Indonesia: How to Offend Everybody

The U.S., a nervous fence-sitter in the Dutch-Indonesian dispute over Netherlands New Guinea, last week found its perch painfully uncomfortable. By trying to avoid offending anybody, it offended everybody.

The U.S. troubles began with a quiet Dutch trooplift to West New Guinea aboard KLM commercial flights. As long as the soldiers wore civvies, carried no arms and traveled aboard regularly scheduled commercial airlines—as they had done for months—nobody complained. But fortnight ago the Dutch decided to step up the airlift by chartering two special flights, and Japan promptly closed Tokyo International Airport to the jets for refueling. Forced to find...

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