Subject: Lingle should break her ties with murderous Indonesian military

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lingle should break her ties with murderous Indonesian military

by Larry Geller

The Indonesian military is recognized for its brutality around the world and held responsible for massacres and genocide in East Timor and Aceh Provence. A reminder of this was part of today’s Democracy Now (10 p.m. Channel 56 if you are on Oahu):

Judge Rules Aceh Villagers Can Sue Exxon for Human Rights Abuses A federal judge has ruled that a suit alleging human rights violations against Exxon committed in Aceh can be heard in a US court. Eleven villagers from Aceh say Exxon should be held liable for alleged violent crimes by military units of the Indonesian national army hired by Exxon to protect its facilities. According to some estimates, ExxonMobil has extracted some $40 billion from its operations in Aceh.

This news item reminded me that although the Indonesian military should be shunned and condemned by good people everywhere, Hawaii’s governor, Linda Lingle, has traveled to Indonesia and cozied up to their military establishment.

In fact, she’s agreed to help them repair helicopters, which could directly support future human rights atrocities. Earlier, I asked:

Why is Hawaii, a state, involved in high-level talks with the Indonesian military in the first place? Shouldn't Washington attend to intergovernmental affairs? Has Lingle been given some sort of special assignment unknown to the people of Hawaii? [ Is Hawaii's governor Lingle setting up a secret military alliance with Indonesia for Bush?, Disappeared News, 6/11/2007]

We shouldn’t forget, in this election year, that Lingle is playing a role in Bush’s foreign policy. We might ask why, and demand that Hawaii not be involved in an individual’s ambitions.

Our cooperation with a hated regime may also make our islands a target of extremists.

"We should build up cooperation between the TNI (Indonesian Armed Forces) and the Hawaiian National Guard to beef up professionalism at the level of soldiers and low-ranking officers on maintenance of military equipment, such as helicopters and other equipment made by the United States," [Indonesian Defense Minister] Juwono [Sudarsono] said.

"In the coming months, scores of our soldiers will be sent to Hawaii to get trainings of the maintenance which could boost the capacity of troops," he added. [ Indonesia, Hawaii set up military cooperation, (China)]

The rest of this article is from the archive, a re-run, so to speak, but if you have not seen it before, read and understand why I think we should break this cooperation even as it is underway. Perhaps the Legislature might do something next session. It won’t, though, unless we, the people, ask it to.

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