Promoting instability?

From the March-April 2000 Trumpet Print Edition

Indonesia is undergoing a strange series of events with dark undertones.

First, from the relative safety of a two-week overseas tour of the Middle East, Europe and Asia to muster aid, investment and support, Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid demanded the resignation of the security minister and former armed forces chief, General Wiranto.

Wiranto is accused by both United Nations and Indonesian investigators of having condoned or even ordered the recent bloodshed in East Timor and a number of other flash points along the Indonesian archipelago.

There is more going on here than mere internal political bickering. Consider Europe’s increasing role.

Under the headline “Indonesian Army Will Use EU Arms in Creeping Coup,” the UK Independent newspaper of January 18 reported that the EU had lifted its ban on arms sales to Indonesia four months after it was imposed during the violence which followed the referendum on independence in East Timor.

Indonesia’s maritime minister, Sarwono Kusumaatmadji, described the decision as being “two-faced.” While European countries speak of promoting reform in Indonesia, they simultaneously sell arms to its military.

There exists a feeling that elements of the army are trying to effect a gradual coup d’etat. They are subverting the work of the government by perpetuating a controlled and limited state of unrest.

It was in the village of Haruku, close to the strife-torn capital of the Maluku province—Ambon city— that a massacre of 24 civilians is claimed to have taken place on January 24. According to the Sydney Morning Herald (Feb. 4), “Witnesses to the attack, which virtually wiped the community of 3,200 people off the map, say three groups of up to ten soldiers each led a Muslim mob into the Christian village shortly before dawn.”

What is being played out here? Europe is actually supplying arms to a pro-Muslim military which it knows will be used against the Catholic minorities throughout Indonesia!

In a decision that seems to defy logic, the Australian-led Interfet troops defending the highly vulnerable East Timorese enclave of Oecussi within West Timor are to be replaced by a 700-strong battalion of Jordanian troops with the formal handover from Interfet to UN peacekeepers.

That’s right!—pro-Muslim Jordanian troops assigned to defend a Catholic Timorese minority from a pro-Muslim rogue Indonesian military, using arms supplied by Catholic Europe!

What’s the logic behind the largely-Catholic EU’s involvement in this Muslim nation? Could it be that religion is being sacrificed for political convenience?

The Strait of Malacca is controlled by Indonesia. Much of the world’s oil supply flows through this vital sea gate. Is it feasible that the EU is deliberately involved in promoting instability in Indonesia with the goal of offering to impose the peace just as they have in the Balkans and are now seeking to do in the Middle East?