Sunday, October 02, 2005

In Indonesia, US companies subcontract terror to the military.

Richard Tanter, at 'Inside Indonesia', October-December 2002, wrote about military terror in Indonesia.

Tanter explains that

1. 'Citizens of Aceh are suing ExxonMobil for financially supporting elements of the Indonesian armed forces that employed extreme and illegal violence to protect Sumatra’s Arun gas field and LNG production facilities.'

"Troops picked up one of the plaintiffs, held him at a structure at a Mobil plant, and for three months tortured him. Before they released him, the soldiers showed him a large pile of human heads. Another plaintiff claims he, too, was tortured by Indonesian soldiers at a building inside the company's compound."

2. 'In September 2001, a US district court awarded East Timorese plaintiffs damages amounting to US$66 million against TNI Lt-Gen. Johny Lumintang for his role in East Timor in 1999.'
These cases share a number of common elements:

According to Bloomberg News, ‘Exxon Mobil’s less-than-arm’s length detachment from the military must be judged a short-term gain and a long-term miscalculation.’

Tanter reminds us that:

1. Indonesia continues to depend utterly for its survival on the political, economic and financial backing of the US and Japan and the major corporations of those countries.

Indonesian patronage politics is still hugely dependent on revenues from oil and gas exports and foreign aid. Indonesia is the world’s largest liquid natural gas (LNG) exporter, supplying a third of global LNG trade – almost all of which is sent to Japan and South Korea. Aceh’s gas and oil is vital to the Indonesian state.

2. There have been serious environmental problems at Exxon’s Arun natural gas field since production began in 1978. Peaceful protests have been met with by violence.

Producing gas in Aceh at an acceptable price for the people and companies of Osaka and Seoul – and vast profits for Exxon Mobil’s mainly US shareholders - has for more than two decades depended upon military terror, as the corporation has long known.

Foreign oil and gas companies subcontract terror to the military.

3. Exxon, the most rogue-like of the big oil companies, has been particularly active in sabotaging the Kyoto protocol.

4. Henry Kissinger facilitated crimes against humanity in Indonesia and East Timor.



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