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Terrorist attacks in Bali.

Details are still sketchy, but there has been another terrorist outrage in Bali, targeting tourists in Jimbaran beach and Kuta beach. There seems to have been at least three separate explosions. As I write, the television is reporting that AP news agency is saying that 19 people have been killed and at least 51 more injured.

64 comments to Terrorist attacks in Bali.

  • Scott, we should be mindful not to use emotive terms like “terrorist” and “outrage” so as to maintain our balance and objectivity.

    A more neutral description of the event would be “potentially criminal incendiary incident”.

    Oops, sorry, I’ve been reading the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s news reporting handbook again.

    Absolute wankers, that lot.

  • Verity

    Doubtless the BBC will be reporting on Bali insurgents.

  • Hank_Scorpio

    It astounds me that Bali/Indonesia even have tourists anymore. After the kid gloves treatment the first Bali bombers received you’d think that we’d have gotten the message that we’re all infidel dogs who had it coming.

    These animals don’t deserve your money, folks. If you want to spend some time on the beach you may have to spend a little bit more, but there are plenty of destinations that will gladly take your money and not want to see you dead because you’re a crusader/Jew.

  • Verity

    Hank Scorpio – I’m not sure I’m following you. “These animals” aren’t workers in the Balinese tourist industry. They are from other parts of Indonesia. The Muslim parts.

    The Balinese are Hindu. The Muslims want to destroy their island and their tourist industry because it is so successful and, in Muslim eyes, sinful. Look at the way they slaughtered the Christians. You don’t have to have a white skin or be Jewish to be a target. Just be something the Muslims disapprove of.

  • Ted

    Hank

    The tragedy is that the Balinese are not muslims. I have been there on numerous occasions and it is a beautiful, serene place – inhabited by peaceful people. These attacks are being carried out by muslims coming from other parts of the archipelago. The Balinese are victims, as well.

    Right, now for my rant. I am angry. Deeply angry. Well well well…another 20-30 lives destroyed, families destroyed. I am a dual UK/ Australian citizen, with friends and families in both countries, so once again I find myself mourning for their loss and wondering why we have such weak governments. In Indonesia, the authorities already know where Jemaa Islamaya is based. They know the location and identity of the clerics and madrasses. They do nothing. That is not democracy in action, it is appeasement in action.

    Now is the time to lay waste to their bases, towns, infrastructure. Now is the time to kill and/or all the known extremist clerics. Now is the time to strike fear into their hearts.

    I couldn’t care less if the do-gooders jump up and down. I don’t give a damn if these people go back to regimes where they will be tortured. I couldn’t care less about their religion. There have been numerous religionsin history and will be numerous others in the future. Islam is just one and it doesn’t fit in the modern world.

    We are destined to face these bombings for years and years until the western powers strike fear into the hearts of radicals. Our current efforts are not working. Our soldiers and citizens are murdered by these mujahadeen but our leaders permit them to live here, on benefits. The government allows radical clerics to preach hatred and poison minds. They permit radical bookshops to sell and distribute propaganda books and videos. On an international scale, they permit Iran to fund and organise an insurgency in Iraq. They permit them to get their hands on nuclear weapons. No wonder the enemy laughs at our weakness. No wonder we are losing this war.

    This is not a local ‘Indonesian’ incident, but a worldwide jihad, carried out by radical muslims and supported silently by the vast majority of muslims. It is a war being waged upon us by a ruthless enemy that – luckily for now – has not got their hands on WMD. I for one am sick and tired of innocent fellow citizens being killed and for our ‘leaders’ to bleat on about ‘moderate’ muslims, ‘reaching out to the islamic community’, ‘the religion of peace’, or even worse to say that ‘the rules have changed’ when clearly ‘human rights’ legislation and the loss of our sovereignty means the rules have remained the same.

    As long as the west refuses to strike fear into the enemy, we cannot win this war. In my opinion, what we have is a religion that is totally out of control. This means that governments need to question whether it should be reduced to cult status, like scientology, and perhaps banned. At the very least we need the centres of radical islam in the UK – say the Finsbury mosque – to be padlocked and/or demolished. We need to make it clear to this backward ideology that the west will take the gloves off if this continues.

    At the international level, what regime provides funding, logistical support and ideological inspiration to terrorists everywhere? Iran. It has since 1979. So what do our leaders do? They appease. They negotiate. They permit the mullahs to get stronger. They permit their ‘elected’ leader to enter American territory and speak at the UN. Jack Straw sniffs, nose in the air, that military action is ‘inconceivable’. Why? Fat lot of good you are doing right now, Jack.

