Timor Tour of Duty

Nov 2nd, 2009, in News, by

A newly released film on East Timor in 1999 opens old wounds between Indonesia and Australia.

Premiering at the New York International Film Festival, October 22 to 29, is the Australian documentary Timor Tour of Duty which is said to “explosively” reveal the Indonesian military’s secret war against Australian and international soldiers in East Timor, after the new country voted to secede from Indonesia in 1999.


Trailer

The documentary features a re-creation of a firearm and grenade attack on Australian forces near the border with Indonesia on 14th June 2001, which many have suspected was carried out by TNI Special Forces, Kopassus, dressed up as East Timorese pro-integrationist militia. edenmagnet

Timor Tour of Duty

Timor Tour of Duty is directed and produced by Melbournian Sasha Uzunov, said to be a freelance photo journalist, blogger, and amateur film maker, and who himself served in the Australian army, doing two tours in East Timor (1999 and 2001). timortourofduty

Some of the, sometimes curious, press releases about the film:

Pete’s comrade, Scott Sherwin reveals they [returning Australian soldiers] were treated as outcasts by the Australian government because the true details about the firefight could have disrupted sensitive diplomatic relations with Indonesia.

Indonesia still remains a hotbed of anti-western sentiment as witnessed by terrorist bombings in recent times.

And

Sasha Uzunov, an Australian film maker and former soldier who served in East Timor believes that the United States was the “good guy” back in 1999 when it intervened in the tiny southeast Asian land of East Timor to avert genocide at the hands of the Indonesian military.

The film recently won a special commendation Platinum Reel Award from the 2009 Nevada Film Festival.


99 Comments on “Timor Tour of Duty”

  1. Oigal says:

    POLRI??

    Whatever are you talking about, I was just joining the people in support of the Geckos against the insidious crocodiles (it’s green thing) as a man of the people I would have thought you would have joined that band-wagon as well.

    As for the course..well everyone knows to be Oigal is to be chick-magnet..Just ask Farah

  2. Danny says:

    Hi all 🙂

    Okay, I’ll just get to my points.

    I never seen this movie, I don’t even clicked the youtube link posted on the thread, no offense to the writer / OP :). I’m gonna explain why later.

    I do agree that Indonesian military trained and (probably) armed the pro-integrasi militia during the riots following East Timor independence.

    Now, let’s look at the history; why all of this began at the first place. Sorry I can’t include the perfect timeline (yes, I know that timeline is important if we’re talking about history), or some links, but, I ask all of you to use common sense when reading my post, my side of the story, please 🙂

    During the colonial era, TL was a Portuguese colony, while most of Indonesia, was Dutch’s.

    Sukarno, first Indonesia president claimed that Indonesia’s territory includes all ex-Dutch-Indies (not sure if this is the right phrase, but it’s “Hindia Belanda”), the main reason why he was really determined to get Papua into Indonesia’s territory. Confrontation with Malaysia is another story, while TL, he never bothered.

    When Suharto ruled the country, he really paranoid about communism. While Sukarno were known to be closed to Sovyet Union (or communists states) Suharto tends to be close with the western. And you guys probably remember something called “Cold War”.

    Now we actually get to the original matter (finally..lol)

    Indonesia, from Sukarno until now, never, ever wanted to occupy TL for resources. Oil? I highly doubt that Timor gap was known those days. And those were the days when we still had so many oil fields to explore. What else TL has that Indonesia don’t?

    After sometimes, the Fretellin seemed to be the main power in TL, both politically and “military” wise. While Portuguese never actually gives a sh*t (I believe until now) about TL. During those years, Fretellin swayed to communism day by day.

    So; America worried. Australia worried. Indonesia worried.

    America >> Cold war.
    Australia >> America’s traditional ally, can’t afford to have communist state so close to her borders.
    Indonesia >> More or less the same reasons with Aussie.

    So what this three countries did?

    America gave the okay to invade TL, and in case you don’t know, probably (if not all) like 90% Indonesia’s weapons were from US.
    Aussie.. I don’t know, just being silent ..? lol..
    Indonesia did the “dirty job”.

