Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Aceh bin Laden t-shirts

Allan Nairn tells Amy Goodman that the Indonesian military is using transport planes - planes for which Colin Powell has announced the U. S. would be supplying spare parts, ostensibly as they would be used to deliver tsunami relief aid - to fly members of Islamic militant groups associated with both bin Laden and the Indonesian government to Aceh, where the militants will be used in the ongoing repression of the people of Aceh by the Indonesian military. Some of the militants are passing themselves off as residents of Aceh while wearing shirts with pictures of bin Laden on them (see also here). This is being depicted in images delivered to the American people, all in an effort to mislead Americans into thinking that their aid is helping followers of bin Laden. Presumably the goal is to lead to the American political decision to cut such aid to the people of Aceh (see also here). Isn't the world a complicated place? The Indonesian government, by restricting access of relief workers to parts of Aceh, using the excuse that the presence of separatist militants makes these areas too dangerous to enter, is actually using the tsunami as part of its campaign against the people of Aceh. This is a classic example of the misuse of the specter of Islamic militants, used simultaneously as instruments of repression and as a propaganda game directed at the United States.