    What about saying to the mullahs – ‘We have decided to treat any major terrorist act in the United States/ Australia/ UK/ Iraq as one that has been sanctioned by your regime. Hand over Bin Laden, Al-Zarqawi and their associates within 15 days. Failure to do so will ensure your destruction. Remove your agents and military people from Iraq. Failure to do so will ensure your destruction. From now on we reserve the right to use all military options at our disposal to remove you from power.’ Then nuke their nuclear bomb factories. Assassinate their leaders. Wage all out ‘Roman’ war until they are brought to their knees. The impact on Al-Qaeda, Jemaa Islamiah, Hamas, Hezbollah would be massive : they would try to retailiate but would be wiped out within months.

    Until we start fighting this war properly, more innocent people will die. Sooner or later, the policy of appeasing these people will give them the opportunity to acquire WMD and they will use them.

  • Joshua

    Yup to all but the suggestion that we ban them from speaking. We need to hear more of them speaking, actually. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. No better way to counter the “religion of peace” mantra than by widely publishing transcripts of speeches that these supposedly “peaceful” street preachers make.

  • Verity

    Joshua – OK ban them from addressing meetings in Arabic, which most of us don’t need to hear more of because we don’t speak it.

  • Yes, I have friends who own businesses in Bali. They say that the average Balinese hates JI terrorists with a passion rarely seen in the west.

  • Verity

    Twenty-four confirmed dead so far and 95 seriously wounded.

  • Joshua

    Verity/James/Ted -

    I don’t think Hank was being deliberately hostile to the Balinese.

    Indonesia as a whole is majority muslim, and I think there’s a general impression that the (national) government didn’t investigate as thoroughly or aggressively as it probably should have the last time ’round. Since $$ from the tourist industry in Bali is presumably good for the country as a whole, big gov should wake up and side with money over loonies with old books. Or at least, that’s how I read his comment.

    I know next to nothing of the facts of the last attack, so I can’t say anything about how it was handled. But it seems like a plausible point to make if indeed the investigation was half-hearted.

    In any case, I do think we’re seeing a bit of a divide in his opinion between the kinds of things people said after London and New York (i.e. the worst thing you can do is stop going about your daily business – ’cause that means they won), and the kinds of things he’s saying now. If we’re meant to go on with our lives after 9/11 to show the terrorists we’re not scared, then going to Bali in droves would seem the more appropriate response, yeah.

    That said, Hank’s idea (at least, as I’m reading it) that we should punish Indonesia as a whole by boycotting their tourist industry is not irrational. Just…too bad about the Balinese getting caught in the crossfire.

  • Kevin B

    Just watched Frank Gardiner, the Beebs security correspondant on BBC News. Talking about the political consequences he said it would be very interesting to see if they, (presumably the “militants” when they claim resposibility), mention Iraq.

    At first I thought he said “Please Please mention Iraq. Please!”, but that may have been the expression on his face.

    Incidently the Beeb tells us that the first Bali bombs were “blamed on Islamic militants”. I thought that a few of the bastards have been found guilty and jailed, pending execution and one of them admiitted it. They are all JI and I seem to recall that the I stands for Islaamiyah.

  • veryretired

    Ted,

    While I certainly understand your frustration and anger about these repeated terrorist attacks in Bali, and so many other places as well, I must disagree with the ultimata you propose, and the military action you suggest.

    We have already won the battle for the hearts and minds of the younger generation of Iranians, as well as in other countries of the ME, even if the loud and dangerous zealots of Islamism garner all the headlines.

    I will explain what I mean by telling a story of a parallel situation from the cold war. A media person went to the Soviet Union back in the ’70′s to get a feel for the cultural climate. He reported back, in utter amazement, by the way, that all the young people were interested in was rock and roll, blue jeans, and western movies and books. They despised the regime, and rejected the nonsense they were told by the party and its organs as distortions and fabrications.

    If you don’t remember, this was at a time when the SU and its influence was at its highest point, and it truly seemed they were the “wave of the future”, and the west was running on empty.

    Less than 20 years later, they were on the ash heap.

    Many reports have come from behind the crescent wall that a very similar evolution is occurring in Iran and elsewhere in the ME among their youth. All the younger people have known is the mullah’s reign, and they see the utter hypocrisy of it all. Plus, like all young people, they chafe at the relentless repression of the regime, especially as they know it is viciously backward compared to the rest of the world.

    I do not care much for the supposed diplomatic gyrations of the EU either, but it is necessary that these lines be pursued, if for no other reason than to be able to say they were pursued.

    Speaking as an American, I have no interest in diving into another military confrontation with a dangerous adversary, only to have many of our supposed allies immediately align with the opposition and spend most of their time and energy obstructing and back-stabbing every chance they get.

    The simple fact is that the EU couldn’t knock over a corner candy store, militarily speaking, and the only force capable of action is the US. Given the political climate at home and abroad, no more military action is possible, or advisable, for the foreseeable future.

    Furthermore, no military action on a large scale is needed. This doesn’t mean some bombs can’t go off at the next big mullahs’ meeting, since sauce for the goose….., or that “unknown” parties’ couldn’t pump some bullets into a few heads around the world, if those heads are only filled with murderous plots anyway.