    While we’re talking about movie and TL, let’s talk about Balibo Five. Never seen that movie either.

    Let’s use common sense (again).

    Now why would the TNI jeopardized the relationship with the well known (the military sure know about this) allies (Aussie, although they didn’t do anything, an American ally, friend of a friend, so to say) by killing those journalists???
    Afraid about human right news? Why would they care?? They invaded the whole country and the world already know about that. The world knew there were killings happened there.

    And what the world did?
    Russia / USSR and China are probably use with this kind of thing.
    America gave more arms. Australia, silent as always.

    I read a book about this, Ken Conboy’s, Kopassus IIRC, the Indonesian military personnels present said, when they are patrolling an area, suddenly there were fires came from a house. They returned fire and after all fires stopped, they checked the house, and found these 5 journalists there.

    Why I believe this story, simple reason.

    Now why would the TNI jeopardized the relationship with the well known (the military sure know about this) allies (Aussie, although they didn’t do anything, an American ally, friend of a friend, so to say) by killing those journalists???

    Of course they can tell the different between Caucasians and a TL natives …? In other words, they should’ve known that killing those journalist is pointless. BTW, the Portuguese were long gone those days.

    And what did Aussie government did when they heard about this? Yup, silent as always. Or at least, not protesting hard enough to make the occupation stopped.

    Okay, now I’m gonna explain why I don’t even planning to watch the movie. I believe those are some hypocrite propaganda.
    Now, after Indonesia outlived her “usefulness” suddenly all the once-allies turned against her.

    Probably the directors wasn’t making these movies (this one and Balibo Five) with intentions to discredit Indo’s government, to search for the truth or whatever. But I believe, that somehow in their minds they believe that this is all Indonesia’s fault. Why is that happened? Because their governments, who were once basically “borrowing” Indonesia’s hand to do the dirty job for them, now saying that the truth is, it is all Indonesia’s fault.

    About the atrocities during the initial occupation, it was a war, sh*t happened, always will, same thing happened everywhere. Many TNI personnel said that the Fretelin’s military wings are more trained and armed than GAM and OPM. They are even issues that many of these militias once fought in Angola with their more acceptable occupier, the Portuguese.

    About the atrocities during TL’s independence, well.. although I can’t say that I believe TNI was innocent (lol.. :P) but I can understand their anger. They saw their friend getting killed there, and all that basically turned into nothing. Not because they lost the war, but because a supposedly smart president made a blunder (I even heard issues that some vowed to have him assassinated)

    Anyway, to each their own opinions.
    But I believe, all this will ended with nothing, no TNI’s personnels will ever face court. Of course, TNI can also sue the Fretellin, they were also torturing TNI personnels they caught (it’s against Geneva conventions right..?) and also the civilians that supports Indonesia. I mean since we are talking about not forgiving the human rights violations, the amounts doesn’t matter, it still a sin right? 😉

  3. Jon Fihelly says:

    Achmad I’m more than happy to accept your offer of friendship. You are a classic and I haven’t laughed so hard in a very long time. I was so proud of Oystraylieya when you quoted Kevin Bloody Wilson. I agree that everyone has to lift their game if we ever hope to progress to the point were we are all the one people across the region with a positive future as a species and we haven’t f*cked the whole planet up.
    The seksi man course sounds interesting I wish I had known about it earlier in life, but do you think its fair that you get all the women and 3 out of 4 men may get none! Does the husband have group sex with the multiple wifes all once and the wives altogether? Can they be commanded to do so if you want?

  4. Oigal says:

    About the atrocities during TL’s independence, well.. although I can’t say that I believe TNI was innocent (lol.. 😛 )

    Glad you find torture and murder of women and children amusing..idiot!

  5. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Ah, Oigal, the defender of women and children – at least on the internet, anyway. Pity you don’t have the same sympathy for aboriginal women and children in 19th and early 20th century Australia. That might also go for the fire bombing of Japanese citizens and the Iraqis displaced by a war on false pretexts.

