Guest Post: Mk50 of Brisbane – Indonesian relations

Catallaxy has, almost beyond doubt, the most vibrant and well-educated community of regulars in the Australian blogosphere. It has blind spots – perception of Indonesia being one.

I have been following the Australian left’s Narrative on the effect ’stopping the boats’ has on Australian-Indonesian relations. That ABC/Fairfax Narrative is that:

  • The government is conducting megaphone diplomacy and the Indonesians despise this.
  • ‘Abbott’ has ruined relations with Indonesia, does not understand them, and is a bull in the regional china shop for all those reasons summarised at Catallaxy by the shorthand ‘Abbottabbotabbott666’ (essentially the left considers him a savage compared to their own doyens of competent rectitude Brown, Milne, Rudd and Gillard).
  • The boats cannot be stopped due to push factors and efforts to do so will lead to adverse relations with Indonesia.

The left’s conceptions about Indonesia are based on the innate belief that they are inferior in all respects to themselves and include the remarkable assumptions that:

  • Indonesia is a new nation.
  • Indonesians are all alike.
  • Indonesians think the same as left-wing Australians, only not as well.
  • Indonesians need and should respond to the guidance of the Australian left, who know what is good for them.

These patronising views are observable in the biased, near hysterical reporting of the ABC and Fairfax as the government quickly stopped the ‘unstoppable’ illegal immigrant trade, now 5 weeks without a boat.

The reality about Indonesia is deeper than the left can understand. Indonesia is the Javanese Empire (go ask a Moluccan’s opinion); an ancient and sophisticated social agglomeration with a history of civilisations dating back to ancient Dvipantara (200BC) and Kutai in the bronze and iron ages. ‘Indonesian’ eyes have been locked on the arc from the north to the west for two thousand years, as that is where the security threats and trade benefits come from – they well remember the Mongol invasion of Java in 1292. A brief word on the Indonesian military – it is not a western military but an Imperial one: its major role is to keep Indonesia together and that is what the ‘dwifungsi’ concept is about. So their Navy is a maritime constabulary force and secondarily aimed at conventional warfare. Their amphibious ships spend most of their time on ‘Surya Bhaskara Jaya’ (SBJ) sociocivic tasking to bring the benefits of Imperial rule to the outlands. The left’s patronising view of Indonesia is a caricature, and we know from their actions that Jakarta regarded the Rudd/Gillard governments as incompetent loudmouthed boors. Meanwhile, Abbott, then in opposition, was maintaining quiet low level contacts and ensuring that his policy framework was understood in Jakarta. This was understood and appreciated – it’s how they do business themselves – a public announcement is one already negotiated and agreed to in Javanese society and politics, where surprises and confrontation are actively avoided and differences settled privately.

Enter the left. The Indonesian and Australian government responses to their Narrative are not public but have to be assessed from the outcomes they generate.

This provides our first point of assessment: there is a lot of communication out of the public eye. That is a little antithetical to Australians, but it is how Indonesia does diplomacy and it is how Howard worked so well with them after East Timor. Abbott and Yudhoyono have continued this through the usual intermediaries, hence the quiet Indonesian acceptance of Australian boat return policy. The quid pro quo was that these returns not be trumpeted. Why? Well, as Mick from Gold Coast noted, there’s an election on:

It has ever been thus – the elections there are in April and July and, for Indonesia, that is the only game in town (and there is no way they will leave themselves exposed to incursion by the Abu Sayaf and other Islamist extremists from the north).

This minor irritation to the south east has offered outgoing President Yudhoyono a useful distraction to counter corruption claims against his party by other contenders as the general election campaign approaches.

We can now see a second point of assessment: both governments have considered the Narrative, noted its predictability and have turned it to advantage while publicly appearing not to do so. For example Indonesia is announcing ship and MPA deployments in response to minor breaches of Indonesian territorial waters – odd how they would never have known of these if Australia had not told them, and now Canberra has what it wants. The quid pro quo is also obvious. Partai Demokrat, GOLKAR, PKS, PAN, PPP and PKB coalition partner officials are cheerfully beating the ‘vote for us because we stand up to foreigners’ drum secure in the knowledge that Canberra will not say a word about it. And both benefit from the free publicity flowing from the Narrative. Reports of Indonesian warships going to the area, hysteria about turnbacks, the baseless ABC allegations of beatings and burnings all act to deter new customers for the transnational criminal gangs running the people smuggling trade. Both countries benefit from this.

What the left will refuse to understand is that their predictability makes them perfect for co-option, and so they and their Narrative have been co-opted by political operators vastly more worldly and sophisticated than they. As the left just knows itself to be morally and intellectually superior to both governments, they are unable to acknowledge this or to change their MO. Their worldview does not permit them to realise they are being played like a violin. This will not change.

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120 Responses to Guest Post: Mk50 of Brisbane – Indonesian relations

  1. stackja

    A brief word on the Indonesian military – it is not a western military but an Imperial one: its major role is to keep Indonesia together and that is what the ‘dwifungsi’ concept is about.

    The past concept of Abdul Haris Nasution who faced the 30 September Movement. The left supported 30 September Movement/PKI.

  2. tkh

    A great post Mk 50. It brings some reality to the often tortured ABC commentary.
    And, of course, the left will never learn.

  3. Fisky

    The question is – do the people smugglers’ clients really believe the stories of abuse and torture, or are they savvy enough to see what lies behind them (a Leftist campaign to open the borders again)? I say the latter. However, the Left’s trumpeting of the boat turnarounds certainly does help the Abbott government’s message.

  4. Leigh Lowe

    Interesting stuff Mr 50.
    And some points well made about the dichotomy between the private diplomacy and the public posturing of both governments, and also the counter- productive hysteria from Fewfacts and the ABC (counter-productive if one assumes they want a flood of asylum-shoppers, which is a reasonable assumption.

  5. Mayan

    We and Indonesia both have better things to do than go to war. The bed-wetters need to pop a pill and lay down.

  6. Fisky

    Certainly, Abbott is looking good for a second term already. Shorten has already written the Liberal ads for them with his reckless shooting off at the mouth. Everything Labor have said about boats will be totally discredited by 2016, and the Liberals will be free to run a brutal campaign warning about Labor’s plans to open the borders again.

  7. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    Thanks TKH.

    One clarification. ‘Dvipantara’ is the earliest reference to any civilisation in Indonesia and predates Srivijaya. It may not be the name for a kingdom but the name for a (civilised) Hindu area as this Sanskrit term is normally translated as ‘the islands in between’.

    Unfortunately, these early civilisations were established along trade routes and in Indonesia that means on silt-plains lacking much stone and having plenty of wood. Almost nothing has survived of these early civilisations in consequence due to this. So a lot of what we know of early SEA civilisations comes from Chinese and Indian records. Funan (the predecessor of Angkor) for example was most likely not called that. All we know of it is contained in two letters Chinese merchant letters from about 200AD and that it was Hindu, was located in Southern Vietnam and southern Cambodia along the Mekong and could have been founded (as city states??) as early as 400BC.

