Sunday, January 27, 2008

SUHARTO - BIG DADDY



Suharto was like a mafia don.

He was put into power with the help of the CIA and reportedly toppled with the help of the CIA.

Jeffrey Winters, professor of political economy at Chicago's Northwestern University, has said of Suharto:

"Everything turned on the don, all business went through the don, the don was the source of security, and he destroyed everything, Parliament, the rule of law, the intellectual community, and turned the police and military into his personal instruments...

"Suharto squandered Indonesia's best years, when it had ample oil and gas, and had very close ties to the United States and the West, with access to developmental funds at very cheap rates. The growth rate should have been much higher." (Indonesia still struggles after Soeharto)

"The growth was enjoyed by the elite, and the benefits were not distributed among the poor," said Wimar Witoelar, a media commentator. (Indonesia still struggles after Soeharto)




Some people claim that Suharto benefited Indonesia.

However, Indonesia under Suharto made much less progress than its neighbours Singapore and Malaysia.

Indonesia under Suharto spent a very small proportion of its wealth on schools or hospitals or housing for the poor.

Housing for the poor

Visitors to Jakarta during the Suharto years may have seen glitzy skyscrapers being built, but they may not have seen the malnourished children hidden away in the slums or in certain rural areas, and they may not have noticed the killing going on in West Papua or Aceh or East Timor.

Often the Suharto government statistics about progress were as accurate as those from Stalinist Russia.

Malnutrition and TB

The Suharto legacy is a country where many roads are full of potholes, many rural schools look as if they are falling down, many sick children die because their parents cannot afford medicine, many hillsides have been stripped of their trees, and the American trained generals are still pulling the strings.

No money for typhoid medicine

It has often been alleged that Suharto's father was a wealthy Chinese-Indonesian merchant and that Suharto was an illegitimate child.

"The absence of official documentation and certain aspects of Suharto's early life that are inconsistent with that of a Javanese peasant (Suharto received, for example, an education fairly early on), has led to several rumors of Suharto being the illegitimate child of a well-off benefactor, which included a being the child of a Yogyakarta aristocrat or well-off Chinese Indonesian merchant. Western biographer R.E. Elson believes that such rumors cannot be entirely ruled out."
- Suharto - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Suharto learnt much about militarism from the Japanese army.

During World War II, Suharto worked for the Japanese controlled police force and then for the Japanese-controlled militia, the Peta.

In 1945, with the collapse of Japan,
Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta declared the independence of Indonesia. This independence was not accepted by the Dutch or the British and led to conflict.
In 1946, Suharto became head of an Indonesian regiment stationed in Yogyakarta.

Reportedly, at this time, Suharto was involved in helping various mafias that traded in opium (heroin). - (Suharto - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

In 1947 Suharto married Siti Hartinah, a Christian from a well connected family.

Siti Hartinah converted to Islam. She became known as 'Madame Ten Percent', a play on her name, Ibu Tien. When contracts were being given out she reportedly insisted on getting at least ten percent of the proceeds. Later, she was called 'Madame Fifty Percent'.
(Ibu Tien Buried Today)

Child labour

In 1949, most of Indonesia was given independence by the Dutch.

Between 1954 and 1959, Brigadier General Suharto was the commander responsible for Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces.

At this time he became friends with Chinese-Indonesian businessmen
Liem Sioe Liong and Bob Hasan and was involved with them in various 'business enterprises'.

Suharto reportedly became involved in a 1959 smuggling scandal and he was transferred to the army Staff College in Bandung. Later, Suharto became commander of the key
Kostrad regiment(Strategic Reserve). (Suharto - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Around 1956, the CIA and Britain's MI6 appear to have decided to topple Indonesia's President Sukarno, partly because he was 'non-aligned' rather than pro-American.

Indonesia did have a communist party, but in the world's biggest Moslem country, it was never likely to do particularly well in elections. The two biggest parties in Indonesia were Sukarno's Partai Nasional Indonesia and the Islamist party Masyumi.

