Signs of the “post-national” are everywhere around us, whether you’re here in Indonesia or on the other side of the world in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Having gone to the Chinese embassy in Jakarta today to apply for a visa, it is still very obvious that the nation-state goes a very long way in defining who we are and how we interact with others in this world. However, signs that the borders between these states are getting hazy, that culture and capital and everything else is flowing around the globe with increasing fluidity are unavoidable.
As President Bush listens to the recommendations of the special committee on Iraq, the conflict in the Middle East gives some interesting insight into how we are all connected.
The Indonesian relationship with the crisis in the Middle East is complex. On the one hand, Indonesia is a proud member of the United Nations and actively participates in a dialogue about the promotion of peaceful global resolution and the promotion of human rights around the world, even as it struggles with problems of its own. On the other hand, there is most definitely an affinity felt by the majority of Indonesians, based on a shared religion and identities as â€œthird worldâ€ countries. In both cases, Indonesians feel very strongly about finding a resolution to the conflicts that they see killing people every day. Both of these identities seem to find conflict with the United States, for people often see Americaâ€™s policy as harming both multi-lateral peace-building efforts as well as being disproportionately hostile and even arrogant towards third-world countries (who they feel the USA is trying to dominate) and the Islamic world (who they feel is the target of aggression from America).
What are Indonesians saying about the recommendations, and what do they think the Bush administration is going to do? The most striking headline that I saw today was that the report urged the administration to find resolutions to the problems in Iraq as far as the US was concerned, but not go so far as to resolve the problems in Iraq. In other words, people see the United States as making an attempt to cut and run, to get out, brush off the dust and walk away from the country as its cities continue to burn and bombs continue to explode.
The Indonesian president SBY has recently announced a possible plan that will involve Indnosia in the conflict in Iraq. One of the proposals is to send forces into the country from Muslim countries.
“We’re friends to the Iraqis, and we’re a friend of the United States too, and of all the parties directly involved in the conflict,” said Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda. “There has to be something that we can contribute.”