    We are embarked on a long term strategy that involves a very complex restructuring of an ancient and totally disfunctional social and cultural model into something than can live in relative peace with the rest of the world in the 21st century.

    A few decades ago, the SU and the fearsome armies of the Warsaw Pact seemed like the spectre of Atilla and his horde, ready at any moment to sweep up everything we value into a maelstrom of destruction and death. Now, the remnants of the great socialist empire struggle to renovate their societies after decades of depredation, and several former enemies are staunch allies against a new fascist threat.

    Patience, and long suffering endurance in the face of trevail, are needed now. The future belongs to us because we are the only ones who can create it. The same youth who watch in envy and awe as we send explorers to the planets, and enjoy freedoms they can only dream about, will move towards us as a plant moves towards the sun.

    I apologize for the length of this post, as I am so often required to do by my own wordiness.

  • Ted

    Veryretired – I respect your view but disagree. Patience and the long haul only permits the enemy to get stronger. I do not think we should waste a drop of blood in bringing the mullahs to their knees : I propose use of nuclear weapons, as well as targeted assassinations, to bring them to their knees and to demonstrate that the American eagle, like the Roman eagle, it to be feared.

    At the moment we are on a definite countdown to nuclear terrorism. The intent is there already, Iran is the inspiration that radical islam can successfully subjugate entire populations. The only thing the enemy lacks is the means.

    We need to act and act now. Then we can talk later.

  • Verity

    Joshua – Other than Bali, Indonesia does not have a tourist industry. I cannot imagine anyone going to Jakarta for pleasure. If you boycott Bali, you will be punishing Bali for being part of Indonesia.

    “Indonesia as a whole is majority Muslim.” Yeah. You could say that. With 198m Muslims, they are the largest Muslim country in the world. The Balinese (Hindu) and Christians are a tiny drop in the bucket. The Indonesian government has no appetite for catching or punishing fellow Muslims.

  • Verity

    PS – What Ted said.

  • Veryretired: the comparison between the SU and any Muslim country is absolutely unwarranted. Russia, even during the Communist era, was a Christian society, very much steeped in Western values and culture.

  • Verity

    Alisa, I too found the comparison disconcerting and mistaken.

    You are correct about Russia being steeped in the European Christian tradition. In addition, I don’t believe the young Soviets were particularly fanatical about conquering more souls for the Soviet Union. From everything we read, they seemed largely indifferent to the Great Project and expressed a keen longing for jeans.

    Young Muslims are such a different kettle of fish, as we know. The terrorist fanatics are 99.99% young men and boys. They are not indifferent.

  • Joshua

    Yeah – what Alsia and Verity said about the USSR.

    The Soviets didn’t have anything like a volunteer army, but the jihadist movement is 100% volunteer-staffed. It has no country to defend – essentially nothing to lose. Even if the leaders were born wealthy, they do not now live in opulence on the backs of their supporters, as was notoriously the case in Eastern Europe circa 1980. A wholly different kind of beast.

  • Michael Jennings

    Ugh. Another atrocity that makes me sick. Not much to say, other than that Bali is a beautiful place and this is terrible for the Balinese as well as foreign tourists. They are nice people who have the misfortune of being ruled from Jakarta.

  • BillyTheKid

    Without sounding too callous, here’s another good reason for you Brits to spend your pounds in the USA. Hawaii is beautiful, the people friendly and the hotels are world class.

    IMHO, what the world needs now is for the USA and the UK to withdrawl from the middle east and let the Muslims kill eachother. We save our tax dollars and make a fortune selling everybody weapons. Meanwhile, the threat is neutralized by pitting the Arabs against eachother (as they have for centuries).

    Indonesia is another issue altogether. They are a tribal culture that is barely hanging together. Not a threat to the west, just to themselves. Seems like a common theme for most Muslim nations. Fractured tribal cultures whose only commonality is religion. Leave them to their own devices and the envitable outcome is self-destruction.

  • Nixk Timms

    The war on terror, or more exactly the war on islamist terror is being fought in the wrong way. The type of war has changed. A good analogy would be the ridiculous tactics of the allied generals during the first world war. The war had changed but the generals had only learnt how to fight using horses, cannons and charging the enemy. Tanks, machine guns, gas and aeroplanes were discounted because they had no direct experience of them in war.

    Terrorists, even terrorists who are tacitly backed by extreme regimes, cannot be fought with armies and nuclear bombs. There is simply too much collateral damage amongst bystanders, many of whom are not sympathetic, but they are poor and ignorant and in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    If the western nations are going to make any headway against these cowardly murderers it has to be done using highly trained intelligence units mounting clandestine and targeted operations. Unfortunately this takes time and the voters are impatient.

