while watching her cross Campo S. Stefanornin the company of a golden retriever.rnAnd Stella C —, a young mother, tragicallyrnwidowed, vestal, with the face of arnCimabue Madonna, is somebody tornwhom I imagine an absolute stranger willrnone day propose, on bended knee, with arnsmall bouquet of mainland daisies and arndiamond riviere from Chatila of OldrnBond Street and Rue du Rhone, in thernmiddle of a crowded vaporetto during thernlunchtime rush hour.rnSuch are the human types whose fascinationrnI can never see waning, and thernstreets of London now strike me—as thernstreets of Manhattan did 20, and morernthan 20, years ago—as almost completelyrnbereft of the life they represent. They arernthe actresses who have been auditionedrnby God, the director, and chosen to playrnthe part of the angels in an action filmrnwithout an opening sequence, whose finalrnmeaning is civilization. They arernnow being blacklisted, pushed out, andrnreplaced by Charlie’s globally projectedrninventions, with the immediate prospectrnof barbarizing mankind more effectivelyrnthan any religious fanaticism or politicalrndoctrine. For what all the artifacts of civilizationrn—our basilicas and our railwaysrnstations, our iconic Madonnas and ourrnreclining odalisques, our farthingales andrnour lace pants —ever had in commonrnwas that they made up a spectacle worthrnwatching. Well, no more, says Hollywood.rnNo more, repeats Madison Avenue.rnNo more, echoes the King’s Road.rnThis is why the women’s movement isrnall wrong. Un fisico bestiale and a boring,rnboring director.rnAndrei Navrozov is Chronicles’rnEuropean correspondent.rnLetter FromrnIndonesiarnby Doug BandowrnJakarta’s Seething VolcanornYou had to look closely to see the thickrnstrands of barbed wire in the shrubs inrnfront of my hotel. I’ve traveled all overrnthe world, including to Kosovo, but thisrnwas the first time I’ve stayed in a hotelrnthat was fortified. The staff explainedrnthat it was there in case of another riot:rnMobs tend to target businesses, especiallyrnthose owned by Chinese.rnThere were no riots while I was visiting,rnbut I sensed a country ready to blow.rnSo, naturally, there are people who wantrnAmerica to get involved—not that Washingtonrnhas ever been far from the action.rnFor three decades, the now-enfeebledrnSuharto won U.S. support by opposingrncommunism. Along the way, he built arnkleptocracy that turned his family intornbillionaires. But he stayed in power byrnspreading the cash. Today, quiet neighborhoodsrnhost beautiful homes owned byrnretired generals and well-connected businessmen.rnSome of the wealth even madernit down to the mass of people. Symbolsrnof Western influence — Pizza Hut andrnMcDonald’s, for instance —abound.rnThe 1997 Asian economic crisis, however,rnturned the vast wealth gaps into arnpolitical minefield. U.S. and InternationalrnMonetar}’ Fund aid could not preventrnthe riots that led the military to discardrnSuharto. The result is an unstablerndemocracy headed by President WahidrnAbdurrahman, whose physical incapacitiesrnand mental inconsistencies long agornlost their charm. The countr)’ seems tornbe slowly sliding into chaos.rnThere’s nothing necessarily wrongrnwith a fragmented Indonesia. WhetherrnAceh and Irian Jaya end up independentrnof Jakarta is not of earthshakingrnimportance to America. But whether arnbreakup occurs peacefully is of concern,rnand that doesn’t seem likely. Indeed, Indonesiarnis driven by the kind of culturalrnconflict that should most worry the UnitedrnStates: a modern religious war.rnTensions in the Moluccan Islands runrnback to colonial times, when the Dutchrnrelied on their coreligionists to help themrnrule. One former Indonesian officialrncomplained about “all the time bombsrnleft by the Dutch.” A Christian-dominatedrnsecessionist movement in the Spice Islandsrnsputtered along for years.rnFor nearly two years, Christians andrnMuslims have been battling in andrnaround the provincial capital of Ambon.rnAs many as 4,000 have died, and morernthan 100,000 people have fled. Manyrnhave made the treacherous boat trip tornsurrounding islands. There are morernthan 8,000 Christian refugees on anotherrnisland in the city of Manado, and morernare arriving daily.rnThe killing is primitive but effective:rnWeapons include bombs, guns, even machetes.rnDeath is a daily occurrence. Inrndenying that a massacre had occurredrnlast year, militar)’ spokesman Lt. Col. IwarnBudiman explained that “It was just normalrnfighting between the two sides.”rnLobulisa Leo, a retired general, notesrnthat local Christians and Muslimsrn”would start fighting, and then normallyrntwo or three days later settle it. This wasrna normal happening.” In his view,rnlocal people have tired of the killing.rn”Ambonese, Christians and Muslims ofrnMoluccan origin, are fed up.” But withrnthe arrival of Laskar Jihad, or “holy warriorrntroops,” the problem has spread beyondrnthe locals. The Muslims “must followrnthe provocateurs, or they will bernkilled.”rnWhat makes this sectarian conflict sornfearsome is the rising impact of fundamentalistrnIslam. Warns Lobulisa, “LatelyrnIndonesia has sent a lot of students to getrntheir degrees in Muslim countries, Muslimrnuniversities. They brought backrnMuslim ideas —represented by thernHezbollah forces.”rnAs a result, since World War II, the impactrnof “more radical Islamic elements”rnhas been spreading. More ominously, “Irnhave seen it in the army,” says Lobulisa.rnIn January 2000, more than 80,000 Muslimsrnmarched in Jakarta to demand a jihad,rnor holy war, against Christians;rnAmien Rais, head of Indonesia’s parliament,rnappeared at the rally, explainingrnthat “Our patience has limits.”rnIn the beginning, Moluccan Christiansrnwere able to defend themselves.rnBut Muslims advanced because theyrnwere “backed up by those outside,” explainedrna retired military officer. SomernIndonesian soldiers sent to the islands tornstop the killing have intervened on behalfrnof the Muslim majority; others havernturned over their weapons. And a numberrnhave simply stood by as Jihad forcesrnarrived. “The military hasn’t done anything,”rncomplained one Christian leader.rnThat comes as no surprise. Then-DefensernMinister Juwono Sudarsono admittedrnthat “some or even many members of fliernarmy” have become a “major cause of thernclashes.” He wanted them discharged, butrnacknowledged that there was nothing herncould do.rnThe government’s responsibility is imclear.rnSo far. President Wahid—who, inrnAugust, offered a plan to bring peace tornthe Mideast —has been incapable orrnunwilling to stop the killing. Somernalso blame Vice President MegawatirnMARCH 2001/39rnrnrn