United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Indonesia last Wednesday. She affirmed “Indonesia’s role in handling global problems, including terrorism, protectionism, climate change and the economic crisis.” Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation in the world and the third largest democracy.
Everything Indonesia believes Clinton's visit to Indonesia starts a new era in American foreign policy:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Indonesia starts a new era in American foreign policy. A lot less unilateral arrogance, a lot more inclusiveness and so-called smart power.
Mbak Rita observes that Clinton looks younger today:
“I really think that she looks younger and more goodlooking, maybe it was because of her constant smile she gave during her visit here…Some people on some boring TV talkshow mentioned previously that Jakarta is a little overreacted with her visit. I am glad that I was wrong about that.”
Devi Girsang was surprised about Jakarta’s traffic on the day Clinton arrived:
As a Jakartan who used to stuck in traffic, I tend to be panicky if the streets are quiet and deserted look-alike. There are only two things popped in my mind in that case; there's a bomb terror or rampages. Remember 1998 Jakarta riots or 2003 Marriott Hotel bombing? Then you must know what I mean
Around 2 PM today, it turned out to be US Secretary of States Hillary Clinton's arrival in Jakarta that stopped the traffic! Lucky for me, there's still battery power remained on my digital camera to take a few snapshots.
Therry, in a comment, wonders if the US sent a fake Clinton:
I saw the speech Hillary made on television and I don't know whether it's just me but that woman doesn't look exactly like Hillary.
I'm starting to think the US government sent a fake one to us, because that woman looks too old and motherly to be Hillary!
Not everybody was cheering the visit of Hillary Clinton in Indonesia. Picture from Jakarta Today
Andreas Harsono wanted Clinton to raise the issues of religious freedom, impunity, and military reform during her visit:
“(Clinton) should be careful not to say that Muslims in Indonesia are “moderate,” as most diplomatic visitors like to say. For members of persecuted religious groups in Indonesia, it is a useless and inaccurate cliche.
“Concern over rising religious intolerance is not the only human rights issue Clinton should raise with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Freedom of expression is also a huge problem on islands where ethnic minorities show their resistance toward the Indonesian state. But in Indonesia, even peaceful acts like a flag raising can land you in jail for a long time
“Clinton may be tempted to gloss over issues like religious freedom, impunity, and military reform, in favor of closer Indonesian-US ties. But if she does, she’ll miss a golden opportunity to transform the lives of many people in Indonesia who need pressure on the government to recognize their rights.”
Via Twitter, below are some reactions to the Clinton visit:
waxinglyrical: someone asked who is Hillary Clinton??
mirageinblue: saw hillary clinton at the lobby. awesome
oplet: Obama Fans Club stages protest against Hillary Clinton in Jakarta, saying they're just not that into her since presidential race
Picture from Flickr page of US Department of State