Reportedly, the CIA had right-wing friends within the Indonesian military.
(Indonesia 1957-1958 KH)

Suharto was in the right-wing camp.

The CIA and Britain's MI6 began to arm various rebel groups in Indonesia.

In 1958, rebellions began to break out in various parts of Indonesia.


William Blum, in his book Killing Hope (Indonesia 1957-1958 KH), wrote:

"CIA pilots took to the air to carry out bombing and strafing missions in support of the rebels...

"Sukarno later claimed that on a Sunday morning in April, a plane bombed a ship in the harbor of the island of Ambon-all those aboard losing their lives-as well as hitting a church, which demolished the building and killed everyone inside

"He stated that 700 casualties had resulted from this single run.

"On 15 May, a CIA plane bombed the Ambon marketplace, killing a large number of civilians on their way to church on Ascension Thursday...

"Three days later, during another bombing run over Ambon, a CIA pilot, Allen Lawrence Pope, was shot down and captured...

"He was to spend four years as a prisoner in Indonesia before Sukarno acceded to a request from Robert Kennedy for his release.

"Pope was captured carrying a set of incriminating documents, including those which established him as a pilot for the US Air Force and the CIA airline CAT."

The CIA and its friends did their best to undermine the Indonesian economy.

In 1965, some kind of coup took place in Indonesia. By 1966, Suharto had emerged as the country's leader. He became president in 1968.

In the months that followed the coup, army death squads, often recruited from Muslim and Catholic youth groups, murdered up to one million people.

Bali and other parts of Indonesia were awash with blood.

The CIA is reported to have given the Indonesian military lists of people who were to be dealt with.

"Former deputy CIA station chief Joseph Lazarsky and former diplomat Edward Masters, who was Martens' boss, said CIA agents contributed in drawing up the death lists"
- [States News Service, 5/19/1990; Sydney Morning Herald, 7/10/1999; US Department of State, 2001 ]

According to Time Magazine, 17 December 1966 :

"The killings have been on such a scale that the disposal of the corpses has created a serious sanitation problem in East Java and Northern Sumatra where the humid air bears the reek of decaying flesh. Travellers from those areas tell of small rivers and streams that have been literally clogged with bodies."

Suharto now brought in his New Order government.

The military were to be the people who pulled the strings.

Every institution of any importance was to be dominated by the military. Everyone from cabinet minister to governors to village officials was likely to have a military connection. The military was to be involved in running various profitable businesses.

The USA stopped undermining the economy. Suharto allowed the USA and other western nations to invest and take control of many of the mining and other businesses in Indonesia.



Rural Poverty

The people who became rich were:

1. The indonesian generals

2. Members of Suharto's Golkar Party.

3. Suharto's Chinese-Indonesian business friends.

4. The Suharto family

5. Investers in companies like Freeport, linked to Henry Kissinger, which has a gold mine in Indonesia.

The military and Golkar acted as intermediaries between businesses and the Indonesian government. "This led to bribery, racketeering, and embezzlement. Funds from these practices often flowed to foundations (yayasan) controlled by the Suharto family." [21]

Melody Kemp ( The good, the bad and the hopeful - reflecting on Indonesia ) wrote:

"Soeharto, in effect, turned Indonesia into one huge franchising operation from which he and his family profited; and continue to do so."


Poverty

In 1975 Suharto invaded East Timor, having got the approval of President Ford and Henry Kissinger. (East Timor Revisited: Ford, Kissinger and the Indonesian Invasion ...)

At least one third of the population of East Timor died as a result of the invasion. (East Timor Revisited: Ford, Kissinger and the Indonesian Invasion ... )

In 1998 Suharto was toppled, apparently by the CIA.

At some point in the 1990s Suharto was seen by some Americans as having become too powerful and too independent minded.

Suharto was giving too many business contracts to his family and Chinese-Indonesian cronies, rather than to American companies like Ford.

