June 23, 2006

Viva Timor L'Este!

John Pilger watches as Australia builds its empire:
Arriving with a force of 2,000, an Australian brigadier flew by helicopter straight to the headquarters of the rebel leader, Major Alfredo Reinado - not to arrest him for attempting to overthrow a democratically elected prime minister but to greet him warmly. Like other rebels, Reinado had been trained in Canberra.

John Howard is said to be pleased with his title of George W Bush's "deputy sheriff" in the South Pacific. He recently sent troops to a rebellion in the Solomon Islands, and imperial opportunities beckon in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and other small island nations. The sheriff will approve.
I am concerned that Pilger paints an overly sympathetic portrait of Alkatiri, who needs to answer serious questions about "Hit squads". Two wrongs do not make a right: Australia's shameful policies do not automatically make Alkatiri's Fretilin Party into angels.

Rebels who come to power through violence tend to have difficulty transforming into peaceful and democratic political parties.

I think the people of East Timor, like those in Iraq, need some new options: unfortunately, those in control (including Australia) have no real stake in providing credible alternatives.

This story highlights the problems we ordinary people face when we cannot believe our government or our media. The truth is out there, but you sure need to dig hard for it!


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