Indonesian Coordinating Minister in charge of Political Affairs and Security, Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has warned the US military action in Afghanistan could result in "an inferno" in the US relationship with the rest of the world. The minister voiced concern over the feared spread of Afghanistan's conflict, which he said could bring on serious upheaval in far-flung nations. Soesilo's comments came ahead of President Megawati Sukarnoputri's meeting with US counterpart George W. Bush within the framework of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Shanghai.
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.