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On November 8, 2001, the U.S. Senate passed several new conditions before direct 'military-to-military relations can be restored with Indonesia including the punishment of the individuals who murdered three humanitarian aid workers in West Timor, establishing a civilian audit of armed forces expenditures, and granting humanitarian workers access to Aceh, West Timor, West Papua, and the Moluccas."
Following are two very recent bills and rulings by the U.S. Congress concerning the Indonesian presence, changes, and sanctions.
In the House resolution, number 666, Burton (R-IN), Wexler (D-FL), and Blumenauer (D-OR) congratulate the Indonesian people and government for a successful election process, supported Indonesia in political and economic transformations, expresses gratitude to Indonesian leadership for arresting 109 terrorists, supports the emerging legal framework, commends Indonesia for "discovering new ways of working with regional law enforcement and intelligence communities in a sincere effort to root out domestic radicalism, and urged Indonesia to conduct ongoing and strategic political, economic, and security initiatives between their country and the U.S.
In resolution 744, the same representatives call Indonesia an "important friend of the United States."
Note: Congressman Burton serves on the House International Relations and Government Reform Committees; Congressman Wexler serves on the House International Relations and Judiciary Committees; and Congressman Blumenauer serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
It is further significant to note that Senators Kennedy (D-MA), Wellstone (D-MN), Boxer (D-CA), Hutchinson (R-TX), Kerry (D-MA), Wyden (D-OR), and Mukuliski (D-MD) all stood in strong opposition to lifting the sanctions against Indonesia and to a person, all called for strict political policy to hold these sanctions as long as the conditions were not met.
Human Rights Watch
The Human Rights Watch Group
-- in conjunction with the Congressional International Relations Committee -- has issued a public challenge to the United Nations to "stop dragging its feet in creating a Commission of Experts to review the judicial processes in Jakarta and Dili and propose a bona fide judicial process that will bring to justice those responsible for the violence."
Several human-rights organizations have taken up the appeal, stating "it's also time for the United States, Australia, Japan, and EU countries to realize that they should not do [any] business with Jakarta on anything related to the military so long as Indonesia protects war criminals within its ranks," said Adams. "The scope for military reform is bleak so long as the military is incapable of cleaning its own house of human rights abusers."
During a flurry of abusive labor practice allegations by international, regional, and consumer advocacy groups and committees, Nike hired Andrew Young, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and his consultancy firm, GoodWorks, to conduct an audit of Nike facilities in Indonesia and two other countries. Citing hidden, profit-driven agendas, the U.S. World Trade Report stated that the "methodology employed by Ambassador Young was disturbingly flawed: he spent very limited time at each facility; interviewed workers at random on company premises; and conducted the interviews with the assistance of company-supplied translators." Further, former Ambassador Young's report affirmed that Nike was 'generally respectful' of human rights and no 'blatant' patterns of widespread abuse had been obvious when he visited.
The Asia Monitor Resource Center and the Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee reported the opposite, citing labor rights violations, worker representation (lack of), and outright human abuses.
Nike, Andrew Young, and GoodWorks continue to hide behind personal agendas -- i.e., financial gain -- and deny any misconduct or misrepresentation of the facts. Significantly, investigations by Ballinger & Olsson's (1997) research unearth the Congressional investigation into industry practices by Nike, WalMart, Reebok, and many others in Indonesia.
United States Military Collaboration
We have considered the individual players in the sanction game with Indonesia ranking from political leaders to economic behemoths. Clearly, there are many agendas resting on lifting these sanctions to further individual and agency causes. This section will look into military and police-initiatives and how these sanctions are being lifted without fear of reprisals.
On November 8, 2001, the U.S. Senate introduced several new conditions before direct military-to-military relations can be restored with Indonesia including the punishment of the individuals who murdered three humanitarian aid workers in West Timor, establishing a civilian audit of armed forces expenditures, and granting humanitarian workers access to Aceh, West Timor, West Papua, and the Moluccas.