  8. Larry

    The disconnect between the media and the general populace on this issue is like no other!
    Most Australians get Indonesia.
    The leftist media seem to forget that huge swathes of Australians have direct experience and understanding of Indonesia. Forget the leftie yoga retreats in Ubud. Aussie bogans from all over the country get down and dirty in Kuta, negotiating, getting to know and appreciating the ways of the different groups of Indonesians who flock there.
    The ABC reporting on the torture claims by Indonesian police would have been met with roars of laughter from all those thousands of Aussie who have had to bribe one of them on the roads in Bali.

    Great article, it throws an interesting light on the situation.

  9. James of the Glen

    So, tell me if I’m wrong, the turning around of the boats has been decided by both countries as a quiet operation, beneficial to both sides.

    Then along comes the ABC, fully aware of this arrangement and thus knowing how it can wrecked – by trying to loudly trumpet every move in both countries and by concocting outrages.

    Is this not sedition, practised in order to undermine the Australian Government?

  10. nerblnob

    The naive racism of those who assume that so-called “third world” countries can only be victims of superior “first world” countries leads to many miscalculations.

    Slightly off-topic, but Australia was comprehensively outflanked by East Timor (who were not shy about manipulating the UN and other international bodies) on oil/gas royalties apportionment and we still get (mainly left wing) people shouting about big bad Australia ripping off poor little East Timor. Indeed that is probably the default view who have little cause to think about it otherwise.

  11. Makka

    “Is this not sedition, practised in order to undermine the Australian Government?”

    It’s called betrayal. Traitorous acts of traitors. That is the Left, our ABC. And that the LNP allows this to continue with taxpayer money funding it’s operation is fucking appalling.

    Get this fixed, Abbott.

  12. candy

    Get this fixed, Abbott.

    It’s Mark Scott he has to start with.

  13. stackja

    Makka
    #1165814, posted on January 24, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    As I remember Menzies had problems with the left which ended with the left in disarray.
    Another long-term PM?

  14. Fisky

    The entire ABC should be arrested for treason, no doubt about it.

  15. Leo G

    Everything Labor have said about boats will be totally discredited by 2016, and the Liberals will be free to run a brutal campaign warning about Labor’s plans to open the borders again.

    Shorten’s time horizon appears to extend only to July. There appears to be a strategy of attempting to limit the effectiveness of Operation Sovereign Borders so as to give people smugglers hope of some boatloads getting through to Christmas Island when sea conditions improve in March or April.

  16. stackja

    Fisky
    #1165821, posted on January 24, 2014 at 10:55 pm
    The entire ABC should be arrested for treason, no doubt about it.

    I do not think the techs should be held responsible.

  17. Crossie

    We can now see a second point of assessment: both governments have considered the Narrative, noted its predictability and have turned it to advantage while publicly appearing not to do so.

    I suspect that the Indonesians despise us for not reining in the ABC as they would have no compunction in doing so.

  18. I do not think the techs should be held responsible

    No, the techies are enablers; and, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, far too many of the techies tend to subscribe to the groupthink.

  19. Crossie

    I do not think the techs should be held responsible

    Yeah, that infamous excuse: “They were only following orders”?

  20. tkh

    Deadman, I can see that techies are enablers and subscribe to groupthink, but do you think that comes from above?
    After all the techies aren’t very senior really, or do they hold the organisation by the balls so to speak?

  21. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    Oooooh!

    This’ll be good, right up my alley – I’d better get reading!

  22. disillusioned

    Deadman, I disagree. The techies may be considered enablers by some people but it is hard to get and keep a good tech job let alone biting the hand that feeds you. If any techies are guilty of assisting the left the hold them to account.

  23. do [I] think that comes from above?

    tkh, the entire culture (so to speak) of the ABC is at fault; I maintain that the bias (and the lack of awareness and rationalisation thereof) throughout the organisation is endemic but a new MD (such as myself), who would be prepared to sack overpaid, partisan incompetents, enforce the charter, and impress upon all surviving staff that the existing culture must be transformed, could remodel the organisation into what it should have been all along. Otherwise, the behemoth must be flogged—preferably with bullwhips—with its assets stripped, the buildings razed to the ground, the sites sown with salt, and the whole corporation condemned to damnatio memoriae.

  24. Tintarella di Luna

    the whole corporation condemned to damnatio memoriae.

    Deadman, yes please, do not pass go — straight to demnatio memoriae

  25. Tintarella di Luna

    Great article Mk

    You know there are some big gatti here with very big contributions.

  26. Fisky

    Shorten’s time horizon appears to extend only to July. There appears to be a strategy of attempting to limit the effectiveness of Operation Sovereign Borders so as to give people smugglers hope of some boatloads getting through to Christmas Island when sea conditions improve in March or April.

    No doubt at all. He’s got just over five months to run on the clock, hoping for some miracle to turn up. They are totally deluded if they think this issue will turn around for them – in fact the longer they try to delay action against the boats, the worse it is for Labor because then the issue will remain live, and the Liberals will be able to use Labor’s futile blocking votes in the Senate to destroy them in 2016.

    The real problem is that the intellectual Left control Labor, and they still do not know what to think about boat people. They have no idea what they believe, with different imperatives (electoral, “moral”, tactical) pulling them in all directions at once. Illegal immigrants could really be the magic bullet for the Libs through several cycles, just like the Communist issue totally wrecked Labor in the 50s and 60s.

  27. Fisky

    Deadman, I disagree. The techies may be considered enablers by some people but it is hard to get and keep a good tech job let alone biting the hand that feeds you. If any techies are guilty of assisting the left the hold them to account.

    That’s it. They just take orders, they don’t set the agenda.

  28. Fisky

    Contrast the way the Libs dealt with Workchoices in 2008. They knew they could never win the issue, so they killed it off, and reaped the electoral rewards almost immediately in 2010 and ’13. Labor have no chance of this issue ever working in their favour. Ever. And they seemed determined to drag it out as far as the eye can see.

    This isn’t like the illegals situation in the US – the scale is smaller and Australia’s existing migrant intake is more skewed to the skilled intake, so both the older and the newer demographics already here have little sympathy for the boaties. Labor must be crazy if they really want to go to the mat with Abbott on the boaties.

  29. Fisky

    Remember the recent polling – only between a fifth and a quarter of the voting public think Abbott’s stance on the boaties is too harsh. That is about the same proportion of people who thought the same way 10 years ago. The issue demographics are not budging and Labor are totally deluded, more so than the inhabitants of the Hitler-bunker, if they think dragging this issue out will benefit them.

