East Timor remains independent 1975

Is there any way that East Timor, after the Portuguese withdrew in 1975, have become a sovereign independent new nation-state with no Indon invasion ? How could the FRETILIN vs UDT & APODETI civil war have been avoided or minimised, so as not to provide Jakarta with a pretext to invade ? How would an independent ET in 1975 have developed vis-a-vis relations with Indonesia, Australia, the US & the UN ?
 
Seems to be kinda hard.

The main incentive-provider for Indonesia was the suspicion of the FRETILIN being communist. If you really want to deny any justification for Indonesian invasion the only way is to really make FRETILIN invulnerable against the communist stigma.... which is borderline ASB, considering their rival party was a blatantly rightist-capitalist party. Not to mention Chinese vocal support for East Timor independece, and considering the freezing state of Sino-Indonesia relations during the time it's just inevitable that China would want to stick something to Indonesia's face sooner or later, whenever they have the chance. Indonesia will going to have the pretext to invade, no matter what.

The main problem for this scenario on Indonesia's side was really the hardline Generals of the Army. Well though Suharto certainly had the power to dismiss any suggestions that he wasn't interested in, once they bring the argument about the potential of the country being the bastion for rogue war-mongering commies(something impossible for Suharto to ignore, btw), all is set for East Timor.

And maybe you should reconsider yourself about using "Indon". It will only give people the pretext to be suspicious about your purpose for being increasingly often in posting Indonesia-related topics lately.
 
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What happened in Timor-Leste also happened in the Spanish Sahara. Both Portugal and Spain quickly pulled out without leaving a funtional government or defense in those nation. Those two nations were abandoned. Then the nation or nations bordering those two just walked in.

So an independent Timor-Leste is possible in 1975 if the Portuguese had sticked around to help them develop a functioning government and military.
At least if they did not want to stay they should have asked the UN to have sent forces before they pulled out.

The people of Timor-Leste and Spanish Sahara greatly paid the price for democracy returning to Portugal and Spain.
 
Communist FRETILIN and the Chinese support was the reason Australia supported the Indo takeover, better dead than a Chinese red. Perhaps if there was a strong non Communist party to balance FRETILIN and Chinese support was weak then Australia wouldn't have been keen to let Indo sort out the mess in Timor Leste. Perhaps INTERFET could have occured in 1976 if civil war broke out, with Australia contributing forces alongside other SEA countries.
 
A less left-leaning Carnation Revolution would probably mean much more support for UDT, and things might have ended in a progressive transfer of sovereignty.
 
Yup. A more federalized Indonesia is possible but I am not sure of the odds against Javan expansionism.

Barring that, it is easier to keep Ost Timor Portugese.

HTG
Javan expansionism ? There was no such thing. There is a difference between an ethnocracy and a military junta. Indonesia is ain't no Pakistan. Though some Javanese elites, including Suharto himself, indeed wanted Javanese culture to have their good place within the spot-light, but they didn't dare to go further beyond. There was no incentive to replace Indonesian Malay with Javanese or Sundanese. Besides there was also powerful non-Javanese Generals in the army too. During the time of East Timor invasion the leader of Indonesian military was a Batak General Maraden Panggabean, and he was also the leader of expansionist faction. He was the one who suggested Indonesia helping South Vietnam during 1970s. A suggestion that was turned down by that semi-isolationist Suharto. Besides, East Timor was a smaller crab than Vietnam, and could potentially threaten the unity of our nation for being a commie neighbor next door.... :rolleyes:

As for a more federalized Indonesia, I think for that to happen you should either :
a) Prevent Dutch from trying to design puppet states in the areas they occupied during the War of independence. That would erase the suspicion that federalism is a colonialist tool to disintegrate Indonesia (which it really was intended to be by the Dutch, during the time war was still going on)
b) With pre 1900 or maybe early 1900 PoD, make NEI a federalized entity. But I don't know how to make Netherlands to be interested to design NEI that way though.

As for keeping East Timor Portugues being easier, I agree.
 
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Communist FRETILIN and the Chinese support was the reason Australia supported the Indo takeover, better dead than a Chinese red. Perhaps if there was a strong non Communist party to balance FRETILIN and Chinese support was weak then Australia wouldn't have been keen to let Indo sort out the mess in Timor Leste. Perhaps INTERFET could have occured in 1976 if civil war broke out, with Australia contributing forces alongside other SEA countries.
A less left-leaning Carnation Revolution would probably mean much more support for UDT, and things might have ended in a progressive transfer of sovereignty.
Well, with East Timorese public opinion being less left leaning that'll certainly prevent the hardliners from having any justification to accuse East Timor being "rogue-commies". Indeed this way seems to be the most promising to keep East Timor independent. A significant Chinese supportive sentiment would shake things, but in this scenario it'll be easier to deal with.
 
