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From the pages of the San Francisco Chronicle
`A MASSACRE OF INNOCENTS IN
Editor -- In March 1998, an Indonesian opposition leader, Megawati Sukarnoputri, asked President
Clinton why the United States continued to arm and train Indonesian commandos at a time when the
Indonesian army was beating and killing peaceful protesters. The Pentagon's answer, according to the
New York Times, was that the training program ``increases the United States' ability to influence the
Indonesian troops' respect for human rights.''
Today, those U.S.-trained troops are standing by while their surrogate gangs massacre thousands of
East Timorese people whose only crime was to vote for independence. A few months ago, the
United States bombed Serbia for 78 days in what Clinton called a ``humanitarian effort'' to save the
people of Kosovo. At the time the bombing began, there was a civil war in Kosovo, with a rebel army
fighting the Serbs. What's going on in East Timor is not a civil war, but a massacre of innocents, yet the United States and its allies do nothing but express concern.
No one is suggesting we bomb Jakarta, but at the very least, Clinton should tell President Habibie
there will be no more foreign aid to his country unless the violence stops. President Ford and Henry
Kissinger gave Indonesia the go-ahead in 1975 to invade East Timor, with nearly 15 years of
oppression and bloodshed as a result. The United States owes it to the people of that country to
prevent further suffering.