    It would be like Doc Evatt taking a strategic decision to campaign on more civil liberties for Communists in every election in the 50s. Oh wait. That’s what he did do!

  30. Fisky

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australians-want-boat-arrivals-treated-more-harshly-poll-20140108-30g97.html

    A strong majority of Australians, 60 per cent, also want the Abbott government to “increase the severity of the treatment of asylum seekers.”

  31. C.L.

    Great. Another excuse to post the audio of Soviet spy Evatt telling a stunned House that he’d written to Molotov and been assured by him that there were no Russian spies in Australia.

    http://moadoph.gov.au/exhibitions/online/petrov/royal-commission.html

    Shorten’s opposition to Sovereign Borders is knocking at the door of Evatt’s league.

    In fact, the left routinely pulls a version of the same stunt by telling Australians they’ve been in touch with Indonesia’s foreign minister who says Abbott’s policy can’t work.

  32. tkh

    Deadman, agreed.
    Put yourself forward for the spot.
    I think Mark Scott is on a downward spiral and with a little bit of a push he should be gone after all the Indo boats kerfuffle.
    What say you Mr Scott?

  33. Fisky

    My favourite stat from the UMR report – only a third of Millenials (18-29) agree that “Most asylum seekers who arrive by boat are genuine refugees”. That is devastating for Labor. They have no hope of ever gaining ground on this issue.

  34. Fisky

    48% of Millenials want to “increase the severity” of government policy against illegal arrivals.

    http://www.umr.com.au/expertise/reports/item/90-dec-2013-umr-report-attitudes-to-asylum-seekers-and-mining

    Keep talking, Dolly Shorten, ya doin’ a great job out there!

  35. Fisky

    @CL – the perfect outcome over the next two and a half years would be for one boat to arrive every 3 months. That’s low enough for Abbott to claim victory, but still often enough to keep the issue live and bait Labor into saying something incredibly stupid every time a vessel crosses the border. And they never fail to deliver.

  36. Fisky

    Hey S@ndo, THR, fellas. How’d you like those polling figures, huh? Pretty impressive how half the Millenials want to ratchet up the pressure on the boaties, and think Abbott is a soft cock.

    You guys have permanently lost this issue, and there is no possibility of a come back ever. Suck it up!

  37. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    CL – thanks for the posting of Doc Evatt – you probably know he went on to become a judge “Incontinent, barking mad and totally incapable of understanding the evidence placed in front of him” – in fact, in one case it was suggested that the learned judge be able to comprehend the photographic evidence if he was holding that evidence the right way up…..

  38. Leo G

    A strong majority of Australians, 60 per cent, also want the Abbott government to “increase the severity of the treatment of asylum seekers.”

    Note the picture painted by Fairfax- strong Australians want weak asylum seekers treated severely.
    Surely most Australians are tiring of the misrepresentation of illegal boat arrivals as mere asylum seekers who have broken no law, particularly no criminal law, and certainly not section 73.3a of the Criminal Code (Supporting the offence of people smuggling).

  39. WhaleHunt Fun

    being played like a violin.

    Exactly.
    That they nevertheless do not see this is exquisite.
    Human trash. Inhumane insensitive trash. Totally uncaring for the thousands of lives they have cost. Flippant even when shrugging off the men women and children they drowned. No empathy. No sensitivity. The Greens and the Labor left are human trash.
    And yet, on this low filth, the Minister has played a pretty tune.

  40. Fisky

    Here is my fantasy 2016 election scenario. Three boats arrive in the 9 months leading up to the poll, prompting Labor to spend $10 million on election advertising on the issue – “Abbott promised to ‘Stop the Boats’. Yet three boats have arrived already this year. Another BROKEN PROMISE from Abbott!!!!’” broadcast every 30 minutes in every living room. Please, please let it happen!

  41. Andrew

    Exactly right Fisky. Pre election, my leftoid friends were singing about Abbott666 and his boat policies. I said to them “PLEASE campaign on boats. Make that the headline issue of your campaign. Talk about nothing but Abbott666 and how he promises to stop the boats.

    And 4 months later they’re still doing it! Even Senior Labor Figures, who should know better, are saying the policy has been bungled. People might buy it now, but in a campaign the ads will be horrendous for them.

  42. Armadillo

    There is a lot of talk about killing the ABC outright. I reckon the left are actually hoping for a fight there because they reckon they can win it. Deadman makes a very good point.

    and impress upon all surviving staff that the existing culture must be transformed, could remodel the organisation into what it should have been all along

    Cut off the head first, and get it back to how people remember it – reliable news once on the hour, and some entertainment. Get both sides of politics out of it completely. Political reporting is exactly what has screwed the National broadcaster beyond recognition. The international broadcasting arm should be solely to promote Australia, not political agendas.

  43. Fisky

    People might buy it now

    Great! I hope they do buy it. Let’s take that 60% who already think Abbott is too soft on the boats, and push it up to 80% and see how that plays out for the ALP!

    GO!!!!

  44. Fisky

    So yeah. Labor should be gunning hard for Abbott. I think he is totally vulnerable on the boats. If only Labor can convince enough people that Abbott has not been harsh enough, run lots of ads to that effect, and keep the issue front and centre forever…(please, please let it happen!!!)

  45. “No! No! Don’t throw me into the briar patch!” pleaded Br’er Abbott.

  46. Fisky

    Hey Labor. Any of y0ur strategists reading this? I have your best interests at heart and all, so here’s my advice. Spend your entire 2016 budget on ads attacking Abbott over the deficit, the boats and global warming. That’s your best bet, I swear! Make sure they are the only issues people are talking about.

  47. twostix

    48% of Millenials want to “increase the severity” of government policy against illegal arrivals.

    People are too hard on the millenials. They (we) are the children of the revolution and there’s a lot of cynicism and confused thinking about all of the stock pop-culture positions that would, with some cleverness, easily topple and become a counter revolution.

  48. Fisky

    When you consider that nearly all of those 18-29 year olds were subjected to at least 1 year of indoctrination at school about how wonderful boat people are (and on average the demographic as a whole would have spent their high school years being brainwashed about it), it’s a terrible data point for the Left. They’re fucked.

  49. Nic

    This was understood and appreciated – it’s how they do business themselves – a public announcement is one already negotiated and agreed to in Javanese society and politics, where surprises and confrontation are actively avoided and differences settled privately.

    A very good point

  50. Armadillo

    It has blind spots – perception of Indonesia being one.

    Before I forget, I just wanted to say that the post was very informative Mk 50. Being able to ‘unleash’ some of the knowledge that readers have is the absolute best thing about ‘The Cat’.

  51. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    Nice work MK50.

