Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Military, The Rule of Law, The Islamists


On 22 January 2009, at Asia Times, Gary LaMoshi wrote: Indonesia's center is shrinking

Among the points made (our comments in brackets):

1. The military are still very important.

The military "lurks deep in the background.

The armed forces remain in businesses, legally and otherwise, and often beyond the reach of the law."

(The USA put the military into power in 1965 and the present president is a former Suharto general. The military is the real power in the country and the key generals were trained in the USA. Some suspect that the Bali Bombing is linked to Indonesian military intelligence and its CIA friends.)



2. There are still doubts about the rule of law in Indonesia.

In 2004 the anti-military human rights activist Munir was poisoned.

This murder "carries the obvious fingerprints of the military's National Intelligence Bureau."

"But its former deputy chairman, Muchdi Purwoprindjono, was acquitted on charges of ordering the murder last month."

(None of the military who committed genocide in East Timor are in jail.)

Munir's successor called the acquittal "a serious step backward in democracy and rule of law in Indonesia"



3. There are question marks about the Islamists and about sex in Indonesia.

Tourism has been affected by the political situation.

(It is suspected that the elite would rather work with Islamists than with parties representing the poor. The CIA's friend Saudi Arabia has poured in money for the building of palatial mosques and the spreading of a more fundamentalist form of religion. The feudal system works better with fundamentalist beliefs. However, most Indonesians remain moderate, liberal and friendly!)

In Tangerang, site of Jakarta's international airport, women out after dark without a male relative have been subject to arrest.

(There have traditionally been huge numbers of brothel girls in this area)

An anti-pornography bill has been brought in.

(Indonesia has been reported to have had a flourishing porn industry.)

(The hard-line Islamists are often simply militias that are used by the elite to enforce the feudal system.)

Suharto used paramilitary youth groups for his political dirty work.


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