Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Spitting on Graves?

Today is Tuesday, 16 January 2007.

In reaction to my comments on the death of Gerald Ford, “Whatever” wrote: “You sure like spitting on graves. There’s a pattern here.”

Let’s belabor the point. In point of historical fact, Gerald Ford did enter into a conspiracy with the Indonesian military dictatorship to conduct a war of aggression against East Timor. Since 1946, the latter has been a hanging offense for heads of government. That the dictatorship had committed genocide, and would have no compunction about doing so again, only compounds Ford’s crime.

I didn’t spit on Ford’s grave. Ford did that when he entered into a criminal conspiracy. More importantly, Ford spat on the graves of his victims, then, like, e.g., Idi Amin, blithely retired to a life of wealth and leisure.

The pattern here is telling the truth and honoring victims, not criminals.


Anonymous John said...

Plenty of material on the U.S. role in Indonesia's invasion of East Timor is available and plenty of fuss was raised. So much fuss that eventually U.S. policy changed and East Timor is now independent.

East Timor's truth commission, which issued its report about a year ago, thoroughly documents the impact and crimes of the U.S.-backed occupation. It wrote that

"The United States acknowledged that the people of Timor-Leste had the right of self-determination but did not support any General Assembly resolutions on the issue between 1975 and 1982 or provide any assistance to the East Timorese struggle for self-determination until 1998. As a Permanent Member of the Security Council and superpower, the United States had the power and influence to prevent Indonesia’s military intervention but declined to do so. It consented to the invasion and allowed Indonesia to use its military equipment in the knowledge that this violated US law and would be used to suppress the right of self-determination. It continued to provide military, economic and political support to Indonesia despite Security Council resolutions calling for Indonesia to withdraw and to allow the free exercise of self-determination."

The commission recommended, among other things, that the U.S. apologize, provide reparations to the victims, and condition any assistance to the Indonesian military on its adherence to human rights.

Lots more information can be found at the website of the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network - http://www.etan.org.

9:03 AM  
Blogger HH said...

Thanks, John. I recall sending letters of protest at the time of the invasion to Ford, etc. All I received were form letters: "Thank you for expressing your interest in ... "

7:40 AM  

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