Random Drivel from your Average Tosser

...with your host, Binty McShae - whether you like it or not!

Friday, December 02, 2005

The times they ain't a-changin'...

April 1974 - East Timor:- After 48 years of right-wing dictatorship via Portuguese colonial rule a bloodless revolution leads to a declaration of independence. Western governments, in their democratic "wisdom", refuse to recognise the country's sovereignty. A year later Indonesia invades, leading to 24 years of resistance to bloody tyranny and the loss of 200,000 Timorese (a third of the population) and 10,000 Indonesian troops. No 'free-Kuwait' style counter-invasion by the west. Not even diplomatic sanctions. After all there's no oil.... Better just to let the natives sort it out themselves, isn't it? It's of no interest to the Western World.... or is it?

A segment from a despatch written the night before the invasion by then British Ambassador John Ford reads like this:- "...it is in Britain's interest that Indonesia should absorb [East Timor] as soon and unobtrusively as possible; ands that if it comes to the crunch and there is a row in the United Nations, we should keep our heads down and avoid siding against the Indonesian government." And that's just the start. (more here)

In short this illegal occupation was essentially endorsed by not just the UK but by the US and Australia as well. More worryingly, in an effort to allow Indonesia to act "unobtrusively" these three governments smothered reports of atrocities committed and the mounting death tally (in particular the circumastances surrounding the deaths of 3 Australian and 2 British journalists). It wasn't until 1999 that the UN organised a referendum in East Timor which overwhelmingly voted for independence and an Indonesian withdrawl.

December 2005 - Iraq:- US officials are promising to promote democratic principles (a few years too late for East Timor....) including political transparency and freedom of speech - which you would expect to involve a free press, wouldn't you? Not so.

The Pentagon currently has an interesting contract with Lincoln Group, a company "formed to pursue private sector opportunities in Iraq" (read - "make as much money out of rebuilding what we tore down as is fucking possible"). This contract allows 'articles' written by the US military 'Information Operations' troops to be translated into Arabic and placed into Iraqi newspapers. Iraqi staff and subcontractors of Lincoln Group pose as freelance reporters and pass off these 'stories', praising the work of the US, as their own. The articles are apparently factually 'based', yet they deliberately leave out information which could show the US and it's allies in a bad light. (more here)

In a word - propoganda. But what do we expect from a country where freedom of speech means so little that a high school newsletter is 'seized' because it talks about birth-control? (more here)

Just goes to show that in my lifetime very little has changed... our 'good and democratic' governments are still doing what the fuck they want with precious little regard for the fundamentals of the political system they preach - and even less for the little folk who get caught in it all.

Cheers m'dears!


At Saturday, December 03, 2005 12:38:00 am, Blogger Brewski said...

Come on Binty, buckle the fuck up. 'The little folk who get caught in it all?' The notion of a political system, the eternal indignation of the chatterers, the successful lobotomy of Western civilization. Every cunts' known about the duplicity of the British govt. in East Timor since day one, the carving up of the middle east, shifting tiles around as circumstances allow. 'Democracy' 'Equality' 'Freedom' Words and notions. They have never existed. If power can, it will.

At Sunday, December 04, 2005 12:18:00 pm, Blogger Binty McShae said...

I never suggested that the East Timor thing was a revelation, just that now there is documented proof. To be honest though there are a lot of people who didn't know about it all - I believe you use the term 'sheeple'.

As for absolute democracy, equality and freedom, they can never exist in a complete sense because none of us can ever be completely selfless. We all have individual needs. And whilst I admit my phrasing of 'little folk' was perhaps a little condescending and wanky it is a safe bet that it wasn't the rich and powerful that got killed in East Timor... and the Iraq propoganda is undoubtedly more to serve the purposes of the occupiers than to aid the average person in the street.

At Sunday, December 04, 2005 7:28:00 pm, Blogger Jock said...

Oh, East Timor is sitting on a pretty nice little gas reserve earner. The Australian Government has managed to get itself into a joint venture and take a chunk of the potential $40 billion plus revenue. Possibly crossed their minds when helping East Timor gain independence a few years back. Cheeky.

At Monday, December 05, 2005 1:01:00 pm, Blogger Binty McShae said...

That I didn't know... thanks


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