    Politicians like wars because they can try and look statesmanlike and the mass of the population is impressed that somebody is kicking raghead asses. But it is nonsense. Beating these disparate terrorist organisations means getting inside them and putting the instigators down before they recruit and train more of the morons who blow themselves, and others, to bits.

    A lot of people seem to confuse the war in Iraq as part of the war on terror. Ok so we got rid of Saddam who mostly terrorised the people of Iraq, but, I have seen little evidence that he had anything to do with Al Quaeda. Has the invasion of Iraq made the terrorist situation better or worse?

    Don’t misundertand me, I want all terrorists, especially the slime who promote terror, to be put to death. (and if it was up to me it would be a public execution) However I have little in common with the people who, in their anger and frustration, want to lump all muslims together and bomb them.

  • Penetrating Islamic terror groups is an extremely difficult task,one because of the tribal nature and close knict relationship of those groups.The same problems were faced with the Mafia.
    Secondly,the concentration on technology by Westernnations has led to the reduction in human intelligence,often there are no human resources in countries that harbour terrorists.
    In Aden it was found that Fijians were the best SAS operatives because they could blend into the local population.Strangers cannot simply turn up in tribal areas without raising suspicion.

  • veryretired

    First of all, those who think the “true believers” in marxism or fascism in Europe or anywhere else in the world were some kind of “genteel” christians who were only dabbling had better explain that to the millions dead in the former SU, or China, or Vietnam. or Cambodia, or Korea, or Cuba, not to mention Germany, Italy, and Africa, not to me.

    Totalitarian ideology is totalitarian, and murderously so, whether it comers from a Christian heresy, such as Marxism, or a pagan one, such as Nazism, or the total personal and societal blueprint of the Koran, and Islamofascism’s heresy of that faith.

    Proposing to drop nuclear weapons on Iran is revenge fantasy, nothing more. We live in the real world.

    The approach you advocate is one of frustration and fear. The path that is required by reality is one of patience, vigilence, and alertness to opportunity. If a certain blow can be struck that is feasible and damaging, then proceed.

    However, if you can’t understand the animosity of so many in the world to the action’s of the US so far, what do you expect will be the worldwide reaction to mushroom clouds over Iranian cities?

    The Iranian situation must be dealt with in its own context, as the North Korean problem must be seen in relation to the situation is Asia. We can’t simply start nuking anyone who does evil things, no matter how emotionally satisfying the idea might be.

    If you were actually in a position to make or influence US policy in a meaningful way, you would quickly realize the enormous implications, and complications, that would result from the couse of action you suggest.

    There is more involved than the satisfaction of saying “That’ll teach ‘em.” as the blast cloud spreads. There is also the next day, and the next.

  • Hank Scorpio

    Just to clear up my earlier comment, yes, I’m aware that Bali is primarily composed of Hindus. I’m also aware that the government which rules Bali essentially laid down a “boys will be boys” ruling for the pieces of garbage who conducted the first Bali bombings.

    As charming as Bali may be, I’d make damned sure that that government never saw a thin dime of my money after they’ve basically ignored the murder of foreigners by handing down a sentence that most burglars and armed robbers in the US would be happy to swap for.

    Meanwhile, you’ve got how many (admittedly very stupid) Australians in Indonesian prisons for something like 20 years on drug charges? So I guess the message here is kill some infidels and you’ll get two years with time off for good behavior, have a couple tabs of ecstasy on you and you’ll do 20 years in a third world prison.

  • Robert Alderson

    Can any of those in favour of using nuclear wapons to fight terrorism suggest the first few targets?

  • Verity

    Billy the Kid – People don’t go to Bali because the hotels are world class (yawn), and people who make their living out of tourism do tend to be “friendly”, as in Hawaii. But the Brits don’t go to Hawaii or Bali very often. They’re too far away. It’s the Aussies these creeps have it in for. And the Balinese.

    The Muslims, by and large, appear to have called King’s X among themselves and are concentrating on us, so we cannot count on them reverting to killing each other. Those people you see in the frame are us.

    Yes, Indonesia is a tribal culture, for sure, but it’s not falling apart. The leaders get away with what they do because it is tribal and the little people expect a high level of corruption from the tribal elders, who, in turn, take care of them, kind of.

    But they are at war with the West, not each other. Dreaming that they’re going to abandon the war against the infidel and start fighting each other over a sand dune is very last century and pre-internet.

    Nixk Timms: I think you would find a good deal of support for your claim that the war is being fought the wrong way, with methods that no longer apply. I would certainly agree with you. The days of the Treaty of Versailles and the Entente Cordiale are fini. And the days of “Jaw jaw, not war, war” are also finished in this context.

    However, your own solution of infiltration by very clever agents is unworkable (by and large; I am sure we do have some successes), because, as Peter points out, the nature of these people is tribal and familial. Not possible for a stranger to penetrate, no matter how fluent and smooth. Even in the coffee shops in big cities in the West, there are familial ties and everyone knows who everyone is, especially with email.

