Along with the plethora of Starbucks across the world, the other parallel trend is the rise in “Anti-America/Bush/USA-ism”. Of course, in Indonesia as in so many other places, your resident “rent a crowd” doffs the placards, the fake blood, complete in the US inspired uniform of jeans, t shirts and base ball cap (guys, the pointy pit goes to the front, its not really that hard) much to the amusement of many.
The Republicans in particular are reviled by many in Indonesia. Although sadly in a lot of cases, the Protestors would be hard pressed to tell you what party Bush represented. To be fair, it’s unreasonable to expect any deep thought process from a mob.
Ironically, a Democrat President with a Democrat controlled congress would be a disaster in real terms for Indonesia. Democrats are traditionally far more interested in human rights abuses (perceived or otherwise) than the Republicans. ..Hello Papua..Munir, East Timor ..How’s that coming along Indonesia? Democrats also place far more emphasis on domestic trade protection, guess where that will be felt.
Of course, the more isolationist foreign policies of the Democrats and need to fund domestic welfare programs will severely restrict foreign aid programs in countries viewed as less than critical in the new order (aka Indonesia). But hey we hate bush, so it’s all going to be good.
So is it to be principles or practical for Indonesia??
I must admit I did kind of like a recent article by Janet Albrechtsen which said in part:
“Anti-Americanism has morphed into a desire to bring America to heel, something that coincides with the goal of Islamists. But if the big, fast rich guy retreats, it’s worth asking who will step up to the plate when the West needs things fixed. The dawdling burghers of Europe may recall that small and slow did not help the Kuwaitis, Bosnian Muslims, Kosovars, Afghanis or the tsunami victims.”
‘So the Islamic world will complain the US is anti-Muslim while overlooking Bosnia. Europeans regularly overlook the fact that American power, resolve and, yes, idealism, delivered them from both Nazism and communism. Nor, when they nip down to the corner store for some foie gras in their BMWs or Citroens, do they remember the contribution the Marshall Plan made to their postwar prosperity.”
Disclosure time. Personally I dislike Bush as well; trouble is I dislike the vast majority of leaders (?) who dislike America more. I think dear ol Janet is probably a bit over the top in defence of America but the point is well made.