  6. Oigal says:

    Assmad your more repugnant side continues to consume you. The armchair supporter of Crocodiles and thugs. As for the misdirection, I can direct you any number of sites where you can mount your defence for the brutal Japanese Occupation of Asia and the the Assmad theory that the Kurds needed some discipline anyway. In the meantime, fairly sure this thread is about East Timor and Crocodiles

  7. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Hi Oigal,

    Yes it is about East Timor and Crocodiles. But understand events is also about context and comparison. And your more repugnant side is one that aims to present the humble down to earth voice of the honest Aussie digger as one of moral outrage, fairness and decency. I’m saying he has a few skeletons and a repugnant side of his own.

    I’m saying the Timorese – and Indonesian soldiers – deserve more than a cowboy’s ‘n’ injuns view of history. (Of course, it’s so much more complicated when we’re dealing with Australian atrocities towards its own indigenous people). Perhaps only white man’s history is deserving of complexity and nuance. Everyone else are just “bastards”.

  8. Oigal says:

    Assmad, yet again quite the rant from the armchair although long on inane asides and short on fact. Cannot help but find your defence of crocodiles is peculiar in light of the sheer weight of commentary about who and what was responsible for what happened in TL. So let me clarify your position in the sewer of the world. As the number one crocodile supporter, the reams of statements, investigations, stories conducted by any number of organisations across the full political spectrum are just cowboy’s ‘n’ injuns view of history? The head crocodile must be so proud of you! Do tell besides the misdirection and personal insults do we have any reputable references to say the crocs and their foul supporters like yourself have any credibility?

    I would be very interested in the crocodiles “nuance” that justified what occurred, please do tell.

    Do let me know if you are still having trouble finding sites dealing with Australian Aboriginal Issues, Japanese in World War 2, Native Americans, Raffles in Jakarta, Bosnian Serbs, Zulu Wars or anything else you seem to think supports your version of crocodile history.

    I would like to think the crocodile perversion of history is coming to an end but people like yourself tend to ensure its continued existence

  9. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Hi Oigal,

    I think we’re at cross purposes here.

    I wasn’t disputing your presentation of the facts.

    I was having a go at your interpretation of them.

    And yes, it was personal. I’m having a go at your tone of moral outrage, given the historical and political context of Australia. I’m saying your quality of mercy is selective, as is your sense of moral outrage. Will add more when I have more time, but basically:

    – Australia played a major role in the turmoil and indirectly atrocities in East Timor in both 195 and 1999.

    – In 1999, East Timorese leaders themselves said the country needed some time before it was ready. And yet Howard sent that letter.

    – As for you, I’m saying you get a little moral thrill out of simplifying issues involving Indonesia (and probably Brown Men). When it comes to Australian history and Australian atrocities, it’s oh-so-complicated and oh-so-many shades of grey.

    – This IS relevant, because interpreting history and the facts and patterns we look for depends on our own perceptions of the context. Otherwise you’d be obsessed with, say, traditional East Timorese women’s wear instead of frothing at the mouth about the Indons.

    History is patterns, Oigal, patterns. Serving a couple of decades in the military doesn’t make you anything special except a pension recipient.

  10. Oigal says:

    Indeed.. To the Labor Party and Left’s shame, and it continues by ignoring what is currently happening in the provinces right now.

    In 1999, East Timorese leaders themselves said the country needed some time before it was ready. And yet Howard sent that letter.

    Shameless crocodilish distortion of facts. In fact Howard, suggested that a minimum of ten years was need and perhaps a “special autonomy” would avoid the issue altogether. The crazy little man in stroke of genius or madness didn’t see it that way.

    As for personal attacks again, you have chosen to defend the actions of the foul few and in the absence of facts (standard croc profile) chosen the easy option when one plays the anon card (what is about crocs and hiding behind others). The personal opinion of me by of an old order supporter gnat is of no relevance and displays a personal insecurity more than anything else (life passing you by little one, nothing to be proud of?)