Some people in the Pentagon considered the possibility of having a general such as Prabowo or Wiranto or Yuhhoyono take over.

In order to topple Suharto there would need to be riots.

In Indonesia, in the years 1997- 1998, there were riots in various parts of Indonesia. Some riots looked spontaneous and some looked as if they had been planned. (http://www.insideindonesia.org/edit50/riots.htm)

Intelligence agencies

In Indonesia, trouble is often organised by the spies. Back in the 1950s the British and American intelligence agencies had organised rebellions in various parts of Indonesia, in order to undermine President Sukarno.(http://www.westpapuanews.com/articles/publish/article_31.shtml)

The generals

In 1998 one of the key generals was Prabowo, son of Dr. Sumitro Djojohadikusumo, a former Finance Minister, said to have once worked with the British and the Americans against Sukarno.

Prabowo had learnt about terrorism at Fort Bragg and Fort Benning in the US. General Prabowo and terror (http://yayasanhak.minihub.org/mot/Prabowo.htm)

In May 1998, Prabowo was commander of Kostrad, the strategic reserve, the regiment Suharto commanded when he took power in 1965.

Prabowo's friend Muchdi ran Kopassus (special forces) and his friend Sjafrie ran the Jakarta Area Command.

General Wiranto, the overall head of the military, was seen as a rival to Prabowo.

The American Defence Secretary,
William Cohen, was in Jakarta in January 1998 and he visited both Prabowo and Wiranto.

The CIA chief had also been a recent visitor to Jakarta. The CIA and the Pentagon were close to both Prabowo and Wiranto. (http://solidarity.igc.org/atc/emily75.html)

Students

At the start of May 1998, students were holding peaceful demonstrations on university campuses across the country. They were protesting against massive price rises for fuel and energy, and they were demanding that President Suharto should step down.

On May 12th, students at Jakarta's Trisakti University, many of them the children of the elite, planned to march to parliament to present the government with their demands for reform. The police prevented the students from marching.

Some time after 5pm, uniformed men on motorcycles appeared on the flyover which overlooks Trisakti. Shots rang out. Four students were killed.

Riots of May 13-14

On the 13th of May there were reports of rioting in the area around Trisakti. President Suharto was attending a conference in Egypt and the military top brass went off to Malang in East Java to attend a ceremony.

On the 14th of May, serious rioting took place in the Jakarta area. There were no signs of any uniformed soldiers on the streets.

Deaths

Over 1,000 people died during these Jakarta riots, most having been burnt in malls and supermarkets but some having been shot or beaten.

Alleged involvement of the military in planning the riots

Father Sandyawan Sumardi, a 40-year-old Jesuit priest and son of a police chief, led an independent investigation into the events of May 1998.

As a member of the Team of Volunteers for Humanitarian Causes he interviewed people who had witnessed the alleged involvement of the military in organising the riots and rapes.
(http://www.indonesia-house.org/archive/mei98/The%20Riot%20Pattern%20in%20Jakarta%20and%20Surroundings%20-%20Beberapa%20Pola%20dalam%20Kerusuhan%20Massa.htm) (http://www.asiaweek.com/asiaweek/98/0626/nat_6_indoriots.html)

A security officer alleged that Kopassus (special forces) officers had ordered the burning down of a bank;

a taxi driver reported hearing a man in a military helicopter encouraging people on the ground to carry out looting;

shop-owners at a Plaza claimed that, before the riots, military officers tried to extract protection money;

a teenager claimed he and thousands of others had been trained as protesters;

a street child alleged that Kopassus officers ordered him and and his friends to become rioters;

there was a report of soldiers being dressed up as students and then taking part in rioting;

eyewitnesses spoke of muscular men with short haircuts arriving in military-style trucks and directing attacks on Chinese homes and businesses.

There were reports of children being encouraged to enter malls and then of the malls being set on fire;

there were allegations that muscular men with short haircuts had gang-raped little Chinese girls and then murdered some of them.

