Saturday, May 17, 2014

The devil you know . . . is still the devil

Wati sent me a cartoon her sister found in the Jakarta papers.  

Pak Suharto is saying “ Be careful kids; do not trust what my former son- in- law says."

His former son-in-law, you will recall, is our favorite war criminal Probowo Subianto, currently edging ahead in the polls for presidential pick.  Just typing that makes me need to lie down.

Wati’s sis writes, “All I can say is that there are still mixed feelings about who is the  better person for RI 1 [that’s Republic of Indonesia #1, or President].  While most believe in Jokowi's capabilities and intentions, others feel that he will not be able to face his opponents if he becomes RI 1. So some will cast their votes for Prabowo - for better or worse - at least he will be very decisive on urgent matters.”

Well, yes, that is pretty darned clear.

I have some questions for my senators and congress people and the Secretary of State and Hillary and Bill Clinton (separately of course) about how the US will deal with Indonesia once it has a war criminal and terrorist as president?  We have boycotted imports and sanctioned countries for far less grievous offenses.  And we seem to be sitting idly by as Jakarta yawns in the face of the disregard for the Helsinki MoU and the gang-rape of women by so-called Sharia police (ie thugs) who have by an large given their support to Prabowo.   Plus, he’s received the nod from PPP, the major Islamist Party.

Wati thinks that Jokowi should now choose an Islamist running mate to counteract the loss of votes he will get; however someone like  Jusuf Kalla will act as “a boomerang.” The non-Muslim population, however, including Chinese voters, will support Jokowi, such is their loathing for Probowo --remember, he was also involved in the extermination of 500,000+  ethnic Chinese in Indonesia in the 1960’s “Communist purge,” an event recounted in the 2012 documentary “The Act of Killing.”

As Director Joshua Oppenheimer told the Diplomat in January of this year in an interview about the film, “The leading contender in the presidential election is former Army General Prabowo Subianto, the son-in-law of Suharto, the dictator who created the genocide. He has the dubious distinction of being the very first person ever to be put on a blacklist for his role in masterminding mass murder and torture. That is to say, he’s not allowed in the United States. This is not to hold the U.S. up as some great judge of political moral conduct. Many of the atrocities that Prabowo is responsible for the U.S. supported tacitly or directly but I think that it’s very important for Indonesians to take impunity seriously. Every time The Act of Killing wins an award, every time it receives accolades, it puts the film back in the headlines in Indonesia and with it, the issues of impunity that it raises.”

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