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(Pilger)The Secret War Against the Defenseless People of West Papua

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Monkey see Monkey Do Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:03 PM
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(Pilger)The Secret War Against the Defenseless People of West Papua
In 1993, I and four others travelled clandestinely across East Timor to gather evidence of the genocide committed by the Indonesian dictatorship. Such was the depth of silence about this tiny country that the only map I could find before I set out was one with blank spaces stamped "Relief Data Incomplete". Yet few places had been as defiled and abused by murderous forces. Not even Pol Pot had succeeded in despatching, proportionally, as many people as the Indonesian tyrant Suharto had done in collusion with the "international community".

In East Timor, I found a country littered with graves, their black crosses crowding the eye: crosses on peaks, crosses in tiers on the hillsides, crosses beside the road. They announced the murder of entire communities, from babies to the elderly. In 2000, when the East Timorese, displaying a collective act of courage with few historical parallels, finally won their freedom, the United Nations set up a truth commission; on 24 January, its 2,500 pages were published. I have never read anything like it. Using mostly official documents, it recounts in painful detail the entire disgrace of East Timor's blood sacrifice. It says that 180,000 East Timorese were killed by Indonesian troops or died from enforced starvation. It describes the "primary roles" in this carnage of the governments of the United States, Britain and Australia. America's "political and military support were fundamental" in crimes that ranged from "mass executions to forced resettlements, sexual and other horrific forms of torture as well as abse against children". Britain, a co-conspirator in the invasion, was the main arms supplier. If you want to see through the smokescreen currently around Iraq, and understand true terrorism, read this document.

As I read it, my mind went back to the letters Foreign Office officials wrote to concerned members of the public and MPs following the showing of my film Death of a Nation. Knowing the truth, they denied that British-supplied Hawk jets were blowing straw-roofed villages to bits and that British-supplied Heckler and Koch machine-guns were finishing off the occupants. They even lied about the scale of suffering.

And it is all happening again, wrapped in the same silence and with the "international community" playing the same part as backer and beneficiary of the crushing of a defenceless people. Indonesia's brutal occupation of West Papua, a vast, resource-rich province - stolen from its people, like East Timor - is one of the great secrets of our time. Recently, the Australian minister of "communications", Senator Helen Coonan, failed to place it on the map of her own region, as if it did not exist.

An estimated 100,000 Papuans, or 10 per cent of the population, have been killed by the Indonesian military. This is a fraction of the true figure, according to refugees. In January, 43 West Papuans reached Australia's north coast after a hazardous six-week journey in a dugout. They had no food, and had dribbled their last fresh water into their children's mouths. "We knew," said Herman Wainggai, the leader, "that if the Indonesian military had caught us, most of us would have died. They treat West Papuans like animals. They kill us like animals. They have created militias and jihadis to do just that. It is the same as East Timor."

(...)

http://pilger.carlton.com/print
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:44 PM
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1. The connection to US: rich divvying up natural resources (SNIP)

The silence of the "international community" is explained by the fabulous wealth of West Papua. In November 1967, soon after Suharto had consolidated his seizure of power, the Time-Life Corporation sponsored an extraordinary conference in Geneva. The participants included the most powerful capitalists in the world, led by the banker David Rockefeller. Sitting opposite them were Suharto's men, known as the "Berkeley mafia", as several had enjoyed US government scholarships to the University of California at Berkeley. Over three days, the Indonesian economy was carved up, sector by sector. An American and European consortium was handed West Papua's nickel; American, Japanese and French companies got its forests. However, the prize - the world's largest gold reserve and third-largest copper deposit, literally a mountain of copper and gold - went to the US mining giant Freeport-McMoran. On the board is Henry Kissinger, who, as US secretary of state, gave the "green light" to Suharto to invade East Timor, says theDutch report.

Freeport is today probably the biggest single source of revenue for the Indonesian regime: the company is said to have handed Jakarta 33 billion dollars between 1992 and 2004. Little of this has reached the people of West Papua. Last December, 55 people reportedly starved to death in the district of Yahukimo. The Jakarta Post noted the "horrible irony" of hunger in such an "immensely rich" province. According to the World Bank, "38 per cent of Papua's population is living in poverty, more than double the national average".

http://pilger.carlton.com/print
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:46 PM
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2. Hey, freepers, is this spreading democracy or making enemies?
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mom cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:43 PM
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3. Thanks for alerting us. One day they will come for you and me too.
They are bloodthirsty evil bastards who will never be satisfied till they conquor the planet ... just before the ecosystem comes crashing down on them.
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mom cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:54 PM
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4. Here is a link for more information.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:48 PM
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5. And there is no justification for Indonesia taking West Papua
Both it and Indonesia were Dutch colonies, and the Dutch held onto it until the 1960s, even though Indonesia became independent in 1945.

Then Indonesia basically demanded that the Dutch give it West Papua, which they call Irian Jaya, in 1962.

However, the inhabitants are of completely different ancestry than the Indonesians (they're related to the Australian Aborigines, while the Indonesians are Malayo-Polynesian), their languages and cultures are totally unrelated, and they're not Muslims.

In fact, one of the sources of persecution is Indonesia's concept of "religious freedom," which recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism. If you have any other religion, you're out of luck. The Papuans mainly follow their tribal religions, so they're being punished for their non-conformity.
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