Friday, January 07, 2005

Aceh Crisis Creates Opening

Another great article in the Wall Street Journal Aceh Crisis Creates Opening (subscription required) Here is a quote...

“Military control of Aceh also has been about money. The army has been reluctant to give up the cash that has flowed to military and provincial officials over the years through corruption, smuggling operations, protection rackets and illegal taxes -- some of which are abuses also practiced by the rebels to raise funds. Many ordinary Acehnese ended up paying both sides in order to survive. For years, for example, Aceh-based soldiers and police routinely have collected "toll" money along province roads. The result: A round-trip truck journey to Medan of about 850 kilometers (530 miles) could cost the equivalent of several hundred dollars in such fees -- distorting the local economy with bloated costs. Payoffs for permitting illegal logging have been an even bigger source of income for more senior military and provincial officials, according to local and foreign researchers who have studied the issue.”
So our Navy helicopters are undercutting the oppression of the people!


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