It surprises me to see so many fall for the spurious claim that FRETILIN was or is Communist.

It's a group best described as Catholic populist, about as "Communist" as Catholic Liberation Theology. Marxist critique of capitalism yes, but not really suggesting Communism as any kind of a solution. Most of the leaders were (and are) extremely devout Catholics.

Chinese support? So what, that's more a matter of convenience, enemy of my enemy stuff after Suharto killed 600,000+ Indonesian leftists. That's like claiming Bush Sr's support for Saddam (pre Kuwait invasion) made the Baathists into conservative Republicans.

I'd suggest the best way for E Timur to stay independent was for a leading American journalist to have exposed the US support for invasion before it happened. With so much public disgust over scandals like Watergate, lies about the Vietnam War, CIA scandals, etc, the public reaction puts presssure on US President Ford to urge Suharto "hands off" privately. Ford, having enough problems, doesn't want Suharto giving him another one. (Recall the invasion takes place in late 1975, during the earliest part of the primaries for the 1976 US election.) Suharto may still try backing rivals, guerillas, thugs, etc, but it's not enough.

I don't see any way the new country would be anything but a beleaguered conflict ridden basket case, maybe as ungovernable as Lebanon in the 70s. But incoming US President Carter may have made support for it a part of his human rights campaign.

Ridwan:
On an completely unrelated sidenote, I'd be interested in knowing more about General Maraden Panggabean. Either on this thread or by private email.
 
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It surprises me to see so many fall for the spurious claim that FRETILIN was or is Communist.

It's a group best described as Catholic populist, about as "Communist" as Catholic Liberation Theology. Marxist critique of capitalism yes, but not really suggesting Communism as any kind of a solution. Most of the leaders were (and are) extremely devout Catholics.

Chinese support? So what, that's more a matter of convenience, enemy of my enemy stuff after Suharto killed 600,000+ Indonesian leftists. That's like claiming Bush Sr's support for Saddam (pre Kuwait invasion) made the Baathists into conservative Republicans.

I'd suggest the best way for E Timur to stay independent was for a leading American journalist to have exposed the US support for invasion before it happened. With so much public disgust over scandals like Watergate, lies about the Vietnam War, CIA scandals, etc, the public reaction puts presssure on US President Ford to urge Suharto "hands off" privately. Ford, having enough problems, doesn't want Suharto giving him another one. (Recall the invasion takes place in late 1975, during the earliest part of the primaries for the 1976 US election.) Suharto may still try backing rivals, guerillas, thugs, etc, but it's not enough.

I don't see any way the new country would be anything but a beleaguered conflict ridden basket case, maybe as ungovernable as Lebanon in the 70s. But incoming US President Carter may have made support for it a part of his human rights campaign.

Ridwan:
On an completely unrelated sidenote, I'd be interested in knowing more about General Maraden Panggabean. Either on this thread or by private email.
I know FRETILIN wasn't communist. The thing is, the situation back then was really against them. They were still leftist, and their largest rival party was a party of land-owners, and the Chinese would be anything but hate to stick something to our face whenever there's a chance back then, and the last but not least, only Indonesia that was the most suitable candidate for "taking the responsibility" that was East Timor, and the only one that largely wouldn't mind taking it at that.

However, if US support were to be exposed, that would certainly change things. Suharto was an anti-Sukarno, and he would do anything but placing Indonesia against the world. One note that everyone should be keeping in their mind about this matter, that at first Suharto wasn't very keen on this plan his underlings were having, but the Chinese vocal support and FRETILIN's leftist stance were apparently enough for him to be cautious. In his mind, anything leftist equals communist. That was just couldn't be helped. If East Timor were to stay independent, I suspect that Indonesia would still going to maintain close watch on it, and Indonesia would be waiting for the chance to at least enforce economical penetration.

Lastly, about Maraden Panggabean, he was one of Suharto's "ShiTenOu" during the the first decade of his rule. Allegedly he was deeply involved in Suharto's coup against Sukarno. And in fact it's said that it was him who pointed his gun at Sukarno so as for him to sign Supersemar. In his stance for how should Indonesia role in the SEAsian region, he was quite vigorously for a big Indonesia. Surely he wanted Indonesia to be the regional police. But honestly I don't know about his view on East Timor though.
 
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