    I did especially like:

    “The left’s conceptions about Indonesia … include the remarkable assumptions that:

    * Indonesia is a new nation.
    * Indonesians are all alike.”

    and they sent boofheads such as Comrade Car Salesman Fitzgibbon, the Chrises dopey Evans and squeaky Bowen, Senator Robert E. Lee-Carr, the Berk and finally Bill’s lad squinty, blinky Joe to amaze and enthuse them about the quality of Labor’s gene pool. Comrade Dear Leader flew in from time to time, largely unannounced, and the Slapper carted the boyfriend with her to lend offence.

    this bit:

    “The reality about Indonesia is deeper than the left can understand. … an ancient and sophisticated social agglomeration … eyes have been locked on the arc from the north to the west for two thousand years, as that is where the security threats and trade benefits come from – they well remember the Mongol invasion of Java”

    and a further vital piece:

    “on the Indonesian military – it is not a western military but an Imperial one: its major role is to keep Indonesia together and that is what the ‘dwifungsi’ concept is about.”

    What you say about the mutually trustful accommodation states the relationship as it has been for a long time, certainly thanks to both professional military leaderships, some sure footed serious minded diplomats and also to Downer and Howard (who turned half circle over twenty years to understand things he had not previously appreciated).

    Thanks for noting my comment – I am often determined to have other Australians understand the things I have learned, most importantly that SE Asia is not Australia, and sometimes I give up because we are too apathetic.

    There is so much to know about Indonesia before you can know it. It’s northernmost provincial city is closer to the national capitals of four or five other countries than it is to its own; from the kitchen window in Djakarta you can almost see the somewhat vital Straits of Malacca and the second biggest sea port in the world; and if you set sail south from Burma you will have to go around Indonesia to get to Australia, as you would from Japan (and every country in between). It’s about 3,500 miles long (roughly Perth to Sydney).

    It’s important to read about and understand the differences brought by Sukarno, Suharto, Wiranto, Wahid (and why this crafty fellow was important for a just short while, in keeping the peace) Endriartono Sutarto, Megawati and Yudhoyono – what family or region they came from, which ones were military and why that is centrally important.

    While I was at school reading about the joint they were busy knocking each other off as the military cleaned out the commos, to the tune of half a million and there have been several bloody internal stoushes since. They are pleasant and reserved people. :)

    We elect 220 odd to our houses of parliament, they have over 700, with about ten parties holding seats in the biggest house. You will need a cut lunch to get you through the vast differences between provinces, ethnic groups and the quite different rooms in the same Islamic house.

    Their population is ten times ours and as they prosper so will we.

  52. Percy

    I’ve nothing of worth to add to the comments other than to offer some kudos to MK50 for this fine article. Well done Sir.

  53. pleaded Br’er Abbott. LOL

    This was understood and appreciated – it’s how they do business themselves – a public announcement is one already negotiated and agreed to in Javanese society and politics, where surprises and confrontation are actively avoided and differences settled privately.

    It was also (at least in my perception) how Howard generally operated, at least once he’d found his feet, but the Left never understood this either. They’re fixated on something approaching the image of Jean-Luc Picard on the bridge of the Enterprise saying “Make it so!”, not realising how much went on behind the scenes before the announcements were made. It’s worth noting that some of Howard’s biggest fuckups (as acknowledged by the centre-right, not just those who think Ayn Rand was too far to the left) include things he did very early in his term, without much (if any) private consultation with the stakeholders or working out of the little details*. That sort of cack-handedness is how Rudd and Gillard operated for SIX YEARS, and some on the Left still can’t comprehend why the electorate gave them the boot at the end of it.

    * = Rudd had an eye for the little details, but not all of them; indeed, he went so far into specific minutiae – the ones which suited or interested him – that he would rapidly lose sight of the Big Picture and leave various threads of Little Detail loose all over the place. Nor were the minutiae he went into always the ones that mattered. Makes me wonder if he’s somewhere on the Asperger’s spectrum, in which case he might have made a half-decent minister in a portfolio with very focused responsibilities, but both the Prime Minister’s department and the Foreign Ministry arguably have the broadest portfolios of all. Conversely, Gillard had a far superior grasp of the Big Picture, but her vision for the nation was so utterly diseased that it risked the annihilation of her Party.

  54. boy on a bike

    MK50 – given that the Indonesian Navy hasn’t really operated in their southern waters much, do they have the logistical setup to stick around for long in this area? Can they be sustained in the area, or do you think they’ll just cruise down, show the flag and head home – never to return?

  55. Petros

    Sorry Armadillo but I have to disagree. We must stop waxing nostalgic about the ABC. If the left are contained by cutting off the head, it will only be a temporary fix before they rise again. The beast must be killed. Dead. Think of the positives: rural and regional private media organisations will have a much better chance of surviving and thriving. Witness Warren Buffett’s latest moves in buying small town newspapers btw. We cannot trust the left. They will be relentless.

  56. Walter Plinge

    Armadillo: Cut off the head first, and get it back to how people remember it – reliable news once on the hour, and some entertainment.

    Exactly. That might even tempt me back…

    Come, Old Mother Hubbard and Jack and Jill
    And Tom the Piper’s son
    Leave your cupboard forget your spill
    We’re going to have some fun
    The wireless says to hurry and run
    To leave your games and toys;
    The wireless says the time has come
    For all the girls and boys.
    So come with a hop, a skip and a run,
    It’s time for the Session, it’s time for the fun

  57. Hubert East

    Petros; I agree 100%!
    Small local and country newspapers and I suspect radio stations would prosper without the weight of a bureaucracy, like their ABC. I hope Tony is waiting in the wings for the “idiot collective” to impale itself some more.

  58. james

    Every time the ABC begins its earnest pleadings on this issue I can barely stop myself jumping for joy.

  59. Obio

    A very informative post, great stuff.

    Interesting how the ABC’s opening position is to belive the accusations of a bunch of law breaking, bribe paying, document destroying illegal country shoppers over a bunch of service personel held to the highest standards of behavior.

    Time to sell or shut down the ABC.

  60. Tel

    Indonesians Every human on Earth need and should respond to the guidance of the Australian left, who know what is good for them.

    How’s that? Glad to be of help!

  61. Bob

    While driving, I often listen to the excellent podcasts produced by ABC Radio such as The Law Report, Hindsight, Rear Vision, The Nature of Things, The Health Report and, provided he can contain himself, the interviews conducted by Richard Fidler.

    There is a lot the ABC does well. It’s a bloody shame their news and current affairs departments contain so many fanatics.

    Still, there is hope. The clashing and bashing of musical instruments which now accompany the news broadcasts is a surefire way to drive away even leftie listeners.

  62. Tel

    Hey Labor. Any of y0ur strategists reading this? I have your best interests at heart and all, so here’s my advice. Spend your entire 2016 budget on ads attacking Abbott over the deficit, the boats and global warming. That’s your best bet, I swear! Make sure they are the only issues people are talking about.

