Losing More Hearts and Minds

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When the people of East Timor decided 20 months ago to secede from Indonesia, the backlash was swift and horrendous. The Indonesian military, using local militia groups, spearheaded a three-week rampage of pillage and slaughter. The toll: 1,200 dead, wanton destruction of property and a population of survivors traumatized to this day.

It's happening again.

Aceh, an oil- and gas-rich province on the opposite end of the Indonesian archipelago, is starting to relive the East Timor tragedy. Separatist sentiment is building in the seaside towns, the jungle up-country and rice-growing villages. In reaction, the military has revived its time-honored strategy...