    Given that they will be almost impossible to finesse, I am sorry, but I think, before we allow any more innocent Westerners (and the Islamics do not believe infidels are “innocent” – never forget this point – they are not killing “innocent” people) to be killed, we may have to kill a few “innocent” Muslims. And, if we had a government more dedicated to the British people, we would not lay our own innocent citizens out for murder and maiming in order to preserve the rights of someone who may be deported to torture.

    Anyway, “torture” has been redefined by the left. So we refuse to deport anyone who may be forced to wear panties on his head and be led around the floor in his underwear on a lead by a woman in uniform. (Some may call it torture; some may ask, “How much?”)

    I think Mr Bush understands this. So do Tony Blair’s handlers. It’s just, Mr Bush wants the West to win.

  • BillyTheKid

    Verity: Everybody has their preferences for vacations. Mine is a little 5 star pampering and Hawaii is my favorite destination. I try to maximize the amount of relaxation for what precious little free time I have.

    I don’t know who goes to Bali, I guess I should have thought of the proximity to Australia. I think a lot of Koreans and Japanese vacation there too (or did). The only person I know who has ever gone to Bali is a Canadian I used to work with. Seems it is a low cost destination. Guess you get what you pay for!

    You missed my point about the Muslims. I am an American isolationist. I don’t think we should be sticking our nose in other people’s business. The USA should withdrawl from the Middle East, cut off all foreign aid, then let whatever is going to happen happen. This would eliminate the “Kings X” situation because there wouldn’t be any reason to be concerned with us. I don’t think we should care about the outcome. Meanwhile, oil for weapons could be a profitable trade.

    I have the same sentiments for Europe. Let the EU take care of themselves instead of depending on USA tax payers to protect them. Guess we could trade wine, cheese and BMWs for weapons in their case.

    My knowledge of Indonesia is spotty at best. I work with a guy whose sister had a business in Indonesia. When the riots broke out after the economic crash in ’97 crowds ransacked the factory destroying everything. Hardly the sort of environment to consider setting up shop in. I have an Aunt who lives in Malaysia. Most of the illegal immigrant house cleaners, nannies, etc… come from Indonesia. Kind of like what Mexico is to the USA.

    So, if you like spending your time in impoverished third world nations then Indonesia will definetely foot the bill. However, I hardly see them as a threat to western civilization nor do I imagine them ever to acheive the status of an economic powerhouse. The mullahs can stir up as much hate as they want. But, really, they are still a backwards lot. Driving out the tourists will only further weaken their economy.

  • Midwesterner

    “because there wouldn’t be any reason to be concerned with us.”

    I’m not sure you understand the fundamental nature of this. Our existence on the planet is a problem for them. Islam is such an extremely missionary religion that it makes Christianity look isolationist. How do you think some islands north of Australia became Muslim in the first place? By sword or by bomb, the extremists intend to convert or kill all of us.

  • Verity

    BillyTheKid – Most of the illegal immigrant house cleaners, nannies, etc… come from Indonesia. Kind of like what Mexico is to the USA.

    Is your aunt sure they’re illegal? The Malaysians hand out work permits to their fellow Muslims – especially from Indonesia, where the language – Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia – is almost identical – so no communications problems, no imported culture – with a fairly open hand. Malaysians don’t want to be maids or work on building sites but Malaysia needs this kind of labour. I doubt that they’re “illegal” like Mexicans in the US. It’s a silly, inept analogy.

    The Thais are that kind of illegal.

    You say: You missed my point about the Muslims. I am an American isolationist. I don’t think we should be sticking our nose in other people’s business. The USA should withdrawl from the Middle East, cut off all foreign aid, then let whatever is going to happen happen.

    So, no more Saudi oil, then. The price of living in the US would skyrocket. Yes, you have vast resources, but it will take years to develop them (by which time you will have developed an alternate source anyway).

    I think isolationism is not realistic at this time. What about all the markets for American products and outlets throughout the world? And all the American jobs that depend on them? This is now a very large sector of your economy and losing it would cause a depression.

    Simply, the Muslims have indicated that they want to control what they refer to as “the infidel” and what we refer to as “normal people”.

    We have the means to destroy them first and should do so. They declared war as the Nation of Islam. They certainly don’t have the means to destroy our vast civilisation, but why should we allow them to put a nick in it?

  • BillyTheKid

    Verity: Excuse me for my USAcentric definition of an illegal immigrant. I guess I’m not as informed on Malaysian immigration law as you are. Guess I never had any curiosity on the matter. As for your point about the Saudis not selling the USA oil, I think it’s BS.

    The Saudis cannot cut anybody off from their oil (much less one of their biggest customers). They are utterly and completely dependent on the cash it brings in just to hold their socialist society together.