    Never the less, still waiting for exactly how someone like you explains “nuance” to the victims. “Hey those Militia ain’t so bad..after all nothing compared to what happened to the ..Aboriginals, Muslim Serbs, Native Americans..(insert your inane and inaccurate comparison of choice here) so stop complaining. Sorry that’s not a nuance thats just sad.

  11. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    @ Oigal

    On the letter: we need to have a copy here. I’m not sure if Howard said 10 years.

    I haven’t defended anyone. I’m just saying, your moral spotlight tends to consistently fall on a select few. It tends to lightly gloss over others, with equally dire “moral” crimes, if you believe in that stuff.

    You keep zeroing in on East Timor. I’m zeroing out on context, in a bid to deflate your moral superiority.


    The Oigal View of the World

    Mass poverty = corruption bastards (mostly brown).

    Human rights abuses = corrupt bastards (mostly brown).

    East Timor’s problems = Indon bastards (mostly brown).

    Any solutions Oigal ?

    Answer: Um, No, Um, Ah, It’s too complicated, Um, Ah, I worked my way through school, Um Ah, Fuck It: they’re all corrupt bastards.

  12. Danny says:

    Glad you find torture and murder of women and children amusing..idiot!

    Oigal, actually I wasn’t laughing at torture, murder, rape (you forgot to mention this) of innocent civilians. I was laughing at myself, how I can be so objective, how I was defending and blaming TNI at the same time. That’s why I put the sign “:P”, I believe it’s a sign of someone feeling silly / laughing about himself ..? I found it funny how I can do that (being objective) while others are biased in looking at an incident.

    If you think that I am an idiot, then it is your opinion, you can call me whatever you want, after all, this is a free world 🙂

    If anything, I honestly believe that atrocities did occurred and that is not a good / funny thing.

  13. anthony says:

    For a country who states they are majority Muslim ( Indonesian) and believe in a God they have such a poor respect for Gods creation. God created man in his own image but its man who because of evil thoughts and desires wants to destroy him. Terrorists will never win because their backed by the devil.

    Yet they continue to fool themselves in believing they can. When we die we will all go before the judgement seat of God and have to give an account of their actions. I don’t think God ( allah)will be impressed by humans who are christian Jew Muslim or others who believe in murder and terrorism as worth Heaven.

    Unfortunately those who soul purpose in life is to die by blowing themselves and others up have been poorly advised by their so called spirtual leaders who take their advice from the devil himself. The greatest trick the devil every pulled was to convince the world he was good.

    I truthly hope and pray that good Muslims, Christians Jews and others can overcome these rat bags spiritual advises who say they follow their religion yet murder rape and torture man women and children in their Gods name. May God ( allah) have mercy on your soul.

  14. Oigal says:

    Assmad, Still with the personal abuse huh? Is that all you have? Oh and really crying Racist in the absence of a moral position is just sad and hardly effective. Only in your world of patronage and ignorance could a position of outrage against what occurred in East Timor be a bad thing.

    As for zeroing in on East Timor, that’s the topic thread would seem a no brainer to most and your efforts to confuse the issue do not change what happened there. The facts are so self evident the only hope the abusers and their supporters have to justify their inaction and position is to try and muddy the waters as you are trying so hard to do. If you wish to discuss other places and times plenty of scope for that elsewhere but they don’t change what happened in East Timor, the victims nor the abusers and its patently false to pretend they do.

    Ok so if we remove the personal abuse and inanities it’s difficult to even see any point at all to your scribbling but let’s see what we can distill from this mishmash of insults and personal abuse.

    In your world, what happened in East Timor was perfectly acceptable and justifiable and anyone who says different is a Racist (go figure?) and does is not using the right perspective ???? and….well sorry that’s about all we can get.

    As for morals ..well seeing how you have thrown your support behind the torturers and murderers..Certainly I am (as with most of the human race) superior to you and yours.

    Your continued support for the Crocs on this and other threads really does raise questions to your patronage. Sleep well do we?

    You do make classic example of the mindset that prevents issues like East Timor being addressed and you ensure it will occur again.