    Might be worth flogging the Work Choices horse a few more times. It’s not dead, just resting it’s eyes.

  63. Megan

    This is why the Cat is my favourite read. My knowledge and understanding of the issues is expanded before breakfast and I have new ammunition for the tiresome FauxFacts and Their ABC-informed talking points at work. Thanks Mk50.

    And Deadman, I’d happily assist you in the ABC Transformation Project. It would be the most satisfying work, ever.

  64. ChrisPer

    Thanks for depth that Our Journalists dont give us Mk50!

    It just shows how shallow reporting and commentary has become that we can rely on so few, the Henry Ergas, the John Durie, the Cat contribbutors and the Mk50 – to explain what is going on, not just be stenographers

  65. Jazza

    Excellent read, thanks, Mark
    I think the ALP do not think Tony Abbott is some pugilist thug at all–it is the construct they(wonder who–er, the useless Scot, Wyalla wipeoutman,their Godfather Bill??) devised when he was so successful as OL, and like their stupid attachment to the Co2 tax and open borders. they are sticking to it. Good on em as these things will keep them in the wilderness for years.
    I’m wondering a few things though, like where are Short Willie’s brains?certainly none are on show in his job where he is colourless,ineffectual and dead boring–what does he do come July 1st?—what “illegals problem” move will they undertake next since they have few clues about how Indonesian government and trade really work?

  66. Miney

    What they forget is that stopping the boats is a real vote winner in Australia.
    A government who will not stand down on its core principals even under a threat from another country is really winner in the public eye .
    Tony Abbott has to stick to his policies no matter what happens if Indonesia does not like it tough for them.
    Indonesia is only upset as they can see the kickbacks the corrupt officials receive drying up
    Still its about time Indonesia patrolled its own borders and thanks to the Abbott government they have finally been forced to do it

  67. GP

    Their worldview does not permit them to realise they are being played like a violin.

    Given the left’s insular & monochrome views, I think a banjo might be more to the point.

  68. egg_

    While driving, I often listen to the excellent podcasts produced by ABC Radio such as The Law Report, Hindsight, Rear Vision, The Nature of Things, The Health Report and, provided he can contain himself, the interviews conducted by Richard Fidler.

    Even the ABC RN Yartz programs had pro-Rudd editorials back in 2007; haven’t listened since, thanks.

  69. egg_

    IIRC Islam got a foothold on the ousting of Dutch Imperialists in the former ‘Dutch East Indies’.
    The ‘live people trade’ wouldn’t have prospered without widespread systemic corruption.

  70. Walter Plinge

    THE Abbott government is absolutely determined to stop illegal immigrant boats coming to Australia, even if this means enduring significant damage to the relationship with Indonesia.

    This damage is playing out in a series of bellicose statements by senior Indonesian military sources, although these statements were substantially wound back by Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa yesterday, when he said that increased Indonesian navy patrols were “not an unfriendly act towards any nation”.

    Although strains in the relationship have become apparent over the past few days, there does not appear to have been any significant redeployment of Indonesian military assets to the archipelago nation’s southern coast.

    Greg Sheridan in The Australian today. Lead item on-line. Paywallled.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/jakarta-rift-wont-deter-tony-abbott-on-boats/story-fn9hm1gu-1226810102761

  71. Brilliant article, full of insight and perfectly describes the arrogance, delusion and incompetence of the Australian left, fully owned on this subject and confusing their ignorance with moral superiority.

  72. james

    The Australian left might be advancing on other fronts, but in this instance they are beaten.

    I have even spoken to public school teachers who blame the people smugglers for increasing the flood of boats under Rudd “even though we made things easier for refugees”.

    You begin to understand how Lefties have managed to screw up every country they have ruled when you see just how little comprehension they have of cause and effect.

  73. pseudonym

    > The real problem is that the intellectual Left control Labor, and they still do not know what to think about boat people.

    I agree, up to a point.

    Another facet of this problem is the effect of the Greens. Those clowns have made the boat people issue a cause celebre, in the hope of attracting attention from the fashionably left inner city types. Labour, seeing long term decline in their support base, are petrified of such tactics from the Greens tactics and, to try to minimise loses, Labour feel compelled to ape the Greens’ antics. And, here’s the real stupidity, Labour are copying the Greens even though it damages Labour in the outer ‘battlers’ electorates, without which they cannot obtain power. It appears that there are some within labour who see this problem, but the party as a whole can’t deal with the problem directly because of the conflicting priorities.

    Napoleon advised not to interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. Accordingly, I think we should just let them writhe on this issue. (The expression “I wouldn’t p!$$ on you if you were on fire” comes to mind.) And, most importantly, we really do have to stop the boats, to demonstrate the shortcomings of the lefties.

  74. Alfonso

    Hee, hee. Labor’s academic left gurus are disgusted by the nasty self centred morally bogan electorate they are forced to endure. Please comrades lets have an ‘Aboriginal privilege in the Constitution’ referendum asap and as many elections on 3rd world illegal immigration being determined by Marty baby and his mates as you like.
    Spare a thought for Electric Bill…..and Gillard hasn’t even been charged yet.

  75. Tom

    Wow! So much reading to do. Then MK50 pops this into the system at ten o’clock on a Friday night just before Saturday breakfast reading peak hour. Like so much else at the Cat, a mind-expanding post. Thanks, Mark.

  76. James Hargrave

    Of course it is a Javanese empire – the problem nowadays is that most people think of empires as akin to the European colonial empires of recent times: far away territories rather than physically (more or less) contiguous. Perhaps when we have the United States of Indonesia, in a more balanced form than 1949-50, to reflect the diversity of the place (albeit somewhat diminished by colonisation from over-populated Java) and a few bits have managed to get out, then, but only then, will there be a country with which it is possible to do business as a stable, level-headed neighbour.

  77. johanna

    Excellent post.

    I know a bit about Indonesia (although not as much as you!) via friends of my Dutch parents, some of whom remained in Indonesia after independence. These remnants of colonialism, often with ethnic Indonesian spouses or extended family, have plenty of respect for the political savvy of Indonesian politicians and diplomats. They are amazed at the condescending and ignorant attitudes of Australian pollies, journalists and other “thought leaders” about Indonesia.

    You have correctly identified the key priority of any Indonesian leader as being keeping the nation together. It resembles India in that respect, and for similar reasons. The sheer size and diversity of the country, complicated further by its geography – around 18,000 islands, with around 6,000 of them being inhabited. And, inhabited by a startlingly diverse collection of cultures, religions, languages and geographies.

    Keeping it together as a nation is a task that no Australian politician that I can think of would have a hope of achieving. Yet, over many years, numerous of these pompous, racist dills have looked down their noses at their Indonesian counterparts.

    It’s articles like this that keep me coming back here. The MSM has completely failed to grasp, let alone transmit, anything useful or instructive about the realities of Indonesia. No wonder they are going broke.

