(deutsche Version demnächst)
Preface: from the cradle of mankind
Anthropologic contemplations on existing racism
Modern Homo Sapiens emerged in Africa about 200,000 years ago. More archaic men – surely no dumb idiots but so able as to reach the island Flores in today Indonesia already by naval techniques – had already spread to Asia and Europe long ago. Those long time emigrants also leaving tropical regions had a long time adaption to cold and less sunny climates by less pigmentation and other physical modifications. When modern Africans emigrated – we all are predominantly descending from them – already about 120,000 years ago on certain routes they got admixture by those groups. So little comes from that admixture anyway that all our mitochondrial heritage (Mitochondrial material with own genetic material only passed by the mother) and y-chromosomes (only passed from the father) all come from modern (African) Homo Sapiens. It seems that the groups as such (modern man and the archaic groups) didn´t mix but men always had the tendency to rape (most probably from both sides). But we can be sure that in connection to environmental conditions all people who have different looks from African people today look so partly due to that archaic admixture favored by colder climates in which they have lived for a longer times. Especially after the end of the last ice age those northern groups with archaic admixture could increase in number and pass by ways which were blocked before. The people passing from Africa via climatic zones comparable to their home continent maintained their physical appearance. Those people are still to be found from parts of India (mostly having admixture) to the Melanesian Islands in the South West Pacific (see links down).
North versus South
Contact and Conflict: The Northern Expansion
When climatic changes opened ways blocked before and also the betterment in northern regions favored population growth northern people expanded. Cultural contacts between groups having dealt with different problems lead to multiplications of concepts and intellectual growth. In the North African, Near and Middle East as well as East Asian contact zones this lead to the upcoming of so called high cultures with the development of writing. The original black groups had an important hand in it and it is not for nothing that obviously the first writing developed in Egypt which was those days basically an African society. But by the time the Northerners formed by cold and hard conditions became in their expansion more aggressive and especially in South East Asia many original black ethnicities retreated to typical rain wood regions, where today they make up tiny minorities. But a large number there as well as in West Asia and South East Europe were absorbed into the expanding Northerners, in which you can at times still see that admixture. Never the less from Eastern parts of Indonesia to Melanesia the original black population is clearly surfacing and makes up the majority.
“White Man´s Rule”, Slavery and Capitalism
When by virtue of history the Europeans got control over vast parts of the world and made people and resources instruments of their further economical development they built a racist hierarchy imposing their sick concept of “racial superiority” and by the side of North Europeans “racial purity” on the subjugated people. They also liked to rule by dividing and played one group of oppressed people against the other increasing racist tendencies also among the oppressed. They were successfully dividing the exploited people of the colonies among each other as well as the exploited workers of their own ethnicities. The worst type of degradation, the “mother of racism”, became the anti black racism which they were also partly imposing and partly strengthening among other colonized groups. So a terrible “color hierarchy” was established, hitting Africa, Latin America, Asia and Oceania.
From Colonialism to Neocolonialism
When the competition of the different imperialist powers had resulted in terrible wars (World Wars I & II) and a social alternative represented in the “Socialist block” (as deformed it may ever have been) grew stronger, and one capitalist power – the US – became the one Empire struggling for control over this world, the concept was changed from direct political control to neocolonialism using strangulated puppet regimes as their henchmen to carry on ruthless exploitation of men and nature. They (the ruling “1 %”) pretended also to divert from racism (since they had to mobilize the world against their fascist competitors on basis of Nazi racism) but indeed carried on with it also by exploiting their seeds in other parts of the world. And they developed a tricky way of proclaiming “human rights” and “democracy” to intervene and invade again in “gun boat” manner. They usurped even justified liberation movements and strangulated them like the South Sudanese Liberation movement to destroy it and get control over recourses, especially Oil. And a very practical way to work was the old colonial territorial organization which had lead to formations full of conflicts.
The Indonesian Regime, a Brutal Henchman of globalized Capitalism
When Indonesia (to that day “Dutch East India”) gained independence (declared August 1945, formally recognized December 1949 by the Dutch) under Ahmed Sukarno it tried to follow a path of independence in the group of the block free states. But the military was very strong and deeply linked to the West, especially the US. Sukarno who had tried to balance the military and the strong communist party failed in the end after a terrible conflict (500,000 people, many landless sympathizers of the KP, butchered). General Suharto was the man of the US and seized power over the archipelago with so many different ethnicities. He and his military clique turned the many islands into a plunder ground for the Westerners and Japanese interests using Javanese dominance for their purposes, especially to eastern regions, i. e. the western part of New Guinea.
