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Foreign governments' foreign policies regarding Indonesia; especially the USA, Britain & Australia

Australia, Britain and USAOh don't worry, I am not going to fire off one of those wretched conspiracy theories, although I will repeat someone else's about West Papua. No, I am just going to state a few facts about the English speaking axis of evil weasels regarding their foreign policy blunders generally and the USA, Britain and Australia's historical duplicitous nastiness over Indonesia; how they turned against their allies in favour of power and massive bucks.

Even though the USA accepts the Indonesian military function primarily to suppress their own population through human rights abuse, the USA still provides Indonesia with military funding, equipment and training. The more I learn about predominantly English speaking western government's foreign policies, the more I feel both shame and a burning desire to rid the world of their self-interested follies, not least for our own sakes.

I watched King Tony (Tony Blair) squirm like the lying worm I believe he is after he was pulled up by a TV reporter (not under government or supporting corporative control) regarding Saddam Hussein's guilty verdict and death sentence. Blair said he welcomed the verdict and was immediately asked if this didn't contradict his own personal and his party's stand on the death penalty! Despite Blair trying every spin in the book he squarely ended up with egg on his face, especially as such a devout Christian as he aspires, and with it detailed western foreign policy; selfishness, lies, false piety and duplicity. You know "duplicity"; that is where you say or do something but practice and / or deliver something else. Just as the reason for invading Iraq was clearly nothing to do with the pathetic claims Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, also having one rule for your own electorate and another rule for somebody else's is equally vile in my book. Of course this duplicitous nasty nature is echoed by the beneficiaries of western foreign policy, the large western corporations whose overseas operations would be unlawful at home if they attempted the same employment and environmental practices as they do in places like Indonesia.

I am not a great fan of Saddam Hussein to say the least, but I believe Iraq and before it Vietnam and the Suez "crisis" have changed the knee jerk unfounded acceptance by westerners that their governments are doing the right thing overseas. I wonder how mass murderer Hussein can be tried by an Iraqi court when it is clear the country would violently break into fragments if it were not for US, British and Australian armed forces there stopping it. How it can therefore claim to be Iraqi, not a proxy western trial is beyond me. Surely, under the circumstances with no stable unified Iraq to legitimately try Saddam Hussein, he should have been tried in a UN convened court. I wonder if trying Hussein in a clearly puppet court of the USA was done on the basis it would curtail an anti-western backlash, and whether the fact a UN court might impose a jail sentence not death penalty was unacceptable to an equally pious Christian Evangelist George W Bush whose father was threatened with assassination by Hussein, or both. Finally why Iraq in the first place? Why not North Korea? Is it Iraq has oil and no powerful friends while North Korea has nothing except bankruptcy and Chinese support?

So I hope we all agree then that International diplomacy is a nasty business and its grinning practitioners are mainly if not all nasty frauds who will one day burn in hell. But don't our governments have to play by another set of rules overseas in order to deliver economic benefits back home to the voters? To do deals with human rights abusing countries while feigning economic sanctions such as the British regarding Burma, which has every sanction going against its murderous military junta which uses landmines in fields to prevent independence seeking tribes people from growing food and thus starving them, while British Petroleum and a host of other British companies actually and many say unlawfully conduct lucrative business there; the UK is the top red listed sanction buster regarding Burma / Myanmar. Well, that is not OK, but it would at least be better if Tony Blair and friends would come clean over their countries' real foreign policies. At least be honest with your voters George, Tony and John; let them know that you are at best turning a blind eye to international crime while blowing your pious soap box trumpets on the foreign stage.

Perhaps our governments and major corporations do need to stiff other people and to be equally as corrupt as the likes of the Burmese and Indonesian governments (while lying to us about it so we can sleep at night), in order to bring the big bucks home that keep all the voters happy. I personally think not, I think the financial beneficiaries involve corporations who provide "healthy" political donations and whose wealthy share holders enjoy overseas tax advantages on their ill gotten gains. For the humble workers of the English speaking western world I can only cite some interesting facts that show it is you that also get stiffed; although not to the same degree as the Indonesian people for example. First and most importantly, Indonesian is a G20 country; it is reportedly one of the top 20 most wealthy countries in the world yet around 140,000,000 Indonesians are below the poverty line, why? Why does such a wealthy country have so many malnourished and increasingly dangerously disaffected citizens and yet "need" so much foreign aid? Is it because the wealth that makes Indonesia a G20 nation with apparently the worst division of wealth in the world because the money never reaches the country itself; it is taken by the large corporations and military connected wealthy families of Indonesia's burgeoning offshore bank accounts? But perhaps all that we think is aid is not!

