Widening aggression against semicolonial peoples, and a question about Indonesia

Peter Boyle peterb at dsp.org.au
Mon Jul 7 20:14:22 MDT 2003

(Forwarded from Max Lane)

Re: Widening aggression against semicolonial peoples, and a
question about Indonesia


TOM O’LINCOLN WROTE: Imperialist strategy in general, and
especially Australian strategy in the archipelago looks to
Jakarta, and specifically to the Indonesian military (TNI),
to hold things together. This comes out quite clearly from
every bourgeois analysis.

MAX: This is true and not true. It is true in principle but
I think that the US has very little confidence in the
current TNI leadership. I think US imperialism is very
suspicous about the capability of the TNI actually
successfully handling the Aceh orp Papua situation
satisfactorily, or, in the medium term of Indonesia. This is
why there is still a big ban on military aid to Jakarta; why
tyhere is forthright criticism of jakarta's Aceh policy
where possible - e.g. on the NAzar prison sentence; and why
the US AMbasador himself travelled to Tokyo for the
GAM-Jakarta talks and, on all reports, put huge effort into
trying to get a ceasefire agreement.

In principle, as far as the INSTITUTION goes - YES,
insofaras the current leadership and policies, much less. Of
course, the former, in the end, constrains thge latter.

TOM: This is because there is no other capitalist
institution that can do so. To a fair degree the military IS
the state. (That's why the TNI is so huge; not because it
plans to invade Australia, as our local paranoids assume.)

MAX: I am not sure of this either. The TNI is, in fact,
quite small, with an even smaller well-armed and trained
component. It has one of the smallest budgets per capita in
the region and the world. It has a lesser role in the
day-to-date running of state affairs than ever before -
except in Aceh. There are less serving TNI personnel in
civilian roles than ever before.

TOM: The TNI is the main force minimising the spread of
instability in the archipelago.

MAX: I think that US imperialism's concern is that current
TNI policy is actually SPREADING instability. In fact, this
is also the reality. Economic dislocation is notthe most
significant form of major instability: it is the deliberate
intervention of the military to CREATE instability (as in
Ambon or Papua - in Papua the military launched the new
papuan leadership which later turned on them) or in Acehg
where they are delkiberating creat9ing instabuility in order
to prolong Martial Law.

TOM: We should not assume that Canberra wants to run the
entire region militarily, they don't have the capability for
that. I They just want to legitimise their ability to send
it troops *as required*.

MAX: agree

More information about the Marxism mailing list