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Misc Letter to the Editor 

The Advertiser
June 18, 2005 Saturday
We train with a force for terrorism

IT is indeed good news that Douglas Wood has been rescued relatively unharmed despite the terrifying experiences that he has had to endure.

A big thank you must go to the Mufti of Australia, Sheik Taj el-Din Al Hilaly, who took many risks to help secure Douglas Wood's life. Little thanks go to the Australian Government which involved us in a war that most Australians opposed and when Douglas Wood was captured claimed that it never negotiates with terrorists.

One has to ask, if this claim is true, how come the Federal Government has resumed the training of Kopassus (the Indonesian special forces) which has been responsible for genocide and human rights abuses in East Timor, West Papua, Acheh and parts of Indonesia itself, such as the Moluccas. If John Howard and his followers are sincere in their opposition to terrorism, when are they going to stop colluding with the largest force for terrorism in our own region?





Jakarta Post

January 27, 2005
Please drop your suspicious attitude

Certain readers of The Jakarta Post need to drop their suspicious attitude regarding the motives of the armies and NGOs that have arrived in the Acehnese province. Though the Indonesians I know from my time in Sumatra are invariably kind and open, a letter in your paper indicates malicious attitudes from at least one individual toward the considerable resources and manpower afforded to helping your unfortunate compatriots from the western countries.

They would do better to analyze the dubious history of their own country's military actions before casting suspicion our way. It is absurd to suggest that the Australians, the Americans or any other rescue operation intends to hand out guns to the Acehnese rebels, particularly when those guns might well be trained on our soldiers and relief workers.

Remember that although we are not Muslim nations, Australia and the U.S. now share a strong bond with Indonesia, and that is the bond of democracy. Particularly against the backdrop of the international war on terror, I can assure you that neither country would do anything to threaten or destabilize a democratic ally, Muslim or not, unless unduly provoked.

To imply that we would support a theocratic insurgency that advocates instituting sharia law, against an important strategic and economic ally implies a profound misunderstanding of our political interests. To suggest, furthermore, that a humanitarian relief effort might be the "Trojan Horse" the western countries may use to overthrow or destabilize any country is the epitome of cynicism.

You would do better to be concerned for the safety of the American soldiers laid up in the hospital from the relief helicopter that crashed recently. One of your readers certainly seems to forget the importance of self-determination when he offers this myopic bit of historical revisionism: "We should be aware that it's possible that Australia helped East Timor to gain independence so that they could steal the gas in the East Timor sea."

East Timor held a legally recognized referendum for self-determination, for which they were rewarded with brutality and repression by the Indonesian military, which illegal actions are now being investigated, by your own government. The only stealing that occurred in East Timor was in 1975, when the dictator, to his lasting shame, killed twice as many innocents as the tsunami in Aceh. In a sad, ironic twist, my country supplied the guns.



February 1, 2005 1:35pm
Asia Intelligence Wire

I used to be a fan of the great band, U2. But not anymore. I'm disappointed by U2's doubled standards and campaigns. Once they refused to perform in Indonesia because they believed that Indonesia had violated human rights in East Timor.

OK, we will leave that to history. But then, they've been going all around the world (western) to spread "American ideas of democracy and freedom". I have to question this. What about Guantanamo and Palestinian problems? I don't understand. And now many artists are participating in concerts for the tsunami victims. Does U2 have a sense of crises? Poverty has always been among us. Today, we have the tsunami disaster. Hello, Bono, where are you?

Depok, West Java

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