  15. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Oigal,

    C’mon. Misrepresentation is usually what I do.

    Just to repeat myself:

    * I’m not defending anyone.

    * Interpreting historical events and issuing a moral judgement depends partly on context.

    * I’m saying that throughout your writings there is a clear drive to see moral obscenity, corruption, and brutality from Indonesians. East Timor, which offers such qualities in abundance, also offers you a justification for those feelings.

    I am discussing East Timor because I’m addressing issues it raises. We’re partly talking about justice and to what extent the Indonesian officers are war criminals. What about the covert wars the US has supported in the last 50 years ? Agent Orange in Vietnam ? Was Nixon a war criminal ? Kissinger ?

    Probably not in your view (I’m guessing here). Because it’s always so much more complicatedwhen squeaky clean Western governments are involved. I’d say that to a Vietnamese villager disabled and disfigured by Agent Orange the

    The facts are so self evident the only hope the abusers and their supporters have to justify their inaction and position is to try and muddy the waters as you are trying so hard to do.

    In fact, alot of the world thinks that in the case of the abuse of Australian aboriginals:

    The facts are so self evident the only hope the abusers and their supporters have to justify their inaction and position is to try and muddy the waters as you are trying so hard to do.

    I’m not saying the generals should get off over what they did in 1999 (or before that). I’m just saying that these international standards would have more credibility if they were evenly enforced.

    As it stands, they’re like what the Greek philosopher Anarchus said about laws, “strong enough only to catch the weak, but not the strong.”

    Unless you think it’s more complicated that is.

  16. SapperK9 says:

    Achmad, I have to offer my selection on Kissinger, for all to see:

    “Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.” – Henry Kissinger, in Kiss the Boys Goodbye.

    As a Vietnam Vet, I hate him! Pure non-objective hatred of a man who by both his action and inaction – killed comrades…

    After a lifetime in uniform, I am sure many (most?) politicians of any nation ultimately have this attitude to their armed forces. They do, after all care about only two things; 1. Getting elected, and 2. Getting re-elected (;-])

  17. Oigal says:

    * I’m not defending anyone.

    * Interpreting historical events and issuing a moral judgement depends partly on context.

    * I’m saying that throughout your writings there is a clear drive to see moral obscenity, corruption, and brutality from Indonesians. East Timor, which offers such qualities in abundance, also offers you a justification for those feelings.

    Well let’s just deal with the first two for now. Of course you are defending them, the vast majority of people of people would agree based on the collected evidence there is very strong case to answer on the treatment of the East Timorese people. The evidence is very specific, cut and dried and multi sourced (particularly for the bloodshed after the vote). The nonsense defence that evidence should be ignored because there are/have been other injustices in the world are just that, nonsense. Yet this remains (not counting the inane and inaccurate personal abuse) the very essence of your postings
    The fact that you take offence at my so called “selective moral outrage” is again quite silly when anyone considers what should or should not happen in regard to the atrocities in ET. By that very own logic, it’s quite ok for the same dark forces to continue run amok in Papua because some other country has not brought their own to heel. Have you not been watching the news, the majority of the people are quite sick and tired or these malignant crocodiles lurking in the dark corners of Indonesian history, your continued defence of them is swimming against the tide somewhat.

    and to what extent the Indonesian officers are war criminals.

    Obviously, to the extent that the evidence provides and even blind freddy would acknowledge that the mention of Nixon and co is a misdirection of no import, unless they happen to be the names of two og the Militia Leaders at the time. Let’s face it if you didn’t have those two then your next line of shabby defence is who Mao? In the Assmad world when would be the time be to begin calling people to account?

    moral obscenity, corruption, and brutality

    Now in the absence of a logical debate, you once again feel the need to broaden and therefore dilute the issue. We are talking about a very specific place and time. Are you seriously saying that gross moral obscenity, corruption, and brutality did not take place in East Timor and all the reports are lies and gross fabrications?

