Well, this isn’t surprising.
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia - Indonesia announced that U.S. and other foreign troops providing tsunami disaster relief must leave the country by the end of March and ordered aid workers Wednesday to declare their travel plans or face expulsion from devastated Aceh province on Sumatra island.[SNIP]
In announcing the decision, Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said Tuesday that "a three-month period is enough, even sooner the better."
How amusing it would be to hear the howling from various quarters, were President Bush and Australian Prime Minister Howard to announce that we were leaving on January 17th (this Monday)!
Of course, the president won’t order that, but it’s fun to imagine the private conversation between President Bush and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yuduhoyono following this announcement.
President Bush: Hey, Sus!
President Yuduhoyono: Mr. Bush, you will leave my country…
President Bush: Sus? STFU. I talk, you listen. Just so we’re clear: my boys and girls would like nothing better to be back in our wonderful country. None of us would want to colonize your back-azwards country if you handed it to us on a silver platter and I’m bettin’ them Ozzies feel egzackly the same way. We’re there to do what you cain't to do: help your people after a disaster.
Now, unless ya'll want us to bail tomorrow, put a muzzle them boys of yurn.
President Yuduhoyono: Mr. Bush, I resent being spoken to in this…
Gotta love Prime Minister Howard’s understated assent to the Indonesian demand:
Australian Prime Minister John Howard described the demand as "a good idea."
The aircraft carrier leading the US military's tsunami relief effort has left Indonesian waters after Indonesia declined to let the ship's fighter pilots use its airspace for training missions.[SNIP]Come on home boys and girls. Help some folks who appreciate it.
Under US Navy rules, pilots of carrier-based warplanes cannot go longer than 14 days without flying, or they have to undergo extensive retraining.[SNIP]
Subsequently US marines have scaled back plans to send hundreds of troops into Indonesia to build roads and clear debris.
After long discussions with the Indonesian Government, the US military called off plans to base the marines on land. Instead, smaller numbers are going ashore by day to help with relief and returning to their vessels in the evening. The marines' primary task is now ferrying humanitarian workers and food from the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard.
The Financial Times reported on Monday that a US plan to use navy landing craft to deploy about 1000 marines in Aceh had been delayed because of Indonesian concern that it might resemble an invasion.[SNIP]
Major Rick Steele said the US had planned to deploy the marines at the weekend to help provide water-purification services, reconnect power supplies, restore hospitals, repair roads and rebuild bridges and provide other basic aid.
(Hint: This isn't in Indonesia)