For the majority of Expats, tourists (are there really any outside of Bali anymore?) and other English speakers the daily paper of "no choice" is the aptly named Jakarta Post.
More than a tad Jakarta/Javacentric, the post seems to consist of mostly "op-ed pieces" from very dubious sources and a whole swag of cut n paste. One notable Post achievement is that it does seem to evade that old truism (?) Today's News, Tomorrow's Fish and Chip Wrapper...Mainly for three reasons:
1. The post carries no News:
2. There are no Fish and Chip Shops in Indonesia;
3. Even if there were Fish and Chip Shops, the ink used by the post has a bad habit of running whilst you are reading the paper, let alone with battered fish adding to the mystery.
Speaking of the more moronic op-ed pieces, a few days ago the JP had some moron praising the benefits of safe (???????) nuclear power in Indonesia (Don't these knuckle heads even notice what is happening outside of Java?). Then, in a masterpiece of sanctimonious claptrap, some forgettable idiot dropped an op-ed on the deployment of 100 (woo---hoo a hundred…wow!!!, the international community stands stunned at the gesture) Indonesian Police into Dafur.
Titled “Stop Crying For Dafur” and reproduced at the end of this post, the writer uses the great deployment of Indonesia police to slash all the major western countries and the UN in a sludge of straw-man rubbish. Of course, the writer carefully ignored such obvious issues such as
The Indonesian Government is being paid for those Police by the UN, which in turn is funded by the very nations he slashes …Mmmm What was Indonesia’s financial contribution to the UN last year??? Takes the gloss off when you are being paid for it huh?
100 police is a bit like the monkey pissing into the sea at the same time declaring for all the world to hear “every little bit helps” and wondering why people are laughing at him.
The writer then launches into his anti-west tirade, starting with
“Not least our neighbor down under, which is eager to dispatch its military might to war in Iraq and Afghanistan but hesitant to spare military personnel for a humanitarian mission in Sudan”
This idiot does not really what to get into who provides what in world aid or even regional aid does he?
“There must be no question as to the goals, rules of engagement and contingencies available before anyone is deployed.
More importantly it is imperative that preset time lines are in place, along with an exit strategy. “
Ah its that easy!!!…As long as the combatants in Dafur understand and agree to the rules. Didn’t someone once say “No plan survives contact with the enemy”
His understanding of the conflict and the rules is infantile best, but hey if he can do I so can I. How about the conflict is based on the old “Animal Farm” theory that "All Muslims are equal but some Muslims are more equal than others". As a general rule of thumb..Arab..Asian..Africian (with plenty of room for regional xenophobia and racism)
Or this .. “Perhaps the situation would change if oil and gas was found in Darfur.” It is moron, that is what it is all about.
Tiresome twit..Anyway for reading pleasure and laughter here is the article as published in our beleaguered Jakarta Post.
Stop crying for Darfur
Stop anyone on the street and ask them about Darfur. With a shrug of the shoulders most would claim complete ignorance. One or two might identify it as a French hypermarket chain.
If the majority of Indonesians know nothing about Darfur why then is Indonesia sending more than 100 of its police officers to the Sudanese region whose inhabitants are seemingly intent on killing each other?
The answer is simple: Because it is our moral duty.
The world has shed too many tears for a place that has bled too much, but has yet to take any action to stop the killing.
Some 200,000 corpses, three million refugees and four years too late the world community, under the aegis of the United Nations, has agreed to send a stronger peacekeeping force, with a supposedly comprehensive peace plan, into Darfur.
Despite the best efforts of the African Union, its peacekeeping mission to Darfur has been a failure, overwhelmed by the scope of the crisis.
We fully back the government's decision to dispatch a civilian police force to take part in the UN mission.
While world leaders such as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown have called Darfur "the greatest humanitarian disaster the world faces today", we regret -- but are not surprised -- that major powers have been reluctant to contribute to the UN mission.
Not least our neighbor down under, which is eager to dispatch its military might to war in Iraq and Afghanistan but hesitant to spare military personnel for a humanitarian mission in Sudan.
Perhaps the situation would change if oil and gas was found in Darfur.
Though the world applauds the UN initiative few have committed to it. Only France, Denmark and Indonesia have so far committed peacekeepers, while other countries are still considering deployments.
However, more countries need to step up and soon if the UN mission is to hit the ground before the end of the year.
For Indonesia it is imperative for the UN to define and clearly specify the mission objectives for our officers.
There must be no question as to the goals, rules of engagement and contingencies available before anyone is deployed.
More importantly it is imperative that preset time lines are in place, along with an exit strategy.
The debacle of American forces in Somalia and other prolonged UN missions cannot be repeated.
The UN has had a presence in the country since 2005 with the United Nations Mission in the Sudan. We must be careful that this latest mission does not become another "permanent" UN peace mission.
The necessity of setting mission objectives and an exit strategy is particularly important in a region like Africa, which is known for protracted and expansive conflicts.
Darfur has a long history of resource-based tribal conflicts involving as many as four ethnic groups. This was exacerbated when two political groups entered the fray -- the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and the Justice and Equality Movement -- sparking a full-scale rebellion against the failing government in Khartoum.
Indonesia should be ready to commit itself to peacekeeping and peacemaking, but remain cautious so its soldiers and police officers do not find themselves trapped in intractable circumstances.
As for the countries who could help but do not wish to, please stop crying your false tears for Darfur.