Letter: Justice for Timor

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Sir: Your leading article "The army must back off throughout Indonesia, not just in East Timor" (21 September) admirably condemns the brutality of the Indonesian armed forces, but paints a rosy picture of those states that have supported and aided their brutality since 1975.

The statement that there is an "international consensus ... that brutal behaviour is unacceptable, period" will be greeted with sad smiles by Kurds, Tibetans, Colombians and countless other victims of "dodgy" governments that the US and UK still very much support, as the guest list to the Chertsey arms fair will confirm. The US and UK are themselves willing to sanction the deaths of half a million Iraqi children as a foreign policy tactic.

If Western foreign policy has truly been taken over by the idea of "natural justice", we should quickly see Australia and Indonesia hand back the rights to East Timorese oil that they stole in the 1970s, so that the people of that land can rebuild their shattered country that we have helped so shamefully to destroy.


Enfield, Middlesex