blogorrhoea
Friday, October 10, 2003
 
A HOWARD TRIUMPH ...

... in search of which we must go back nearly five years and have a good look. And then resume our search ...

In response to a comment Jack Strocchi has posted below Tim's latest classic spray, I thought a timeline of the fabled liberation of East Timor would help highlight the Howard government's heroic role there-in (I've gleaned most of this from John Lyons's 'The Secret Timor Dossier' in *THE BULLETIN* of October 12 1999: pp 24 to 29). My own conclusion is that Washington and Lisbon - both of whom shared with Canberra decisive responsibility for the tragedy in the first place - and Australian intelligence all come out of this particular episode rather better than Howard, Downer et al ...

October 1998: Australia has evidence that a militia has been dedicated to intimidating pro-independence voters in the case of a vote. Oz doesn't pass this on to the Yanks, but US official Stanley Roth foresees 'internecine violence' anyway.

December 1998: Primeminister Howard writes the struggling President Habibie to congratulate him and encourage him to pursue his offer to the East Timorese of 'autonomy'. This strengthens the hand of those close to Habibie who want rid of a one-billion-dollar lemon.

January 27 1999: Habibie goes the extra yard, and a vote for self-determination is on offer. The US and Portugal want peacekeepers then and there. Downer strongly argues against it - it'd be undiplomatic to evince distrust of the Indonesians. Even ET leaders Xanana Gusmao and Bishop Belo think it's all going too quickly.

February 23 1999: Questioned about this, Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas not only does not parry Downer's question about the arming of the militias, but calls this 'a legitimate arming of auxiliaries'. (see March 9)

February 25: Downer asks that, in the event of the vote for independence he expects, Indonesia's military behave itself. US official Roth foresees the possibility of a provocateur-led bloodbath and, ultimately, a Wiranto presidency. Downer recommends both of 'em be sweet to Wiranto and talks Roth out of challenging Wiranto and Prabowo. Roth recommends a peacekeeping force and Downer declines (Peter Vaughese of the Primeminister's Department chimes in on Downer's side - yet a few weeks later, Howard himself will insist he was always arguing FOR such a force). The prescient Roth avers
there'll ultimately have to be one, anyway.

February 27: Downer again argues against Portugese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama's stance that a fully fledged peace-keeping force should oversee the vote.

March 4: DIO tells Oz government that the Indonesian military are helping the militias and that Wiranto is turning a blind eye. Downer now suddenly avers that the militias might not be arming at all.

March 9: Downer tells journalist Laurie Oakes that Alatas has assured him the militias are not being armed.

March 29: The UN Secretariat warns of a 'precarious' transition and some pressing 'security issues'.

April 6: Liquica slaughter.

April 14: Oz Foreign Affairs official Neil Mules repeats Oz's anti-peace-keeping-force stance to the concerned Portuguese.

April 17: Slaughter in Dili. Roth says it's getting 'out of hand'.

April 19: ALL Oz's intelligence agencies have now told Howard that large scale violence is likely. Howard rings Habibie and expresses disappointment at ABRI performance in ET. Wants a meeting.

April 21: ABRI and some East Timorese people formalise peace between them. Oz Foreign Affairs internally calls this 'unnegotiated' and 'short on delivery', in short 'a substitute for real action by TNI'.

April 27: Bali summit. Habibie promises stability and Howard asks for an international police presence - the UN will fix the strength of this force, and Habibie agrees.

April 30: Downer tells Albright 2-300 cops should be about right.

April 28: Howard says on radio that 'there isn't any doubt that the Indonesians through this process are committed to the laying down of arms'. He said he was 'delighted' with 'em. Lyons writes that, in actual fact, Australia now considers it has 'overwhelming evidence' that Wiranto is directly linked to the East Timorese militias.

May 21: DSD presents the Oz government with persuasive evidence of the Wiranto/militia link.

June 14: Downer presents this evidence to the UN.

June 16/17: Downer tells Roth that the UN don't want the vote postponed. It'd only encourage the militias.

June 21: Oz Defence No. 2 Air Marshall Doug Riding confronts the Indonesian military chiefs with proof of their establishment, support and coordination of the militias (through their Kopassus regiment). Apparently makes Lt Gen. Bambang Yudhoyono rather cross.

June 29: First militia assault on UN bases at Maliana, Liquica and Viqueque.

July 10: Kofi Annan expresses increasing concern.

July 16: Fateful voter registration commences.

July 28-31: Downer visits Djakarta and Dili. Exerts diplomatic pressure - and then pops off to London to watch the cricket.

August 16-17: Oz and US officials meet and agree to not to do anything that might upset 'a sensitive period'.

August 19: Oz Foreign Affairs recommends police and military liaison be ready for early commitment.

August 30: 98.6% of registered voters turn out, and 78.5% of 'em vote for independence. Foreign Affairs calls this a threatening and unstable' situation - but it's too late, the militias are getting started in Dili by that afternoon..