  78. Viva

    Whilst campaigning Indo pols are impressing their voters by trumpeting their actions to defend their borders against those awful foreigners down south, Abbott is making hay impressing his constituents with headlines such as “Jakarta Rift Won’t Deter PM”. Win-Win with bells on!

  79. Viva

    You have correctly identified the key priority of any Indonesian leader as being keeping the nation together.

    Absolutely. The Austro-Hungarian Empire rides again. Though keeping the Slovaks, Slovenes, Croats, Serbs, Magyars et al. together was probably a bit trickier.

  80. EJ

    Source MSN

    We should all continue this line of investigation!

  81. Notafan

    ■Indonesians think the same as left-wing Australians, only not as well

    The left are condesending to all who are not like them, anyone who is not in lock step is ‘brainwashed by shock jocks’ fooled by three word slogans, lack the appropriate credentials etc etc. The attitude and behaviour of the luvvies to all they consider their intellectual inferiors is stunning to behold.
    It is not just Indonesia.
    I wonder if they just think refugees are all those nice little brown/black people who eat yummy food. We need more of them opening cheap restaurants here.
    Plus they get to work at Migrant Resource Centres where they have bountiful opportunities to patronise and run peoples lives for them. While hectoring the Australian taxpayer to hand over more and more money to them.

  82. Demosthenes

    Perhaps when we have the United States of Indonesia, in a more balanced form than 1949-50, to reflect the diversity of the place (albeit somewhat diminished by colonisation from over-populated Java) and a few bits have managed to get out, then, but only then, will there be a country with which it is possible to do business as a stable, level-headed neighbour.

    Perspicacious. We have to give Indonesia time, and assistance without condescension.

    Time because the region was still in the equivalent of its Era of Warring States when Europeans arrived, with the addition of an incomplete Islamic takeover, only to be followed by semi-feudal colonialism, brutal Japanese occupation, and the shameful attempt by the Dutch and British to prevent Indonesian self-determination. They barely got a start on making their own country before the inherent instability in their weird tripartite national system brought on a power struggle between the military and the communists. Somehow, the ones with the guns managed to win that one. The murderous and corrupt dictatorship that followed only ended 15 years ago. It’s going to take a while for that much social trauma to accumulate scar tissue.

    Remember, the US Civil War was 150 years ago, and some people there are still angry.

  83. boy on a bike

    The sheer size and diversity of the country, complicated further by its geography – around 18,000 islands, with around 6,000 of them being inhabited. And, inhabited by a startlingly diverse collection of cultures, religions, languages and geographies.

    Can we give them Tasmania? They’d do something useful with it.

  84. Woolfe

    Thanks Mk50.
    I did not realise that the Mongols got into what is now Indonesia? Assume they slaughtered everything they came across. They were the original greenies, slaughtering and enslaving humans and turning the cities back to grazing land.

  85. Aristogeiton

    Exceptional post MK50!

  86. Cold-Hands

    EJ, I fixed your linky.

    Congrats MK50. The Bolta has picked up this post and will take it to a wider audience.

  87. entropy

    Can we give them Tasmania? They’d do something useful with it.

    I think that would be mean. What did Indonesia ever do to you BOAB!

  88. Cold-Hands

    I did not realise that the Mongols got into what is now Indonesia? Assume they slaughtered everything they came across.

    Woolfe, they were double-crossed by an allied native princeling, who used them to defeat the rulers of Java then massacred their best troops in a surprise attack. The Mongols retreated rather than be left stranded in a hostile island.

  89. EJ

    @Cold-Hands thanks for that! Hope Bolta will update to include the video.

  90. Woolfe

    Woolfe, they were double-crossed by an allied native princeling, who used them to defeat the rulers of Java then massacred their best troops in a surprise attack

    Wow, thanks, I didn’t know that! Mongol s double crossed, that was their prime way of “doing business”!

  91. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    Thanks for the kind words!

    One thing that has struck me about Indonesian perceptions of Australia is how aware they are of the history. Several times I have been told that ‘we remember how your Government assisted the formation of Indonesia after the war’. They know our assistance was ambivalent – we liked the Dutch and worked with them as military Allies in WWII – yet realised that there was a far longer term game afoot and that attitudes had to change over a long, long time frame. Geography made that inevitable. Oddly enough, that was taken as proof of lack of racism in Australian policy, and this at a time when the ALP’s shameful White Australia Policy was still in force. They also understand why the road from the Battle of Surabaya in Oct-Nov 45 to the John Howard’s Australian-led role in the detachment of East Timor in 1999 had its rocky patches. Indonesia’s path from an impoverished, devastated, ramshackle mess after the War of Independence 1945-1949 to where it is now, with rising prosperity across the Empire – well, it has been anything but easy.

    As said above, like the Austro-Hungarian Empire only across a vast archipelago. What the Indonesian governments have achieved really is quite extraordinary, sure they have problems, but it’s still a remarkable achievement to keep Indonesia together and to increase general prosperity over time.

  92. dan

    Great article

    While driving, I often listen to the excellent podcasts produced by ABC Radio such as The Law Report, Hindsight, Rear Vision, The Nature of Things, The Health Report and, provided he can contain himself, the interviews conducted by Richard Fidler.

    Well I hope you enjoy it considering how much I pay to produce it.

  93. Armadillo

    Even Pickering is trying his hand on the subject now MK 50. Not as good though -

    http://pickeringpost.com/story/indonesia-a-clear-and-present-danger/2663

  94. egg_

    We have to give Indonesia time, and assistance without condescension.

    Time because the region was still in the equivalent of its Era of Warring States when Europeans arrived, with the addition of an incomplete Islamic takeover, only to be followed by semi-feudal colonialism, brutal Japanese occupation, and the shameful attempt by the Dutch and British to prevent Indonesian self-determination. They barely got a start on making their own country before the inherent instability in their weird tripartite national system brought on a power struggle between the military and the communists. Somehow, the ones with the guns managed to win that one. The murderous and corrupt dictatorship that followed only ended 15 years ago. It’s going to take a while for that much social trauma to accumulate scar tissue.

    Great synopsis; they still have a looong way to go IMHO.

  95. motherhubbard'sdog

    Mk50, this post deserves wider readership. You should consider submitting it to the Oz.

  96. johanna

    DFAT, despite its numerous faults, has long recognised that Indonesia is second only to the US in our priorities.

    It’s great that we, and now folks at BoltA’s, are having this discussion. But it is a mystery why the media has never told us anything meaningful about Indonesia. All we get is the loathsome Corbys, spy cameras in slaughterhouses, and things that happen to tourists in Bali. Oh, and pontificating from the likes of Greg Sheridan, which have no educative value whatsoever.

    If anyone from The Australian is reading, perhaps a version of Mark’s post would be suitable for publication?

