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This Update I mostly want to convey some information about viruses -- as we have been getting lots of queries. It will just take a minute. In general, we advise that you should avoid opening files attached to email when you aren't pre-expecting them. I have sterling grade a super virus software, but I do not open attached files unless I am sure of their origin and their purpose. More specifically, you should NEVER open a file attachment that seems at first glance to come from ZNet or Z Magazine. It didn't come from us. We siply do not ever send attached files. Never. So why might something with a file attached look like it came from us? Viruses go into people's address books, find an address to send to, and then attach themselves to parts of mail in the deleted folder or elsewhere on the system, mimicing prior subject lines, addresses found there, etc., and send to addresses also found on that machine. 150,000 people get our email. Viruses get to some of those people. We are in their address books. They have lots of mail from us. Every so often a virus will, by those routes, mimic us and reach you. It doesn't come from our systems, which are uninfected. Again, we DO NOT send attached files. Do not open any attached file that seem to come from us, ever. ----- As to a more typical update information -- well, we have lots of new stuff on the site, of course. We hope you will come visit. The top page is Http://www.zmag.org/weluser.htm One little note. Some people have written to me saying how come you list links on the top page without some additional description of what the links lead to. How do I know if I want to click on it and read it. It is a fair question. Partly you might decide by the author. Partly you might decide just by knowing us and our proclivity for having articles you find interesting. Partly you might decide by noting what the subject of the article is by looking down the ZNet top page to the subject/topical areas and seeing where it appears, rather than looking only at the recent articles list at the top. But mostly, and most efficiently, all you have to do is click the link for recent artcles, which is called Most Recent, and located right at the top...and you will get page that lists recent additions with a brief description of each. In other words, we do list descriptions for new links -- and for all links, in fact, we just put all that on its own page. Okay, now, all that aside, here is an article, which happens to be tonight's ZNet Commentary, from Andre Vitchek. Commentaries go out every night, by the way, to our donor supporters, via the ZNet Sustainers Program. To learn more about that, see http://www.zmag.org/Commentaries/donorform.htm East Timor - Indonesian Amnesia By Andre Vltchek Timor Leste: At 55 she looks shockingly old and frail. She lives in Ermera - poor town lost in the green lush hills of East Timor -- Timor Leste, the youngest country on earth. Of course she has a name, but it is irrelevant to quote it here -- her fate is the same as that of so many women of her land. I follow her with my eyes as she walks slowly to the main street, to the market. She looks more like a spirit than a living person. I was told that she, as so many women of this land, had been gang raped by Indonesian soldiers some twenty years ago. As if rape was not enough, she was tortured, burned, humiliated. She survived, unlike so many others. As tens of thousands of women of Timor Leste she lost her son and her husband and her house. After witnessing horrors of Indonesian occupation of East Timor several times in the past, after being arrested and tortured myself for simply trying to do my work -- to alert the world about the genocide - I decided to return again to Ermera, to the area that witnessed some of the fiercest resistance battles. I came to interview this woman, some woman like her; to interview any woman that survived the horrors of the occupation. But when I saw her in Ermera, I couldn't approach her, I couldn't ask her to relive her past. East Timor is free. It is living what can be described as "Year Zero". It is still dirt poor, desperate, confused and in pain. Even combatants of resistance get almost no help from the government. Recently, one of the legendary commanders reduced to subsistent existence of selling wood, drove to the house of the President Gusmao, almost running his guards over and yelled: "Look at me, this is what I became. Buy my wood". And Gusmao bought it with his own money and just stood there, repeating to his former comrade in arms: "I don't know what to do. I am a President, but what can I do?" I had been asked by my Indonesian friends: "How is East Timor doing now? With all that foreign aid they are getting, is the situation improving?" This simple and innocent question shocked me. How can the nation that lost over 30 percent of its population recover in two or three years? And then I understood: 'They really don't know. They don't realize the magnitude of the past extermination. They don't realize that the policy of "transmigrasi" ("trans-migration", when those dead were 'replaced' by the Muslims from Java and Sumatra and even Hindus from Bali) was in fact an ethnic cleansing on enormous scale'. Much bigger Chile lost during and after the coup 3 to 4 thousand people and has still not fully recovered from the shock and nightmares of the military dictatorship. And it is not expected to fully recover anytime soon. If East Timor would be the size of Chile, it would proportionally have lost over 5 million people. "This country is being helped and to the certain extend controlled by the foreigners", explain a student of political science. "We are grateful to them, but they don't understand us. Their job is to make our economy work, to establish our institutions as quickly as possible. But this nation is still in shock, it is still in deep trauma. And people who fought for our freedom - the soil and blood of