Australia for example in 2006 announced a massive $3,336,300,000 in financial assistance to the Indonesian Government; that equates to around $170 from every Australian man, woman and child. But is this actually aid? It does not appear so because later that year a G20 report stated Australia was actually the least generous nation per capita of the world's 20 most wealthy nations in giving true aid worldwide, yes worldwide (not just Indonesia) by giving just $2,090,000,000 (AUD) or 0.25% of their GNI (Gross National Income); France was the most generous with 0.48%, nearly double that of Australia. So why does the G20 report show a yearly 2 billion AUD worldwide aid budget by Australia and yet Australian Government figures show almost 1 and a half times that for Indonesia alone? Is it because the money for Indonesia, despite the package names given to it by John Howard and co (State budget aid, Development assistance aid, etc.) does not actually count as aid because it amounts to Indonesian government bungs? And just look at what happens when you bail out the Indonesian Government with even real aid for Aceh's post earthquake and tsunami rebuilding "program". Australia's CARE head in Aceh Robert Glasser (using diplomatic language you can easily read between the lines) says the $10 billion (AUD) rebuilding project is being hampered by "aid delivery flaws" and says of this "It ranges from petty laziness and poor supervision, substitution of poor quality materials and bigger procurement issues". So what has the $10,000,000,000 bought the west according to Mr. Glasser? Yellow fibro shack, held together with duct tape and built without water, sewerage or power in the middle of a flood plain with people involved pocketing reconstruction funds.

If you want to start your own conspiracy theory, perhaps you could reflect upon the fact that news of the massive and highly dubious payments deal to the Indonesian government, which was confirmed on the Australian Government web site although but not so prominently and was not carried on any of the main English speaking news web sites (you could only find details of it on Chinese and French sites). The questions the above raises is a) Why is Australia seemingly as secretly as possible giving so much money to the Indonesian Government but not to Indonesian aid agencies given Canberra surely knows perhaps 80% of that $3,336,300,000 of Australian tax payers money will likely end up in corrupt officials' pockets; it seems Howard is totally playing the Indonesian corruption bung fiddle, and therefore b) does the economic benefit of the Australian Government being potentially ultimately as bent as Indonesia actually benefit the average Australian voter / family by the same measure or does the return buck end up benefiting somewhere or rather someone else? I understand the likes of Rio Tinto, Freeport, BHP-Billiton, BP, etc. make billions from their Indonesian operations, but do you and I really benefit from this?

I am not an economist, but I do not believe the everyday people of Britain, Australia and the USA benefit in any way, shape or form from our government's foreign policies and the resulting support for at best very shady practices by our major corporations. It is a fact that certain armaments deals conducted by British Alvis PLC with the Indonesian military during and with the support of Tony Blair's government would be illegal today; I know because the British newspaper who said so (The Guardian) and who won the right to say so in court uses the same London law firm as I do. So I have to ask, just because the law was different a few years back, does that make the British Government's action under King Tony Blair somehow acceptable today? Alvis PLC with Tony Blair's British Government approval even support, sold armored vehicles to Indonesia with corruption rake-offs and substantial bungs to government ministers, almost certainly knowing the tanks would be used against Indonesian or rather Indonesian afflicted civilians. What was the British Government's true economic justification for selling weapons of mass civilian murder to Indonesia? Why, it was because the South Koreans would get the business otherwise. So stated principles get discretely abandoned overseas because everyone else is at it too.

