Thursday 30 August 2012

Impress Your Friends & Astound Your Enemies With Western Genocide Expertise

In my experience there are genocides and there are genocides. Everyone knows the typical ones from WWII and Rwanda or Cambodia even if they can't quote particular details like how Obama's foreign policy advisor (and founder of the Taliban) Zbigniew Brzezinski supported Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge. So if you're going to quote a genocide the one documentary to watch is John Pilger's Death of a Nation - The Timor Conspiracy. It's the handiest one because nobody knew about it, the media didn't report it, journalists died reporting it and Australia, UK, US and Canada all had a hand in helping the Indonesians slaughter there way through Timor. It's just one of the more exotic genocides the imperial powers have assisted and turned a blind eye to. Nobody comes out of the East Timor episode looking good. It's like the Swiss Army knife of genocides at dinner parties or human rights discussions. You look good pulling it out and even more an expert as you extract the right tool for whatever country needs as a good clobbering.
 On December 7, 1975 Indonesia secretly – but with the complicity of the Western powers including the US, the UK, and Australia – invaded the small nation of East Timor. Two Australian television crews attempting to document the invasion were murdered.
In 1993, with the Indonesian army still occupying the country, John Pilger and his crew including director David Munro, slipped into East Timor and made this film. In the intervening 18 years, an estimated 200,000 East Timorese – 1/3 of the population – had been slaughtered by the Indonesian military. The C.I.A. has described it as one of the worst mass-murders of the 20th century.
Pilger tells the story using clandestine footage of the countryside, internment camps and even Fretlin guerillas, as well as interviews with Timorese exiles, including Jose Ramos Horta and Jose Gusmao, and Australian, British, and Indonesian diplomats.