According to the Human Rights Watch group:
Shortly after September 11, the United States officially announced a decision made over the summer to increase military-to-military contacts with Indonesia. Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri was the first head of state to come to the United States after the attacks, and President Bush used the opportunity to express his willingness to cooperate with this majority Muslim state. In a joint statement issued September 19, Bush and Sukarnoputri agreed to discuss ways to "strengthen bilateral cooperation on counter-terrorism" and enhance military and civilian defense relations. As part of reform efforts, members of the Indonesian military will travel to the United States to take part in training and joint exercises. Bush said he would also ask Congress for $400,000 in "Expanded IMET," a variation of the IMET program that would give Indonesian civilian officials training in defense issues. In the same statement, Bush opened the door to transfers of certain military equipment by lifting sanctions on commercial sales of nonlethal defense equipment. On October 1, Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda said that the United States and Indonesia had discussed plans to share information or organize joint training sessions in the fight against terrorism. Admiral Blair conditioned "full military cooperation" on the Indonesian armed forces' accountability for 1999 violence in East Timor. In a November 27 speech, Blair said, "We are ready to resume the full range of bilateral cooperation, when the military reforms which the TNI [Indonesian armed forces] is undertaking reach maturity." Indonesia suffers from widespread domestic unrest in several regions, and despite President Sukarnoputri's expressions of concern about human rights, government and guerilla violence and impunity continue. Although the negotiations with Indonesia were not related to September 11, the United States should make sure it does not weaken its human rights conditions on military assistance in its effort to maintain support for its war on terrorism.
It is apparent that the Human Rights Watch group is critical of Bush's agenda to rid the world of terrorism at almost any cost.
Military assistance funding to Indonesia -- despite formal political and economic sanctions -- is ongoing and public. Several of the reasons for this contra-action against U.S. sanctioned political and military embargoes will be discussed in this section.
In a statement to the House of Representatives International Relations Committee, Matthew P. Daley, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs made the NADR accessible and available to the Indonesian government for several reasons. Cited were the largely Muslim population and inherent interest to the U.S. toward enhancing that relationship, Indonesia's emergent democracy and the U.S.' moral obligation to assist, U.S. commercial and environmental interests, Indonesia's recent reforms as a model for terrorist-laden Muslim countries, and democratic rule overriding all.
Military and anti-terrorism were key facets of Mr. Daley's appeal to the IRC. Citing a potential breakdown in law and order would "accelerate the spread of terrorism, crime, illegal drugs, infectious disease, and trafficking in persons." He continued to exhort that we -- i.e., the United States -- must "assist Indonesia with its effort to create a just and democratic society." His plan involved funding to combat terrorism and offer police assistance and initiatives. Stating that the NADR account will fund the Indonesian National Police (INP) in "the formation of a counterterrorism unit," millions of dollars were so earmarked.
Mr. Daley went on to discuss 'military-to-military relations' and even admitting that the military has "not kept pace with Indonesia's broader democratic development" and "the lack of a track record on accountability for human rights abuses" -- one of the primary reasons for the sanction in the first place -- "is of particular concern," with the Papua investigation clearly pointing to American murders by the Indonesian military, the funding to the military marches on. Citing additional reasons for lifting economic sanctions -- avoiding inevitable trafficking in persons (TIP), sexual abuses, kidnapping, religious freedoms, and murders in violation of clear human rights bills, particularly the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (COHA) -- the spirit and intent of the Indonesian sanctions has clearly been nullified with this agency.
Not left to mere Ambassadors and Agency Directors, agendas come from all directions. Note the current Administration's agenda.
In an effort to strengthen "frontline" states' abilities to "confront transnational terrorist threats on the soil, and to gain the cooperation of regimes of geostrategic significance to the next phases of the "War on Terrorism," the current administration is disregarding normative restrictions on U.S. aid to human rights abusers."
Despite this common and reputable knowledge, Indonesia military aid will exceed $400,000.00 from the IMET group alone, up from $0.00 in 2000.
The demining project provides U.S. Government…[continue]
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