Cam Bangbang (David Cameron and Indonesian president General Susilo Bangbang Yudhoyono) Website for this image
"Indonesia is in the midst of a massive military spending spree, with $1.4bn allocated for major arms purchases through 2014.
"According to former defence minister Juwono Sudarsono, military officers may be pocketing as much as 30-40% of the procurement costs in 'mark-up fees'."
West Java, Indonesia.
The world's biggest Moslem country, Indonesia, claims to be a democracy.
Indonesia has the world's 4th biggest population and it has a booming economy and growing military expenditure.
Which is why it is being visited by UK prime minister David Cameron.
West Java, Indonesia
In the Guardian, on 12 April 2012, John Sidel, in an article entitled "Indonesian democracy deserves closer scrutiny", explains that Indonesia may not be any more democratic than the USA or UK.
John Sidel makes the following points:
1. Speaking at an Islamic university in Jakarta, David Cameron praised Indonesia as a model democracy.
(In the 1960s, Britain trained Islamic guerrillas in Indonesia in order to try to topple the democratically elected president, Sukarno. According to The Independent: "Cabinet papers show that British spies, including MI6, supported Islamic guerrillas in order to destabilise Sukarno." The Secret State.
(In the 1990s, Margaret Thatcher praised Indonesia's President Suharto, just before he was toppled 'by the CIA and its friends' - Aangirfan)
Citizens of Jakarta
2. The recent shift to 'decentralised democracy' in Indonesia has seen businessmen, gangsters and corrupt politicians become entrenched in parliament and regional assemblies.
3. Indonesia has "judicial mafias" and rising human rights abuses by the police.
Buitenzorg, West Java, Indonesia.
4. The president is a retired Suharto general.
(The CIA and its friends put the military into power in 1965, and many of the top military are trained in the USA - Aangirfan.)
Many former military officers occupy top positions in the government and in parliament.
The army continues to carry out human rights abuses (for example in West Papua).
The military has resisted pressure to divest itself from its business interests.
Indonesia - boy and kitten
5. Indonesia is in the midst of a massive military spending spree, with $1.4bn allocated for major arms purchases through 2014.
According to former defence minister Juwono Sudarsono (previously Indonesia's ambassador to the UK), military officers may be pocketing as much as 30-40% of the procurement costs in "mark-up fees".
Perhaps this is the real context in which we should understand Cameron's glowing account of Indonesia's "inspiring" democracy.
More here: Indonesian democracy deserves closer scrutiny