In that spirit, let's decode what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's upcoming visit means for Indonesia. It's no small event: Rather than paying homage to the usual Asian destinations of China, Japan and Korea, the U.S. is making a point of adding an important new ingredient. The world's most populous Muslim country, and an inherently complicated one, full of political cross-currents and sticky religious issues.
I see a few fingerprints on this momentous addition, first of whose are Barack Obama's, who has a moving personal history in Indonesia. But the repowered State Department - whose staffers greeted Hillary with wild applause, almost as a liberator - is certainly behind this shift as well. It signals not only a new engagement and respect for the moderate Muslim world, but a willingness to wade into interesting geopolitical thickets.
Of course, Indonesia and its tricky issues (like its vocal cadres of Islamic militants) might demonstrate to American officials that lasting resolutions aren't so easy. But more power to them and to Hillary's imminent visit, for at least trying to change the game.
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