  97. Mk 50, as you once wrote to me…

    Hit amidships. Target burning brightly.

    Well done Sir.

  98. Andrew

    Oh please, let’s stop this crap about Krudd having undiagnosed Aspergers. That’s twice this week I’ve heard that. He doesn’t. If he was an Aspie, he would have some useful skill – like counting cards. Krudd has none. Even the stuff he was interested in he turned into a total clusterfuck. He WISHES he was on the spectrum. And if he turned up to an Aspie conference they’d all say “Who’s this freak, and what’s his problem?”

  99. hoppers

    Great article MK50.
    The beeb, spiritual home of progressive w*nkerdom that it undoubtedly is, at least produces excellent drama and eye-wateringly beautiful nature programmes voiced over by Saint David.
    Its revolting little sibling here in Oz replicates the PW without those redeeming features that make the beeb almost worth the irritation.
    Reform urgently required.

  100. dan

    Oh it’s terrible when the RAN enters Indonesian waters isn’t it…hang on:

    Survivors from an asylum seeker boat that sank off Indonesia say the boat returned to land after it hit trouble in rough seas and sank only 50 metres from the shore.

    About 50 people are either missing or dead, 30 of them understood to be children, after the boat sank off Agrabinta, a remote area of the coast off the Cianjur region of west Java, after it got into trouble on Thursday

    One survivor told ABC News he had lost his whole family because Australian rescuers did not come when they phoned a day before the sinking.

    “We called the Australian Government for 24 hours, they were telling us ‘we’re coming, we’re coming, we’re coming,’ and they didn’t come,” he said.

    “We sent them the position on the GPS, exactly where are we, and we drowned and nobody came.

    “This is because of the Australian Government. I want them to know that.”

  101. Tom

    Good to see Bolt has given this a wider readership by linking to it. Just a hunch, but I’m guessing the Cat’s readership (unique browsers/CPM) is 20-40% larger than at this time last year.

  102. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From johanna at 1:43 pm:

    “But it is a mystery why the media has never told us anything meaningful about Indonesia.”

    Oh they have johanna, for most of my adult life, regaled us with something “meaningful about Indonesia.”

    A half dozen Australian “journalists” and technical fellows invaded a remote location overseas where a deadly shooting competition was taking place. They were advised to not go there because it was – well – dangerous. They were then directed to not go there, but they did. It was none of their business to be there, and stupid.

    A painted sign on a wall “Australian” was, they believed, as protective as one of those kevlar vest things – “Yeah mate, that’s right – we’re Australian media. Just keep shooting each other while we film to feature your murderous culture on the 6 o’clock news back home.” You’d reckon that would work a treat, eh?

    It didn’t occur to them that neither side in the stoush could read, could understand “Australia” if they had been able to read or could distinguish it from the name of a local plant or the make of their vehicle.

    Predictably they got shot. Their families and friends from thousands of miles away just knew exactly how they got shot, which rag tag soldier did it and who gave the orders – the Indonesian President I think, or something similarly inventive.

    For thirty five years they blamed everyone – Comrade Gough the Great, Sukarno, Oswald and Edward Fox (but not their reckless intruders); and demanded action by investigators ranging from Interpol and the FBI to the VicRail railway ticket inspectors.

    Eventually they had Lithgow Magistrates Court or someone declare the brave adventurers innocent and there is probably a sorry sob day and an obelisk in a local park somewhere, as a memorial to dumb, dumb, dumb.

    That’s the only “meaningful” the ABC and our other media knows of Indonesia, apart from the expectation that it operate to Australian expectations. Their new younger workforce doesn’t even know where it is (just like their mentors!).

  103. stackja

    Tom
    #1166552, posted on January 25, 2014 at 3:21 pm
    Good to see Bolt has given this a wider readership by linking to it. Just a hunch, but I’m guessing the Cat’s readership (unique browsers/CPM) is 20-40% larger than at this time last year.

    More fun here then at BoltA.

  104. jupes

    Good post Mk50. Hopefully you are 100% correct. That would be gold.

    However I’m not sure if you being are a tad optimistic about the government(s) using Australia’s lefty media to shape events. I can’t imagine that the events being played out are a deliberate strategy of the Abbott government i.e. they had a plan that would result in the re-deployment of part of the Indonesian Navy to their southern border. I don’t think they are that clever.

    I think it is more likely that they took the view that, regardless of Indon bluster, they were determined to stop the boats. Lefty opposition is a given, however it would have been accepted that this would work against the lefties because Blind Freddy knows that the majority of Australians do not want illegal immigrants crossing our borders.

    It is the determination of Morrison and Abbott, ably assisted by the competence of Angus Campbell, that is stopping the boats. Sure the lefty media are assisting them, but that is a bonus rather than part of the plan. In my humble opinion anyway.

  105. Walter Plinge

    It didn’t occur to them that neither side in the stoush could read, could understand “Australia” if they had been able to read or could distinguish it from the name of a local plant or the make of their vehicle.

    And, to top it off, IIRC they were wearing military fatigues or clothing that looked very like it.

  106. blogstrop

    Mark, what’s your view on the annexation of west papua, now west irian? It has always looked like a former colony taking over another bit of proximal geography for no other reasons than (a) that they could, and (b) that it had been formerly under Dutch administration. Ethnic connection nil.
    Slim reasoning for a formerly Dutch administered set of dots on the map themselves to become a regional aggrandiser. Yes, I’ve heard all the pragmatic reasoning about “who wants the aggro and expense” of running the place anyway, but I’m interested in the principle. It negates the imminent Invasion Day rhetoric, does it not?

  107. brennan

    Great article MK50. Thank you.
    I admit I am quite ignorant of Indonesia and it’s history, and our history with them, but it has seemed to me that the Government (current incarnation) is playing a well considered hand that will bring us past the current spats and into possibly an even better relationship long term.
    I’ve learned quite a lot from reading this as well as the comments: I only wish that I’d read it in the MSM, and that articles of this caliber were the norm.

  108. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    Blogstrop, there’s a reasonably accurate ‘potted wiki history’ of West Papua here.

    Basically, you are correct. Asa successor state, Indonesia saw itself as taking over all of the former Dutch holdings. In essence, they did not have a lot of choice, after all, if one former part of the NEI could make its own way, others might think along the same lines. This is the classic danger for Imperial successor states and it really is dangerous, it can cause their collapse: exactly the same thing happened in the Russian Empire when the communists took over.

    So in a sense it was inevitable that they moved to take it over (AFAIK the ‘referendum’ was fraudulent, Jakarta probably paid off the UN on that one and they do come cheap) even though they are Melanesians and not ethnic Malays like most Indonesians are.