    Your fixation on Australian aboriginals is bordering on obsessive and I am happy to debate that on other threads but the logic of offering aboriginals as the reason why the organizers of the mayhem should feel safe and secure running for some of the highest positions in the land simply is beyond bizarre. I might add that should you wish to talk about Australian Aboriginals you may wish to do some research as your previous attempts have been woefully inaccurate in time lines and knowledge of pivotal occurrences in the history of the aboriginal people. Although that has long been the curse of the Aboriginals, people with superficial and shallow depth of knowledge using their plight to advance their own personal agenda .

    * Interpreting historical events and issuing a moral judgement depends partly on context.

    You tell me how the events in ET should be interpreted and judged, not with a nancy, glib statement like the above. Stop with the irrelevant nonsense about the Vietnam War or the mistreatment of Inca Slaves, come out and tell us which context and interpretation in the Assmad book finds what happened ok or at the very least understandable. Very simply you tell us all how the events in East Timor could be judged as anything else but as moral obscenity and due the corruption and brutality of select few who walk free today and gloat. What context justified what happened there ASSMAD..time to skip the abuse and ante up

  18. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Well, well, Oigal.

    You keep referring to the “vast majority” of people, and “blind freddy,” as though the appeal to an imaginary crowd is an argument.

    I think the reference to Nixon and Kissinger (which you didn’t answer) is apt as they were high up in the Western world.

    I think the reference to Aboriginal australia is also apt, as you’re subscribing to the Australia-as-hero line of argument.

    But once again, for your benefit:

    * I’m not saying the evidence should be ignored. I’m not saying the perpetrator’s shouldn’t be prosecuted. I’m saying such standards of human rights should be universally enforced, including towards Western powers.

    I’d support enforcing them retroactively, including colonial powers such as the Netherlands. Why not ? If something’s a moral outrage in 1999 – why not in 1945 ? Fair’s fair, isn’t it ?

    Or is it complicated and different, or as you say when would it stop ? I think Westerling’s behaviour in Indonesia was pretty “morally obscene”.

    * Sure, prosecute the Indonesian generals. As you say, it’s all pretty clear, all laid bare (thought Ramos Horta doesn’t seem to agree with you). Just be consistent. Then let’s go ahead and pick off the U.S. – and Australian – officials one by one who supported the invasion of Iraq on false pretexts.

    But that’s different. And complicated.

  19. Oigal says:

    * I’m not saying the evidence should be ignored. I’m not saying the perpetrator’s shouldn’t be prosecuted. I’m saying such standards of human rights should be universally enforced, including towards Western powers.

    Until then? the Assmad view, it should ignored until such time arrives?

    I’d support enforcing them retroactively, including colonial powers such as the Netherlands. Why not ? If something’s a moral outrage in 1999 – why not in 1945 ? Fair’s fair, isn’t it ?

    Ah new nonsense in support of the status quo..a statute of limitations defence

    Sure, prosecute the Indonesian generals. As you say, it’s all pretty clear, all laid bare (thought Ramos Horta doesn’t seem to agree with you). Just be consistent. Then let’s go ahead and pick off the U.S. – and Australian – officials one by one who supported the invasion of Iraq on false pretexts.

    Again sure why not we can debate the Iraq war, the Vietnam War or any other nonsense you wish on another thread none of which have anything to with ET. Ramo Horta?? Again a distortion of facts, his position could more be said that continually pushing this when Indonesia has way too many people like yourself supporting the status quo is not yet ready to address the issue would be counter –productive. Really if you are going to quote people or even paraphrase at least get the context (you remember that word) correct. Continually getting it wrong detracts from an already house of cards position.

    However, your point is made. You support the status quo on the spurious position that no justice should be sought until all injustice can be dispensed at the same time. In reality, an obvious impossible task (small steps n all that) and worthy of a true crocodile’s maiden.
    Two questions remain which you have never addressed despite numerous attempts to pry the answer from you:

    why are you such a supporter of the status quo?

    And the one you have consistently avoided (too complicated?)

    What “context” justified what happened in ET and what “nuances” (your words) justify what happened there?

    I will go out on limb but just quivering with excitement how the Iraq War, Vietnam war and Aboriginals justify the bloodshed in ET.

