Indonesia slams US over Iraq

Indonesia has issued some of its harshest criticism of Washington’s Iraq policy, saying the United States is in a “quagmire” which might have been avoided if it had secured UN approval before invading.

    Jakarta's FM Hasan Wirajuda warned of Iraqi civil war

    Foreign Minister Hasan Wirajuda said on Monday the US occupation had not met its objectives and “did not bring about any significant change in the nature of the world’s problems”.

    Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, was a vocal critic of the war and repeatedly called on Washington to wait for UN backing before invading.

    Wirajuda said Washington’s troops would not be facing the current problems in Iraq if they had waited for the world body’s approval. He did not elaborate how the situation would have been better with the UN’s green light.

    “There is the dreadful prospect of the balkanisation of Iraq with boundaries drawn on ethnic and sectarian lines," he said in a speech during an international security conference in Jakarta.

    He warned of a looming civil war if various rival factions in Iraq got sucked in by a power vacuum.

    These developments would pose a threat to the entire Middle East, he warned, adding the situation had heightened grievances in the Muslim world and damaged the UN.

    Ally efforts

    Washington has tried hard to make strategically located Indonesia an ally in the US' so-called “war on terrorism”.

    After a halting start, it has had some success in getting the world’s fourth most populous country on board in regional efforts, but both the intervention in Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq has sparked widespread Indonesian criticism. 

    If weapons of mass destruction (WMD) had not been found in Iraq “because they do not exist, then an entire country has been levelled to the ground for no good reason,” said Wirajuda.

    Washington, along with staunch ally Britain, made Baghdad’s alleged possession of WMD one of its main justifications for its invasion.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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