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A dirty little war by John Martinkus
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A dirty little war

by John Martinkus

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The author recounts his direct experience of the breakdown of civil order in East Timor at the time of independence from Indonesia. Martinkus had extraordinary access to all parties to the conflict, although often only achieving that at considerable risk (and often cost) to himself and his assistants. The author gives a comprehensive account of the events, locations and personalities though out this turbulent period, and appears to have inserted himself repeatedly into the most dangerous situations in order to be able to give a honest account from his own experience. This is nothing less that heroic journalism, with the added benefit that Martinkus is an excellent writer with a very engaging story to tell. Martinkus's conclusion is that the Indonesian military was almost entirely responsible for planning and directing the conflict, and he notes with some personal distaste how both the East Timorese and Australian Governments have - for political reasons - decided to let bygones be bygones. The reader, now aware through Martinkus's vivid portrayal of the beatings (which he also suffered) and murders, is also left to wonder if justice was, or ever will be, done. ( )
  nandadevi | Feb 19, 2012 |
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