September 13 (and gawd knows how many deaths later): John Howard proudly proclaims he has 'no regrets' over East Timor: "If I had my time over again, I would not have handled things any differently."

Late September 1999: Downer tells Indonesian ambassador Wiryono that Indonesia is '100 times more important than East Timor'.
 
Wednesday, October 08, 2003
 
JOINING THE WEIRD MOB

Like many wogs (or am I a clog?), I've long strived to be accepted in this wide brown land. Some of the job came easily enough. I've a deep suspicion of authority, a bit of a potty mouth, an irrational affection for football and cricket, a thin wallet at Spring Carnival's end, a shed out the back, and the beginnings of a verandah over the toyshop. A wife and two kids, a Falcon for Dad (along with the understanding this necessitates prepared pro-Ford, anti-Holden arguments every October) and a practical Japanese job for Ms Blogorrhoea, a mortgage, a dog, a cat, a Cold Chisel LP, an Akubra betwixt sun and bald-spot in the summer, a pair of never-cleaned Blundstones, a couch long enough to lie on for those gruelling cricket-all-day/news/movie/Pommie-soccer-at-midnight shifts (Ms Blogorrhoea draws the line at a chamberpot, alas), and an already-yellowed-but-yet-unopened Patrick White on the bookshelf. I'm at home in pubs, never miss my shout, and have mastered the etiquette of the urinal.

The things-to-do list is still daunting, of course. Australians are a complex bunch.

The accent is still not right, I remain too animated when I talk, I'm crap under a bonnet (hood), the toilet doesn't have an updated fringe-cinema schedule on the wall, and my shed has books in it rather than tools, bits of wood and a twelve-year-old Michelin calender on the wall. I persist in peeing in the bowl rather than on the rim, don't like barbecues much, like rain, don't like summer, and don't like lifestyle shows at all. And when stuff's wrong, I whinge.

So, yeah, I've a way to go.

Reckon I jumped six spaces today, though. Got myself my first new lawnmower ever.

And it was a Victa.

And I bought it on credit.

 
political economic and cultural observations in the register of dismal dilettantism

ARCHIVES
06/30/2002 - 07/07/2002 / 07/14/2002 - 07/21/2002 / 07/21/2002 - 07/28/2002 / 08/04/2002 - 08/11/2002 / 08/11/2002 - 08/18/2002 / 08/18/2002 - 08/25/2002 / 08/25/2002 - 09/01/2002 / 09/01/2002 - 09/08/2002 / 09/08/2002 - 09/15/2002 / 09/15/2002 - 09/22/2002 / 09/22/2002 - 09/29/2002 / 10/13/2002 - 10/20/2002 / 10/20/2002 - 10/27/2002 / 10/27/2002 - 11/03/2002 / 11/03/2002 - 11/10/2002 / 11/24/2002 - 12/01/2002 / 12/01/2002 - 12/08/2002 / 12/08/2002 - 12/15/2002 / 12/15/2002 - 12/22/2002 / 12/22/2002 - 12/29/2002 / 12/29/2002 - 01/05/2003 / 01/05/2003 - 01/12/2003 / 01/26/2003 - 02/02/2003 / 02/02/2003 - 02/09/2003 / 02/09/2003 - 02/16/2003 / 02/16/2003 - 02/23/2003 / 02/23/2003 - 03/02/2003 / 03/02/2003 - 03/09/2003 / 03/09/2003 - 03/16/2003 / 03/16/2003 - 03/23/2003 / 03/23/2003 - 03/30/2003 / 03/30/2003 - 04/06/2003 / 04/06/2003 - 04/13/2003 / 04/13/2003 - 04/20/2003 / 04/20/2003 - 04/27/2003 / 04/27/2003 - 05/04/2003 / 05/04/2003 - 05/11/2003 / 05/18/2003 - 05/25/2003 / 05/25/2003 - 06/01/2003 / 06/01/2003 - 06/08/2003 / 06/08/2003 - 06/15/2003 / 06/15/2003 - 06/22/2003 / 06/22/2003 - 06/29/2003 / 06/29/2003 - 07/06/2003 / 07/06/2003 - 07/13/2003 / 07/13/2003 - 07/20/2003 / 07/20/2003 - 07/27/2003 / 07/27/2003 - 08/03/2003 / 08/03/2003 - 08/10/2003 / 08/10/2003 - 08/17/2003 / 08/17/2003 - 08/24/2003 / 08/31/2003 - 09/07/2003 / 09/07/2003 - 09/14/2003 / 09/14/2003 - 09/21/2003 / 09/21/2003 - 09/28/2003 / 10/05/2003 - 10/12/2003 / 10/12/2003 - 10/19/2003 / 10/26/2003 - 11/02/2003 / 11/09/2003 - 11/16/2003 / 11/16/2003 - 11/23/2003 / 11/30/2003 - 12/07/2003 / 12/21/2003 - 12/28/2003 / 12/28/2003 - 01/04/2004 / 01/04/2004 - 01/11/2004 / 01/11/2004 - 01/18/2004 / 01/18/2004 - 01/25/2004 / 01/25/2004 - 02/01/2004 / 02/01/2004 - 02/08/2004 / 02/08/2004 - 02/15/2004 / 02/15/2004 - 02/22/2004 / 02/29/2004 - 03/07/2004 / 03/14/2004 - 03/21/2004 / 03/28/2004 - 04/04/2004 / 06/27/2004 - 07/04/2004 / 07/11/2004 - 07/18/2004 / 07/25/2004 - 08/01/2004 / 08/08/2004 - 08/15/2004 / 08/22/2004 - 08/29/2004 / 08/29/2004 - 09/05/2004 / 09/12/2004 - 09/19/2004 / 09/19/2004 - 09/26/2004 / 09/26/2004 - 10/03/2004 / 10/03/2004 - 10/10/2004 / 10/10/2004 - 10/17/2004 / 10/24/2004 - 10/31/2004 / 10/31/2004 - 11/07/2004 / 11/07/2004 - 11/14/2004 / 11/14/2004 - 11/21/2004 / 11/21/2004 - 11/28/2004 / 01/30/2005 - 02/06/2005 / 03/27/2005 - 04/03/2005 /