New Africa or Old Africa: New Guinea
When the Spaniards and other Westerners came across the island, its dark skinned inhabitants with frizzy hair reminded them of Africa´s Guinea Coast (which was already made the hunting ground for slavers) which inspired them to name the island New Guinea. Going further east they met similar people up to the Fiji islands and in course of time named them Melanesians because of the dark pigmentation. East of Fiji they came across people who seem to be an old mixture of all three main fractions of mankind and soon started the racist splitting and installation of “race hierarchy”, actually degrading all groups. The Melanesians became object of rude anti black racism and many times subjected to slavery called forced labor. The Polynesians became an object of sexual racism and their women were looked at as white man´s sex objects without rights, paternalistic exoticism. In modern times after World War II the US did not hesitate to make one of those island groups (Bikini) their nuclear playing ground and even transported people back to the polluted island “testing” the results. Actually the Japanese “interplay” in the South West Pacific region during World War II did not provide any “non white” solidarity on the side of the Japanese also coming with racist arrogance.
Contrary to the hostile degradation of its inhabitants by white people and contrary to the relative isolation (being protected by its rain wood forests) New Guinea is a remarkable place concerning cultural history. Independently from the early development of agriculture in the “fertile half moon” (stretching from North East Africa over the South of Turkey to Mesopotamia) as well as independently from the agricultural development in South China the agricultural history with intensive gardening techniques in New Guinea dates back 7,000 to 10,000 years (http://tinyurl.com/chrqzkg), thus putting it´s inhabitants, the Papua, among the pioneers of mankind´s agricultural history.
On the other side has the natural surrounding with high mountains and deep valleys led to an enormous linguistic splitting and the number of languages outnumbers that of continents. Certain forms of conflict practices (though culturally limited in a refined way) as well as other cultural practices strengthened western prejudices. When the Dutch reigned over “Dutch East India” including the western part of New Guinea, they infected many of the other colonized, whereas the Muslims did not even “need” this infection. The eastern part of New Guinea was up to World War I divided between the Germans in the North East and the British in the South East. The German part was handed to the Australians as a “protectorate” afterwards. Both parts got independence as Papua New Guinea in 1975 including the “Bismarck Archipelago and the Northern Solomon Islands (http://tinyurl.com/chrqzkg). Rich resources (oil, copper, gold) as well as well as agricultural products (coffee, cocoa, oil palm and tea) inspire Western greed and expose the country to all well known evils of neocolonialism as the western part of the island does. All 7.5 to 8 million inhabitants of today will have to defend their place against this growing greed.
The Fake “Decision”, the “Act of Free Choice”
Indonesia gained independence soon after WW II but Western New Guinea remained under Dutch control to the distaste of the Indonesian ruling class. The issue of independence raised some complicated questions in general, which were even more felt in Africa. A basic contradiction was lying in decolonization with colonial borders which separated ethnicities and lumped others – having historical conflicts or having very different types of society – together. General line among the anti colonial movements was to avoid endless border issues. But on the other side in Africa the large entity of former French West Africa was also split into a number of countries. The aspirations of the Javanese dominated Indonesian political class (under pressure of overpopulation in the archipelago´s West) were confronted with a special situation. Firstly West New Guinea had been longer under Dutch control and was de facto already no more “part of Indonesia”, secondly, but more important, it was a very different world. It was not only inhabited by very different people but by people on whom especially the majority and decisive group, the Javanese looked upon in despise with that racist arrogance that was strengthened by North European anti black racism. And the social structure would have left them almost defenseless to economic and social exploitation.
Such considerations didn´t bother neither the Indonesian government nor the Dutch nor the white dominated UN and by no means the US government. Indonesia tried to solve their “problem” by military force and under the strong influence of the US the UN made Holland in the New York agreement complying to hand over administration to Indonesia (which they did in March 1963), for which the US had special plans, fittingly analyzed by Noam Chomsky in an interview (shown in a video on YouTube, link under this paragraph). But the treaty also included a procedure after a while in which the Papua should decide whether they wanted to stay with Indonesia. The “Act of Free Choice” was then in 1969 nothing but a typical colonial theatre. The Indonesia military had selected 1025 men to vote in an event in July to August 1969 about the future of their people, which was being performed by “hand rising” (surrounded by barbed wire and armed forces nearby), blocking any public discussion on the matter. It doesn´t need much fantasy to imagine which mixture of bribing and terrorizing a military organization has to apply reaching the wanted result (http://tinyurl.com/cavwmdg & http://tinyurl.com/bl8lktq). Nevertheless the UN manifested this fake procedure in the resolution 2504 (XXIV) without any qualification whether it fulfilled the demands described in United Nations General Assembly resolutions 1514 and 1541 (XV) respectively. To call this theatre play an act of „self determination“ requires a high grade of cynicism.
