George Bush has some support in Indonesia after all, the Laskar Merah Putih.
A group of about fifty Laskar Merah Putih, Red & White Militia, members demonstrated in Bogor in favour of president Bush's visit to Indonesia. They held banners saying "Welcome Mr Bush" and waved American flags. They brought Indonesian flags as well, but did not wave them about, Antara tells us, in a disapproving tone ("tidak tampak satu pun bendera Merah Putih yang mereka bawa.").
The Merah Putih men even got into some shouting matches with some of the 200 students from Pakuan University who were demonstrating against Bush's visit. The Pakuan students accused the Merah Putih brigade, led by one Unitario Hardjanto, of taking money to appear on the streets. It is not known if the students named the likely source of such payments during the heated exchanges of words.
Unitario Hardjanto said that although Bush was the commander in chief of American military forces he had shown some good intentions by coming to Indonesia. He even planned to visit a pesantren, Islamic school, he said. antara
The Laskar Merah Putih are most well known for their fierce opposition to the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and for their role in the violence in East Timor after it voted for independence. They are also known to be on very unfriendly terms with the Front Pembela Islam (FPI), Islam Defenders' Front, - a rival gang.