Thursday, February 08, 2007


"But we cannot afford to ignore the features of clan-based cultures, whether in Kosovo or in the Middle East, that make them susceptible to manipulation by unscrupulous forces for nightmarish geopolitical goals."
~ Jared Israel, The Emperor's New Clothes.

There was a small item on TDN, Wednesday, about Maxmur:

Earlier this week Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. assistant secretary of state, visited Mahmour refugee camp in northern Iraq, which Turkey says is a base for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), CNN-Türk television reported yesterday. Holbrooke, who spoke with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey last week, met with Mahmour's local administrator, Abdurrahman Berzenci, and chatted with women living in the camp.

It looks pretty inocuous at first, doesn't it? A second look might even lead people to think it's some good news, especially if we look at Holbrooke's official CV from a clean Wikipedia page. He's been Assistant Secretary of State for two regions of the world, Peace Corps director, brokered the Dayton Accords for Bosnia, is an investment banker, belongs to all the right clubs (Council on Foreign Relations, International Institute for Strategic Studies, National Endowment for Democracy, and more). He's even a board member of Refugees International. More fabulous club memberships are listed at Sourcewatch.

On the other hand, there are a few minor points that Wikipedia left out . . . like East Timor, for example.

Richard Holbrooke and Paul Wolfowitz together facilitated Indonesia's seizure of East Timor back in the 1970s. From Asia Times in 2001:

In an unguarded moment last May, Richard Holbrooke opened a foreign policy speech in Italy with a fawning tribute to his host, Paul Wolfowitz, the dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

[ . . . ]

The example he chose to illustrate his point was East Timor, which was invaded and occupied in 1975 by Indonesia with US weapons - a security policy backed and partly shaped by Holbrooke and Wolfowitz. "Paul and I," he said, "have been in frequent touch to make sure that we keep [East Timor] out of the presidential campaign, where it would do no good to American or Indonesian interests."

East Timor is a classic example of the bipartisan nature of US foreign policy during the Cold War - and the secrecy surrounding US military support for authoritarian leaders like president Suharto, who ruled Indonesia from the US-backed coup in 1965 until his downfall in 1998. There is an unbroken link from the Ford-Kissinger years, when the US backed Suharto's invasion of the former Portuguese territory. This continued through the Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton eras, when US policy focused on supporting Suharto's military and burnishing his image to the world.

[ . . . ]

If Holbrooke is to believed, he and Wolfowitz tried to keep the long, sordid history of American involvement with Suharto hidden from the American electorate during the most recent campaign. That in itself is a sad commentary on the mentality of these men and their dislike of open debate about US foreign policy goals.

From 1975 to 1977, the Indonesian government, backed by the US, in the form of people like Holbrooke and Wolfowitz, managed to murder between 50,000 to 80,000 East Timorese--a fact admitted by the Indonesian foreign minister at the time. When questioned about this massacre, Holbrooke responded as follows:

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.

What's a few tens of thousands dead when Indonesia was so strategically important to the US? What's a few tens of thousands slaughtered when Indonesia was an oil-producer, was non-aligned during the Cold War, and was such a swell consumer of American war industry product? The fact is that the US-backed Indonesian government engaged in genocide against the East Timorese, slaughtering over 200,000 of the people during the occupation, and the American who oversaw and enabled the genocide is now involved with Maxmur.

But our fine, upstanding American finally visited East Timorese refugees in 1999, according to Mother Jones, and this in spite of the fact that Holbrooke was a past master at downplaying the genocide of the East Timorese:

In later testimony defending US policy in East Timor, Holbrooke repeatedly played down the brutality of the Indonesian occupation. In 1979, Indonesia reported that East Timor's population had shrunk by 10 percent because of "civil war and starvation." Analysts with Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International now say the population had shrunk by far more than that, and that the causes were primarily Indonesian military violence against civilians, and starvation caused by the military's use of napalm to deforest the region and poison its farmland. Holbrooke, however, told a Congressional committee that the desperate hunger in East Timor had nothing to do with the Indonesians' invasion, but was the result of years of neglect during Portuguese rule. That the starvation did not reach desperate levels until several years after the Portuguese left the colony evidently did not strike Holbrooke as contradictory.

The irony of Holbrooke enabling yet downplaying genocide, juxtaposed against Holbrooke's visit to East Timorese refugee camps, is heightened by the fact that Holbrooke is himself of German-Jewish descent. And now this murderer is becoming involved with Kurdish refugees from another US-backed terror state? Alarm bells should be sounding.

In Bosnia, Holbrooke again secured US interests at the expense of lives on the ground and with total disregard for the ethnicities involved and with the use of dirty war experts to advise the KLA (More on NATO's Gladio-style use of the KLA here). Bosnia's position of utility as regards US interests was outlined by Zbigniew Brzezinski:

Brzezinski frankly sets the goal for U.S. policy: "to perpetuate America's own dominant position for at least a generation and preferably longer still". This involves creating a "geopolitical framework" around NATO that will initially include Ukraine and exclude Russia. This will establish the geostrategic basis for controlling conflict in what Brzezinski calls "the Eurasian Balkans", the huge area between the Eastern shore of the Black Sea to China, which includes the Caspian Sea and its petroleum resources, a top priority for U.S. foreign policy.

There's much more on US control of oil at the link, including a mention of the US goal of controlling the oil flow to Europe. Another interesting aspect of US policy is the use of "cultural divide" to secure interests:

. . . writer Robert D. Kaplan, who sees a "real battle" that is "drawn along historical-civilizational lines. On the one side are the Turks, their fellow Azeri Turks in Azerbaijan, the Israelis and the Jordanians [...]. On the other side are those who suffered the most historically from Turkish rule: the Syrian and Iraqi Arabs, the Armenians, the Greeks and the Kurds". It is not hard to see whose side the United States must be on in this battle, or which must be the winning side.

Indeed, it's been very clear for a very long time which side the US takes. News that Holbrooke is sniffing around Maxmur means nothing good. Wherever Holbrooke goes, US foreign policy enforcement--with it's attendent mass slaughter--follows.

Ah, well . . . we can always hope that the Iraqi insurgency gets its hands on this murderer, and then we can all watch the video.

NOTE: At one time Holbrooke served on the advisory board of Public Strategies, Inc., the damage control firm that Lockheed Martin hired to read Rastî. Unfortunately, it seems that Public Strategies, Inc. no longer wishes to reveal to the public just who currently sits on their advisory board.


Anonymous said...

Haha, Indonesians committed genocide in East Timor? They're still trying to pin those starvation deaths on Indonesia, aren't they? Nevermind the fact that East Timor is now facing more starvation deaths annually than they were under Indonesian rule in the 1990s.

Mizgîn said...

Do you have a source for that?