Tuesday 25 September 2012

Noam Chomsky - November 16, 1992 - East Timor

As Chomsky gets older he's slowing down but in this Cambridge presentation from 1992 he merely glances down to his notes and talks in 5 or 10 minute chunks of solid history and nuanced politics of mass murder and foreign policy. He is masterful. (His talk commences around the 15-20 minute mark).

Update. Video deleted and the new one commences 24.50 seconds on East Timor

On the eve of the invasion, U.S. President Gerald Ford and his Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, were in Jakarta meeting with Suharto. Kissinger later claimed that East Timor wasn’t even discussed, but this claim has been exposed as a lie.

In fact, Washington gave Suharto a green light to invade. Ninety percent of the weaponry used by the Indonesian forces in their invasion was from the United States (despite a U.S. law that bans the use of its military aid for offensive purposes) and the flow of arms, including counter-insurgency equipment, was secretly increased (a point that should be borne in mind in interpreting what is going on today).

The United States also lent diplomatic support to the invaders. In the United Nations, U.S. ambassador Daniel Patrick Moynihan successfully worked, as he boasted in his memoirs, to make sure that the international organization was ineffective in challenging Jakarta’s aggression. Under the presidency of Jimmy Carter, the self-proclaimed champion of human rights, there was a further increase in U.S. military aid to Indonesia. Since 1975, the United States has sold Jakarta over $1 billion worth of military equipment.

Stephen R. Shalom, Noam Chomsky, & Michael Albert on the United States role in Indonesia’s December 1975 invasion of Timor-Leste
Z Magazine, October, 1999