29 May 2006

Tim Anderson on East Timor

It's an early failure of this blog that I have neither the time nor the expertise to comment on the Australian invasion of East Timor over the weekend. All I could have said by myself is the obvious: that the intervention is motivated by controlling natural resources, not humanitarian concerns, and that Australia should stay out of the internal affairs of other countries, rather than persuing what has really been a white-man's-burden argument for intervention in a situation in which fuzzy-wuzzies are incapable of governing themselves.

Coming so soon after Australia's increasing troop levels in its ongoing occupation of the Solomon Islands, I've been predisposed to read the East Timor situation as closely similar, i.e. on my account a situation of Australian intervention to back up a puppet government.

However, there is an obvious difference in that East Timor was not previously occupied by Australian troops. Evan Jones has today posted a piece by Tim Anderson called 'Howard's role in East Timor?' which lays out the charge that Australia and America have conspired with the Catholic church to depose the democratically elected left-wing government in East Timor. Australia's main game here of course is to loot even more of East Timor's natural resources. This situation is utterly familiar. It is a Australia running its neo-colonies by the textbook developed by the US in Latin America.