    Let’s just say they did embargo oil being sent to the USA. No big deal, it is a world market. They would sell to somebody else and that somebody else wouldn’t buy as much from another source and then the other source would sell to the USA instead. You don’t need an MBA in Economics to get my point.

    Anyway, the Saudi royals wouldn’t last two months without oil cash flows. They are the laziest welfare state on the planet. They don’t even pump or refine their own oil. They bring in foriegners to run their industry.

    Maybe you can name one decent useful thing that Arab society has contributed to world civilization in the last 500 years because, afterall, you seem to be so much smarter than I. But I can’t think of one. Notta.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    I would like to add something to veryretired’s observation of muslim youth.

    I saw on TV the other day an advertisement for a Malay language magazine. It had a very attractive young woman on the cover, looking very liberated and independent. The magazine was targetted at teenagers and young adults.

    What can the religious mullahs offer to match that? I don’t think the nuts will ever be able to convince half their population, the women, to go back to what is essentially perpetual servitude, according to their interpretation of the Quran. As for the other half, the men, the key is to convince them that they’re actually better off and happier with free women than slaves.

    Verity: Muslim youth like jeans too! They also like pop music, rock and roll, fast food…

    TWG

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Verity: About Malaysian immigration policies, they’re quite strict about illegal immigration from Indonesia. They don’t need cheap and illegal foreign labour competing with the locals, not to mention crime and possible terrorism problems. The Indonesians sneak over into Peninsular Malaysia by boat across the Malacca Straits, which is very easy, or on foot into Sabah, which is even easier.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/1783779.stm
    http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3723075

    TWG

  • A couple of thoughts :

    *Most of those who migrate to fill menial labour positions across SE Asia are Filipinos.

    *Bali can be a low cost destination, however there are plenty of 5 star resort complexes there. Bali is a magnet for the typical Aussie yobbo – you can stay in reasonable accommodation cheaply, get absolutely rolling drunk every night for peanuts and have indiscriminate sex with those of similar disposition. In a pretty, tropical setting. Bali to many Aussies is what Ibiza is to many Brits – though with a lesser club scene. So whilst Bali has a somewhat dodgy rep as a cheap package holiday destination for – shall we say – those who hail from the lower classes, it also boasts a distinctive, vibrant and rich culture that makes it a legitimate destination for the thoughtful traveller. Both yobbos and culture vultures can sate their respective appetites there.

    *I agree that the West should be working to disengage from the ME as quickly as possible. And when we’ve walked out, we should quarantine the place. At the moment, we’re quite dependent on their energy. We should be investing large sums of money into alternatives that are available in our own backyards. With adequate R&D, exploiting the United States’s vast resources of oil shale would become more economically viable. Ditto Canada’s tar sands. Also, much more emphasis must be placed on nuclear power. Australia has enormous reserves of uranium which we would obviously happily supply to our Anglospheric partners and other trusted friends. Just about every Western country has some coal left. Some have a lot more than others. That can be steamed for gas. Even solar energy research should get much more funding; it strikes me as the most viable super-long term energy solution.

    We really need to wean ourselves off ME energy as quickly as possible – within a couple of decades, if not sooner. The range of responses to the terrorist threat that are available to us is limited by our dependency on some distinctly dubious fair weather friends ie. the Saudis. When we don’t need those of their ilk anymore we won’t have to think twice about their sensibilities when striking back.

  • GCooper

    BillytheKid writes:

    “You don’t need an MBA in Economics to get my point.”

    Nor one to realise that American isolationism is a romantic fantasy. It’s a strong, pervasive and culturally iconic one, I agree. But it’s still a fantasy, as even a moment’s study of how the USA’s wealth was created and how it might best be maintained demonstrates.

    The USA is a trading nation. Isolationism is incompatible.

  • Isolationism has been tried,from the Beiruit barrack bombing via the Embasy bombins through the attack on the Cole and a myriad small outrages,all it got America was 9/11.
    This has to be seen like the broken window and graffiti problem in crime areas,it escalates until it is stamped out root and branch.Planes were used in the 9/11 attack simply because al Qaeda did not have anything more powerful,if they had had the means to vapourise New York they would have.

    America is the biggest kid on the block,Islamofascism is not going to leave it alone,like the street punk,if al qaeda can take down America it has everyone else beaten.Withdrawal will be interpreted as weakness and simply engender more violence.This is not a negotiating conflict,it is a win or lose conflict.

    Another point is isolationism will bring the war to continental USA ,it has already visited those shores.

    This is not a foreign war where a local victory can be won and the troops brought home,this is a world wide knock down, drag out bare knuckle fight,the Islamofascists will strke the West wherever and whenever they can.this has been going on since the Seventh Century,it is likely to see us through this Century.

