractured his skull. As we sat on the ground, Allan, covered in blood, a group of soldiers lined up and pointed their M-16s at our heads. They had stripped us of all of our equipment. We just kept shouting, “We’re from America!” In the end, they decided not to execute us.

ALLAN NAIRN: The soldiers beat us, but we actually had received privileged treatment. We were still alive. They kept on firing into the Timorese. We were able to get onto a passing civilian truck, went into hiding, but the Timorese, who had been with us there on the cemetery road, most of them were dead.

And why did the US support the murder of 200,000 people in East Timor and a million murders in Indonesia in 1965?  John Pilger supplies the answer:

A party is in progress, and two men in suits are toasting each other in champagne. “This is an historically unique moment,” says one of them, “that is truly uniquely historical.” This is Gareth Evans, Australia’s foreign minister. The other man is Ali Alatas, principal mouthpiece of the Indonesian dictator, Gen. Suharto. It is 1989, and the two are making a grotesquely symbolic flight to celebrate the signing of a treaty that allowed Australia and the international oil and gas companies to exploit the seabed off East Timor, then illegally and viciously occupied by Suharto. The prize, according to Evans, was “zillions of dollars.”

The deal was that Indonesia under Suharto would offer up what Richard Nixon had called “the richest hoard of natural resources, the greatest prize in southeast Asia.” In November 1967, the greatest prize was handed out at a remarkable three-day conference sponsored by the Time-Life Corporation in Geneva. Led by David Rockefeller, all the corporate giants were represented: the major oil companies and banks, General Motors, Imperial Chemical Industries, British American Tobacco, Siemens, U.S. Steel, and many others. Across the table sat Suharto’s U.S.-trained economists who agreed to the corporate takeover of their country, sector by sector. The Freeport company got a mountain of copper in West Papua. A U.S./ European consortium got the nickel. The giant Alcoa company got the biggest slice of Indonesia’s bauxite. America, Japanese, and French companies got the tropical forests of Sumatra. When the plunder was complete, President Lyndon Johnson sent his congratulations on “a magnificent story of opportunity seen and promise awakened.” Thirty years later, with the genocide in East Timor also complete, the World Bank described the Suharto dictatorship as a “model pupil.”

This is the deal people.  Our US government is part of the great secret combination of the last days.  You know, the one that is spoken of by Moroni in Ether 8 when he said:

  23 Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.

  24 Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.

  25 For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning.
Wake up people.  This is the secret combination of the last days that seeks to overthrow freedom and will bring to pass the destruction of all people.  The devil truly is its founder and he has, as promised, bought up armies with gold and silver and reigns with blood and horror on this earth.  If we do not awaken to a sense of the awfulness of our situation, we are as good as card-holding members of the Gadianton Society.

Suharto’s death and the US government’s complicity in one of the greatest mass murders of history. Secret Combinations continue unfettered.

The New York Times has an obituary article on General Suharto of Indonesia who died recently at the age of 86 years.  The article notes he was a mass murderer almost unparalleled in the history of the world, but fails to mention much about US support of his mass murders.

As is noted, Suharto killed anywhere from 500,000 to one million people in 1965.  The article fails to note that the USA (via the CIA) supplied him with thousands of names of suspected communists so that he could more easily kill them. 

The article also notes Suharto invaded East Timor in 1975, killing off 200,000 to 250,000 people on that island during a brutal occupation that lasted nearly 25 years.  The article fails to note the historical fact that President Ford gave Suharto the green light to attack East Timor and Suharto acted promptly, attacking while Ford’s plane was still in the air after leaving Indonesia!  The US then provided military training for and massive transfer of weapons and technology to Indonesia all the way thru the Clinton years during which time our government acknowledged Suharto as “our kind of guy.”  The following knowledge is historical fact and easy to find, but apparently evaded the NY Times:

The UN Security Council had a unanimous vote for Indonesia to stop its invasion and to withdraw immediately from East Timor’s borders, and was blocked by the United States from imposing any economic sanctions any way of enforcing this mandate. Two days before the invasion of Dili and subsequent annexation, U.S. President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger met President Suharto in Jakarta where Ford made it clear that “We will understand and will not press you on the issue. We understand the problem and the intentions you have.” Kissinger added: “It is important that whatever you do succeeds quickly [because] the use of US-made arms could create problems.”[11] U.S. arms sales to Indonesia continued well into the Clinton Administration, although the U.S. did eventually discontinue its support of Suharto’s regime. As “Timor Timur”, the territory was declared the twenty-seventh province of Indonesia in July 1976. Its nominal status in the UN remained that of a “non-self-governing territory under Portuguese administration.”