Suharto told he had lost the support of the military

Some of Suharto's former allies deserted him. Wiranto allowed students to occupy Parliament. Reportedly Wiranto reported to Suharto on May 20th that Suharto no longer had the support of the army. Suharto was forced to resign on May 21 and was replaced by Habibie, his Vice President.

The continuing importance of the military

Wiranto remained as chief of the armed forces. Wiranto's troops began removing the students from the parliament building.

One result of the May riots was that the military appeared to remain the power behind the throne. In 2004, General Yudhoyono became president.


~~

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The growing influence of China and Russia in Indonesia


The influence of China and Russia in South East Asia is growing, as US influence appears to be on the decline.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a mutual-security organization founded in 2001, has China and Russia as its main members.

China and Indonesia plan to expand military ties and cooperate in manufacturing defense equipment. ( Indonesia and China expand defense ties)

China's imports of Southeast Asian goods, from 1997 to 2006, rose 674%. China now probably buys more from Southeast Asia than from the US.

China and the Philippines signed 20 economic agreements in January 2007. (China's Soft Power)

According to an article in Asia Times, by Bill Guerin, the United States, China and Russia are all competing for influence in Southeast Asia. (Asia Times Online :: Southeast Asia news - Indonesia-Russia: Arms ...)

Indonesia has made agreements with Russia, which include arms, energy and trade deals.

Indonesia and Russia have an agreement to develop stronger military cooperation.

In recent decades, Indonesia got most of its armaments from the US and Europe.

In 1991, public reaction to Indonesian massacres in East Timor forced the US to impose restrictions on arms sales.

In 1997 Indonesia was hit by a financial crisis and Russia began to negotiate with Indonesia about selling armaments that were cheaper than those supplied by the US.

In 1998 Suharto was toppled, reportedly by the CIA and its friends in the indonesian military.

In 1999, the US again reduced military cooperation with Indonesia, after Indonesia-backed militias and security forces killed thousands of people in East Timor, after the 1999 vote for independence from Indonesia.

In 2002, bombs went off in Bali and many Indonesians blamed the CIA and its friends in the Indonesian military and police. However, Indonesia's President Megawati, thought to be tool of certain generals, was happy to receive aid from the US to help in the fight against 'terrorism'.

In 2003, the US invaded Iraq. Indonesia, the world's biggest Moslem nation, was not happy.

In 2003, Moscow arranged for Indonesia to receive fighter jet, armoured personnel carriers and assault helicopters.

In 2005, the US lifted its arms embargo on Indonesia, but the Indonesian generals were not keen to buy expensive American equipment. (Asia Times Online :: Southeast Asia news - Indonesia-Russia: Arms ...)

In 2006, Indonesian Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono said that the Russian deal would wean Indonesia from its historical dependence on US military products.

At the same time, China began supplying Indonesia with short-range missile technology. (Asia Times Online :: Southeast Asia news - Indonesia-Russia: Arms ...)

Indonesia is strategically very important:

1. It has oil and gas

2. It guards important sea lanes which take Middle East oil to China.

3. It has a large military

In 2006, President George W Bush visited Indonesia and there were angry protests across the country.

Indonesia, like Iran, has nuclear ambitions, and has shown an interest in Russian nuclear technology. (Asia Times Online :: Southeast Asia news - Indonesia-Russia: Arms ... )

Russian companies are now taking an interest in oil and gas projects in Indonesia.
Texaco, ExxonMobil, Unocal and Conoco will not be happy.