OK, fair enough I say, but why don't you tell us the truth so we can decide at election time whether a few hundred state murdered Indonesian lives and Indonesian politicians receiving huge bungs of effectively our money are worth the export dollars? Of course therein lies the other problem doesn't it? The reason western governments can get away with their lies back home. The problem is of the western electorate and our own "I'm alright Jack, the government say they are doing the right thing and we have to go along with that. Another cold Bintang here Ketut and make it quick!" attitudes. After all, the economic and spiritual suppression of Indonesia or rather Bali brings with it some equally selfish short term benefits to Mr. Average Westerner; subservient Balinese and cheap(ish) holiday prices. Who really wants to be told the truth; it would put a real damper on the Nesi Goreng and palm tree feast. Actually I believe foreign policy ethics would cost Joe Public less than perhaps perceived, but again I am not an economist. The political, ethical and legal problem I have is that western governments can and do lie through their teeth. The personal problem I have is that our selfish reluctance to ultimately accord the Balinese with the same rights and even respect we demand is both repugnant and dangerous. Don't forget, my wife is Balinese; I know about how the Balinese suffer while indecent amounts of foreign currency flow into and then flow straight out of Bali. I also believe the pseudo-colonial attitudes of westerners conveniently taking their own politicians at face value over foreign affairs, when they know what these power mongers are up to, is creating a divided and very dangerous world for us all.

The eventual problem is there in history for us to see and for us to realize what awaits us and our children. When the USA fought their proxy colonial war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, they trained the Mujahadine in guerilla tactics such as bomb making. When the Soviets left Afghanistan, so did the Americans; they created regional military bases in Saudi Arabia near Islam's holiest sites such as Mecca, which somewhat annoyed the very people they had trained in guerilla warfare. This annoyance grew as the USA was seen to conduct anti-Islamic foreign policies on an ever increasing scale. Osama bin Laden was actually once a CIA trained operative; the USA created their own nemesis. Osama bin Laden says that "America is a victim of its own foreign policy", unfortunately that is not really true, everyday Americans are the victims of American foreign policy. It is not the wealthy corporate and powerful political players of the USA that are most at risk from the resulting terrorism. Just as Osama was a friend to America, Indonesian Jemaah Islamiyah bomber Amrozi was once a tour guide in Bali and his boss Hambali once loved the USA image so much that he wanted to live there. So what went wrong? Why did western friends and admirers become westerner murderers? Western foreign policy of course! And if you and I as everyday westerners can not see this we are in trouble. If we want to do all we can to avoid our families and friends becoming the victims of our own selfishness and ignorance in the near future, we need to do our bit directly by how we spend our own money overseas and indirectly by not allowing our governments to sell us short and up the creek without a paddle as they have done in the past.

When Holland was bullied by the USA, Britain and Australia into giving up the Dutch East Indies after WW2. When ex axis leader and war criminal Sukarno was given governance instead of a trial by the US lead UN. When West Papua which had achieved independence with Holland's help was given to nasty Sukarno on a plate. When the South Moluccas had legally, as confirmed by UN observers, declared independence from Indonesia after Jakarta's treachery were then invaded by Sukarno's forces consequently equipped to the nines with surrendered Dutch weapons. Why was that? Was it part of the USA's policy of combating a return to direct colonial power while all the time creating a corporate economic empire itself? Was it because a team of Dutch mining engineers who were secretly being paid by American Standard Oil found the vast gold and copper resources in West Papua but did not tell anyone except the Americans? Was it because the "west" wanted a regional single point strongman they could deal with and benefit from to be able to exploit all the region's natural resources for themselves? You tell me.

It seems very unbalanced to say the least that Holland, who was overseeing its former colonies in Indonesia towards independence was actually bullied out of the process in the late 1940's while Britain was allowed to see Malaysia (a conglomeration of former colonial states not unlike Indonesia) to independence in 1957 with all the ongoing trade ties the UK benefited from asa result, yet the Dutch were denied this. It was not just the British that faired better than the Dutch in the process, the Malaysians did far better than the Indonesians too. You see the Malaysian states also had a constitutional independence opt out clause just like the Indonesian states were "guaranteed" at the Round Table conference at the Hague when Indonesia was formed and the Dutch recognized the state. But unlike the Indonesian states of Aceh, West Papua and The South Moluccas who declared independence only to be bloodily suppressed by the infamous TNI (Indonesian "Army"), Malaysian states were allowed to subsequently become Independent; that is why Brunei and Singapore exist as separate today, they were part of Malaysia in 1957 but opted out. It seems possible the difference is Britain was granted favours the Dutch were denied and Indonesians suffered as a result an anti-communist phobia, huge mineral resources and as a proxy US economic colonial pawn. I think evidence of confirmation of the last point comes in the case of likely state murdered human rights activist Munir Said Thalib (see: Indonesia) in that Indonesia refused to even consider allowing a UN investigator in on the case until the Democrats won both houses in the US mid term elections in 2006 and because they have much more of a human rights mandate than the defeated Republicans, which Indonesian trade and foreign officials admitted might result in sanctions unless they let the UN investigator participate. There you have at the very least absolute proof US foreign policy directly affects human rights in other countries.