links
The Road to Surfdom
Sauer-Thompson's Public Opinion
John Quiggin
William Burroughs' Baboon
Tugboat Potemkin
SheSellsSanctuary
Southerly Buster
Barista
Back Pages
Cast Iron Balcony
No Sanity Clause
Jeremy Williams
Mr Zilla goes to Washington
Troppo Armadillo
Dolebludger
Virulent Memes
Lakatoi
Vigilant TV
Whom Gods Destroy
Tim Lambert
Keks
Lan Down Under
Cross Words
Paul Watson
A Media Dragon
Mt Disappointment
Spin Starts Here
What's New Pussycat
Even Dictators Have Friends
Riot ACT

The UnAustralian
Antipodean Journal
No Right Turn
NZPols

After Grog Blog
Ubersportingpundit
Supermercado Project
Michael Jennings
Bargarz
AE Brain
The Daily Slander
FridaySixPM

Crooked Timber
Pedantry
Fist Full Of Euros
Xymphora
NormBlog
Ken MacLeod
Socialism in an Age of Waiting
D-Squared
K Marx The Spot
Reasons to be Impossible
Histologion
Sitting On A Fence
The Common Man
Wis[s]e Words

Max Sawicky
Nathan Newman
Whiskey Bar
Noam Chomsky's Turning The Tide
Brad DeLong
Juan Cole's Informed Comment
Josh Marshall's Talking Points
Conceptual Guerilla
Discourse.Net
Interesting Times
Coherence Theory of Truth
The Modulator
Critical Montages
Scott McLemee
Doug Kellner's Blogleft
Daily Dystopian
Demosthenes
Ethel The Blog
Body & Soul
Daily Kos
Alas, A Blog
Sisyphus Shrugged
Skippy The Bush Kangaroo
Uggabugga
Slacktivist
Idols Of The Market Place
Talking Dog
Exposing The Right
The Poor Man
Busy Busy Busy
Estimated Prophet
Big Picnic
Steve Perry
Pen Elayne
Hammerdown
Electrolite
I Protest
Reach'MHigh
Sassafrass Log
Orcinus
Wampum
CalPundit
Public Domain Progress
Dystopia
War In Context
TBogg
Flagrancy To Reason
High Desert Skeptic
Braganza
Magpie Blog
Sadly No
TalkLeft
Arms And The Man
Back To Iraq
JR Mooneyham
a buddha's memes

Salam Pax
Riverbend

Cursor
The Agonist
BuzzFlash
TomPaine.com
Common Dreams
Arts & Letters Daily
The Memory Hole
Counterspin Central
TomDispatch
The Smoking Gun
UnMedia
Tapped
Tim Porter's First Draft
Cooped Up
Take Back The [US} Media
Media Whores Online
PR Watch
News Hounds
Lawrence Lessig
Kim Weatherall
JournOz
Danny Yee's Pathologically Polymathic

The Loom
The Green Man
Sauer-Thompson's Philosophy
Marstonalia
Experimental Philosophy
Orange Philosophy
Half the Sins of Mankind
Quiggin's Modern Thought Dictionary

General Glut's Globblog
Goodbye Maggie
Angry Bear
Bonobo Land
Hegemoney
Ross Gittins' Archive
Econoblog
Institutional Economics
Knowledge Problem

Margo Kingston
OnLineOpinion
Australian Policy Online
Heap Of Junk for Code
Joanna Sheldon's Tadorne
Silentio
Boynton
Pinocchio Theory
Tripe Soup
Scribble
Joe Duemer's Reading and Writing
Wood's Lot
Tom Tomorrow
Purse Lip Square Jaw
Michael Berube
Mikarrhea
Yorkshire Soul
Blogging About Blogging
Fragments

Jay's Lefty Internet Resource s
Progressive Gold
Lefty Review
Liberal Oasis
Link Crusader
link
Powered by Blogger