A Conversation for Ask h2g2

A serious comment on East Timor

Post 1

Charlie.Boy

As the violence in East Timor escalates I can't help feeling that there is to much politics involved on the western worlds part. People are dying in the streets and government and the UN are siting on there hands saying how terrible it is without actually doing anything about it. The Indonesian government denys that there are any armed militia-men running riot on the streets of East Timor yet news reports show us the complete oposite. There is speculation that this is becuase they run and supply the militias and it is difficult to believe otherwise. Should we sit back and let it sort itself out or should we be sending troops in? There was no hesitation to use force when Serbia began to attack Kosovo again so why are we hesitating now? And many argued that a diplomatic solution could have been found before we bombed Serbia yet there is no such speculation on East Timor but we are not doing anything to help. What does everyone else think?


A serious comment on East Timor

Post 2

Cookieluck

The situation in East Timor is really disturbing. I'm not sure what the best solution is. Deploying peace keeping forces without getting the support of the Indonesian government seems a bit silly. This will just escalate the situation and increase the killings.

The challenge is, therefore, to get Indonesia to request forces. How about threatening to remove financial aid unless Indonesia allows a peace keeping force? This needs to be driven by the US and UN if it is going to work. However, I get the distinct impression that the US is more concerned about the effect this may have on the economic situation of the Asian region. I hope we don't sell out the East Timorese just so a few multinational companies can make more money in Asia.

The situation in Kosovo was really not that different to East Timor, except the East Timorese have even more right to be helped since they democratically voted for independance. Why were the Kosovo people more deserving? I don't know but let's just say I am cynical about it. The pentagon has said that, basically, there is no "national interest" in helping out the East Timorese. This implies that there was a national interest in helping Kosovo. Stuff like this should teach us all to treat all the shit that politicians say with the contempt it deserves. The bullshit of "big countries can't invade little countries and get away with it" makes me sick. International forces only get involved when there is something in it for themselves.







A serious comment on East Timor

Post 3

Charlie.Boy

I did hear some speculation from the BBC corespondant in East Timor that he thought the reason the US rushed in with all guns blazing in Kosovo because the Serbians were supplied with Russian weapons. I'm not sure if there's any truth to it but it makes you think doesn't it...


A serious comment on East Timor

Post 4

Hank 14590

Sounds like that correspondant is living in the sixties.
I don't think that was the case.
As for East Timor,I just wish there was a way to
respond to a situation like this immediately. Maybe
some day.


A serious comment on East Timor

Post 5

Dudemeister

This is all very horrible. I travel a lot around the world - and I have friends all over. Truth is, some people are really evil - and they get away with it. Remember history repeats itself (oh! again like last Tuesday?). Make the most of your life before you don't have it . There are many mishaps in the world today - What is happening in E. Timor is appalling - Bad Karma. I have head news reports since 1978 of horrors there, and now it is just becoming "newsworthy". Just keep in mind that things happen like this. While youre here on h2g2 - how about talking about a lighter topic? ?


A serious comment on East Timor

Post 6

Gwennie

I know there are some really evil people in this world but sometimes, and that human right violations are carried out daily throughout the world which makes me angry, frustrated and very sad. I do what little I can to help by being a volunteer with the British Red Cross and helping them to raise funds.

Sometimes I wonder if many of these situations have representatives of the arms industries provoking situations to cash in on things.


A serious comment on East Timor

Post 7

Charlie.Boy

Well we certainly took are time in canceling the sale of our Hawk fighter planes to Indonesia. And Robin Cook was on Breakfast with Frost skillfully avoiding the subject of the arms fair a couple of days ago.


A serious comment on East Timor

Post 8

Charlie.Boy

I don't just talk about morbid things as you can probably see by looking at other forum entries. Its just that this situation really disturbes me and I wanted to know what other people thought OK.


A serious comment on East Timor

Post 9

Dudemeister

It disturbs me too. Serbia got a lot of attention because it is "close to home" for powerful European countries with big armies, and things the US worries about. Indonesia is one of the most populous countries, and they buy lots of weapons and stuff. Whereas poor African nations where mass killings go on and on, don't get so much attention on CNN.

Good to hear some people actually care about others in the world - and want to do something about it.

(Most of my forum entries are very silly - and I found out you can't erase them once you have written them yet)


A serious comment on East Timor

Post 10

Scooter

interesting to see we have not had any comment from Australians, who are closest to the trouble. It doesn't look good. Most of us here are quite troubled about what is happening. Australian forces (part of Interfet) recently traded rounds with indonesian forces over a border misunderstanding. Why is it being left up to Australian forces to shoulder the brunt of this exercise when the Indonesians are so anti Australian? What is the UN thinking?


A serious comment on East Timor

Post 11

Oblongo

The situation in Kosovo is different from East Timor.
In Kosovo, a confederate state was fighting for independence.
East Timor was not a completely new independent country from Portugal when Indonesia occupied its territories.
That's why Portugal is really worried about the future of the region, more than the US. And in Portuguese speakers' countries, the most important argument to defend the East Timorese, besides the humanitarian aspect, was that they are Portuguese speakers too. I don't know if most of them speak Portuguese, but anyway…
And now, with the UN peacekeeping force, maybe they are finding the path to peace.
I hope they are!


A serious comment on East Timor

Post 12

Hoovooloo

Well this is nice. 20 years on everything seems peachy in East Timor. The UN ended their peacekeeping mission there in 2012.


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A serious comment on East Timor

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