In Appeasing Jakarta, John Birmingham takes apart the folly of twenty-five years of Australian policy on East Timor. How did Gough Whitlam and Richard Woolcott in 1975 saddle this country with a policy that was bound to lead to the intervention of 1999? Why were shrewder voices ignored and why did we persist with an unworkable model? Where does this leave us with an Indonesia still dominated by the old power elites? And what was the tragedy like for the people of East Timor?
John Birmingham has written a passionate narrative history of the East Timor question which never turns away from the slaughter and sorrow of the people who suffered it.
Correspondence discussing Quarterly Essay 2, Appeasing Jakarta: