Even the CIA (!) has to acknowledge the power of history in shaping the current tragedy of East Timor. Their World Factbook, describing Indonesia's ravages in East Timor after 1975, says "an unsuccessful campaign of pacification followed over the next two decades, during which an estimated 100,000 to 250,000 individuals lost their lives." And then on the rampage that Indonesia launched when East Timor voted for indepence in 1999, the CIA writes "anti-independence Timorese militias - organized and supported by the Indonesian military - commenced a large-scale, scorched-earth campaign of retribution. The militias killed approximately 1,400 Timorese and forcibly pushed 300,000 people into West Timor as refugees."
And guess who helped the Indonesians invade East Timor back in 1975, keep them armed and supplied while they tried to "pacify" those 100,000 - 250,000 people? The United States of course (and other European governments). By covering up this history, NPR is aiding those who committed the slaughter of East Timor and helping the Bush administration as it continues to try and rearm Indonesian military with no strings attached.
Addendum: a reader, apparently from the East Timor and Indonesian Action Network (ETAN), suggested the following informative links:
- Commission of Inquiry Report Can Help Timor-Leste Overcome Divisions, But Context of Recent Violence Needs Attention