Of course the other real problem for the USA, Australia and Britain's ongoing support for Indonesia's unlawful claim to the whole archipelago is their own in common "We are here, so it is done" problem. The USA has mounting independence claim issues from both native Americans and Hawaii, yes Hawaii; it seems the vast majority of the indigenous Hawaiians want their former independence back and have a strong legal argument for the same. Australia is plagued with extremely hard to argue Aboriginal claims, Britain was until recently suffering from the Irish "dilemma". The USA, Australia and Britain all substantiate their "right" to maintain sovereignty on the basis they are there now and in numbers, so it is done, they can not possibly leave. Therefore if the USA, Britain and Australia were to support undoing the wrong of Indonesia, that is support separatist claims by West Papua, etc., they would be setting themselves up a heavy dose of "Well, you preach it here, so why not lead by example at home?" backfire. Finally the fact Indonesia is so absolutely wealthy in natural resources, as denoted by its G20 status while having a seemingly incompatible impoverished mass population, shows that the massive corporate dollar earning environment for the foreign countries who support the Indonesian Government's positions must be a tremendous carrot for them to sell out on every value we say we hold dear.

You see I do not believe in conspiracy theories, I just report the facts; the Dutch mining engineers / Standard Oil conspiracy theory is someone else's, but there is apparently significant evidence to support it and perhaps that is why the region is in the corrupt human rights state it is today; solely because of US and their puppets' unlawful greed. Rather than some master plan and with it conspiracy theory per say, I think western governments just act as they see fit blundering through life while feigning ethics and decency back home . I believe one mistake after another is made, one foreign human abuse after another turned a blind eye to, one whitewash after another until the idiot at the top says "I'd welcome any new ideas" when it is too late, as Bush had to do with Iraq. I believe we as individuals have to stop taking politicians at face value regarding foreign policies and look at whether the party we are contemplating voting for at home want to play the nasty fiddle game overseas, or if they genuinely want to try and change things for the better internationally too. Would the average Australian, Britain or American lose out or benefit if Indonesia was not so corrupt and if there was more fair competition over mineral contracts with better human rights and environmental mandates attached? No, I think the average westerner would probably gain economically; I think only the top cats and bent Indonesian politicians would lose out.

But I do believe we as westerners are losing out as our governments act according to their true flawed and failed historical foreign policy "values". I believe we as a consequence increasingly get less when we travel, and I also think the gap between us and the people of the third world especially is increasing due to selfishness. With that I am sure goes the hate through jealousy and denial of justice, increasing the risk we each face through terrorism and which legacy our children will inherit. In summary, I do not believe anyone but the tiniest majority win the way international diplomacy is conducted right now, but I am damn sure we are all losing along with the suppressed of countries like Indonesia. If Indonesia's population increasingly learn to hate the only people they are allowed to by their government while increasingly seeking justice through the sole state approved and increasingly militant religion, I believe the regime will change with a bang but not for the better. Remember Iran and the unpopular American supported Shah and look what happened there; do you want the same to happen to Indonesia? Do you say "Oh it could never happen there or ever again"? Then why did around 20% of the Indonesian population surveyed in an extensive 2006 opinion poll say that they thought the JI bombings of innocent foreigners were justified?

Responsible action for me is only giving business to the Balinese and Balinese friendly businesses, and to vote for the party back home that treats the Balinese and everyone else in the world outside the control of their own nation's ballot boxes as human beings with rights, not as a meal ticket for corporate or political power gains. It is about ensuring the international rights of the Papuans, people of Aceh and people of The South Moluccas despite the cost in "goodwill" (cherry picking massive mineral and infrastructure contracts) with Jakarta that do little for anyone but the powerful. Perhaps if the regions of Indonesia such as Bali are guaranteed their legal rights not least to consider and debate self-determination without having their whole family butchered as a result may change Indonesia for the better, in that it may not be around tomorrow. It does not end with Bali, Bali is just a small island, but it is one I know a lot about and that the Balinese need help to rid themselves of the stench and cancer of the corrupt Jakarta of today if they are to have a decent future.

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