"A Muslim model; What Indonesia can teach the world" by Joshua Kurlantzick, Globe Correspondent | September 13, 2009
Joshua Kurlantzick is a fellow for Southeast Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations.
.... Despite its vast size and remote terrain - it is the world’s fourth-largest nation by population, its 240 million people spread across thousands of islands between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific - Indonesia has become a rock of political stability in a turbulent region. After decades of military dictatorship, and the threat of Islamism in the late 1990s, Indonesia is today ruled by a coalition that mixes secular and moderate Islamic parties and protects minority rights. And at a time when countries from Japan to Singapore are struggling, Indonesia posted some of the strongest growth in Asia this year. The nation’s occasional terrorist attacks haven’t succeeded in destabilizing the government, which has steadily built a reputation for good governance and an effective battle against militant groups.
“If you want to know whether Islam, democracy, modernity and women’s rights can coexist, go to Indonesia,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on a trip to Southeast Asia earlier this year.
Though Indonesian leaders themselves are hesitant to lecture other countries, their model could offer lessons for nations from Pakistan to Morocco. It has managed to create a stable political system without using its military to guarantee secular rule, as does Turkey. The militant Islamic groups that once seemed to threaten the country’s future have been crushed or co-opted. And it has adopted modern anti-terrorism techniques that appear to be working. In its success, Indonesia also offers the United States, constantly seeking ways to help build stable societies in the Arab-Muslim world, a model for cooperation and moderation.
Just a decade ago, few would have seen Indonesia as a model of any kind. The country was an economic and political basket case, riddled with graft from the era of its longtime dictator Suharto. Its heavily export-dependent economy collapsed in the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, plunging the country into political chaos.
Riots constantly blocked the streets of Jakarta, with many protests targeting the ethnic Chinese community. Warfare erupted in outlying provinces like Aceh, which long had wanted to secede. Hard-line Islamist groups preyed upon this unrest, promising cleaner government against the corruption of Indonesia’s traditional political parties. Islamic schools, known as pesantrens and similar to madrasas, expanded to fill the void left by underfunded public schools. Some of these became notorious for promoting militant Islam, according to an analysis by the International Crisis Group, developing into feeders for the terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiah.
Oh, the "terrorists," huh?
"Indo-Israeli military nexus
Shireen M Mazari
With all that has been happening in this region, one had tended to push the Indo-Israeli relationship on the backburner. This was not wise because the military dimension of this relationship is critical and has been a major factor in India’s military policies in Occupied Kashmir. Post-9/11 the Israeli factor has always covertly been present in Afghanistan because Israel was one of the first country to move into the Central Asian States energy sector after the demise of the Soviet Union and the emergence of independent Central Asian States. Israel has been a major contributor to India’s defence profile, including cooperation in defence production. When India led the few states who welcomed the Missile Defence programme of the Bush Administration, the shadow of Israel was there and one knew the major role it would be playing in helping India acquire missile defence capability. US technology and arms transfers through Israeli labels! So it should not have come as a surprise to find yet another military agreement coming into being – this time the $1.1 billion contract between India and Israel, for an upgraded air defence system for India. The system, produced by Israel, is designed for naval use, aboard ships, and can shoot down incoming missiles, planes and drones.
This will add to India’s missile defence capability, thereby further destabilising the nuclear balance in South Asia. So clearly Pakistan will have to add to its nuclear delivery systems and warheads if it wants to keep its deterrence credible. But even more relevant is the clear indication that India is all set to go full steam ahead to develop a second strike capability – first there was the nuclear submarine programme and now this air defence deal. The aggressive designs of India’s military acquisitions are now hardly oblique. It is strange that the US would allow the increasing militarisation of this region by deliberately disturbing the nuclear equation through its 123 Agreement with India and by allowing Israel to add to the imbalance. Or is the US still assuming it can gain control over Pakistan’s nukes in the scenario outlined in earlier columns?
But the Indo-Israeli deal has repercussions for the neighbourhood also. For instance, through this deal Israel will get more naval access through India in the immediate vicinity of Pakistan and Iran. At any future date, it will make it much more feasible for Israel to target Iran from the sea – and keep the US and its Arab allies out of the equation, saving them a political crisis. For Pakistan also this presents further complications to its security parameters. Already, we are confronted with a two-front war: one at home with extremists in our midst; and a second through the covert low intensity conflict being waged by India, aided and abetted by the US, in Pakistan’s sensitive provinces of Balochistan and NWFP as well as FATA. The flow of weapons and money coming in from Afghanistan for this purpose has now been established without a shadow of doubt, by our government but for some strange reason it merely makes declaratory accusations while taking no action.
