Democracy Now! May 17, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! May 17, 2002
Series Title:
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CO-HOST: ALLAN NAIRN, speaking from EAST TIMOR, to Dili for Independence Day; ED MCWILLIAMS, a state department official who refused to go along.

9:01-9:06 Headlines: ISRAEL DEPORTS U.S. PEACE ACTIVIST KRISTEN SCHURR AS ISRAELI FORCES SWEEP THROUGH JENIN AGAIN Israeli tanks swept through the Jenin refugee camp again this morning amid heavy gunfire. The armys earlier attack on the camp gave rise to an international outcry; close to half of the people who died in the attack were civilians. Israeli forces have continued to invade the West Bank, despite announcing last week the end of the military offensive. Meanwhile, International Solidarity Movement activist Kristen Schurr returned to her home in New York last night. She was one of the peace activists who made it into Bethlehems Church of the Nativity while it was besieged by Israeli soldiers. After the siege ended, the Israeli troops arrested all the activists inside and held them in prison without charges. Most of the activists went on hunger strike in protest. They asked not to be deported, so that they could return of their own free will. But Kristen Schurr was deported. She joins us now in the studio. GUEST: Kristin Schurr, International Solidarity Movement. Kristin spent more than a week in the Church of the Nativity, before being deported by Israel. She returned to the United States yesterday CONTACT: 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20 ITS THREE DAYS TO EAST TIMORS INDEPENDENCE: WE TRAVEL BACK IN TIME TO THE HISTORIC VOTE FOR INDEPENDENCE WITH ALLAN NAIRNS ON THE GROUND REPORTS Its three days until East Timor's historic independence. Yesterday we took a look at the history of East Timor: from Indonesias invasion in 1975; to its quarter century of US supported occupation; to the militarys killing of 200,000 Timorese, a third of the population; and the November 12, 1991 Santa Cruz cemetery massacre, where Indonesian soldiers gunned down hundreds of Timorese. Today we move ahead to August and September 1999 when the people of East Timor voted in a historic UN sponsored referendum for their independence. After the vote, the Indonesian military burned East Timor to the ground. We now know that the UN and the US knew from the start that the Indonesian military and the militias it created planned to sabotage East Timors referendum through terror and intimidation. In 1999 Democracy Now! devoted extensive coverage to East Timor's historic referendum process and Indonesia's campaign of terror against the Timorese. We began on May 5, when I questioned UN secretary General Kofi Annan at the press conference announcing the UN agreement that gave Indonesia's military killers responsibility for the security of the vote. On August 30, 1999, the people of East Timor turned out in overwhelming numbers to vote for their independence, defying a systematic campaign of Indonesian terror. Journalist Allan Nairn was in the capitol of Dili through the August 30 vote and Indonesia's destruction of East Timor in the days that followed. The Clinton Administration maintained its support for Indonesia's armed forces until the very end, when the world's attention and universal horror at Indonesia's killing spree forced it to cut military ties. The following is a collection of some of Allan Nairn's historic broadcasts. TAPE: Amy Goodman questioning Kofi Annan on May 5, 1999, the day he announced that an independence vote would be held in East Timor. She asks why the UN would allow the Indonesian military to provide security during the vote. TAPE: Selections from journalist Allan Nairns on the ground reporting in East Timor, from the historic vote, to the Indonesian militarys rampage through the country, to his arrest and imprisonment in an Indonesian jail. CONTACT: 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40 JOURNALISTS ALLAN NAIRN AND AMY GOODMAN CONFRONT BILL CLINTON, RICHARD HOLBROOKE, AND HENRY KISSINGER OVER U.S. MILITARY SUPPORT TO INDONESIA The Bush Administrations delegation to East Timors independence celebration will be led, ironically, by former President Clinton and former UN Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, two men deeply involved in supporting Indonesias occupation of East Timor. President Clinton offered military support for Indonesia throughout his eight years in office, waiting until Indonesias army had burned East Timor to the ground before finally cutting off military ties. Richard Holbrooke, who was US Ambassador to the UN at the time of East Timors historic 1999 vote, was also the State Department officer in charge of East Asia when Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975. Amy Goodman had a chance to question then Presidential candidate Bill Clinton about U.S. policy toward Indonesia and East Timor in 1992, while Allan Nairn had a chance to question Richard Holbrooke at Brown University in May 1997. In 1994 Allan Nairn and Amy Goodman also had a chance to question former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who along with Gerald Ford gave the green light for Indonesia to invade East Timor in 1975. This was the first time Kissinger had ever spoken publicly about his role in supporting Indonesias invasion. TAPE: Amy Goodman questions then-president-elect Bill Clinton after a major policy address in New York TAPE Journalist Allan Nairn questions Richard Holbrooke, former US ambassador to the United Nations under President Clinton. In 1997, Holbrooke was given an honorary degree from Brown University, and he gave an address about everything from Indonesia and East Timor to Bosnia. Nairn questioned him after he spoke. TAPE: Journalist Allan Nairn confronts former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who along with former President Gerald Ford gave the green light for Indonesia to invade East Timor in 1975. This was the first time Kissinger had ever spoken publicly about his role in supporting Indonesias invasion. 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58 A FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL IN JAKARTA DISCUSSES THE BUSH ADMINISTRATIONS ATTEMPTS TO RESTORE MILITARY AID TO INDONESIA From the start, the U.S. offered crucial support for Indonesias invasion and quarter century occupation of East Timor. After the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre, Congressional and grassroots activists worked to cut off U.S. military support for Indonesia, despite fierce resistance from the Bush and Clinton administrations and their corporate allies. From 1996 to 1999, however, East Timors grassroots supporters had a crucial ally, a State Department official at the U.S. embassy in Jakarta who consistently fought his own government and worked to change U.S. policy in support of the people of East Timor. GUEST: ED MCWILLIAMS, former political consul at the US Embassy in Jakarta (1996-2000). 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
May 17, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
May 17, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. May 17, 2002
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