Simple humanitarian help, they believe,rnis nnrealistic because the Muslims “arernkilling now. Action needs to be directedrnlike Kosovo. It needs to be discussed inrnthe U.N. Security Council.” hiternationalrnpressure might cause the Indonesianrnmilitary to stop the conflict; if not,rn”the West should act.” A retired generalrnargued that the goal should be to “makernthe military neutral. If not, then act likernin Kosovo.’rnI didn’t point out that such interventionrnwas unlikely because IndonesianrnChristians aren’t white Europeans.rnMoreover, Indonesia is too important tornthreaten. The world’s fourth most populousrnstate, it has the largest Muslim population.rnWashington has no intention ofrnshaking a country ready to explode.rnNor does outside military action seemrna viable answer. Kosovo-like interventionrnwould be difficult to mount and likely tornhave disastrous consequences. Introductionrnof U.N. troops with Jakarta’s consentrnwould be almost as dangerous; unlike inrnEast Timor, a large proportion of thernpopulation in the Moluccas would resistrnany foreign occupation.rnMoreover, Jakarta’s acceptance of foreignrnintervention would roil Indonesia’srndelicate political dynamic. Once, PresidentrnWahid indicated that Western logisticalrnassistance might be necessary. Inrnlate July, however, he declared: “Indonesiarnis able to resolve the sectarian war inrnMolucca Islands itself.”rnLife in Indonesia is not only about politics.rnIn the face of persecution, believersrnwonder about God’s will. GroundskeeperrnTjahyono said that he believes “this isrnaccording to God’s plan. Christians arernunder purification from the Lord.”rnThe most Indonesian Christians canrnexpect is charitable aid from privaterngroups. My trip was organized by ChristianrnFreedom International {www.christianfreedom.rnorg), a private relief agencyrnbased in Front Royal, Virginia. Other organizationsrnare also trying to help.rnAll around the world, beauty and tragedyrnare mixed in uncertain portions. Unfortunately,rnthe latter seems to be winningrnin Indonesia, and there’s nothingrnWashington can (or should try to) dornabout it.rnDoug Bandow is a senior fellow at thernCato Institute and a former specialrnassistant to President Ronald Reagan.rnHe is the author of several books,rnincluding Tripwire: Korea and U.S.rnForeign Policy in a Changed World.rnLetter From thernDominican Republicrnby William MillsrnBearing Gifts From AfarrnIt was just before Christmas, and forrnsome reason I thought the fishing wouldrnbe good in the Dominican Republic duringrnthat time of the year. I had no informadonrnto that effect, but a friend, whorndoes not fish, spoke favorably of DRrn(that’s how many refer to the country).rnThe tarpon had left Florida, and Irnthought they might be there; at least itrnwould be warm. I had the name of myrnfriend’s friend who runs a dive shop onrnthe north coast. I was not planning torndive, but the fellow was from Missouri,rnwhere I live now. He even agreed tornmeet mv eening flight. The plane wasrnlate, of course, causing him to wait a couplernof hours outside customs. Adding tornhis wait was our wait for my tube of rodsrnthat I had mistakenly checked. They didrnnot arrive for several days.rnWe left the Puerta Plata Airport andrndrove to nearby Sosua, where he hadrnfixed me up with a hotel room. The hotelrnseemed mostiy empty, but I was toldrnthat, after January 1, it is packed. Sfill,rnthere were a lot of tourists in town, nearlyrnall from Europe —mainly Germany. Irnthink most were plant workers on cheaprnone- or two-week all-inclusive “packages.”rnPearly in the morning after my arrival,rnI noticed the Germans were alreadyrndrinking at the open-air bars. After Irnwalked the few blocks to the dive shoprnand visited for a while, I returned to findrnthat one of the Germans had anotherrndown in the street, banging his headrnagainst the stone pavement. Everyonernjust looked on as if it were a professionalrnmatch.rnI discovered that all local fishing wasrnoffshore —not my usual kind, since I preferrnthe tranquil waters of the mangroves.rn1 inquired about passage to Monte CrisH,rnseveral hours away, where I understoodrnthere were mangroves. The Englishspeakingrnexpatriates tend to clusterrnaround their own bars, and I got some informafionrnthere. I finally ended up at arnfive-stool bar run by an Austrian on ihernbeach. The Americans and Canadiansrnare living down here to escape high taxationrnback home; I don’t know why Carlrnthe Austrian is here, and I did not ask. AtrnCarl’s, I was put in touch with a Dominican-rnAmerican who had returned to DR,rnand he agreed to take me to Monte Cristi.rnI will call him Paco.rnOne evening, while Paco and I chattedrnin the growing darkness at Carl’s, thernwhores began to come out. Some werernalready drunk. The authorities havernmade some effort to stop them from badgeringrnthe tourists, since it hurts the salesrnat the gift shops lining the beach. In therntwilight, a form rose behind a dune,rnthrew up, disappeared, then rose again.rnEveryone just watched, as they hadrnwatched the fighting Germans. Live andrnlet die. Finally, the form materialized inrna shiny, red dress caked with sand andrnstaggered off down the street. Sex is arnthriving business in Sosua, and not solelyrnfor men. Very handsome young womenrnget off the planes from Europe and expectrnto buy their pleasures.rnAs Paco drove me to Monte Crisfi, herntold me stories. The young women ask ifrnhe has AIDS. The answer for these innocentsrnis a piece of paper run off on a laboratoryrncomputer saying he does not. Ofrncourse, it is two or three weeks old, Paco,rnI learned incidentally, had been firedrnfrom a dive shop for groping the girls underwater.rnOne or two had complained.rnHe laughingly told me that one of thernyoung German girls told him to “take advantagernof me, but don’t hurt me.” Huh?rnAfter several hours, we arrived atrnMonte Cristi. Founded in 1533, it’s arntown of 20,000 people. Paco beganrnto query people near the beach. Hernstopped one fisherman who was workingrnon his nets. In the course of the conversation,rnthe fisherman-diver told him hernhad caught a thousand-pound shark. Pacornlater explained this was on a hand line.rnThe loquacious fisherman also informedrnhim that his partner had tried to kill himrnwhile he was in a dive by cutting off thernengine on the air compressor, because hernhad some money on him.rnFurther down the beach, Paco stops atrnan American archaeologist’s compound.rnThe archaeologist is working underwaterrnon a Dutch ship that sank in the 17thrncentury. One of his sons approached onrna motorcycle. He had tattoos all over hisrnarms, but seeing Paco’s tattoos he wasrnrapt with admirafion. Paco pulled off hisrnshirt and offered the full exhibition. Thernone of the underwater diver with arnwoman took “best of show.”rnMARCH 2001/41rnrnrn