(The following letter from Australian anti-war and Latin American solidarity activist Joan Coxsedge—who is also a former member of the Victoria state parliament--originally appeared in an Australian-Cuban solidarity group’s newsletter).
November 24, 2013
Last issue for the year so lots to talk about. Abbott’s only been PM for a minute and is already seen to be a dangerous far-right anti-secular dud, like his stable mate Dennis Napthine. Only surprised at the short time it’s taken. The spy scandal’s dominated our airwaves, but the media fail to report the reality, that Australia’s sovereignty is non-existent. We threw it away decades ago via a range of secret agencies and secret treaties that governments know nothing about. Our spies work for Washington, not for us, which is why I liked Chomsky’s article about a Chinese commentator who believes the world should become ‘de-Americanised’ because the US has failed to act responsibly as a global citizen. Crazy is the new norm among Tea Party extremists who have mounted an all-out assault against the population to privatise, deregulate and limit government, while retaining laws to serve those with wealth and power. Rejection of international obligations has grown so entrenched that foreign governments no longer expect Washington to ratify or participate in international treaties, a practice now accepted by Americans as if it’s their god-given right to terrorise large regions of the world with drone attacks and other killing machines. Fascism. And it’s not looking too flash here.
When it comes to Cuba, Washington defies the rest of the world (except Israel) by persisting in its blockade. Cuba committed the cardinal sin of beating back the US invasion and then had the audacity to survive an assault designed to bring ‘the terrors of the earth’, in the words of Kennedy advisor Arthur Schlesinger. This year’s anti-blockade ritual took place in the UN General Assembly with much the same result. And yet, despite all the obstacles thrown its way, Cuba managed to establish an excellent health care system, much better than the US and a template for others to follow. Each year, thousands of young leave poor countries to practise medicine in rich ones where there’s a glut of doctors, leaving people in their homeland without adequate care, whereas Cuba sends doctors to poor countries in an attempt to reverse this brain drain.
Before the Chilean coup, Allende’s ministers were warned ‘watch out, comrades, Jakarta is coming!’ ‘Jakarta’ referred to the bloody US-run coup in Indonesia in 1965 that killed more than a million people (Amnesty International, normally silent about the crimes of US imperialism, put the number at 1.5 million). ‘Jakarta’ was a monstrous experiment…to find out what happens to a poor country when hit by a coup, then thrown to religious zealots and forced to live under the heel of extreme capitalism and fascism and were no doubt thrilled by the result. Indonesia’s entire culture was destroyed and instead of education, brainwashing techniques perfected abroad were installed. Apart from the death toll, entire languages were banned, along with theatres, art films, atheism and everything that was left of centre, using thugs, paramilitaries, archaic family and religious structures and a toothless media to maintain the ‘new order’. A ruined environment, collapsed infrastructure, endemic corruption and a functionally illiterate population, ignorant about the world and its own history, completed the picture.
“…After the orgy of terror, the entire archipelago was silenced and unable to organise any resistance. But if you’re a corrupt local ruler or puppeteer that runs the country from abroad, you get easy access to all the natural resources. The West hailed this carnage as a splendid success, congratulating ‘Our Man Suharto as ‘Our Kind of Guy’! In 1988, Suharto fell, but the ‘model’ survived and the US has been busily administering it all over the world in different forms and variations to suppress dissent. Independence cannot be allowed, even in a country as small as East Timor, because it might spread. By the time Indonesian occupation ended in 1999, 200,000 Timorese – 30% of the population – had been wiped out.
In Chile, one of the world’s oldest democracies, the 1973 military takeover brought new horrors and also new hope when the soldiers arrested one of the nation’s most beloved singers, Victor Jara. They broke his hands and threw his guitar at him and shouted ‘now you can sing’, a crucial moment when the fight for freedom began. Despite great pain, Victor Jara stood up and sang Venceremos back to his tormentors. He sang loudly and they killed him, but he did not die. Victor Jara became the symbol of resistance against fascism and imperialism that spread throughout the continent, while in Indonesia there was silence. And Henry Kissinger continues to walk free. It’s fifty years since Kennedy was assassinated and the conspirators and their lackeys are still at it telling us there was no conspiracy and that the president was killed by one man, Lee Harvey Oswald. But in Mark Lane’s book Rush to Judgment, he describes in detail about all the unfortunate people with knowledge of the murder who mysteriously died. A few years later, The Parallax View by Loren Singer put the deaths into a political context. While on the subject of assassinations, it’s a matter of simple logic that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was also murdered. One of the most threatened persons in the world with dozens of Mossad agents and Phalangist spies determined to kill him. Israelis hated Arafat more than any other human being, after Hitler and Adolf Eichmann. Certain poisons do not need food. Slight physical contact is enough and Arafat’s body was not examined for radioactive polonium.
Hard to believe, but the head of a private UK outsourcing firm actually said out loud: ‘We need more wars’, blaming the lack of conflict for a spectacular collapse in Army recruitment. Take care on our roads and have a break over the holiday period. Viva!