Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature

Why Australia wants “regime change” in East Timor

by wsws (reposted)
If one were to believe the official version, the intervention of Australian troops into East Timor is driven by the purest motives. They are there simply to restore peace and stability after the collapse of government authority. But this political fiction has been increasingly exposed by events of the past few days as the power struggle which sparked the crisis comes to the surface.
The Howard government’s intervention has nothing to do with protecting the interests of the East Timorese people. It is aimed at bringing about a “regime change”—the replacement of the government of Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri with an administration more in tune with Australian interests.

It is long been a dictum of foreign policy that there are no permanent allies or alliances, only permanent interests. This is certainly the case in East Timor where one of the chief concerns of the Australian government, supported by the opposition Labor Party, has been to ensure that other powers are not able to exert influence in what is explicitly referred to as “Australia’s own backyard”.

In 1999, the Howard government sent in troops to spearhead the UN military intervention in order to ensure that Australia, rather than the former colonial power, Portugal, exercised the greatest authority in post-independence East Timor and was in the best position to exploit its valuable oil and gas reserves. Nearly seven years on, the essential motivations remain the same.

The underlying conflict with Portugal came into the open last Friday when Prime Minister John Howard asserted during an interview that the crisis in East Timor was due to “poor governance”. This was a clear shot at Alkatiri’s government. It brought an immediate response from Portuguese Foreign Minister Diogo Freitas do Amaral, who criticised Howard’s remarks as “interference in the internal affairs” of East Timor. “We disagree with this kind of declaration by foreign countries,” he said.

But Howard was not deterred. In fact, he decided to say more at the next available opportunity.

In an appearance on the ABC television “Insiders” program on Sunday morning, Howard was asked “how bad” the government of East Timor had been and whether the responsibility rested with Alkatiri.

Add Your Comments
Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
Tom McLoughlin
Sat, Jun 3, 2006 4:45AM
Tom McLoughlin
Fri, Jun 2, 2006 3:28AM
Tom McLoughlin
Fri, Jun 2, 2006 3:23AM
Tue, May 30, 2006 1:42PM
BBC (reposted)
Tue, May 30, 2006 8:36AM
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!


$60.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.


Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network