Indonesia's a logical place for the Obama administration to start, as a kind of translator to the larger Muslim world. With its traditions of democracy and tolerance, not so steeped in reactionary Wahhabist thought like much of the Mideast, and with its personal links to America's head of state, it's proving itself as a critical bridge for the State Department.
Unfortunately her Indonesian counterpart Hassan Wirajuda took the occasion to bring up the issue of a $5-billion lifeline, to help get Indonesia through the coming economic storms. In itself, nothing Earth-shattering. But mentioned in conjunction with improving ties, it gives off a certain whiff of pay-to-play politics. New ambassador, Roland Burris?
Today's Top Stories
Indonesia urages US to fill leadership vacuum
New polls show power of moderates
US will consult about strategy
Guantanamo inmate could meet with government officials