  • Verity

    Wobbly – I know Malaysia doesn’t want “illegal Indonesian immigration”. No one wants illegal immigration except Tony Gramsci. But I have seen long queues of Indonesians at immigration waiting to pick up their visas. Practically every maid in the big cities now is Indonesian. The government doesn’t want Filipinas because they are Roman Catholic and the Malaysian government says they wouldn’t “understand” how to live in a Muslim household. So they bring in Indonesians by the boatload. A friend’s driver, himself a Muslim, used to snarl and make derisory comments every time he drove by the Indonesian embassy. They despise their Indonesian brothers and sisters in Islam because they are primitive.

    Like James Waterton and others, I agree that we should disengage from the ME and, frankly, the entire “nation of Islam”. Unlike you, James, I don’t believe we have two decades’ leeway. Things have been getting steadily hotter since 1979 (Iranians took the US embassy and Jimmuh Cahda invented the term “hostage situation” for which should be shot) and it is time we noticed the water is close to boiling.

    Do I want to kill innocent women and children? No. Would I rather we killed innocent Muslim women and children in their countries than allowed them to kill us in ours? Yes.

    These people are cringing, whining cowards who blanche before shows of strength. Ted said above:

    What about saying to the mullahs – ‘We have decided to treat any major terrorist act in the United States/ Australia/ UK/ Iraq as one that has been sanctioned by your regime. Hand over Bin Laden, Al-Zarqawi and their associates within 15 days. Failure to do so will ensure your destruction. Remove your agents and military people from Iraq. Failure to do so will ensure your destruction. From now on we reserve the right to use all military options at our disposal to remove you from power.’ Then nuke their nuclear bomb factories. Assassinate their leaders. Wage all out ‘Roman’ war until they are brought to their knees. The impact on Al-Qaeda, Jemaa Islamiah, Hamas, Hezbollah would be massive : they would try to retailiate but would be wiped out within months.

    I would only amend it to suggest that we just bomb, not nuke, their nuclear factories. And I would not qualify “terrorist act” with the word “major”. I’d just specify “any terrorist act” and leave them to figure out what we will define as a terrorist act.

    While I’m on a roll, I would actually redefine “terrorist act” to include societal control creep. The Muslims in Britain have just succeeded in getting Piglet (Winne The Pooh) dolls taken off the shelves “in the lead up to the holy month of ramadan”. This merits flattening a marketplace where people sell things that we find offensive in Rawalpindi, for example. For instance, I find selling black head to foot tablecloths for mandatory wear by women and girls immensely offensive. We should bomb them off the shelves. As Ted said: Roman war.

  • Verity – I didn’t say we had two decades’ leeway. I think that’s how long it would take our economies to naturally end our reliance on ME energy, given the impetus to do so.

  • Verity

    James – That’s why I don’t think a nice, orderly disengagement is on the cards. I think we ought to ask the Saudis whether they would like to continue controlling their oil industry and setting out our terms for allowing them to continue to do so. This would necessarily involve some shows of strength and commitment in the early days.

    As Nixk Timms said, we are fighting under the old rules of engagement as surely as the WWI generals were fighting under outdated rules of engagement. Diplomacy, in this mighty battle, is absolutely pointless. The muslims want to make the entire world bow down to their god and they are not going to make any elegant concessions over cigars and port. Those days are over.

    Anything Condoleezza Rice says is absolutely irrelevant, unless it is “Our planes will be over your oilfields in four minutes.”

  • Midwesterner

    ‘The Muslims in Britain have just succeeded in getting Piglet (Winne The Pooh) dolls taken off the shelves “in the lead up to the holy month of ramadan”.’

    Verity, apparently the search engines have not picked this up, yet. Could you give me a link? Thanks.

  • Verity

    Hello, Midwesterner – http://www.dhimmiwatch.org

    It’s about the seventh item down.

  • BillyTheKid

    Verity: I should further clarify my definition of “isolationist”. My thinking is more in line with reducing our military projection of power over the Pacific to Guam, the Atlantic coast to the east, the Gulf of Mexico in the south and the Arctic Ocean to the north. It is not about economic isolationism at all. I completely agreed with GW’s attack on Afghanistan because, as 9/11 showed, they were a clear and present danger. I think the military handled the situation ther brilliantly. However, Iraq is a costly mistake.

    The strategy is to provide a base in the ME from which to project military power. It had nothing to do with how bad a guy Saddam was or weapons of mass distruction. It is all about geopolitics and projection of power. The USA simply cannot afford to be the policeman of the world anymore. We are deeply in debt and on the verge of an economic crisis. That is why I think it is ridiculous to try to expand our projection of power when we can least afford it.

    Terrorism is not an enemy it is a tactic. Groups that use these tactics are a small radical minority, much like the criminal element in every society. The only way to stop people from using this tactic is to coordinate international law enforcement activities and to increase border controls. If nations aid the criminals and provide a safe haven for them then the military can play a role by destroying the government’s hold on power. But, the USA needs cooperation from other nations to carry out this policy. The world needs to stand together on this one.

