Rambouillet / Holbrooke

Knut Rognes (knrognes@online.no)
Sat, 27 Mar 1999 14:40:24 +0100


her følger to ting:

1. Lenke til Rambouillet-avtalen (vet noen om andre lenker?):

Interim Agreement for Peace and Self-Government in Kosovo (February 23,
1999  /  Rambouillet / FRANCE)


2. En artikkel jeg fant på Z-Net om Richard Holbrooke og Øst-Timor (mellom
*** og ****)

Hilsen Knut Rognes

200,000 Skeletons in
Richard Holbrooke’s Closet
By Sunil Sharma
Much ado has been made in the press and academic discussions about how
Richard Holbrooke has been a
force for peace in the Yugoslavia imbroglio. The reality behind Holbrooke’s
activities in the former
Yugoslavia has been excellently exposed in recent issues of Covert Action
Quarterly and elsewhere by
journalist and Yugoslavia expert Diana Johnstone.
A little known chapter in Holbrooke’s career in the US government is his
complicity in Indonesia’s
campaign of genocide against East Timor. Holbrooke was head of the State
Department’s Bureau of East
Asian and Pacific Affairs during the Carter Administration. On December 7,
1975, Indonesia invaded
East Timor, which it continues to occupy today, killing over 200,000
Timorese in the process,
approximately 1/3 of pre-invasion population. The US supported Indonesia in
ways which are already
well known; there is no doubt that the invasion, ongoing occupation, and
genocide could not have been
possible without US support.
Following Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor, the US imposed an arms ban on
Indonesia from December
1975 to June 1976. The ban was a secret. In fact the ban was so secret that
the Indonesians were unaware
of it. The fraud was later exposed by Cornell University professor Benedict
Anderson in his testimony
before Congress in February 1978. Anderson cited a report, "confirmed from
the Department of Defense
printout", showing that there never was an arms ban, and that during the
period of the alleged ban
the US initiated new offers of military weaponry to the Indonesians:
If we are curious as to why the Indonesians never felt the force of the
U.S. government’s
"anguish," the answer is quite simple. In flat contradiction to express
statements by General
Fish, Mr. Oakley and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and
Pacific Affairs Richard
Holbrooke, at least four separate offers of military equipment were made to
the Indonesian
government during the January-June 1976 "administrative suspension." This
consisted mainly of supplies and parts for OV-10 Broncos, Vietnam War era
planes designed
for counterinsurgency operations against adversaries without effective
anti-aircraft weapons,
and wholly useless for defending Indonesia from a foreign enemy. The policy
of supplying the
Indonesian regime with Broncos, as well as other counterinsurgency-related
equipment has
continued without substantial change from the Ford through the present Carter
Indeed by late 1977 the Indonesians literally began to run out of weapons
in its campaign to destroy the
Timorese. The Carter Administration stepped in and increased military aid
and weapons sales to the
Indonesians, which resulted in Indonesia’s stepped up campaigns of 1978 to
1980 when the level of
killing reached genocidal levels.
When asked by Australian reporters at a press conference about atrocities
in East Timor, Holbrooke
I want to stress I am not remotely interested in getting involved in an
argument over the
actual number of people killed. People were killed and that always is a
tragedy but what
is at issue is the actual situation in Timor today . . . [Asked about how
many Timorese
were killed in the past] . . . we are never going to know anyway.(2)
The date of this press conference was April 6, 1977. Holbrooke would most
certainly have been aware
that a few days earlier (April 1) the Melbourne Age quoted Indonesian
Foreign Minister Adam Malik
as saying that "50,000 people or perhaps 80,000 might have been killed
during the war in Timor, but we
saved 600,000 of them." Also on April 1, the Canberra Times quoted Malik as
saying :
The total may be 50,000, but what does this mean if compared with 600,000
people who
want to join Indonesia? [SIC!!] Then what is the big fuss. It is possible
that they may have
been killed by the Australians and not us. Who knows? It was war.
Malik’s claim that perhaps 10% of the Timorese population may have been
killed in less than two years
was a bit much for the US: Australian state radio reported "The State
Department is clearly embarrassed
by Adam Malik’s statement that the number killed in East Timor might have
been as high as 80,000."(3)
Fortunately the State Department could rely on the US media’s silence to
spare them from any
embarrassment here at home.
In September 1978, US Ambassador to Indonesia Edward Masters went to East
Timor accompanied by an
entourage of Indonesian diplomats. While there, Masters visited refugee
camps -- really concentration
camps -- that the Timorese had been herded into by the Indonesians and then
subjected to a forced
starvation policy. According to one US reporter who was there, Masters
"came away so shocked by the
conditions of the refugees that they immediately contacted the governor of
East Timor . . . to explore the
possibilities for providing foreign humanitarian assistance." However, it
would not be until a full nine
months had passed that Masters (in June 1979) would urge the US to provide
humanitarian assistance.
The timing of Masters’ silence coincided with Indonesia being bolstered by
a huge shipment of US
military aid and weapons described above. As Benedict Anderson told
Congress in 1980:
In other words, for nine long months, from September 1978 to June 1979,
while "in ever
increasing numbers the starving and the ailing, wearing rags at best,
drifted onto the
coastal plain",(4) Ambassador Masters deliberately refrained, even within
the walls of the
State Department, from proposing humanitarian aid to East Timor. Until the
in Jakarta gave him the green light, Mr. Masters did nothing to help the
East Timorese,
although Mr. Holbrooke insists that "the welfare of the Timorese people is
the major
objective of our policy towards East Timor."(5)
Despite the fact that the Indonesian invasion and occupation of East Timor
was and is an egregious
violation of international law and an act of genocide, the Carter
administration and Holbrooke in
particular, while acknowledging that the East Timorese had not been allowed
to carry out an act of self-
determination, regarded the situation as a fait accompli.