The East Timorese guerrilla force, Falintil, fought a campaign against the Indonesian forces from 1975 to 1999, some members being trained in Portugal by Portuguese special forces.[citation needed] Jimmy Carter, during his first year in office, authorized 112 million dollars worth of military arms to Indonesia, which allowed an expansion of the war on land as well as air, with overwhelming consequences, resulting in the deaths as many as 200,000 East Timorese, more than one third of the island nation’s population [12].”

Of course, there was a good reason we supported Suharto thru all of the blood and gore.  We wanted the profits to come from pillaging his nation of its wealth.  In a very good article by Renato Redentor Constantino he writes:

How did the leading journalistic lights of the West write about the massacres in Indonesia in 1965 and 1966, using “systematically compiled comprehensive lists” supplied by US officials to Suharto and his generals and described by the CIA as “one of the greatest mass murders in the 20th century.”

In June 1966, star columnist James Reston of the New York Times portrayed Suharto’s cleansed republic as “a gleam of light in Asia.” A month later Time magazine lauded “The West’s best news for years in Asia” under the heading “Vengeance with a Smile,” and depicted the rampaging army as “scrupulously constitutional” and “based on law not on mere power,” led by the “quietly determined” Suharto, with his “almost innocent face.”

There is always a reason for fawning when combined with hard-nosed business journalism and real politik.

Who will tell us of Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt’s remarks, on his visit to the US in 1966, “With 500,000 to a million communist sympathizers knocked off, I think it’s safe to assume a reorientation has taken place”? And who will recall the advise to Washington by the New York Times in December 1965 — as the carnage was underway — that it “would do well to encourage the International Monetary Fund, the new Asian Development Bank and, perhaps, an international consortium to take the lead.” A year later, the Times would follow up and counsel Washington “to retain a neutralist posture. There is an urgent need for a large international loan — perhaps as much as a half-billion dollars…. [I]t is vital that the United States play a positive role in building an international aid consortium.”

Two decades after, the Economist of London would describe Suharto as “at heart benign” and the Christian Science Monitor would call the dictator a “moderate leader.” As far as official lines go, they were not far off the mark. Margaret Thatcher called Suharto “one of our very best and most valuable friends,” and with good reason. “With it’s 100 million people and its 300-mile arc of islands containing the region’s richest hoard of natural resources,” said Richard Nixon in 1967, “Indonesia is the greatest prize in South-East Asia.”

Time-Life Corporation itself organized “an extraordinary conference” in Geneva in 1967, which, according to dissident writer, John Pilger, “designed the corporate takeover of Indonesia.” Everyone was there, from major oil companies and banks to firms such as General Motors, American Express, and Goodyear.

Noam Chomsky has written proliferatively about the East Timor situation with relation to US support for all of their misery, including an article back in 1999 entitled, “Why Americans should care about East Timor.”  In the article he describes very nicely the great secret combination of the US government and Suharto and how they colluded so naturely to kill so many people.

The National Security Archives has a great section on Suharto that uncovers much of the US complicity in his murders.  For example, here is the declassified document that shows Ford and Kissinger giving Suharto the green light to attack East Timor (from the bottom of Page 8 to page 10):

The rest of the National Security Archives page on Suharto is equally delicious, documenting our support of Suharto to the hilt.

Doesn’t this sort of thing make some of you wonder?  Why does the US do this sort of thing?  This shows that at least every President since LBJ should probably be hanged for complicity in these murders.  Nonetheless, we received the sanitized version in the major media and America continues to be the protector of freedom, the arbiter of good, the nation blessed of God, and we continue to miss seeing the massive secret combination that is going to end up destroying this country and the freedom of all countries eventually.  At least I can shake my garments in front of you.  Wake up America!

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