Australians React to Jakarta Bombings

Cross post for Global Voices:

Australia: Jakarta bombings bring personal reactions

Kevin Rennie

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37 Responses

  1. Of course anybody being exterminated in such a fashion is a horrid thing; Australian or otherwise.

    I’m not sure that we’ll ever see the supply of martyrs dry up. I think the muslim world (at least the extreme minority of it) will be recruiting willing jihadists on the back of what has been done in Iraq, Afghanistan etc. for a long time to come.
    I’m sure that there is a litany of evidence as to why they’d harbour ill will for Teh West & their memory is just as proficient as ours.

    What was sewn is still being reapt.

  2. Kevin..re your Global Voices blog I agree with one contributor who stated, Tell us what your grievances are.

    And to my mind should the answer be, it’s because you are from a christian country, then this isn’t adequate. If this is their reason then these people should be treated as their crimes dictate, that is they are murderers and religion is just their ‘excuse’ for their callous criminal actions. And this goes for all nations and all religions.

  3. I think the incident has to be looked at from a different perspective. It’s easy to attribute the attack to the usual suspects, but it just doesn’t add up. There was nothing to be gained by JI by carrying out such an attack. Their support is limited to only a very small number of people, and an attack such as this only alienates them even moreso from mainstream Islam.
    The attack very carefully targetted foreigners. I believe not because they wanted to make a statement directed at any foreign country, but simply because it means that the attack becomes a page one story around the world rather than a page three story in Indonesian news only.
    The reason for the attack is domestic politics, as has been the case with some previous attacks. It is related to the recent presidential election and was designed to undermine the popularity and authority of the current president.
    There is a body of opinion that considers one of the losing candidates as perhaps being somehow involved, though there would be several layers of people between him and the actual planners and perpetrators.
    What is not widely known is that on the night Suharto stepped down in 1998, and Habibie was sworn in as president, this same person put certain demands onto the new president that would have given him effective control of the military and hence the country. Fortunately his attempt to take control was thwarted and he went into exile for a number of years, returning only in recent years.

  4. I don’t really care what the “reasons” are, the bastards are cowards – simple – catch ’em – exterminate them – one by one if necessary …

    ‘Cause they are exterminating us … and their own … by the thousands … each year …

    Maybe China should rule the world … wonder if i’ll live long enough to find out?

    There’s an interesting question … what would be better – the globe dominated by Islam or the globe dominated by China …?

  5. TB Queensland, on July 21st, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    TB, unless the reasons are known, it is impossible to know who to search for. I think whoever is ultimately responsible will only be identified by working through several degrees of separation.
    I don’t see what this attack has to do with religion, any religion. The usual media may be looking at the usual suspects but there has been no link made.

  6. Forensic investigation, my dear, jd, fornesic investigation – then shoot the bastards ..!

  7. Min, on July 21st, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Tell us what your grievances are.

    The problem with that, Min, is that the powers-that-be do not acknowledge the significances for all parties of the public and secret wars being waged in our names; not even when something shocking to ‘us’, which is an everyday reality for ‘them’, bleeds through into mainstream consciousness. As the author noted over there, s/he doesn’t understand the ideological opposition to international law; which is the flip-side of choosing to not understand the ideology of ‘war’, and how international law has been made a weapon of mass destruction and an article of convenience for authorising criminality under colour of paramilitary policing for some parties on the wrong side of the gun.

  8. TB Queensland, on July 21st, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    TB, so for you it would be enough to identify those who carried out the actual bombing, the expendable soldiers, and not try to identify those pulling the strings behind the scene.
    Itsn’t that akin to treating the symptom and not the illness?

  9. TB Queensland, on July 21st, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    That’s the spirit, TB. De-escalation and mutual understanding sounds ideal. Except, nobody read the memo from 9/11 in ’01 about the other 9/11 in ’82 and have been on a killing spree in scores of countries ever since, with the ‘final solution’ doctrine working very well by all accounts.

  10. jd, surely you know that fornesic investigation means exactly that – then shoot the bastards!

    Yes! Legion, having been born in 1947 and a military history “hobbyist’, I am also familiar with a the phrase:

    “Peace in our time” …

    … a few months later Mr Chamberlain had to tell the British people…

    “… we are at war with Germany”

  11. These Jihadists are not soldiers, they are criminals that feign war but play under their own rules.

    There is no hope of negotiating a peace with these people as they want to wipe the infidels out and enslave the remainder under their distorted form of Islam!

    They are indoctrinating the young to be Jihadists and each generation will be more radical so it is now a culture and they will become more powerful in the future.