  20. Oigal says:

    supported the invasion of Iraq on false pretexts.

    But that’s different. And complicated.

    More complicated that what happened in ET, yea just a tad and worthy of its own thread but ITS NOT ET

  21. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Sigh.

    Oigal, Oigal.

    I was extrapolating from ET to address a philosophical point. It has nothing to do with the practicalities of delivering justice.

    Although I do find your point interesting. You seem to be saying that, yes, there were other great injustices done, but we can’t do anything about them.

    I guess I’m saying that yes, the generals should be brought to justice, but that they’re no worse than the players in the other dark episodes I mentioned, including in your own country. So just stop the enraged frothing at the mouth because your own tradition ain’t none too clean either.

  22. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    P.S. — Justice in East Timor won’t change the real source of oppression there: poverty.

  23. Oigal says:

    You seem to be saying that, yes, there were other great injustices done, but we can’t do anything about them.

    Laugh… A turn truly worthy of a crocodile…the above has been your point in defence of the status quo..

    * I’m not saying the evidence should be ignored. I’m not saying the perpetrator’s shouldn’t be prosecuted. I’m saying such standards of human rights should be universally enforced, including towards Western powers

    but that they’re no worse than the players in the other dark episodes I mentioned, including in your own country. So just stop the enraged frothing at the mouth because your own tradition ain’t none too clean either.

    my tradition?? Actually personally nothing in my life to ashamed about, yours on the other hand, the support for the status quo would indicate otherwise.

    If you are talking traditions generally, perhaps you may wish to call such abuse in ET as a tradition (certainly, a cynical view would detect a pattern of reoccurance) would seem bizarre a first glance.

    Poverty armed the militias? Gee what does it take for the responsibility to sheet home. Certainly none of the so-called generals struck me as poverty stricken? Of course, one could ask why the people were/are so poor..Oh ssshhh…not allowed to say the “C’ word, that would be racist

    To grant your change of heart on the “philosophical point”…ssshhh everyone be quiet and don’t dare challenge the status quo because history demands ET be shoved under the carpet ..just to be fair..

    Yet again enlighten us..What “context” justified what happened in ET and what “nuances” (your words) justify what happened there?

    why are you such a supporter of the status quo?

  24. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    @ Oigal,

    I really don’t know what you’re talking about when you talk about supporting the status quo. Prosecuting Indonesian generals wouldn’t change anything about the wider status quo.

    I’m not talking about the status quo.

    I’m saying that you’re very selective in what you get enraged about. It’s a point worth making because it’s a voice echoed in the Australian media.

    I’m saying – this is a new point – that the forces that drove the violence towards the East Timorese people were structural – part of the international cold war system. Focusing on one – albeit horrible piece of the jigsaw puzzle – violence in 1999 – ignores the rest of the board.

    Personally, I think if you were really worried about injustice you’d be railing about poverty and underdevelopment, including dengue fever, malaria, under five mortality rates, maternal mortality rates, and the fact that East Timor’s living standards are no better than most of Africa.

    But these aren’t problems that a good Aussie digger can solve. They don’t lend themselves to private Clint Eastwood-type fantasies of “gettin’ the bastards.” They’re ‘complicated’.

    The reality is East Timor’s struggling with much nastier forces now than the Indonesian occupation.

  25. Oigal says:

    But these aren’t problems that a good Aussie digger can solve. They don’t lend themselves to private Clint Eastwood-type fantasies of “gettin’ the bastards.” They’re ‘complicated’.

    Laugh couldn’t help yourself hey? Anyone who doesn’t agree with the shallow academia theories of AS must be a denigrated at all costs. If you actually had a point rather than an ill defined and vague excuses for the excesses of your chosen champions then that would help raise the conversation. However you serial need to externalise evey issue in and effort to reduce the responbility for those involved becomes very merry go roundish.

    I’m saying that you’re very selective in what you get enraged about. It’s a point worth making because it’s a voice echoed in the Australian media.

