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Indonesian Interests Bribed President Bill Clinton

The publisher of a book on arms dealing in the Pacific says the deaths of thousands of East Timorese can be laid directly at the feet of US President Bill Clinton, who arrives in Auckland this weekend for APEC.

Howling At The Moon Publishing's joint managing editor Ian Wishart, says the reason the US is lukewarm on the Timor bloodbath is patently obvious.

"James Riady, the head of one of Indonesia's largest companies and a special envoy for President Habibie, was named in the US Senate as President Clinton's biggest political campaign donor in 1996. The donations were illegal. They were effectively bribes. American inaction over the beheading of women and children in East Timor is the payoff.

"The Senate investigation also named Riady as a Chinese spy, and noted the close ties between Indonesia and China."

James Riady visited New Zealand two months ago at the invitation of the New Zealand Government, for special meetings with NZ Prime Minister Jenny Shipley.

"The reality is that the guns being used to pump bullets into babies are American guns. The bullets are American bullets. Every one of those bullets extracted from an East Timor mother's belly is a fifty cent profit for a munitions company. That's what this is really about. Corruption and arms dealing."

Mr Wishart also called for a greater focus on the biggest weapon against Indonesia: money.

"Indonesia owes billions of dollars to the West, and receives billions more dollars every year in aid. This carnage could be stopped in 24 hours if the banks and Western leaders turned the financial tap off. Again, the reality is that the blood of dead children stains the banks, politicians and companies who prop up the corrupt regime in Jakarta."

Mr Wishart says East Timor also provides an abject lesson to people who are not worried about state surveillance or ID systems.

"It has been forgotten amidst the bloodbath, but if people care to recall, voters in the East Timor election were fingerprinted on their actual voting paper. The East Timorese were told this was to ensure that nobody voted twice. The reality is that everybody who voted for independence can now be personally identified, and as Jose Ramos Horta points out, they are being systematically slaughtered."

Howling At The Moon's latest book, State Secrets, focuses on geopolitics in the Pacific, including Indonesia. Its author, Ben Vidgen, is a former New Zealand soldier specialising in counter-intelligence. Vidgen says that contrary to media reports, and the spin from some Government officials giving media briefings, the Indonesian military are not a "crack" force, and would be unlikely to go to war against a UN force, particularly if the US made it clear that it would take action if things got out of hand."


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