06 November 2015

America's Byzantine Tactics at Work in Indonesia

Nairn does a fine job simply explaining how the US relates to many of its allies. It establishes diplomatic relations, and backs a government that in some cases is not fully in line with Washington's policy. There's an element of ambiguity inherent in the bilateral relationship.

But at the same time, the American Military-Intelligence community establishes separate (and in some cases isolated) and often more intimate relations with their military and Intel counterparts. This allows the US to pursue 'side policies' and agendas that can either counter the political wing of their ally, or in some cases allows for a plausible deniability on the part of their political client.

One thinks of Turkey and Pakistan as examples. There are elements in the Pakistani military that will work with the US against the wishes of the government in Islamabad, sometimes undermining it. Sometimes Islamabad can denounce US actions and because it's known that the army and the ISI (Pakistan's CIA) are somewhat independent if not autonomous, it gives Islamabad a credible claim of deniability. Sometimes the political rulers were in the know and yet don't want their public to be aware of their collaboration. Sometimes they're not and are genuinely angry and yet must show verbal restraint lest they reveal their weak hand.

The situation in Turkey is very similar but perhaps even more complicated. Of course Pakistan is further complicated by the fact there are factions within the military and ISI that in some cases are quite hostile to US influence. It's all shrouded in byzantine obscurity.

These side military and intelligence relationships also provide another function. Clandestine networks are established that can be called on to overthrow the government. American diplomats will smile and shake hands, give moral lectures while at the same time work to undermine the client ruler and keep him in a position of instability and thus dependence on its US patron. Client rulers can never rest easy. The situation is always volatile and thus they are all the more likely to turn to their patrons for support. And yet how foolish they are! The US will turn on in them in a moment and cast them aside.

The US has and continues to pursue this series of tactics with many of its 'friends'. It's an exercise in duplicity and it's no wonder that many become very cynical with regard to US words and intentions.

Nevertheless the US is such a giant player on the world stage that many will bite their tongues, swallow their pride and give in... just so they can feed off the wealth and tap into US networks of power. When the empire falls there will be celebration and rejoicing in some quarters and weeping and lamentation in others. I do not doubt that many will experience both emotions simultaneously.

There's a price to be paid though. Christians in Indonesia will continue to suffer and Christians in America will profit off these political and corporate backed activities.

An interesting segment to be sure. It runs about 12 minutes.