There is also a darker side to the Indo-Israeli relationship in terms of their cooperation in clandestine operations. Israel’s tentacles through its covert operations agency Mossad spread across the Arab world and the Middle East and now through India’s RAW it will have South Asian access while India will gain greater access in West Asia. The Mossad connection with RAW goes back to the time the latter was created in September 1968. Indira Gandhi especially asked the RAW point man, Rameshawar Nath Kao to connect to Mossad. But the New Delhi-Mossad contacts had already evolved after Israel was allowed to open a consulate in Mumbai in the 1950s, even before India established full diplomatic relations with Israel.In any case RAW sent many of its personnel for training to Israel and C.D. Sahay, when he took charge of RAW in April 2003, was the first chief to have been trained by Israeli intelligence. He is reputed to being an expert on Kashmir, Pakistan and terrorism and had looked after the Pakistan desk as well as actually serving in Pakistan.
The RAW-Mossad nexus has had a major impact on Indian policies towards Pakistan and Indian aggression in Occupied Kashmir. In 1993 there were reports of Mossad agents in occupied Kashmir and in June 1996 Jane’s Defence Weekly had reported that Israel was providing sensitive information on Pakistan to India through its spy satellite, Ofek. It was an Indian publication, The Pioneer, (3 March 2001) that revealed the extent of the RAW-Mossad cooperation against Pakistan. Also India acquired UAVs from Israel to patrol the LOC, especially after its intelligence failure at Kargil.
It is this clandestine Indo-Israeli cooperation that should be an issue of concern, as it undermines stability around the whole region. With a strong covert presence of the US already in Pakistan (from marines to American mercenaries like Xe Worldwide and DynCorps), including in Balochistan from where Iran is being destabilised; and with India funnelling arms to the militants in FATA through Afghanistan, the Israelis may gain a foothold here without the states of the region discovering till after the event. After all, how does Pakistan ensure that the US covert operatives coming in without observing any immigration formalities are not also Israeli citizens? After all, many travel on non-Israeli passports? How do we know that our information sharing with the US is not travelling to New Delhi and Tel Aviv?
These are issues that need to be taken up by Parliament which needs to ensure that all foreigners arriving in Pakistan come through proper procedures. This is a basic level to ensure security. And we know now, thanks to Seymour Hersh, that the US is war gaming scenarios on how to seize our nuclear triggers! So there is simply too much risk involved and already too much access has been given to a vast army of clandestine US operatives. The Indo-US factor in Afghanistan has already been recognised as a source of illicit weapons supplies to militants in Pakistan. The Israeli factor simply ups the ante in this region – especially with the threat of Israeli small arms also creeping into the militants’ arsenals. It is time for greater transparency regarding the type of cooperation that we are involved in with the US; it is also time to factor in Israel as an element in our security parameters and in the regional dynamics – especially in terms of Extra Regional Forces (ERFs) and powers.
With all these factors in mind, it requires little intelligence to realise that before we are encircled by hostile powers, we need to create our own proactive regional responses. A beginning can be made by simply improving our strategic dynamics with Iran. It can also be accompanied by creating a respectable distance between the US and ourselves, so that we have breathing space to formulate our own options
Also see: Indo-Israeli Plot against Pak-Iranian TiesJust ANOTHER GROUP of FALSE-FLAGGERS working for USRAELI INTELLIGENCE, huh?
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, this and other expanding militant groups seemed on the verge of threatening the government’s control of parts of the country, a situation similar to Afghanistan or Yemen today.... By the time of Yudhoyono’s reelection, this past summer, many of these fears had vanished. The economy had recovered, the archipelago no longer appeared on the verge of fragmenting politically, and terror groups had been prosecuted and weakened....