Expect the spies to be busy in Indonesia?


~~~

Alliances

Jakarta

Indonesia, with the fourth largest population in the world, appears to be distancing itself from the USA and siding more with Russia and China.

Indonesia-Russia: Arms, atoms and oil

Monday, January 14, 2008

SUHARTO


Some people claim that Suharto benefited Indonesia.

However, Indonesia under Suharto made much less progress than its neighbours Singapore and Malaysia.

Indonesia under Suharto spent a very small proportion of its wealth on schools or hospitals or housing for the poor.

Housing for the poor

Visitors to Jakarta during the Suharto years may have seen glitzy skyscrapers being built, but they may not have seen the malnourished children hidden away in the slums or in certain rural areas, and they may not have noticed the killing going on in West Papua or Aceh or East Timor.
Often the Suharto government statistics about progress were as accurate as those from Stalinist Russia.

Malnutrition and TB

The Suharto legacy is a country where many roads are full of potholes, many rural schools look as if they are falling down, many sick children die because their parents cannot afford medicine, many hillsides have been stripped of their trees, and the American trained generals are still pulling the strings.

No money for typhoid medicine

It has often been alleged that Suharto's father was a wealthy Chinese-Indonesian merchant and that Suharto was an illegitimate child.

"The absence of official documentation and certain aspects of Suharto's early life that are inconsistent with that of a Javanese peasant (Suharto received, for example, an education fairly early on), has led to several rumors of Suharto being the illegitimate child of a well-off benefactor, which included a being the child of a Yogyakarta aristocrat or well-off Chinese Indonesian merchant. Western biographer R.E. Elson believes that such rumors cannot be entirely ruled out." - Suharto - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Suharto learnt much about militarism from the Japanese army.

During World War II, Suharto worked for the Japanese controlled police force and then for the Japanese-controlled militia, the Peta.

In 1945, with the collapse of Japan, Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta declared the independence of Indonesia. This independence was not accepted by the Dutch or the British and led to conflict.
In 1946, Suharto became head of an Indonesian regiment stationed in Yogyakarta.

Reportedly, at this time, Suharto was involved in helping various mafias that traded in opium (heroin). - (Suharto - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

In 1947 Suharto married Siti Hartinah, a Christian from a well connected family.

Siti Hartinah converted to Islam. She became known as 'Madame Ten Percent', a play on her name, Ibu Tien. When contracts were being given out she reportedly insisted on getting at least ten percent of the proceeds. Later, she was called 'Madame Fifty Percent'. (Ibu Tien Buried Today)
Child labour

In 1949, most of Indonesia was given independence by the Dutch.

Between 1954 and 1959, Brigadier General Suharto was the commander responsible for Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces.

At this time he became friends with Chinese-Indonesian businessmen Liem Sioe Liong and Bob Hasan and was involved with them in various 'business enterprises'.

Suharto reportedly became involved in a 1959 smuggling scandal and he was transferred to the army Staff College in Bandung. Later, Suharto became commander of the key Kostrad regiment(Strategic Reserve). (Suharto - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Around 1956, the CIA and Britain's MI6 appear to have decided to topple Indonesia's President Sukarno, partly because he was 'non-aligned' rather than pro-American.

Indonesia did have a communist party, but in the world's biggest Moslem country, it was never likely to do particularly well in elections. The two biggest parties in Indonesia were Sukarno's Partai Nasional Indonesia and the Islamist party Masyumi.

Reportedly, the CIA had right-wing friends within the Indonesian military. (Indonesia 1957-1958 KH)

Suharto was in the right-wing camp.

The CIA and Britain's MI6 began to arm various rebel groups in Indonesia.

In 1958, rebellions began to break out in various parts of Indonesia.

William Blum, in his book Killing Hope (Indonesia 1957-1958 KH), wrote:

"CIA pilots took to the air to carry out bombing and strafing missions in support of the rebels...

"Sukarno later claimed that on a Sunday morning in April, a plane bombed a ship in the harbor of the island of Ambon-all those aboard losing their lives-as well as hitting a church, which demolished the building and killed everyone inside

