All That Glitters

All That Glitters

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June 24, 2014

Even as Australians call on their government to end its association with Indonesian death squads murdering West Papuan human rights activists, Americans remain silent on their government’s active support for Indonesia’s murderous special forces, operating with the blessing of the Obama White House. As noted at Nationalia last June, West Papua is seeking international support to right the wrong begun when the UN allowed the illegal annexation of West Papua by Indonesia. The 2012 proclamation by the Federal Republic of West Papua, registered with the UN Security Council, was intended to generate recognition of West Papuan independence from the hostile state of Indonesia.

As Survival International reported in 2010, US-backed Indonesian forces were targeting church and civilian leaders after Obama renewed US support for the death squads that summer. The massive Indonesian offensive in 2011 was a direct consequence of Obama’s betrayal of human rights for West Papuans. West Papua Information Kit examines how the US and the UN sold out the West Papuan allies from World War II for all that glitters.

As part of the vast Indonesian colonial archipelago, West Papua and East Timor have suffered horrendous abuse at the hands of the Indonesian military–a military supported by both the United States and Australia. As two of the four self-declared opponents of human rights for indigenous peoples, the US and Australia work hand in hand with transnational corporations plundering Papuan and Timorese resources for North American and European markets. Beginning with President Kennedy, the betrayal for the benefit of copper and gold was intricately wound up in the highest levels of the National Security Agency, leaving these friends of American war veterans to the merciless onslaught of the Indonesian military. A shameful episode that continues to this day.

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