How did Indonesia develop into a success, while countries such as Egypt, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia still struggle just to build the fundamentals of democracy? For one, Indonesia’s presidents have not allowed sharia law, the religiously derived legal system that prevails in numerous Muslim countries, to gain a foothold, except in a few isolated regions. Neighboring Malaysia, by contrast, allows several of its states to apply sharia to many issues of family law and other civil cases - a system that can alienate non-Muslim minorities, undermining the principle that democracy protects minority rights. (Recently, the Malaysian blogosphere has been fixated on the case of an Indian Hindu woman who, under sharia law, has been sentenced to caning for drinking beer.) In Indonesia, where an ethnic Chinese minority coexists warily with an ethnic Malay majority, the assurance of minority rights is critical to preventing the kind of internal violence that has racked other Muslim nations, from Pakistan (Shia vs. Sunni) to Yemen (northernerns vs. southerners). Assurance of minority rights boosts the economy, too, since the ethnic Chinese, though a minority, control an outsized percentage of powerful companies in Indonesia....
Honestly, readers, I'm sick of the agenda-pushing propaganda.
Even more important, the Indonesian government has also set out to undercut the popular appeal of militancy. Rather than letting Islamic parties run on promises to improve the lives of the poor, Yudhoyono has overseen a massive national anti-poverty program, increasing direct cash transfers and rice subsidies to the poor. Besides winning hearts and votes, these handouts sparked consumer spending, critical at a time when exports to the West are lagging.
Of course, no such options here in AmeriKa!
Our government only gives handouts to war looters and banks.
They also reduced poor families’ dependence on Islamic boarding schools for a decent education, a point not grasped in, say, Pakistan, where politicians frequently vow to reform madrasas but spend little time investing in public education to give families other options.
Really demonizing Pakistan in this piece, huh?
And consider where we are now, three months later.
Almost as if this agenda-pushing CFR puke could see into the future, huh?
Under Yudhoyono the Indonesian government also has allowed some of its power to devolve to provinces and cities throughout the archipelago, giving them greater shares of the national budget, more control over local natural resources and more money back from direct investment in their area. Devolution takes guts, especially in regions of the world accustomed to a strong, centralized government. But it also pays several rewards, reducing separatist tensions and giving average people more personal investment in the democratic process. Devolution also encourages provinces and cities to become more economically competitive.
Meanwhile, YOU are getting MORE CENTRALIZATION, America!!
How come what is GOOD for the Indonesians (and everyone else) is NO GOOD for YOU, America?
Yudhoyono’s government has also denied the Islamists another of their biggest recruiting tools: public anger at corruption....
Don't you love it when an agenda-pusher is proved to be a LIAR!?
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Students threw rocks at police who retaliated with tear gas and water cannons during one of several rallies across Indonesia yesterday to demand government action to end widespread corruption among politicians, police, and other public officials.
More than two dozen rallies - annual events in this Muslim-dominated nation to mark International Anticorruption Day - were planned for the national capital of Jakarta and several of Indonesia’s other large cities. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is under pressure to act after winning reelection in July on promises of stamping out graft.
This seems to FLY in the FACE of what that AGENDA-PUSHING CFR FLAK is saying, doesn't it?
So why should we believe ANYTHING he said?
Scores of students armed with rocks and wooden planks clashed with antiriot police and vandalized commercial buildings at a rally in Makassar, the South Sulawesi provincial capital 1,000 miles northeast of Jakarta.
Police fired tear gas canisters and water cannons to break up the crowd after protesters tried to storm the provincial governor’s office. There was no immediate report of injuries or arrests among the 2,000 protesters.
“We want the government not only talking about eliminating corruption,’’ said Amang Wijaya, a 19-year-old student in Makassar. “But we want the government really prosecuting officials who are making the country bankrupt.’’
In Jakarta, a city of 13 million, a dozen rallies caused downtown traffic chaos.
Thousands marched peacefully to the presidential palace, some burning pictures of Yudhoyono, Vice President Boediono, who goes by one name, and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani.
They called on Yudhoyono to address the crowd, but the president had left Jakarta for a meeting in Bali.
Hundreds of antiriot police stood outside his palace.
“Today’s rally’s aim is not to attack politically any party,’’ said protest organizer Usman Hamid. “We just want to send a message to our fellow countrymen . . . that justice cannot be served while corruption is still rampant in our country.’’
Besides Jakarta and Makassar, large rallies were also staged in nearly a dozen towns and cities across the archipelago.
Yudhoyono’s popularity has already been tested by scandals surrounding Indonesia’s antigraft commission and a $715 million government bailout of a bank. Earlier this week, he told The Jakarta Post that he believed the protests were partly aimed at destabilizing his government.
“My logic says these political movements want to discredit, shake, and topple me in the short term,’’ the newspaper quoted him as saying Monday.
