Relief Operation: Indonesia Orders Foreign Troops Providing Aid to Leave by March 26

So the wonderfully "day late, dollar short, brain-dead, courage-impaired" American Press (hey -- Bush stole the election in 2000, not in 2004, and where were you then?) is also calling the Indonesians "INGRATES!!!"

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, Jan. 12 - Indonesia announced Wednesday that all foreign troops assisting in the relief operation must leave by late March...

The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and two other Navy vessels have been cruising off the coast here to provide support. American soldiers delivering the aid return to their ships at night.

Some of the large contingents of foreign troops, particularly from neighboring Singapore, have brought heavy equipment - bulldozers and backhoes - to clear smashed buildings and the debris here and in Meulaboh, a city on Sumatra's west coast that was severely damaged...

The Indonesian vice president, Jusuf Kalla, announced the deadline to Antara, the state news agency, saying that the foreign troops could stay 'no longer than three months' and that Indonesia would be better off if they left sooner.

And anyone willing to look through the mirror of the world at the USA might understand their point of view. Except the American press, government flacks first, journalists last. We have a history of getting in as good guys, and then, like ticks or scabies, implanting ourselves under their skin on a permanent basis.

In Washington, the White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, said that the administration was 'seeking further clarification' on the timetable from Jakarta, but that the United States was committed to helping rebuild the devastated areas. 'This is a long-term effort, and the United States will be there for the long haul,' he said, 'to help people in the region get the relief they need and to reconstruct their cities and reconstruct their lives.'
Yeah, like that. As upsetting and depressing as it is, according to the old saw, to hear the words said in America, "Hi, we're your government and we're here to help you," the whole world sees us in Iraq and elsewhere and shudders at the idea of hearing the clumping of boots and the roar of engines followed by "Hi, we're American military and we're here to help you."

And we're such a bunch of babies about it. "Well, we're doing God's work. We're doing the right thing. We're trying to save lives... but, if they don't appreciate it, fuck 'em."

One of these days, our government will do something good for some people and not demand praise, fealty, ass-kissing, and obeisance in return. Just because that's the way OUR government runs doesn't mean everyone else wants to do the same.


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