HELP US KEEP REPORTING. DONATE TO ORLANDO WEEKLY PRESS CLUB.

Bankrolling the Indonesia crisis 


The $40 billion taxpayer bailout of Indonesia has gone from ugly to disgusting to obscene to perverse.

Start with "ugly." The economic collapse in this sprawling nation was caused by international bankers and speculators who shoved billions into high-risk, get-rich-quick schemes there. These speculators made a killing until last year, when their boom went bust. They then went running to Uncle Sam and the International Monetary Fund crying for a bailout, which they got. That's right -- the Asian bailout is not going to the people of these countries, but to Chase Manhattan and Goldman Sachs, as well as high-rolling individual gamblers.

Now comes "disgusting." While everyone was making money, the financial elites and the world's governments played footsie with Indonesia's ruling Suharto family, which gained power by butchering hundreds-of-thousands of Indonesians, and which holds onto power only through its repressive military dictatorship. The bailout puts even more money into the Suharto family, while it imposes severe, new hardships on Indonesia's ordinary people.

This brings us to "obscene." Guess who is training Suharto's military forces? The Pentagon. Millions of our tax dollars are being spent to improve the repressive skills of Indonesia's Red Berets, as well as a commando unit called Kostrad, and even the presidential palace guard of Suharto. These are troops known to have tortured and murdered civilians and who are now being deployed against citizens protesting the rampant injustice and corruption.

Finally comes "perverse." In 1992, Congress banned the spending of Pentagon training funds on Indonesia military. But the Pentagon got cute, saying its current training of these thugs is coming from "a different pot of money." From ugly to perverse, the whole thing stinks.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

Speaking of Jim Hightower

More by Jim Hightower

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 27, 2020

View more issues

Calendar

© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation