Saturday :: May 28, 2005

Cause An' Attack

by pessimist

If one were really following foreign events, one would detect that the reaction time of foreign populations to Bu$hCo initiatives is grwoing shorter. Indonesia is a good case in point this week.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was in Washington this week, announcing that Indonesia and US wish to resume military relations, but Bush tells Yudhoyono more reforms needed to restore military ties. As John Perkins related to all of us in his must-read expose of American foreign policy practices, 'reform' usually really means 'economically screwing the people of your country so that well-connected people in my country can become wealthier'.

Maybe Yudhoyono should be listening to his own advice:

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wishes he can just shut up. “I wish I did not have to stand here and make a speech,” he told American business leaders gathered here this week to hear him out. ”And the reason is:
"I have been told that a President always looks wiser when he is sitting down with his mouth shut.”

Assuming that a pResident cares about what he looks like! If they did, both would not be angering their peoples. We know how many Americans aren't happy with King George, but I'm getting a tad ahead of describing how the unhappy Indonesian people express their anger toward Yudhoyono kissing King George as he did Prince Sultan:

There are many reasons why King George is being nice to Yudhoyono - 250 million of them:

Among corporate leaders Yudhoyono met was ExxonMobil President Rex Tillerson, in an apparent bid to break a four-year stalemate with Indonesian state-oil firm Pertamina over future development of the oil-rich Cepu block on Java island. The block is owned by Pertamina but operated by ExxonMobil under a technical assistance contract, which will expire in 2010.

The US firm has yet to start production at the Cepu block as it seeks first an extension of the contract to make any further investment in the block feasible after it was found that Cepu has additional oil reserves of around 250 million barrels. “We are hopeful that we can find a way to come to an agreement around the set of terms that will allow us to develop what is a very significant oil reserve for the country,” ExxonMobil’s spokesman Robert Davis told AFP.

Highlighting the importance of resolving the issue, an Indonesian official accompanying Yudhoyono said: “If the president’s meeting with the ExxonMobil chief leads to a breakthrough, then it may be worth more than the handshake with President Bush.”

Saddam certainly learned that one the hard way after accepting a handshake from Poppy Bu$h's proxy:

But I digress.

In true neo-conman fashion, alls ended as it was intended, with Bush promises of continued US help to Indonesia in spite of calls from the American opposition: US Urged Not to Prop Up Indonesian Military

Americans attempt to oppose peacefully. Other nations aren't so restrained:

Muslims Rally Over Koran Report
Alleged Desecration Leads to Protests In Several Countries

Muslims in several countries demonstrated Friday in resurgent anti-American anger over reported desecration of the Islamic holy book, the Koran, and some protesters called on their leaders to demand an apology from the United States. The Muslim Brotherhood held rallies in the Egyptian cities of Cairo and Alexandria, where worshipers and protesters wiped their feet with paper replicas of the U.S. and Israeli flags on their demonstration route. At the Lawyers Club compound on Alexandria's waterfront, about 5,000 demonstrators held up signs asking, "What next after the Koran?" while the crowd chanted, "We have to hate them like they hate the Koran."

Sheikh Mahaldaway, the preacher at the demonstration, assailed President Hosni Mubarak, saying his government failed to speak up following reports that the Koran was defiled by guards at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "I would have expected the political and security leaders to take a stand," he said.

This month, Newsweek magazine published, then retracted, a report that interrogators had put a Koran in a toilet in an attempt to intimidate a prisoner. The report of the desecration of a book that religious Muslims revere as the literal word of God touched off rioting that killed at least 16 people in Afghanistan.

In Islamabad, Pakistan's capital, the leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, a religious political party, led thousands of Muslims in a march through the city's boulevards. The U.S. admission "that its soldiers were disrespectful of the Koran is a much more serious offense than its invasion of Iraq," Qazi Hussain Ahman, the leader, said in a phone interview.

Maulana Fazlur Rahman, leader of the opposition in parliament, said in a telephone interview that Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, should respond to the U.S. admission about the Koran by expelling the American ambassador 'as a first sign of protest'. "How can a country whose soldiers have no respect for the holy Koran be the most important ally of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan," Rahman said.

In the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, news service reports said about 300 people rallied outside the U.S. Embassy after prayers in a nearby mosque. The demonstration, organized by Malaysia's largest Islamic opposition party, was loud but largely peaceful. Protesters listened to speeches condemning the incident, waved banners with anti-American slogans and burned cardboard replicas of U.S. and Israeli flags. The crowd dispersed after several demonstrators were allowed to hand a protest letter to embassy officials. "We sent a memo to express our outrage at the desecration of the Koran," Hassan Ali of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party told reporters.

At a rally in Beirut organized by the Islamic group Hezbollah, thousands of Lebanese chanted, "America, listen, listen, with my blood I will protect my Koran," according to news reports. Similar protests swept the country's Palestinian refugee camps, where men hoisted pictures of Osama bin Laden and his ally Abu Musab Zarqawi, who is leading the insurgency in Iraq.

