Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Indonesian invasion of East Timor which led to one of the worst genocides of the 20th century. Over the course of nearly 25 years the Indonesian military slaughtered over 200,000 East Timorese which equals about 1/3 of the East Timor population.
Recently released documents show US officials were aware of the invasion plans nearly a year in advance. They reveal that in 1977 the Carter Administration blocked declassification of a cable transcribing President Ford and Secretary of State Kissinger's meeting with Indonesian dictator Suharto on December 6, 1975 in which they explicitly approved of the invasion, one day before the invasion took place.
During the nearly 25 year occupation 90 percent of the weapons used by the Indonesian military to carry out the massacres were provided by the United States. Military support to the Indonesian government was still being provided until 1999.
There were numerous UN declarations condemning the invasion of East Timor, similar to those declarations condemning the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. But US pressure on the UN blocked any enforcement of these declarations and US support for the Indonesian dictatorship continued.
It was also announced a few weeks ago that the U.S. will resume military assistance to Indonesia, which it has not done since 1999.
I would encourage everyone to watch an excerpt from the documentary “Massacre: The Story Of East Timor”, which does a great job of documenting a number of the human rights violations and massacres committed by the Indonesian military during the 25 year occupation of East Timor. The excerpt is about 15 minutes long.