Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Trump's Indonesian Allies In Bed With ISIS-Backed Militia Seeking to Oust Elected President

Source: The Intercept

by Allan Nairn
April 19, 2017

Associates of Donald Trump in Indonesia have joined army officers and a vigilante street movement linked to ISIS in a campaign that ultimately aims to oust the country's president. According to Indonesian military and intelligence officials and senior figures involved in what they call "the coup," the move against President Joko Widodo (known more commonly as Jokowi), a popular elected civilian, is being impelled from behind the scenes by active and retired generals.

Prominent supporters of the coup movement include Fadli Zon, vice speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives and Donald Trump's main political booster in the country; and Hary Tanoe, Trump’s primary Indonesian business partner, who is building two Trump resorts, one in Bali and one outside Jakarta.

This account of the movement to overthrow President Jokowi is based on dozens of interviews and is supplemented by internal army, police, and intelligence documents I obtained or viewed in Indonesia, as well as by NSA intercepts obtained by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Many sources on both sides of the coup spoke on condition of anonymity. Two of them expressed apparently well-founded concerns about their safety.

The Coup Movement

On the surface, the massive street protests surrounding the April 19 gubernatorial election have arisen from opposition to Jakarta's ethnic Chinese incumbent governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as Ahok. As a result of pressure from the well-funded, well-organized demonstrations that have drawn hundreds of thousands — perhaps millions — to Jakarta's streets, Gov. Ahok is currently standing trial for religious blasphemy because of an offhand comment about a verse in the Quran. On Thursday, the day after he hears the results of the very close governor’s election, he is due back in court for his blasphemy trial.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on March 27, 2017. Photo: Goh Chai Hin/AFP/Getty Images

Yet in repeated, detailed conversations with me, key protest figures and officials who track them have dismissed the movement against Ahok and the charges against him as a mere pretext for a larger objective: sidelining the country's president, Jokowi, and helping the army avoid consequences for its mass killings of civilians — such as the 1965 massacres that were endorsed [AD note: Approximately 2,500 Indonesian soldiers including officers were trained in the U.S. at the notorious School of the Americas.] by the U.S. government, which armed and backed the Indonesian military.

Please go to The Intercept to read the entire article.

Weapons, weapons, weapons and more weapons, and oh yes, throw in some natural gas sales for good measure. Eleven deals were signed while Pence was in Indonesia as a traveling weapons salesman. Energy firm Exxon Mobil, General Electric, and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin were among the American companies involved in the agreements. In 2013, Indonesia purchased from Russia approximately $645 million worth of arms sales while the U.S. sold Indonesia around $146 million worth of arms. Seems the U.S. wants in on the action while in Indonesia it is important to keep factions fighting with each other as a "terrorist threat" to justify all the weapons sales. Read more:

Pence announces $10 billion in deals on Indonesia trip

US to sell Apache helicopters to Indonesia in $US500 million deal

Indonesia at the Crossroads: U.S. Weapons Sales and Military Training

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