Why didn't the US intervene in the East Timor genocide?

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Do they have any oil?

  • Mike
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    The USA had no history of control in the region of East Timor and there was no useful resource they needed there. USA uses democratic propaganda to give a positive image of itself whenever it interferes on a foreign territory. As a Democracy, the USA had to use subtle brainwashing through the media to keep its population under control. It's democratic system prevents any military action without first convincing its own population that a military action by its army is "justified" and a "police act" to "protect democracies" in other parts of the world. This is all lies. If USA were a Communist country, they would invade a nation they wanted to control by creating the image in their media that they were being threatened by capitalist imperialism or terrorism and would get public opinion in its side.

    East Timor was a Portuguese colony since the 16th century. They had resources desired by the Portuguese in addition to being strategically located in Asia for sea trade in richer ports like those in China and India. In 1975, Portugal left and East Timor was independent for less than a year before Indonesia invaded. They slaughtered lots of people and forced the nation to a province of Indonesia. The United Nations protested but did nothing to help. Years later, East Timor managed to become free again. The economy and infrastructure is until now badly damaged.

    During the Indonesian invasion the American media barely mentioned the slaughter that was occurring. At the same time, the US media was publishing large amounts of articles on Israel and its battles with Arab nations and the Palestinian problem. Why? Because Israel is a strong US ally in an oil rich region. USA and Israel are now destroying the Arab nations in order to restructure those countries into economically dependent puppets of America and into nations which will be forced to be "friends" with Israel. East Timor was Portugal's problem, and they did try sending some relief there during the invasion and had lots of media coverage of the event.

    USA did not want to get into a war with Indonesia over a tiny place like East Timor because it wasn't worth the effort as there was no financial, political, or military benefit to start intervening. A war with the very populated and large Indonesia would not be profitable nor a good image for USA. They would need to send thousands of troops stationed in Korea and Japan to East Timor, which would weaken those fronts. China would possibly intervene in such a case, and North Korea would make moves in a weakened South Korea.

    In the end, East Timor was just not worth the effort for the USA. The USA uses the humanitarian aid political card to invade other nations only if they will benefit from such an act. East Timorese has a small population of poor people. They would be lousy customers for US products if they were under their control, and Indonesia would always be a huge enemy in the region. Simply not worth it.

  • cray
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    I think there is some kind of a US policy, whether or not it is always followed in real life, that intervention in another country's problems is justified only if the US's "national interests" are threatened.

    Sometimes 'national interest' includes access to a country's sales of oil products, sometimes it is because the US has a treaty with them pledging to help defend them when they are threatened, sometimes it is because the US wants/needs a friendly country in an otherwise anti-US region (maybe like Israel in the middle east?)

    So, maybe the US government did not see any link between East Timor and US national interests, and human rights issues are often referred to the UN, as a community of nations, to apply pressure & send peace-keeping (yeah, right, how peaceful did UN forces keep Rwanda?) multi-national forces into the troubled nation.

    It's too bad, but human rights abuses, even genocide, is not enough, evidently, for the largest Western powers to help protect people.

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