Hundreds of Jordanians protested after noon prayers and marched on a main square in Amman, the capital of Jordan, the Reuters news agency reported. "Americans, your battle with the youths of the Koran will only bring you death," the crowd chanted.

In Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, about 50 people rallied outside the U.S. Embassy and pelted pictures of President Bush with tomatoes. The demonstration ended without serious incident.

Until later that same day:

Bomb blasts in Indonesian Christian town kill 21

TENTENA, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two bombs ripped through a busy market in a Christian town in eastern Indonesia on Saturday, killing up to 21 people in an attack likely to raise fears sectarian bloodshed could again break out in the region. The explosions left a trail of blood and destruction in the lakeside town of Tentena, on the eastern island of Sulawesi, part of an area where three years of Muslim-Christian clashes killed 2,000 people until a peace deal was agreed in late 2001.
Some 85 percent of Indonesia's 220 million people are Muslim. But in some eastern parts, Christian and Muslim populations are about equal in size.
Picturesque Tentena, famed for its churches and surrounded by clove-covered hills, lies 40 km (25 miles) to the south of Poso. Police were checking vehicles leaving Tentena, while security had been tightened. Most shops had closed. "I was standing in front of a store when suddenly there was an explosion. I lost consciousness," said one victim, Jonathan, from his hospital bed after being wounded by shrapnel.

Police on the scene said the bombs comprised high explosives, adding that the blasts could be heard 12 km (7 miles) away. The second explosion came 15 minutes after the first, and was the bigger of the two, residents said. The roofs of shops near the market were torn off and food and goods scattered over a wide area in Tentena, 1,500 km (900 miles) northeast of Jakarta. Windows in a police station were blown out.

Much of the past Sulawesi violence focused on nearby Poso in a conflict that drew Muslim militants from groups such as the al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah, a Southeast Asian network blamed for numerous bomb attacks across Indonesia. Periodic unrest has flared since, but Saturday morning's attack was among the worst. Tensions rose after the bombings, with hundreds of residents converging on the local hospital and destroyed outdoor market, demanding police find the killers. The official Antara news agency, quoting local government officials, said the death toll was 21. Police earlier told Reuters it was 19. A local hospital official said 32 people were wounded, many seriously. One toddler was among the dead, officials said.

Crowds of people banged their hands on the local police chief's car when he arrived on the scene soon after the attacks, but there was no violence. "The situation is getting tense," Andi Asikin, the mayor of Poso town not far from Tentena, told El Shinta radio station. "People are upset because their families are victims. Crowds of people who are relatives of the victims are condemning the act. They are demanding officials hunt the perpetrators."

The two explosions follow heightened warnings from Western governments about terrorist attacks in the world's most populous Muslim nation, although few foreigners venture to the Poso region because of its history of bloodshed.

On Thursday, the United States closed all its four diplomatic missions in Indonesia because of a security threat. Attacks against Western targets and blamed on Jemaah Islamiah include blasts at Bali nightclubs in October 2002 that killed 202 people, mostly foreigners, and one last September outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta that killed 10.

The Tentena bombings follow an attack by gunmen on a police post in the Moluccas islands further to the east that killed five police this month. The Moluccas islands, 2,300 km (1,440 miles) east of Jakarta, were also the scene of vicious communal fighting between Muslims and Christians from 1999 to 2002 that left more than 5,000 dead. A peace agreement was reached there in early 2002.

Calls For Retribution - From Christians

At least 19 killed in Poso Market blasts

JAKARTA. May 28. KAZINFORM. At least 19 were confirmed dead and some 30 others were injured in two explosions that ripped through crowded Tentena Market in Poso district in the Indonesian province of South Selawesi on Saturday, private Elshinta Radio said here.

Quoting Poso resident, Robert, Elshinta said the first blast occured at 8:00 a.m. local time and the second which was more powerful took place 15 minutes later, Kazinform cites ANTARA

According to Robert, the fatalities and the injured victims have been evacuated to GKST Tentena Hospital. "The two powerful blasts occured when the market was crowded," Elshinta quoted Robert as saying. "Following the incident, we hope the government will do its best to deal with it immediately and to prevent it from happening again both in Poso and elsewhere in the country," Robert added.

Robert said the blasts were the acts of the terrorists who would like to distablize the country.

Note the cause of real concern in this last article:

National Police chief leaves to tour attack site

JAKARTA (Antara): National Police chief Gen. Da'i Bachtiar left Jakarta on Saturday to tour the scene of the deadly bombing in Tentena, a predominantly Christian town some 230 kilometers east of the Central Sulawesi capital of Palu. Da'i said the police had increased their vigilance and had stepped up the hunt for Azahari and another Malaysian national, Noordin M Top.
Earlier, Da'i received information of bomb threats against oil refineries operated by foreign companies in Bontang, East Kalimantan, and against the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta by a terrorist group led by fugitive Malaysian national Azahari.

They acted quickly. And there is every reason to believe they will act again.

OK, Your Hindness! I'm now convinced without a shadow of a doubt that you are, as you claimed, a uniter - of those who hate America because of what American policies have done to their nations.

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