Chomsky on East Timor (part 1 & part 2): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KitLf1Afeg
Ongoing Resistance and ongoing Massacres
By and large the resistance and armed struggle began as campaigns by tribal warriors, who just wanted to get rid of the strange occupants pushing them around. By the time it got more organized, gained more support from exile Papua and sympathizers in Papua New Guinea (the eastern half of the island) and other Melanesians. Important in this process is the plunder of the resources by international companies, by which Indonesia tries to pay their own debts to world finance (a general problem of “Third World countries). The destruction and pollution of the natural surrounding and the expelling of people, so that Westerners can get “their” oil, gold and other precious resources “which by incident got under the rain wood of those savages”, fuels the resistance of the people. The brutality of the Indonesian army accordingly to moderate assumptions has cost the lives of more than 100,000 Papua. More on the struggle is to be found down this article in links.
Brothers in suffering
How little the Indonesian policy had to do with the fact that West Papua was once “united” with Indonesia in “Dutch East India” showed the treatment of the Portuguese colony East Timor which got near independence in the downfall of Portugal´s Salazar regime (to which the struggle of the people in its African colonies contributed enormously). With the support of the US Indonesia annexed East Timor and massacred many thousands of the inhabitants. In all this resulted in more than 100,000 deaths as the consequence also of hunger and illness. In the end the enormous brutality raised international protest which contributed together with the fierce resistance (by Falintil, the armed force of the Fretelin) to East Timor´s independence in September 2002. This development is in a way a torch and hope for the suffering Papua.
Hopes, Dangers and perspectives
As said before the example of East Timor might be encouraging, but notwithstanding the fact that East Timor has besides its Sandal wood off shore oil resources about which a partial sea boundary solution with Australia is reached, West Papua is a much more tempting prey for imperialism. If West Papua would hopefully gain independence international corporations are more on the uncertain side because the resistance as such is a lot motivated by the extraction of the resources. In such a case the empire (US) might even prefer unification with Papua New Guinea since neocolonial ties there are already established. The present turmoil in the eastern half of the island is largely the result of that. As long as the US capitalists are relatively sure of Indonesia they´ll do a lot to enable Indonesia to uphold its grip. A changing geostrategic situation in East and South East Asia could change things, especially if the upcoming currency treaty between China and Japan might do its part, since Japan is joining in the exploitation of Indonesia at the US´s will. On the other side do the covered plans to expand NATO to Australia and New Zealand not provide much good for the region since it´s the clear symbol for the will to perpetuate “white man´s world rule”.
The people of Papua must know that even Europe being still in the status of a vassal to the US Empire would be a very shaky ally in their aspirations. Public pressure and a strong support by leftist parties as well as solidarity from “Third World Countries”, especially from African countries, would be a desired help, but are still lacking. Understanding in Melanesia is growing, Vanuatu gave a good signal. To be “freed” by the West à la Libya is surely not an option, the country doesn´t need more bombs to be dropped. It will be a hard and protracted long struggle only to be won with the patience the freedom hero Filep Karma shows, who was thrown into prison by Indonesians after having raised West Papua´s flag in 2004 (http://opinion.inquirer.net/17827/filep-karma-prisoner-of-conscience).
Information about West Papua´s independence struggle organized by Papua:
Support from Vanuatu: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wantok_Blong_Yumi_Bill
East Timor: http://www.etan.org/resource/books.htm
On the anthropological aspect touched in the preface:
Mainland India, where black presence by own migration and by Arab deportation from Africa might be difficult always to make a difference:
Andaman Islands (politically belonging to India): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andamanese
Aetas of the Philippines: http://img150.imageshack.us/img150/1510/403032263ybjclrfs7rb.jpg
Melanesians from Fiji: http://tinyurl.com/bofalvo