Date: Tue, 15 Oct 2002 14:55 +0200 To: B*M*M* CC: A*J*H*, &o
BMM wrote on Mon, 14 Oct 2002 15:28:20 -0700: > Gee, everybody has already jumped on the "blame the usual suspects" > bandwagon as regards the Bali bombing... > > I have this nasty suspicion that: > a) We'll never get all the facts, because we've already found a conclusion > that suits all the right agendas. > b) A group within the Indonesian armed forces engineered the event, in > order to discredit the civilian government, sabotage Hamzah Haz (and > possibly Ms. Sukarnoputri) and the islamists, and precipitate a major > political crackdown. > c) This will mean savage repression in all the usual irredentist areas of > Indonesia, with US blessing. > d) We're gonna send lots of material and advisors over there, quietly and > without any civil oversight. > e) The Indonesian armed forces will take over the state's oil interests in > Aceh, while engaging in a program of extra-judicial killing of the educated > classes among the Acehnese - they're all nasty Muslim extremists, don't you > know. > > In the sixties and seventies, when the commies were the bad guys, the > Indonesian army accused all dissidents, separatists, and anybody who didn't > cooperate with the army of being communists. But 'Muslim Extremist' is so > much more suited to the modern era, don't you think?
In 1965 too the army blamed the killing of six generals on the commies, though it was actually army people, reportedly even with knowledge of Soeharto. And the recent killings in Irian Jaya, did the army not try to blame that on the Papuan guerilla? Persistent clues tend however to point at elements of the KOPASSUS instead....
But we mustn't be too quick in jumping at conlusions. It is more complex.
On one side, the army is not ideologically monolithic, and the so-called "Thaliban faction" in the army is actually sort of a pain in the neck to the more prevalent "Red-and-White faction". On the other side, the army has been on the defensive since Soeharto's abdication, and sees its only chance of survival through difficult times in falling back on an extremely primitive variety of esprit-de-corps, referred to by army brass as "the mutual solidarity of the armed forces".
The latter means an allround cover-up of all corrupt racketeering and other criminal activities of higher and lower ranks, also of crimes against civilians in Irian Jaya, Aceh and elswhere, particularly also of complicity and responsibility of senior officers in the massacres in East Timor. The problem with this sort of thing for something like an army is, that you can't make exceptions, because you can't keep things secret within the ranks. So "Thaliban" factioneers must be accorded the same protection as their "Red-and-White" comrades in arms.
This is perhaps one reason why Indonesia remained the exception when Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines joined forces to round up Muslim fundamentalist suspects of terrorist activities. It would have disrupted "mutual solidarity" within the armed forces. Another reason, of course, is that the so-called Muslim "axis" parties allowed themselves to be instrumentalized by the army in the latter's show-down with former President Abdurrahman Wahid.
Indeed, if the present civilian administration under Megawati Soekarnoputri gives the impression of being too soft on the army, then this is not because of some naiveness of the President, as some commentators might suspect. She is merely complying to the hard realities which had led to Abdurrahman Wahid's failure. So, if the army is uncapable of adopting a hard line against Muslim fundamentalist terror in Indonesia because of its own commitments towards Muslim "axis" parties and the "Thaliban faction" within its ranks, then it leaves the civilian government no other option but to fend off all diplomatic pressure from abroad for such a hard line.
Now, on the one hand, the "Red-and-White" faction wouldn't actually be too sorry to undermine the influence of their "Thaliban" comrades, and the Bali bombings may just be the right opportunity. On the other hand, the number of Australian victims of the Bali bombings will make it difficult for the Australian conservative government to hold back incriminating evidence the way it did with evidence implicating Indonesian generals in the East Timor massacres. Incidentally, I'm surprised that the Oz press hasn't brought up this aspect yet. After all, who knows whether there would have been a Bali bomb, if there had been sufficient hard evidence to implicate Indonesian generals in the East Timor massacre....
The present statement of the army speaker, conceding at last that al-Qaida is apparently operative in Indonesia after all, may be a first signal. It remains to be seen, whether the Australian government and the Rumsfeld faction in the US administration will be prepared to capitalize on this to bring about effective inclusion of Indonesia in the steps against terror being taken in Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines.
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2002 15:48 +0200 To: A*J*H* CC: B*M*M*, &o
AJH wrote on Wed, 16 Oct 2002 14:13:32 +0200: > Thanks for your interesting explanation of the Indonesian political > situation. Where can we place vice president mr Hamza Haz for not just > defending hard-line Muslim organisations but supporting a Yemenite group as > wel. This group planned to attack the American embassy and after their > "unmasking" were allowed to leave the country.
Seems to be quite an accomplished hypocrit. But the precipitous allround directing of blame to others which he's busied himself with these days perhaps betrays a semblance of guilty conscience. Having a conscience is of course very unprofessional for politickers of his calibre. There were reports in today's press that others apparently also took notice of Hamzah Haz's conscience problems, and suggested that a more self-critical attitude could help. I don't really know......
> What is your opinion of the struggle for power between the armed forces on > one side and the Indonesian National Police forces on the other side? Are > there implications for the Indonesian political parties in terms of choosing > sides?
The picture I get from local clashes between army and police is that they're merely fighting for territory in the racket and protection market. This might provide points for placing political pressure, but any strategic plans of using the one against the other would probably be highly opportunistic. I'm actually wondering, why is the navy lying low all this while.....