"He stated that 700 casualties had resulted from this single run.

"On 15 May, a CIA plane bombed the Ambon marketplace, killing a large number of civilians on their way to church on Ascension Thursday...

"Three days later, during another bombing run over Ambon, a CIA pilot, Allen Lawrence Pope, was shot down and captured...

"He was to spend four years as a prisoner in Indonesia before Sukarno acceded to a request from Robert Kennedy for his release.

"Pope was captured carrying a set of incriminating documents, including those which established him as a pilot for the US Air Force and the CIA airline CAT."

The CIA and its friends did their best to undermine the Indonesian economy.

In 1965, some kind of coup took place in Indonesia. By 1966, Suharto had emerged as the country's leader. He became president in 1968.

In the months that followed the coup, army death squads, often recruited from Muslim and Catholic youth groups, murdered up to one million people.

Bali and other parts of Indonesia were awash with blood.

The CIA is reported to have given the Indonesian military lists of people who were to be dealt with.

"Former deputy CIA station chief Joseph Lazarsky and former diplomat Edward Masters, who was Martens' boss, said CIA agents contributed in drawing up the death lists" - [States News Service, 5/19/1990; Sydney Morning Herald, 7/10/1999; US Department of State, 2001 ]

According to Time Magazine, 17 December 1966 :

"The killings have been on such a scale that the disposal of the corpses has created a serious sanitation problem in East Java and Northern Sumatra where the humid air bears the reek of decaying flesh. Travellers from those areas tell of small rivers and streams that have been literally clogged with bodies."

Suharto now brought in his New Order government.

The military were to be the people who pulled the strings.

Every institution of any importance was to be dominated by the military. Everyone from cabinet minister to governors to village officials was likely to have a military connection. The military was to be involved in running various profitable businesses.

The USA stopped undermining the economy. Suharto allowed the USA and other western nations to invest and take control of many of the mining and other businesses in Indonesia.

Rural Poverty
The people who became rich were:

1. The indonesian generals

2. Members of Suharto's Golkar Party.

3. Suharto's Chinese-Indonesian business friends.

4. The Suharto family

5. Investers in companies like Freeport, linked to Henry Kissinger, which has a gold mine in Indonesia.

The military and Golkar acted as intermediaries between businesses and the Indonesian government. "This led to bribery, racketeering, and embezzlement. Funds from these practices often flowed to foundations (yayasan) controlled by the Suharto family." [21]

Melody Kemp ( The good, the bad and the hopeful - reflecting on Indonesia ) wrote:

"Soeharto, in effect, turned Indonesia into one huge franchising operation from which he and his family profited; and continue to do so."

Poverty
In 1975 Suharto invaded East Timor, having got the approval of President Ford and Henry Kissinger. (East Timor Revisited: Ford, Kissinger and the Indonesian Invasion ...)

At least one third of the population of East Timor died as a result of the invasion. (East Timor Revisited: Ford, Kissinger and the Indonesian Invasion ... )

In 1998 Suharto was toppled, apparently by the CIA.

At some point in the 1990s Suharto was seen by some Americans as having become too powerful and too independent minded.

Suharto was giving too many business contracts to his family and Chinese-Indonesian cronies, rather than to American companies like Ford.

Some people in the Pentagon considered the possibility of having a general such as Prabowo or Wiranto or Yuhhoyono take over.

In order to topple Suharto there would need to be riots.

In Indonesia, in the years 1997- 1998, there were riots in various parts of Indonesia. Some riots looked spontaneous and some looked as if they had been planned. (http://www.insideindonesia.org/edit50/riots.htm)

Intelligence agencies

In Indonesia, trouble is often organised by the spies. Back in the 1950s the British and American intelligence agencies had organised rebellions in various parts of Indonesia, in order to undermine President Sukarno.(http://www.westpapuanews.com/articles/publish/article_31.shtml)

The generals

In 1998 one of the key generals was Prabowo, son of Dr. Sumitro Djojohadikusumo, a former Finance Minister, said to have once worked with the British and the Americans against Sukarno.