    Uncle Sam cannot affor to bail everybody out. I for one feel a deep sense of gratitude to the Aussies and Brits who have stood by us. But I still think Iraq is a big mistake. It was not a clear and present danger. It was not harboring terrorists. It was a soft target in an extremely strategic location.

  • I think we ought to ask the Saudis whether they would like to continue controlling their oil industry and setting out our terms for allowing them to continue to do so. This would necessarily involve some shows of strength and commitment in the early days.

    What did you have in mind, Verity? And do you think a large scale Western invasion of the Middle East is feasible, if the Saudis don’t play ball?

  • Verity

    James – Play ball anyway.

    BillyTheKid – I agree that America should not be the world’s policeman. I think, though, the Anglosphere should share this responsibility – and by Anglosphere, I naturally include India which has excellent armed forces.

    However, I believe you are wrong about GWB’s reason for invading Iraq. It wasn’t to establish a military base there. I do not think GWB is a military adventurer. Certainly not along the lines of Tony Blair, who’s never heard of a skirmish, however unconnected with Britain, but he wanted to add to his imagined lustre as a “war leader” by getting involved.

    I think Mr Bush’s intention was what he told us it is: to establish a strong, functioning democracy in the ME as an aide-memoire to the Saudis and Syria. “This is what will be happening in the Middle East, and we will support it.”

  • So you do think a large scale invasion of the Middle East is feasible?

  • Verity

    Well, as I think you all will have gathered, I’m not exactly from a military background and I haven’t done much reading on matters military, so any opinion I hold is worth what you paid for it.

    From a purely political point of view, Saudi Arabia is undoubtedly the key. They are spreading their vile message via their madrassas throughout the Islamic world. They are bankrolling terrorism. Ya-da-da, ya-da-da.

    Saudi Arabia is vulnerable, because their entire existence as a nation and the opulent lives of the 5,000 princes and the 15,000+ princesses they’re married to depends on their one resource.

    So the oilfields are the key. I would not wish to bomb the oilfields for two reasons: one is the continued supply of oil to the West, obviously; second is, it probably wouldn’t be necessary to take any lives.

    I’m sure we have people here well-educated in the oil industry. My question: Could we tell Saudi Arabia we were dismantling critical equipment and withdrawing all personnel? Would this enable us to shut down production without taking any lives or doing permanent damage? If so, we should utilise this threat.

    We would have to make certain Russia was on side (remember Beslan, so they may cooperate) and didn’t send any experts of their own. Also Kazakstan and Uzbekistan.

    Once we’d got our terms, whatever they were, the oilfields could either resume production almost immediately, or would never have to be shut down in the first place.

    What do other people think of this? Is it laughably naive? Come on, Samizdatas! Don’t be shy! (As if!)

  • BillyTheKid

    I think Mr Bush’s intention was what he told us it is: to establish a strong, functioning democracy in the ME as an aide-memoire to the Saudis and Syria. “This is what will be happening in the Middle East, and we will support it.”

    I find this line of thinking naive. It’s what Karl Rove would expect any neocon to say. The foreign policy of meddling with other cultures, to make “the world free for democracy” has only brought military disaster and disrepute to those nations that pursued it. Have the British learned anything from their mercantilist era? Have the Americans learned anything from Vietnam? I think not.

    Cultural differences are to be respected. Forcing a culture to change through military intervention only breeds resentment. We have unleashed the dogs of war and, mark my words, Iraq will fall into civil war and escalating caos. We will be blamed for it. I see Iraq seperating into three nations, and there is nothing we will be able to do to stop it. We won’t be able to because Iraq has, in reality, been three nations forced together by British interventions in the early part of the 20th century. The resulting leadership in Iraq held the nation together through pure brutality. That is the legacy we are dealing with, and removing Saddam only revealed the Elephant in the living room.

  • Verity

    I don’t remember the Iranians who took the US embassy in 1979 quoting the war in Iraq. Or the militants in Lebanon who drove a suicide truck onto a US Marine base in the 80s quoting the war in Iraq. Or the takers of the Achille Lauro. Or the suicide murders who flew planes into the WTC.

    Iraq’s only become a handy peg in the last couple of years or so, to give the veneer of a cause.

  • BillyTheKid

    The linkages to the events you described are unclear to me. I am not sure how the action in Iraq ties to Lebanon or Tehran. I see these as mutually exclusive events carried out by different groups for the same purpose; to challenge the expansion of western hegemony. The action on the Achille Lauro was plainly a dispecable criminal act. The Isrealis have already received their retribution.

    By attacking Iraq, we only played into the hands of terrorists. It is an affirmation that it is our intention to control the middle east and take their oil. It doesn’t matter what our leadership’s true intentions are. That is how we are perceived by the Arabs. Their perception is, for them, their reality.

    Anybody looking for a fight can find some justification for it. Maybe GWB’s intentions were good, but Rumsfeld’s and Cheney’s are, to me, suspect. