With all the news that occupies and overwhelms us every day, Indonesia doesn't catch the attention of most westerners. But Indonesia has the largest population of Muslims in the world. It has a long history of fascist dictatorships under Sukarno and Suharto.
The USA has supported many dictators over the years for selfish reasons - in Egypt, Cuba, Iran, to name just a few - and many millions of innocent people have died for the sake of the rich - who always want to get richer - and the powerful, who act as God, but are much more the devil.
Hitler did not attract much attention in the months and years prior to World War II.
Today, Indonesia stands at the brink. Elections will decide who rules Indonesia and in which direction that country goes. There is a popular opposition candidate who is loved by the people, but the military dictator - accused of kidnapping and torturing opponents in the past - is rich and powerful and many people are leaning toward him, seeking a Fatherland figure over a man of the people.
In the evenings near Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto's cattle farm in the mountains outside Jakarta, vendors with unsold food rely on the former army commando to buy their leftovers.
"He comes down with a car and when he passes by he rolls down the window and waves at us," said Vina, who goes by one name and runs a small grocery store down the narrow road that leads to the farm's gate. "He likes to joke. He says 'don't take life too seriously. You'll get stressed out, and it makes you old, fast'."
In the 16 years since dictator Suharto was ousted and his then son-in-law Prabowo fired from his post as lieutenant general amid accusations of human rights abuses, he's recast himself as a successful businessman and farmer who pays for the schooling of village children. Even in the army Prabowo harbored political ambitions, say those who know him, and he's run an efficient campaign portraying himself as a strong, capable leader, a message resonating with voters less concerned about his reputation for outbursts and not tolerating dissent.
Prabowo is in a neck-and-neck race for tomorrow's vote, vying with Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo, 53, to lead the world's fourth-most populous nation, where 28.3 million people live on less than $1 a day. While Prabowo, 62, studied at prestigious schools abroad and amassed a personal fortune of about $150 million, he recently said he was "once poor," without giving any details.