Friday, February 29, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Bird Flu and TB
Indonesia's health minister, Dr. Supari, says some Indonesian bird-flu virus samples were sent to a U.S. Defence Department laboratory, in Los Alamos, New Mexico, which is developing biological weapons.
Americans and Europeans should be deeply worried about TB.
At least a third of the world's population is infected with the TB bug, with at least 8.9 million developing TB each year.
The World health Organisation carried out a survey of TB in 79 countries. They found TB drug resistance in virtually every one of these countries.
In Kazakhstan, for example, 14.2% of new cases were of multidrug resistant TB. (BBC NEWS Health Drug resistant TB 'more severe')
Drug resistant TB develops when patients fail to complete a full course of treatment, usually because of a lack of money.
TB patients often have to take an 'expensive' cocktail of drugs for a year.
The big drug companies have spent very little money on developing TB drugs, partly because TB is mainly a disease found among poor people in poor countries.
In some poor countries, the governments have no idea how many poor people have TB.
In Indonesia, for example, many poor people cannot afford either diagnosis or treatment.
A person with drug resistant TB may live for several years before they die.
International Monetary Fund programs in countries such as Indonesia have typically reduced the availability of cheap medical care. (Extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis)
What is the answer?
The USA and Europe should be spending many, many billions on trying to wipe out TB in poor countries.
Countries such as China, India, Indonesia and Russia have to spend much, much more on the health of the poor.
A poor person with TB should be able to get free treatment.
This helps Americans and Europeans by reducing the risk to their health.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Is there a joint US-Australian-Indonesian plot to control oil-rich East Timor?
On 11 February 2008, there was an attempt to assassinate the leaders of East Timor, president Jose Ramos and prime minister Horta Xanana Gusmao.
East Timor's Government says Australian-led United Nations forces failed to help President Jose Ramos Horta after he was shot.
Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado, who attacked the president, has received military training in Australia.
Reinado was shot dead during the attack on the president's home.
(Australia to send more troops to East Timor after assassination ... / East Timor president in 'serious' condition after shooting / UN police 'refused to help' injured Ramos Horta / Security pact between Australia, Indonesia comes into effect)
2. On 14 August 2003, Dr Damien Kingsbury, head of philosophical, political and international studies at Deakin University, wrote about the activities of the (American-trained) Indonesian special forces Kopassus regiment in East Timor: (http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/08/13/1060588456746.html)
"Kopassus still trains and organises the militias in West Timor that continue cross-border destabilisation operations into East Timor, according to a range of senior UN officials I spoke to there just weeks ago, and based on the Kopassus and militia members I saw in West Timor days later."
3. Why the East Timor-Indonesia area is important to America and the World:
1. Huge reserves of oil and gas.
2. Control of the oil shipping lanes from the Middle East to China/Japan.
3. The Indonesian military is seen as being an important ally in the attempt to contain China.
4. Why the World should care about East Timor:
1. With the approval of President Ford and Henry Kissinger, Indonesian invaded East Timor in 1975. That was when the genocide began and at least one third of the population died. In East Timor, Indonesia's Kopassus regiment, trained by the United States, used the tactics of the US Phoenix program in South Vietnam: systematic rapes, tortures and executions
2. The US government and its allies turned a blind eye to the terror in East Timor. When journalists spoke out, they were murdered and governments remained silent. (The Financial Times's Sander Thoenes, Australia's Greg Shackleton and Tony Stewart, Britain's Brian Peters and Malcolm Rennie, New Zealand's Gary Cunningham. journalists: Western journalists murdered by Indonesian military ...). The generals responsible for the genocide in East Timor have escaped justice. Indonesia is now run by American trained General Yudhoyono, who was involved in East Timor.
3. When the Indonesian general's militias were massacring East Timorese in 1999, it was reportedly with the approval of the Pentagon.
Journalist Alan Nairn revealed that immediately after the vicious massacre of dozens of refugees seeking shelter in a church in Liquica, U.S. Pacific Commander Admiral Dennis Blair assured Indonesian Army chief General Wiranto of US support and assistance, proposing a new U.S. training mission. East Timor
5. Who is behind the present turmoil in East Timor?
In 2005, in regional elections, 80% of votes went to Fretilin, led by Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri.
Alkatiri wants the oil wealth of East Timor to go to the East Timorese people.
He opposes privatisation and interference by the World Bank. (ITV - John Pilger - East Timor: the coup the world missed
He opposes giving an undue share of the oil and gas revenues to Australia.
In 2006, a section of the East Timorese army turned against Alkatiri.
According to John Pilger (ITV - John Pilger - East Timor: the coup the world missed):
An eyewitness, Australian radio reporter Maryann Keady, disclosed that American and Australian officials were involved.
A leaked Australian Defence Force document has since revealed that Australia's "first objective" in East Timor is to "seek access" for the Australian military so that it can exercise "influence over East Timor's decision-making".
The Howard government accepted an 'invitation' by the East Timorese president, Xanana Gusmão, and foreign minister, José Ramos Horta - who oppose Alkatiri's nationalism - to send troops to Dili, the capital.
In June 2006 Alkatiri resigned.
In March 2006, both Condoleezza Rice and Tony Blair visited Indonesia.
In March 2006 , the Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command stated in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee that he endorsed "a rapid, concerted infusion of assistance" for the Indonesian military. The Bush government proposed a six-fold increase in military aid to Indonesia.
In May 2006, the Indonesian military took part in the Cobra Gold regional military exercise with the United States and other countries.
6. What do we know about the people who have been trying to destabilise East Timor?
Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado's father and sister live in Australia.
Over several years, Reinado travelled to Australia to receive military training from the Australian Defence Force, studying defence management in October 2003 and emergency management in August 2004.
In 2005 he completed a three-month navy training module at the Australian Command and Staff College in Canberra. (Army's cause without a rebel)
Reinado backs Fernando de Araujo and his Democratic Party.
Araujo has links to Indonesia's American-trained special forces Kopassus regiment and to the Australian military.
De Araujo’s Democratic Party won 8.7% of the vote and seven seats in the 2001 parliamentary elections. (East Timor: Presidential election campaign held under ongoing ...)
De Araujo has ties with people connected to the Indonesian military's militias that killed many Timorese during and after the 1999 independence referendum.
De Araujo has organised protests against the Timorese government with Rui Lopes, who has had close links with Indonesia’s special forces, Kopassus.
De Araujo is also close to Nemecio De Carvalho, former leader of one of the Indonesian military's militias. (East Timor: Presidential election campaign held under ongoing ...)
De Araujo has played a role in the attempts to destabilise the East Timor government and when at one point he had to flee from East Timor he fled to Australia transported by the Australian military.
Video - Alfredo Reinado - East Timor