Secretary Rice stubbornly refuses to acknowledge that there could be anything wrong with arming more and more Muslims and Indonesia seems to be her new found “moderate Muslim” country: the shining example Iraq refuses to become in her “Light Unto The Muslim Nations” scheme. From the Sydney Morning Herald:
THE US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, has called for complete reform of Indonesia’s armed forces, but backed stronger military links as part of a new “strategic partnership”.
Speaking in Jakarta before leaving for Sydney last night, Dr Rice defended ending a US ban on full military ties, despiten allegations of continued human rights abuses.
“A reformed and effective Indonesian military is in the interest of everyone in this region, because threats to our common security have not disappeared,” she said. “We look for continued progress toward greater accountability and complete reform.”
Progress had been made on improving the military’s conduct and eliminating corruption within it, she said. The US would provide greater military aid to help overcome regional security threats, including terrorism.
Dr Rice endorsed President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s reforms, saying changes in Indonesia proved it was possible to overcome sectarian and ethnic differences to build a democracy.
She complained that detractors, including the hundreds of Islamic protesters who have picketed her visit, misunderstood the US and its tolerant attitudes towards religion, including Islam.
Questioned by business people and academics after her speech, Dr Rice said the US rarely needed military power to achieve change, and its relationship with Indonesia was “not paternalism, it’s a partnership”…