Prabowo had learnt about terrorism at Fort Bragg and Fort Benning in the US. General Prabowo and terror (http://yayasanhak.minihub.org/mot/Prabowo.htm)

In May 1998, Prabowo was commander of Kostrad, the strategic reserve, the regiment Suharto commanded when he took power in 1965.

Prabowo's friend Muchdi ran Kopassus (special forces) and his friend Sjafrie ran the Jakarta Area Command.

General Wiranto, the overall head of the military, was seen as a rival to Prabowo.

The American Defence Secretary,
William Cohen, was in Jakarta in January 1998 and he visited both Prabowo and Wiranto.

The CIA chief had also been a recent visitor to Jakarta. The CIA and the Pentagon were close to both Prabowo and Wiranto. (http://solidarity.igc.org/atc/emily75.html)

Students

At the start of May 1998, students were holding peaceful demonstrations on university campuses across the country. They were protesting against massive price rises for fuel and energy, and they were demanding that President Suharto should step down.

On May 12th, students at Jakarta's Trisakti University, many of them the children of the elite, planned to march to parliament to present the government with their demands for reform. The police prevented the students from marching.

Some time after 5pm, uniformed men on motorcycles appeared on the flyover which overlooks Trisakti. Shots rang out. Four students were killed.

Riots of May 13-14

On the 13th of May there were reports of rioting in the area around Trisakti. President Suharto was attending a conference in Egypt and the military top brass went off to Malang in East Java to attend a ceremony.

On the 14th of May, serious rioting took place in the Jakarta area. There were no signs of any uniformed soldiers on the streets.

Deaths

Over 1,000 people died during these Jakarta riots, most having been burnt in malls and supermarkets but some having been shot or beaten.

Alleged involvement of the military in planning the riots

Father Sandyawan Sumardi, a 40-year-old Jesuit priest and son of a police chief, led an independent investigation into the events of May 1998.

As a member of the Team of Volunteers for Humanitarian Causes he interviewed people who had witnessed the alleged involvement of the military in organising the riots and rapes.
(http://www.indonesia-house.org/archive/mei98/The%20Riot%20Pattern%20in%20Jakarta%20and%20Surroundings%20-%20Beberapa%20Pola%20dalam%20Kerusuhan%20Massa.htm) (http://www.asiaweek.com/asiaweek/98/0626/nat_6_indoriots.html)

A security officer alleged that Kopassus (special forces) officers had ordered the burning down of a bank;

a taxi driver reported hearing a man in a military helicopter encouraging people on the ground to carry out looting;

shop-owners at a Plaza claimed that, before the riots, military officers tried to extract protection money;

a teenager claimed he and thousands of others had been trained as protesters;

a street child alleged that Kopassus officers ordered him and and his friends to become rioters;

there was a report of soldiers being dressed up as students and then taking part in rioting;

eyewitnesses spoke of muscular men with short haircuts arriving in military-style trucks and directing attacks on Chinese homes and businesses.

There were reports of children being encouraged to enter malls and then of the malls being set on fire;

there were allegations that muscular men with short haircuts had gang-raped little Chinese girls and then murdered some of them.

Suharto told he had lost the support of the military

Some of Suharto's former allies deserted him. Wiranto allowed students to occupy Parliament. Reportedly Wiranto reported to Suharto on May 20th that Suharto no longer had the support of the army. Suharto was forced to resign on May 21 and was replaced by Habibie, his Vice President.

The continuing importance of the military

Wiranto remained as chief of the armed forces. Wiranto's troops began removing the students from the parliament building.

One result of the May riots was that the military appeared to remain the power behind the throne. In 2004, General Yudhoyono became president.


~~

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Washington plan to turn Indonesia into a poorer version of Saudi Arabia?



The May 1998 riots in Jakarta, apparently organised by the CIA and elements of the military, changed very little in Indonesia.

In 1998 Suharto stepped down and elections were held.

But, the generals, and families like the Suhartos, still pull the strings.

Indonesia's President Yudhoyono is a former Suharto general.

In Indonesia, the poor are getting poorer .