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who at the time was the US ambassador to
the UN, boasted in his
memoirs that he effectively prevented the UN from implementing resolutions
calling on Indonesia to
withdraw immediately from Timor and which affirmed the Timorese people’s
right to self-determination:
The United States wished things to turn out as they did, and worked to
bring this
about. The Department of State desired that the United Nations prove utterly
ineffective in whatever measures it undertook. This task was given to me,
and I
carried it forward with no inconsiderable success.(7)
The State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs was
Holbrooke’s fiefdom. While the
State Department made great efforts to interview Cambodian refugees in
order to assess the level of
human rights violations by the Khmer Rouge, the opposite was true of
Timorese refugees who were easily
accesible in Australia and Portugal. A Christian Science Monitor article
from 1980 on East Timor and
the State Department’s indifference to the plight of the Timorese is worth
quoting at length:
Francisco Fernandes, a Roman Catholic priest who served for several years
as head
of the Timorese refugee community, said he knew of no attempt by US
officials to seek
out and interview any of the more than 2,000 such refugees who have been
living in
Portugal for the past several years.
Even today, with the magnitude of the East Timor problem better known,
refugees going
directly to the State Department in Washington with their stories find that
most officials
here give the benefit of the doubt to the Indonesians.
He acted like a lawyer for the Indonesians," said one refugee after talking
with a State
Department official recently. . . .
What many Timorese would like . . . is the departure of the Indonesians and
control over their
own affairs. The Timorese identity and languages are distinct from those of
the Indonesians.
But in deferring to Indonesia on this issue, the Carter administration,
like the Ford
administration before it, appears to have placed big-power concerns ahead
of human rights:
Indonesia is an anticommunist, largely Muslim, oil-producing nation with
the fifth-largest
population in the world. It commands sea lanes between the Pacific and
Indian oceans.
Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke recently declared it is
potentially one of the
great nations of the world.
US policy toward East Timor has been made for the most part by the State
Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, headed by Mr. Holbrooke. The
bureau most concerned
with human rights, which is headed by Assistant Secretary Patricia Derian,
was barely getting
organized in 1977 when East Timor policy was first set by the Carter
However, it was Ms. Derian, not Mr. Holbrooke, who was in the position of
having to answer
questions about East Timor, among other subjects, at a recent congressional
hearing. Mr.
Holbrooke let it be known he was too busy preparing for a trip to appear at
the Feb. 6 hearing.
He did have the time, however, to play host at a black-tie dinner later the
same day.(8)
All of this stands in stark contrast to Holbrooke’s impassioned defense of
the right of the Kosovo
Albanians to "autonomy". Perhaps he has had some kind of religious
conversion in recent years.
The Carter Administration position on Indonesia and East Timor was best
summed up by Assistant
Secretary Holbrooke:
The situation in East Timor is one of the number of very important concerns
of the
United States in Indonesia. Indonesia, with a population of 150 million
people, is the
fifth largest nation in the world, is a moderate member of the Non-Aligned
Movement, is an important oil producer -- which plays a moderate role within
OPEC -- and occupies a strategic position astride the sea lanes between the
and Indian Oceans. President Suharto and other prominent Indonesian leaders
publicly called for the release of our hostages in Iran. Indonesia’s
position within the
Association of South East Asian Nations -- ASEAN -- is also important and
it has played
a central role in the supporting Thailand and maintaining the security of
Thailand in
the face of Vietnam’s destabilizing actions in Indo-China [sic]. Finally,
Indonesia has
provided humane treatment for over 50,000 Indo-Chinese refugees and taken the
initiative in offering an island site as an ASEAN refugee processing
centre. Indonesia
is, of course, important to key US allies in the region, especially Japan
and Australia.
We highly value our cooperative relationship with Indonesia.(9)
If there was a world in which an International Court of Justice had any
meaning, Richard Holbrooke’s
shameful service to State power would surely be characterized as a series
of Crimes Against Humanity.
For now, such a thought is merely a fantasy for those of us who seek peace
and justice.
(1) Hearings Before the Subcommittee on International Organizations of the
Committee on International Relations. US Policy on
Human Rights and Military Assistance: Overview and Indonesia, February 15,
(2) John Hamilton, "Timor death toll not the issue: US," Melbourne Herald,
April 7, 1977.
(3) Australian sources cited in Chomsky, Noam and Edward S. Herman. The
Washington Connection and Third World
Fascism: The Political Economy of Human Rights: Volume I (South End Press,
1979), pp. 174-175.
(4) Anderson is quoting from an article by Henry Kamm in the New York
Times, January 28, 1980.
(5) Holbrooke, written statement to the House Subcommittee on Asian and
Pacific Affairs, Committee on Foreign Affairs,
December 4, 1979. The topic of the hearing was East Timor, which Holbrooke
did not bother to attend. Anderson’s statement:
Benedict R. O’G. Anderson, testimony at the Hearings before the
Subcommittees on Asian and Pacific Affairs and on
International Organizations of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of
Representatives, 96th Congress, 2nd Session,
February 1980 (US Government Printing Office, 1980).
(6) Holbrooke said as much to author James Dunn. Timor: A People Betrayed
(The Jacaranda Press, 1983), p.351.
(7) Moynihan, Daniel P with Suzanne Weaver. A Dangerous Place (Little
Brown, 1980), p.247.
(8) Daniel Southerland, "US Role in Plight of Timor: An Issue That Won’t Go
Away", Christian Science Monitor, March 6,
1980, p.7.
(9) Foreign Assistance and Related Programs: Appropriations for 1981.
Hearings Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on
Appropriations, House of Representatives, 96th Congress, June 1980. Cited
in ibid. p.354.