    As usual a bold statement based on nothing but your insular little world, again a debate on Australia media bias or otherwise would need a just a shred of detail in it and another thread. Does it matter what I get enraged about? Does it change the facts?

    I really don’t know what you’re talking about when you talk about supporting the status quo. Prosecuting Indonesian generals wouldn’t change anything about the wider status quo.

    Really? Might might have made a couple think twice about their actions in Papua or Aceh (at the time). Might have removed a couple of the “born to rule” and allowed a new generation of leaders to contest the election. Then again hey why bother its all Nixons (?) fault so no case to answer…

    The reality is East Timor’s struggling with much nastier forces now than the Indonesian occupation.

    Well here it is! At last, you have finally come out and said it (who said you weren’t for the status quo)

    poverty and underdevelopment, including dengue fever, malaria, under five mortality rates, maternal mortality rates, and the fact that East Timor’s living standards are no better than most of Africa.

    These have only happened since the referendum? They are worse now than when the Indonesians were in control (source or just another Assmad throw away distortion).

    Certainly no lover of the UN but seeing how ET has much nastier problems now than during the Indonesian rule perhaps you could source us to the UN rape camps, people disappearances, forced relocations? Hasn’t ET population increased since the Indonesians left and didn’t it drop by how much….during Indonesian rule?

  26. diego says:

    Hasn’t ET population increased since the Indonesians left and didn’t it drop by how much….

    The only explanation I can think of for this is: the catholic church of east timor (who practically is now in power, whatever) forbids people from using condom.

  27. Cukurungan says:

    I will go out on limb but just quivering with excitement how the Iraq War, Vietnam war and Aboriginals justify the bloodshed in ET.

    Pak Oigal Yth,

    Actually, it is very simple matter, if we never seen in War Crime Tribunal for any of US, UK or Ausii General or President who directly involved in Iraq War, Vietnam War and extermination of Aboriginals and native American why we should do care with our own General who do clean-up business as usual like the other general in the western countries.

  28. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Ah, Cuki. Good to have you back.

  29. Oigal says:

    The only explanation I can think of for this is: the catholic church of east timor (who practically is now in power, whatever) forbids people from using condom.

    One wishes it was that clean and the church was too blame rather than disappearing people.

    why we should do care with our own General

    Maybe just because they were your own people and they were murdering your own people…

    On the other hand cuk enters the conversation and its well time to leave before the idiocy dumbs us all down. Besides we have the Assmad position now, still has not answered the two questions posed but thats to be expected.

  30. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Oigal,

    I can see you’re struggling a bit, so let me help you. We’re at odds over the extent that history and events are driven by forces rather than individuals. Some people calls this structure vs agency. (As they’ve read more than the footy tips you’d call them wankers.)

    You tend to see the ET abuses – and many injustices in Indonesia in mostly personal terms. That allows you to blame individuals, particularly Indonesian officials (mostly men). It also allows you to set up an Oigal-as-Moral-Crusader persona, as if you were the only person who gets upset and injustice.

    You also tend to see Indonesia’s problems in terms of corruption, brutality, venality, incompetence of individuals – mostly brown me.

    When it comes to the injustices of Australia or Western countries, it’s either structural forces or you obfuscate and it’s oh-so complicated.

    The Stolen Generation ? (A myth created by the namby-pamby left and in any case it was for the children’s own good). White Australia ? (Wasn’t a problem because you can’t impose today’s values on another time and hey, they were all hard working battlers anyway).

    Westerling ? Dutch Police Action ? Colonialism (so complicated, where would it end, history’s so complicated, that’s just what happens when a stronger nation meets as weaker one).

    To oversimplify, I think recent history is both due to individuals and structural forces. I think a range of powers were compliant and complacent in the horrors of East Timor. I think the biggest horror now is poverty – and yes, true, the Indonesians inflated and distorted the figures on wellbeing.

    But blaming everything on Indon bastards and ignoring strategic and structural realities won’t help.

    You’re not the first one to think that horrific things went on in East Timor in 1999. You just seem to want special credit for it.

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