Once again, wise man William Blum peels back a rancid layer of historical hypocrisy to show the maggoty truth of militarism underneath. From his Anti-Empire Report for June 13, 2005, at Killing Hope:
Reforming the Indonesian Military -- For 40 Years. An excerpt:
On May 25, President Bush stated that it makes sense for the United States to maintain close military ties with Indonesia, despite the objections of human rights activists...Bush made his remarks after meeting with the Indonesian president, who, Bush added, "told me he's in the process of reforming the military, and I believe him."
Indonesian officials saying they're going to reform the military is like officials in Nevada saying they're going to crack down on gambling. For 40 years the Indonesian military has engaged in mass murder and other atrocities, in Jakarta, East Timor, Aceh, Papua, and elsewhere, taking the lives of well over a million people, including several Americans in recent years....For 40 years, American officials have been saying that they have to continue training and arming Indonesia's military because the contact with the American military will have some kind of ennobling effect. For 40 years it has had no such effect at all. As Senator Tom Harkin (D.-Iowa) observed in 1999: "I have seen no evidence in my 24 years in Congress of one instance where because of American military involvement with another military that the Americans have stopped that foreign army from carrying out atrocities against their own people. No evidence, none."
Yet the pretense continues, for what else can an American official say? Something like this? -- "We don't care how brutal the Indonesian military is because they got rid of Sukarno and his irritating nationalism for us, and for 40 years they've been killing people we call communists, killing people we call terrorists, and protecting our oil, natural gas, mining, and other corporate interests against Indonesian protestors. Now if that's not freedom and democracy, I don't know what is."