    I have never thought the ‘invasion day’ clowns had a moral or ethical leg to stand on anyway – it’s just more posturing and preening so they can feel smug about how terribly hip and progressive they are. it’s noteworthy that Whitlam was the one who acquiesced to Indonesia’s violent takeover of East Timor (which invasion day numpties ignore) and Howard who ran a real risk to break it away and so neutralise an irritant between Australia and Indonesia. The ID types ignore that, too!

    Any comment the ID types make on Irian Jaya is the noise of empty vessels IMHO.

  109. johanna

    Mark, as you know, the West Irian thing is just a subset of all the separatist movements that beset Indonesia. Like much of Indonesia, it is a historical accident. Who would choose half of an island for territory?

    The bottom line is, although they don’t give a rat’s about West Irian, and would be delighted if it just disappeared off the planet, the principle of keeping the country together means that any and all separatist movements must be crushed. Now. The alternative is that the multitude of separatists all over the archipelago would get a signal – game on.

  110. Infidel Tiger

    The bottom line is, although they don’t give a rat’s about West Irian, and would be delighted if it just disappeared off the planet, the principle of keeping the country together means that any and all separatist movements must be crushed. Now. The alternative is that the multitude of separatists all over the archipelago would get a signal – game on.

    That and it is very rich in resources. I’m sure they’d sell it for the right price.

  111. SG53

    Mk50 a great article that I fully agree with and as my addendum to this that Indonesians have no respect and have continually over the years treated Australians with contempt. There are lots of examples of this over the years, the Balibo Five, Bali Bombings, Australian Embassy bombings in Jakarta, the retrick of Suharto’s foreign policy towards Australia when he was in power through the 70’s. Their attitude is one of complete arrogance and hypocrisy. The Indonesians don’t care about what happens to their southern borders with Australia but they only do so if it’s to their advantage. They always feel and fear their inferiority when it comes to the west and with Australia. Their religious demeanour commands them to the infidel agenda and as far as asylum seekers are concerned they are very happy to accept them as tourist very well knowing that these Islamic “brothers” are only there to seek asylum to Australia. This has been happening in Indonesia for years (well for at least a decade that I know of).
    The Indonesians have no intention of stopping the boats because to them asylum seekers are both a political tool and a very profitable economic tool. It’s very evident that Indonesia’s political retrick is to continue to appear as the martyr in this whole asylum seekers affair. What todays coalition government is doing is very evident that it strikes Indonesia up their nose but more so it intervenes with the negativity of the lefts agenda of destruction (like the ABC, Labor and Fairfax) and their supporters within Australia. But one thing that is unfathomable is why Australia continues to pussy foot and treat Indonesia with kid gloves. It’s about time that Australia stood up and we were made to be counted!

  112. johanna

    sg53, while nobody here has claimed that the Indonesians are the “good guys”, your approach is just absurd. It is like a chihuahua yapping at a St Bernard. The population of Indonesia is close to 250 million, it is strategically vital, it is economically growing at a fast clip, and it is just next door.

    Apart from souring relations between the two countries, what do you think that your proposals could possibly achieve?

  113. SG53

    Johanna, thanks for your comment, I know that my attitude is very straight forward but I am getting sick and tired of us Australians pussy footing around and always being kind and apologetic with the Indonesians who most are laughing at us for the soft attitude that we are adopting and btw just to let you know I know a bit about Indonesians because I’m married to an Indonesian woman who btw migrated to Australia in the proper way through the immigration department and it took her 6 years to become an Australian citizen. Furthermore I think that I have some knowledge of their family and how Indonesians structure their life and behavior. I have travelled there for the last 15 years so I think that I can speak with some authority about the place and the people. And as one of the posters on this blog mentioned that with their comprehensive corruption they are laughing at us not only as he mentioned in Bali but allover Indonesia. What I am trying to say is that with corruption and the power of money that asylum seekers bargain in Indonesia with the only way that Australia will get anywhere is by adopting a hard stance diplomatically, militarily and locally here in Australia to make these asylum seekers see, feel and know that they are not welcomed here and for us not to always seem through the media that we are a soft take for them and the Indonesians who mostly think that we are fools. I commend the coalition for taking a hard stance on this and towards Indonesia because that is the only politics that they understand and will take some notice of because the Rudd/Gillard/Greens/Leftist approach was pathetic and will never work.

  114. SG53

    Furthermore johanna, the Indonesians don’t want to go to war with Australia they never did and they never will and anybody who thinks that they do because of the asylum seekers problem are laughable. Australia had more diplomatic troubles and problems with Indonesia through the 60, 70’s and 80’s to what is happening now and that didn’t conclude in war. Just to repeat it again “we are a soft touch to the Indo’s” and with the pathetic attitude of labor’s Rudd/Gillard the Greens and the Leftist approach we are really going to be like a Chihuahua yapping at a St Bernard and laughed at and doomed.

  115. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    SG53, I’d describe your approach as a bit outdated. The Indons are very sophisticated political operators and run rings around left-wing Australian governments becuase they can predict their actions.

    Conversely, they meet their match in most (not all) LNP governments in terms of sophistication, and we are seeing that play out right now.

    Indonesia has absolutely no interest in conflict with Australia and never has had. For 2000 years their threat has come from the north (well, until those sneaky Europeans rocked up) and to a lesser extent from the west (where the sneaky Europeans came from).

    Sure, some interests there will take advantage of Australian idiots (Whitlam, Keating, Rudd, Gillard) to make a buck or knock off an ex-Portuguese colony being taken over by marxists. So what? Shows they are human.

    The Indonesian military is not a western military in most senses – their four services (the usual 3 plus the Police) exist to hold Indonesia together. They have zero power projection capability and do not want any – they have enough on their plates, thanks, holding the joint together.

    Our real focus there should be making them an ally and in all frankness the best way to do that is by increasing mutual trade with them, and helping them develop mutual defensive capabilities. Dunno about you, but I’d launch a mutual mining capability program. We jointly develop and build a good shallow water mine, and move from that into a joint mine counter-measures program.

    And yes, aim it squarely at the Chinese as they are the ones the Indonesians are really worried about. There are implications inside that statement of very great note, and which we won’t discuss here.

  116. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC at 10:52 am:

    All of what you posted there is on the money Mk50,

    ‘The Indons are very sophisticated political operators … Indonesia has absolutely no interest in conflict with Australia and never has had … some interests there will take advantage of Australian idiots (they do it daily to dills stumbling about Kuta! and good on ‘em) … The Indonesian military … have enough on their plates, thanks, holding the joint together … the Chinese … are the ones the Indonesians are really worried about …”

    every bit of it.

    I agree without reservation with your:

    “Our real focus there should be making them an ally”

    … Billy the Bluefella can see that.

  117. Maggie Ward

    Very comforting and simply drips commonsense, a very nice change which will have the ABC in a tizzy if theyget wind they are the handmaidens of the Abbott conservative government.

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