Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will be leaving Jakarta on Tuesday for Washington. He aims to persuade Congress to lift the arms ban on Indonesia.
(note: sometimes Jakarta Post links may not remain unique to a particular news item, and instead take a reader to its home page).
Apart from meeting President Bush and top government officials, he is scheduled to meet some CEOs of giant U.S. companies like Microsoft, ExxonMobil (oil), Newton (mining). But there’s one CEO that I feel, and I believe many many Indonesians would agree, he shouldn’t meet at all. I refer to the CEO of Philip Morris.
Philip Morris, or as it tries to pass itself nowadays as Altria, ranks as probably one of the worst, if not the worst company for the Indonesian President, or for that matter, any nation’s leader to have any discussion or do business with.
Philip Morris or Altria sells cancer sticks or death sticks, or, if one wishes to hide from the truth, cigarettes.
Because the more enlightened western society has gradually reduced their smoking habits and at the same time, savagely hitting the tobacco companies for six through successful law suits, Philip Morris (Altria) and other Western tobacco companies are targeting Asia as new markets to peddle their deadly wares. Like most western tobacco companies they sneak in by stealth, under guises of teenage and women events and entertainment, etc. Teenagers and women are their principal targets to enlarge their customer base.
Tobacco companies have very deep pockets, are very innovative and extremely deceptive. Hence they are bloody dangerous - before you know it, they will be cosily ensconced in the deepest core of your lives (like your lungs), and you will have extreme difficulties ever getting rid of them.
They have experienced hugh liability payouts in the West, and now target relatively uninformed Asia for new markets to recoup their payout losses in the West and to strive forward with greater profits.
It needs to be pointed out that Philip Morris has been a big financial backer of Bush. Additionally, Bush's blue-eyed boy, political strategist and new White House Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl Rove had been on Philip Morris' payroll before.
Nevertheless, it’s quite disgusting and unethical for Bush, who claims to be a born-again Christian, to permit his Administration to arrange the meeting between Philip Morris and the Indonesian President.
Cancer sticks are WMD - Wicked Murderous Drugs - with a difference - they hurt the owner or user.