There is a danger that Indonesia will eventually become an impoverished version of Saudi Arabia if true democracy is not soon intoduced.

Perhaps that is the plan in Washington.


The fascist elements may be only too happy to use the Islamists to frustrate democracy.

~~

Melody Kemp, at onlineopinion.com, 10 January 2008, has an utterly brilliant article on Indonesia entitled:

The good, the bad and the hopeful - reflecting on Indonesia

She writes:

The old town known as Kota (in Jakarta) ... is now a no-go area where violence and drug taking have escalated...

Toll roads still owned by the Soeharto family, are groaning with cars...

People look more stressed than before. As the cost of living hikes leave more and more poor behind, crime and meaningless jobs multiply alongside each other...

And the rich are richer... We stayed at the very popular Novotel... The hotel is now surrounded by multimillion dollar homes. Huge mansions bristling with stainless steel three-storey high windows and doubtless, an alarming number of bathrooms. I wondered hopefully if the owners paid taxes.

For the first time an Indonesian, the Minister for Social Welfare, made the list of Forbes 100 richest men. He is at the centre of the case of the ongoing destructive mud eruptions in East Java that have made life misery for many Indonesians. And for which the good Minister for Social Welfare refuses to take any responsibility.

Indonesia’s problem is not poverty but distribution. And the powers-that-be continue to refuse to acknowledge this - as do aid donors, including Australia. Policies that favour the rich, such as education fees, are still promulgated by the World Bank, eager it seems to live up to its reputation as an instrument of blind capitalism...

The World Bank, we were told by one of their consultants, had earmarked a US$800 million loan, ready to go.

Apparently no planning guidelines, or projects had been identified, nor guidelines for disbursal, monitoring or evaluation. It was simply a “give ‘em the loan and saddle ‘em with debt” strategy...

Soeharto, in effect, turned Indonesia into one huge franchising operation from which he and his family profited; and continue to do so.

The recent Bali Climate Carnival was held in Soeharto-owned hotels. While Sadam killed thousands and was hanged, Soeharto stole from and killed millions, and lives on. Justice is not a notable feature of Indonesia, or of American patronage...

The ABC Asian news services recently trumpeted that Jema’ah Islamiya had a membership of 9,000 ... What they failed to add was that in a population of 260 million, 9,000 does not represent recruitment success.

Repeatedly Islamic parties do poorly in the elections. Radical Islam is less popular than Family First.

But that could change. Officials in the Ministry of Religion are beginning to acknowledge that Indonesia could soon be an Islamic state given current Western inspired wars, impoverishment of Muslim communities, ongoing judicial corruption and mismanagement of community conflicts and misdirected aid...

Islamic schools are free and are used increasingly by the poor in the wake of user-pays education cost rises...

Indonesian’s major complaint to me was that user-pays education excludes the poor ...

Into this come the Muslim carpetbaggers from Malaysia and Saudi Arabia using Syhari’a principles to influence Indonesian children to take up the puritan form that they espouse.

I noticed a greater number of swathed heads and long gowns as well as an increase in the number of tragic threadbare beards...

But the message is the Saudi influence is biting.

The way to combat radical Islam is not by weapons, spies and training police, but by supporting the majority of moderate Muslims who want a good education for their children to open the doors of opportunity for which they don’t have the key.

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The following is taken from an article on tourism in Asia which appeared in the December 17, 2006 edition of Media Indonesia..

Total foreign tourists to Indonesia in 2006 totaled 4.8 million compared to 9.7 million arrivals to Singapore, 13.8 to Thailand and 17.5 million to Malaysia...

The European Union's ban on Indonesian aviation... has particularly crippled remote areas of Indonesia dependent on tourism such as Nias, Toraja, Maluku and Papua.

In late October of 2007 the World Economic Forum (WEF) published a competitive index for tourism. That index placed Indonesia at the 60th ranking, behind Singapore at No. 8, Malaysia No. 31 and Thailand No. 43.
- Ex-tourism head takes a swipe at uneven promotion of Indonesia

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