    I believe the only way to fight this is by their rules but they know the west will not consider this tactic so they have won before the fight has begun.

  12. scaper…, on July 21st, 2009 at 7:11 pm Said:

    I believe the only way to fight this is by their rules but they know the west will not consider this tactic so they have won before the fight has begun.

    No scaper, the West has lost and the fundamentalists have won the moment you do that.

  13. Rubbish!

  14. “West has lost and the fundamentalists have won the moment you do that.”

    That is the namby pamby bullshit that the Jihadists are depending on!

    How would you address the situation, offer your hand in peace?

    They would chop it off and stick it up your arse!

    These bastards are animals that have no regard for humanity, they would gladly strap a bomb on their children and detonate it without any remorse.

  15. These bastards are animals that have no regard for humanity, they would gladly strap a bomb on their children and detonate it without any remorse.

    Cf. These bastards are animals that have no regard for humanity, they would drop a bomb on others’ children and detonate it without any remorse. Yes, indeed, that was in the memo.

    Me, I’d just like their bombs taken off all of them, and for them to have more respect for each others’ children, and their parents, and the goats, and the sacred cows. Not going to happen, though; everyone has too much invested.

  16. May be worth looking at the local online reaction by Indonesians: Indonesia: Online Nationalism

    Terrorism conundrum: How do we shoot suicide bombers? Even executing those who survive makes martyrs and more recruits it seems.

  17. renniek, on July 21st, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    By loving them to death, instead of merely claiming to not fear them?

  18. Indonesian politics has been a cesspit for as long as I can remember.

    In the ’60’s they bumped–off half a million or so of their own people simply because they were lefties.

    In the ’70’s and ’80’s it was the turn of the Timorese to get a bit of Javanese culture. Again, half a million or so were killed.

    The place is still run by a bunch of corrupt Generals who call the shots, regardless of who wins the Presidential election. It’s the same mob who have been running the show all these years: Unctious slimebags, one and all. These guys make Slobodan Milosevic look like a philanthropist.

    And to cap it all-off they now have a bunch of whispy-bearded Saudi-funded religious nutters running about waving Korans, guns ‘n semtex, trying to make the world a better place, one bomb at a time.

    What a shit-hole.

  19. Which reminds me, why is it that tossers like the late and unlamented Amrosi of Bali Bombing fame can’t seem to grow a decent beard?

    I mean, throughout his trial, there he was, just sitting grinning that malevolent smile at the cameras while sporting a few miserable strands of bum-fluff on his chin. More like Fu-Manchu or some WWI caricature of a Japanese soldier than the Glorious Saladin who liberated the Holy Land from the Infidel.

    If you’re going to go the Full Monti on Jihad (The Full Jihadi?) , you’ve just gotta get one ot those full-face helmet jobs that God requires of his Chosen. No doubt there’some remonstration to that effect in the Koran. After all, Saladin had one. The Ayatollah Kohmeni had one. But Amrosi?

    WTF are the 72 virgins gonna think if you turn-up to paradise looking like your ‘nads never dropped?

    The shame, the shame.

  20. Evan, if you look a bit deeper you will find the hand of the USA involved in the events of the 60’s, in fact up to their necks. Right through the 50’s and onwards, the USA was actively involved in either trying to destabilise and overthrow the first Indonesian administration, or install and support a replacement all in the name, or game, of falling dominoes.
    The same hands, together with those of UK, and even Australia’s grubby little hands, were firmly behind the events of 1975 and the aftermath.
    Since then the region has woken up to the fact that perhaps those who portray themselves as benefactors may be more interested in their own economic welfare than that of the region. The economic crisis in 1998 and the actions of the IMF confirmed that fact, and it didn’t matter whether the benefactor was working behind the scenes with guns or an economic plan, the intended outcome, and the consequences was likely to be the same.
    Of course one of the lessons left behind was that working behind the scenes subverting governments, political assassinations, or the use of force bombing people into submission was as a legitimate way to force change, so who can complain when some of the locals decide to use the same tactics.

  21. Never said we were clean, johnd, just that they were and are rotten to the core.

    Giving the nod to the invasion of East Timor is the one thing I’ll never forgive Gough for. It was a lousy, rotten thing to do, especially after the support the Timorese people had given our troops there (and the horrific price they paid for it at the hands of the Sons of Nippon) during the War.

    And as for who can complain when “the locals” as you put-it decide to go Jihadi on our ass, well I, for one.

    The fact they we were bastards then doesn’t justify their actions now one little bit. And if you think it somehow does, then you must be a real Old Testament Eye for an Eye Dude.

