BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor home

"The U.S. has declined to provide full support for an international human rights tribunal that would examine the abuses and killings (in East Timor) ... [but the Pentagon] has persisted in advocating military assistance to Indonesia, even when this has meant exploiting loopholes in legislation enacted to end military aid," Lynn Fredriksson
Jan 11 FPIF: U.S. - East Timor Foreign Policy in Focus Brief  Release added Jan 24

From: Lynn Fredriksson ihrn@etan.org

Subject: East Timor Foreign Policy in Focus Brief


FOREIGN POLICY IN FOCUS http://www.foreignpolicy-infocus.org/index.html

New FPIF Release:  EAST TIMOR By Lynn Fredriksson

(Editor's Note: This policy brief is part of the FPIF Self-Determination project, that examines self-determination conflicts around the world) To learn more: http://www.foreignpolicy-infocus.org/selfdetermination/index.html



EAST TIMOR STILL REQUIRES U.S. ASSISTANCE http://www.foreignpolicy-infocus.org/briefs/vol5/v5n43timor.html

In the slaughter that followed East Timor's August 1999 plebiscite for independence, the U.S. and the rest of the world stood by for too long as the desperately poor country of 800,000 was nearly destroyed. According to Lynn Fredriksson writing in a just-released Foreign Policy In Focus brief, East Timor, the Indonesian military "and various militias killed over 1,500 people, razed 70 percent of East Timor's infrastructure, and displaced two-thirds of its population."

For more than 20 years the United States supported the Indonesian government's illegal occupation of East Timor, despite knowledge of Indonesia's brutal human rights record there. In early 1999, following the fall of the Suharto dictatorship, the Clinton administration's policy changed to support for independence for the East Timorese. But, says Fredriksson, coordinator of the Indonesia Human Rights Network, "The U.S. has declined to provide full support for an international human rights tribunal that would examine the abuses and killings (in East Timor)."

Moreover, Congress has been explicit about closing the military pipeline to Indonesia, but the Pentagon, perhaps reluctant to write off its 20 year, $1 billion military investment, "has persisted in advocating military assistance to Indonesia, even when this has meant exploiting loopholes in legislation enacted to end military aid," writes Fredriksson.

The United States was not alone in ignoring the vast human rights tragedy in East Timor. Even today, says Fredriksson, "the U.S. and other donor nations have been unwilling to use significant political and economic influence to further reconciliation and justice in East Timor." However the U.S. can still help bring peace and security to East Timor if it:

To Contact the author visit:
East Timor Action Network/U.S.
Website: http://www.etan.org/contact.htm
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Foreign Policy In Focus
The goal of the FPIF project is to forge a new global affairs agenda for the U.S. Government and the U.S. people--one that makes the U.S. a more responsible global leader and global partner. The FPIF project--through its inclusive structure, multimedia character, comprehensive scope, and commitment to rethinking the operative principles of U.S. foreign policy--is playing a vital role in establishing a new vision and a cohesive policy framework for a more responsible U.S. role in the global community. The project's network of advocates, activists, and scholars serves as a think tank without walls, functioning as a dynamic base from which to reach out to the constituencies that are essential to ensuring that U.S. foreign policy represents a more broadly conceived understanding of U.S. national interests.
Homepage: http://www.foreignpolicy-infocus.org/index.html
See also:
Jan 27 ETAN/IHRN: Rights groups urge continued suspension of military ties with Indonesia
Jan 24 Reut: Top E.Timorese wants U.S. to help Indonesian army
BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor home
Website: http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood Email: wildwood@pcug.org.au