Well, seeing as the U.S. likes you, it is not a CIA-supported coup -- must be a TRUE GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT of INDIGENOUS INDONESIANS then!!
Yudhoyono said late Tuesday in a nationally televised speech that he would play a leading role in the fight against corruption.
However, he faces questions over the last year’s bank bailout, which critics have alleged was full of irregularities. Indonesian lawmakers last week launched an inquiry into allegations that the bailout benefited Yudhoyono’s reelection campaign. He has denied that.His vice president and finance minister have also denied allegations of wrongdoing.
Of course, that was only a ONE-DAY WONDER in my Boston Globe!
Back to the lying CFR puke:
Indonesia also has pursued a novel strategy against militant groups. The president has made a strong public case that terrorists threaten average Indonesians, not just the West. By pressing this theme, Yudhoyono has managed to turn opinion against militants while deflecting claims that he was just serving the interests of the United States....
Translation: He is a U.S. TOOL that is LYING to HIS PEOPLE about "terrorists."
I hate to break the news to you, folks, but "terrorism" is a GOVERNMENT CREATED, FUNDED, and DIRECTED ENTITY!
Plenty of problems remain. Conflict still erupts among Indonesia’s many ethnic groups; in the province of West Papua, separatists attacked foreign workers over the summer.
Related: Supporting Genocide In West Papua
Yeah, NOTHING about the INDONESIAN GENOCIDE from the agenda-pushing CFR misinformer!!
Despite Yudhoyono’s poverty programs, much of Indonesia’s population lives below the poverty line. And its military can still make trouble....
Indonesia’s success offers lessons for the United States as well.
Yeah, we don't take or implement them, but....
Most importantly, it shows that Islam and democracy can mix easily, provided the government can separate mosque and state, and religious leaders are willing to go along. The resulting stability leaves far less room for militant groups, and reduces the need for the US to throw its weight behind iron-fisted military leaders like Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf just to keep militant Islam from expanding.
Yeah, his regime was a real success, huh?
Talk about agenda-pushing garbage, you just got the crux in that last paragraph.
In addition, the example of Indonesia suggests that in many cases, America would be wise to intervene less.
Little chance of that happening as the rhetoric against Iran and Pakistan is escalated.
President Yudhoyono’s counterterrorism policy succeeds in part because local people perceive the policy as run by their president, not pushed on him by any foreign powers.
And perception means more than reality.
The US, meanwhile, has pitched in by quietly helping fund and train Indonesia’s elite counterterrorism force, known as Detachment 88.
Oh, we are TRAINING GOVERNMENT ASSASSINATION SQUADS, huh?
Training "terrorist" gunmen, are we?
But unlike in Pakistan or Yemen or the Philippines, American assistance isn’t prominently covered in the press, or a flashpoint for public anger.
Yeah, the Filipino press conceals it from them, much as the AmeriKan MSM conceals things from you, readers.
It doesn’t hurt that President Obama spent some of his childhood in the country, and today his administration is hugely popular in Indonesia. Almost as popular, that is, as Yudhoyono’s.
Is that another lie?
JAKARTA, Indonesia - A statue in a Jakarta park depicting President Obama as a boy has been targeted in a Facebook campaign by thousands who say it should be removed.
The Indonesian-language Facebook group named “Take Down the Barack Obama Statue in Taman Menteng Park’’ had attracted more than 15,000 members by yesterday....
Not so popular after all, huh?
That CFR agenda-pusher and his MSM conduit didn't tell the truth about anything, did they?
Many Indonesians are proud of the fact that Obama lived in Jakarta from 1967 to 1971 with his American mother, his Indonesian stepfather, and his half-sister.
He went by the name “Barry,’’ attended the local elementary school near where his statue now stands, and owned a pet monkey.
Ron Mullers, a Jakarta resident who came up with the idea for the statue and raised money for it, said it was supposed to inspire local children to follow their dreams.
That doesn't look like an Indonesian name to me.
“It’s ridiculous. I’m shocked,’’ said Mullers, calling the move against the statue political.
Yeah, so am I -- at the never-ending MSM deceptions and lies.
Mullers likened the backlash to the controversy over whether Obama deserved the Nobel Peace Prize. Obama accepted that accolade in Oslo the same day as his statue was unveiled by Jakarta Mayor Sylviana Murni.
Murni ruled out moving the statue, saying that it has been erected with the correct approvals and without political motive.