    Tell me johnd, if murder justifies murder, are you also of the opinion that Japan “deserved” the A-Bombs?

    You see, on the equivalence-calculation, the number of people killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined doesn’t even come close to the number of people the Japanese murdered in Hunan province alone between ’39 and ’45.

    So perhaps they “deserved” a few more Bombs too.

  22. Evan, you appear to not know the history of the bombing of Japan.
    Hiroshima and Nagasaki were just the merciful end with relatively minor casualties compared to the campaign of firebombing Japanese cities prior to their bombing.
    In addition to Tokyo, virtually every major Japanese city was firebombed and almost obliterated by the USA, towards 100 major cities, with estimated casualties far in excess of those caused by the A bombs.
    Firebombing was chosen because most Japanese cities were built of wood and the resultant fires almost totally razed them all to the ground.

    With regards to the attacks in Indonesia, there is no Jihad against us, as much as many people would like to think there was.
    For what reason would there be? If the extremists want to destabilise any Christians, they first have to overcome the 30 to 40 million Indonesians who are generally practising Christians as opposed a far, far lesser number of generally nominal Christians within Australia. Then of course there is the middle class Indonesians with assets and careers who also number in excess of our total population. Do you really think a handfull, in reality numbered in tens, or perhaps a hundred of so, fanatics are going to not only destabilise the population of Indonesia, but of Australia as well.
    If you do then perhaps the fanatics have at least had some small success.

  23. Well, a handful of fanatics managed a pretty good job of it in Germany in the ’20’s.

    Let’s face it, when Adolf started-out, he couldn’t even fill a beer hall with supporters.

    The place was on its knees after the First War and all it took was a few ratbags with big ideas, few scruples and a promise to restore German “strength and honour”.

    Sound familiar? It should. This is exactly the sort of crap Amrosi and Co were shouting.

    As for the moral equivalence calculation: Nice try with the firebombings. But even adding the casualties caused by the whole US strategic bombing campaign, you get to what? Maybe 5 million Japanese civilians killed?

    This, of course plays about 20-30 million Chinese dead at the hands of the Imperial Army. And when you add the people killed by the Japanese throughout the rest of asia (especially places like the Philippines, where they really partied-hard), the result is what? About 40 million or so?

    Still nowhere close.

    They Allies could have killed 2/3rds of the population of Japan and still not balanced the old equivalence scales.

    All fo which just goes to prove that moral equivalence is crap.

  24. Evan, when comparing Indonesia to Germany, Indonesia was on it’s knees in the 60’s, but it was not the radicals that got hold of it, but those who pursued economic success.
    Standards of living increased, health care and education was provided to virtually all, and the extremists who tried to derail the progress became the casualties, literally left for dead by the wayside.
    With the change of leadership, the few diehard radicals still left felt there was a chance for them once the hand that had suppressed them was lifted, but fortunately for Indonesia, the population had moved on and now with a better education, and prospects for an improved future, the radicals found little support. The population now had something to lose.
    In the 60’s they had nothing to lose and could have been manipulated then, but their leaders took them down a path of progress instead.
    Of the few radicals left, some such as Amrosi found useful employment as unwitting tools of forces they neither could see or understand, and undertook tasks that they believed would promote their misguided causes, but instead ended up themselves as naive victims of a game being played for much higher stakes, at a table they were never allowed to sit in at.

  25. johnd, on July 22nd, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Do you really think a handfull, in reality numbered in tens, or perhaps a hundred of so, fanatics are going to not only destabilise the population of Indonesia, but of Australia as well. If you do then perhaps the fanatics have at least had some small success.

    Successful revolutionaries need to acquire weapons of maths destruction. Perhaps.

  26. Legion, such a mathematical scenario was the case in the 60’s when the numbers added up for change.
    It was tried again beginning 1998 but this time it was an educated generation who were doing the higher maths.
    The population is now wise to those who might try to implement such mathematical models, and that includes the IMF who became their biggest threat of the time. Perhaps.

  27. So the son is guilty because he has his father’s surname.

    Doesn’t that open up a can of worms. And I bet a million that Americans would scream blue murder if the son of one of theirs was killed because of something his father did.