this country - are now close to starvation. Look at Indonesia. When they won independence against Holland, Sukarno took to his government and to the top military ranks those men who fought for freedom, even if they were illiterate. Because he knew that his nation trusted them and needed them. But when our resistance leaders come to the UN people, they have to prove that they have "skills", that they know how to read and how to write, that they speak the languages. There are no emotions involved, no respect for our past." Many former FRETILIN fighters still hold to their arms and recent riots show how unstable is the situation. Called "extremist", a Marxist old guard of FRETILIN is running for a head-clash with the present government that is going out of its way to please its mighty neighbors -- Indonesia and Australia -- and to reassure the United States that there is no left-wing philosophy engraved in the present leadership of the country. In 2002 (then Presidential candidate) Gusmao explained to me that "a good relationship with Indonesia is a priority". That 'people of East Timor should forget the recent past and look into the future.' That they should 'forgive'. In the meantime, Indonesia never put one single high ranking official in prison for a substantial amount of time, in connection with the genocide in East Timor. There has been no official apology from Jakarta, not even one privately organized delegation from Indonesia that would take pains of coming to Dili and offer condolences to East Timorese people for what has been done to them. With all due respect, President Gusmao is wrong. This sort of "reconciliation" based on silence never worked. It was tried in Argentina and in Chile after the dictatorship and it failed. It is an obligation of the East Timorese government to demand an official apology from Jakarta, to demand opening of the Indonesian archives and informing the Indonesian public of the horrors their country inflicted on its neighbors. Not for the purpose of revenge, but in order to help to heal the wounds of those who were and are suffering tremendous injustice. The truth about the past is almost as important for Indonesia as it is for East Timor. Since 1965 when Indonesia endured massacres that took between 500 thousand and one million human lives during the anti-Sukarno coup led by the pro-Suharto military clique (which lied to Indonesia and the world, claiming that it was fighting 'a Communist coup' that of course never took place), successive Indonesian leaders have managed to create myths and amnesia which are still plundering the nation's intellectual well being. Lies about 1965 were followed by lies about East Timor and later about Ambon, Iryan, Jaya, and Aceh. It is insulting to tell East Timorese who survived rape, torture and loss of their loved ones that they should forget and forgive. Even if they would want to, they couldn't. Does anyone dare to say to Poles, Russians, Yugoslavs, or the French right after the Second World War that they should just "forget and forgive"? And they lost relatively lesser amount of people than East Timorese. Could anyone be so cynical as to tell Jews who survived the Holocaust that they should "just forget it, forgive, and go on with their lives as if nothing really happened?" And could they; could they ever forgive, after experiencing and witnessing some of the most barbaric acts ever committed by mankind? My Jewish friends who survived the Holocaust as children are still waking up in the middle of the night. And they scream, covered by cold sweat. And so do my East Timorese friends. And they still will twenty years, fifty years from now. My liberal Indonesian friends tend to endlessly repeat that in fact the "East Timorese massacres would never happen if the United States wouldn't give the green light to the invasion". True. The United States, UK, Australia, all of us should live with the guilt for standing by, for not intervening while the occupation took place, for encouraging Indonesia to invade. We should speak about it, write about it as some of us (though not enough of us) do. But this time it was not the United States that did the actual killing, raping, ethnic cleansing, and torturing. Should Soviets be blamed for Nazism because Stalin ordered the Communist Party of Germany to withdraw from the coalition with other leftists in an act that helped the Fascists to win elections? To some extent, yes. But it was Germans who were designing the crematoriums and camps and it was their army that massacred tens of millions of men, women, and children. The Indonesian people have to face up to their responsibilities. They have to acknowledge their own past. Not only for the sake of their victims in East Timor, but also for the sake of their own future. No decent society can be built on lies. The past returns, it divides nations, it haunts and eventually, if not faced honestly and with dignity, it kills. Until the crimes are acknowledged, until there is a sincere apology and endless grief, until Indonesian children start learning at school that their nation massacred the innocent people of a small nation that never had a chance to resist but resisted nevertheless in one of the most heroic acts of defiance known to history, the old woman from Ermera with her back bent, will be climbing the hill, abandoned and forgotten, alone. Her government can suggest a thousand times that she should forget. But the memory is all she has left; those whom she loved are all dead. Each day that goes by, each day that cameras will be showing cynical crimes of untouchable Wiranto and other Indonesian generals, she will be descending deeper and deeper into her past, to her previous life brutally interrupted twenty years ago. I was not brave enough to stop her, too scared of the magnitude of pain that she was radiating. ===================================This message has been brought to you by ZNet (http://www.zmag.org). Visit our site for subscription options.