Thursday, November 18, 2010
Washington Backing Indonesian State Terror
Indonesia’s National Armed Forces (TNI), especially its thuggish Kopassus Special Forces Command, its red beret unit responsible for political killings, torture, rape, and massacres of hundreds of thousands of civilians in East Timor, Aceh, Papua, and elsewhere in the country.
TNI aid was restricted following a November 12, 1991 Santa Cruz cemetery massacre of over 270 demonstrators in Dili, East Timor. In July, it was restored, a July 22 East Timor Action Network (ETAN) press release “condemn(ing) the Obama administration’s decision to resume engagement with Indonesia’s notorious Kopassus special forces,” ETAN’s National Coordinator, John Miller, saying:
“Slipping back into bed with Kopassas is a betrayal of the brutal unit’s many victims in Timor-Leste (East Timor), West Papua and throughout Indonesia. It will lead to more people (suffering) abuses. Working with Kopassus which remains unrepentant about its long history of terrorizing civilians, will undermine efforts to achieve justice and accountability for human rights in Indonesia and Timor-Leste.”
“For years, the US military provided training and other assistance to (TNI and its infamous) Kopassus, and when the US was most involved, Kopassus crimes were at their worst. While this assistance improved (TNI’s) deadly skills, it did nothing to improve its behavior.”
Yet Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Washington “will begin a gradual, limited program of security cooperation activities,” a veiled assurance of business as usual. It’s no surprise as CIA armies, US Special Forces, and other military units replicate the worst of Kopassus manyfold.
Kopassus terrorizes Indonesia. America does it globally, a record no other country approaches.