Playing With Fire
August 9, 2006: Playing with fire, politicians, including the foreign minister, encouraged Indonesian Islamic militants to go off to Lebanon and attack Israel. Islamic radicals in Indonesia are quick to call for volunteers to go overseas to defend Islam in wherever the most recent "crises" is. Some Indonesians have shown up in these hot spots, but not very many. But Indonesian police, who openly discourage such calls to violence, note that this sort of thing encourages terrorism that often ends up taking place at home. But politicians cannot resist an opportunity to grandstand. In Malaysia, politicians are calling for buying and shipping weapons to Hizbollah.
August 8, 2006: Japan is donating three fast patrol boats for use in the anti-piracy patrols in the Malacca Straits. Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore conduct these patrols jointly and will share the use of these new boats.
August 4, 2006: In East Timor, there are still 80,000 refugees living outside the capital, afraid to return home because of the political gangs still operating in the city. While foreign peacekeepers are withdrawing their troops, the gangs they came to deal with are still in business. Apparently the gangs will get down to old business once the peacekeepers are gone. The country is still split between easterners and westerners, as well as by political party. Meanwhile, some gang members have been arrested for violence, and admitted they were planning to go and attack the refugee camps.