Subject: Arrest Pinochet, arrest Suharto
Date: Sat, 24 Oct 1998 01:41:12 +1000
From: "Gareth Smith" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Canberra Program for 8 Scrivener Street MOB: 0414 990 214 Peace. O'Connor email: ACT 2602 email@example.com
Sunday, 25 October 1998 The Editor The Canberra Times
Michael Pascoe advises us to forget Pinochet and move on (CT, October 22, Letters). This brings to mind Simon Wiesenthal quoting the address of the SS to their prisoners: "However this war may end, we have won the war against you; none of you will be left to bear witness, but even if someone were to survive, the world would never believe him." Mr Pascoe, like the Nazis, is engaged in a war against memory. Unfortunately for them and repressive regimes everywhere, witnesses continue to valiantly recount their nightmares and refuse to be silenced.
The arrest of Pinochet is entirely consistent with the mission of the International Criminal Court as it warns human rights violators that they will be pursued and brought to justice no matter what their status. It is a marvellous way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights and hopefully heralds the universalisation of the rule of law.
Mr Pascoe chooses to criticise Pinochet’s arrest rather than condemn Australia’s failure to express outrage or arrest the Indonesian generals who were complicit in the murder of Australian newsmen in East Timor in 1975. To our everlasting shame, the slaughter of one third of the East Timorese population does not feature in the Indonesian/Australian carve up of East Timor’s oil and gas resources in the Timor Sea or in joint military collusion.
Those who forget the past, Mr Pascoe, are condemned to repeat it!
Gareth W R Smith