    Their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

  28. Interesting analysis at openDemocracy: Indonesia: bombs and politics

  29. renniek, well balanced as well as interesting.
    As referred to, it has always been a mistake to assume that all terrorist activity was somehow connected. It was like saying that all footballers up on striking charges were linked, and indeed a case could probably be made to find links and common ground to support such a case. But in the case of attacks in Indonesia, start looking beyond what seems immediately apparent and then some not so obvious but more relevant connections can be found.
    For some of the more sophisticated operations the common link is probably several layers deep, and it would be easier to find money stashed away in an overseas tax haven by an Australian tax cheat than to find who may be actually calling the shots or providing the finances for terrorist attacks in Indonesia.
    What can’t be hidden so well however is to whose benefit was a successful operation, but generally more importantly, to whose detriment.
    Whilst most observers are convinced as to the reasons for the 2002 Bali bombing and the 2004 Jakarta bombing near the Australian Embassy, I hold that they were both primarily intended to destabilise Megawati.
    Prior to her becoming President, Bali was considered immune and completely divorced to the unrest elsewhere in Indonesia. However once Megawati became President, and after the honeymoon period came to be replaced with the reality that she was really just a housewife and hadn’t inherited any of her father’s political instincts, Bali then came to considered a possible target for an attack, then a definite target, and then in the weeks leading up to October 2002, a confirmed target. Megawati’s origins were in Bali, and if she could not protect the Balinese, then obviously she would not be capable of protecting any Indonesian.
    After the attack her credibility was shattered in the eyes of most Indonesians, but she still had a loyal following based on she being the daughter of Indonesia’s founding President. However the Jakarta bombing in September 2004, just prior to the Presidential election that could have seen her reelected finally blew away what credibility remained that she was the leader who could unite the country and bring stability back again.
    We all know who carried out the actual Bali attack, and they had their own personal beliefs and agenda, which they held to until they died, but were they ever aware of the bigger game that was also played out, and of which they were mere pawns?
    I doubt it because the media focused all the attention on the actual bombers which could only reinforce their belief that they had achieved their objectives, and only those who stood back and observed where the wider ripples washed ashore could appreciate the true significance of the event.

  30. Apparently, Noordin Top and the equally loopy Bashir, entertain a visceral hatred of Australia, hence targeting the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton.

    I imagine Saad bin Laden was an enthusiastic participant in the family business, so he would be a legitimate target. It’s very hard to believe that he hadn’t been well indoctrinated with al quaida beliefs.

  31. jane, on July 23rd, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    It never ceases to amaze me, the gullibility and stupidity of the Australian media.
    The Indonesian authorities try as hard as they can to avoid giving these people with fanatical views, but little influence, a platform from which they can gain some notoriety and be seen as a threat of any kind, other than to those who become the immediate victims of whatever incidents they might carry out.
    Bashir may have visions of a Pan-Asia Islamic state, but given his age he obviously has not had a great deal of success spreading his message. For a start, the majority of Indonesians who adhere to a very moderate form of Islam ignore him, his vision runs contrary to their aspirations. Then there are the 30-40 million Christians in Indonesia, they also ignore him, as well as the middle class comprising a similar number.
    So I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when the Australia media veers towards the hysterical claiming we are under threat.
    A couple of years ago it dismayed me when Howard responded to a taunt from Bashir, it must have given Bashir a great boost to find that an Australian PM gives him some credibility, whilst it has been denied by his own government.
    At least Stephen Smith was wise enough to avoid any similar response when asked for a comment by what I had previously considered to be a reasonably competent journalist. It looks like he, the journalist, is just another dumb-ass Australian journo looking for something sensational to draw out into another piece of nonsense.

  32. Mobius Ecko, on July 23rd, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Weirdness II. Now left with an empty wrapper, one ponders what package was meant to be swallowed uncritically, which was the bundle minus the wrapper. Perhaps.

  33. jane, on July 23rd, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    He seems quite sane. Keep killing us, we’ll keep killing you. And vice versa. Certainly no less sane than all the fun reports of who is killing who, and for how long the killing can be expected to continue until ‘victory’, in other places, with or without inflations for high-ranking scalps and discounts for oops they were civilians. Just sayin’ that the Manichean gloss works, or doesn’t work, both ways whilesoever that paradigm pertains.

  34. Yet more weirdness, or maybe not. Nice work if you can get it, too, apparently:

    In the meantime, they’ll learn new skills, use some of the ones they acquired in the war zone and more than likely will not be shot at while doing any of it.

    They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.

    I do wonder if patriots confronting a military on home soil counts as ‘civil unrest and crowd control’, though; especially with a President Commander-in-Chief capable of seriously considering sending active troops into the middle of NY to round up six men who liked to watch jihadi videos.

  35. Nice work if you can get it, too, apparently*

  36. Legion, on July 25th, 2009 at 3:53 pm Said:
    “I do wonder if patriots confronting a military on home soil counts as ‘civil unrest and crowd control’, though;”

    What did they finally decide on at Kent State? Communist sympathisers I suspect, one size fitted all back then.

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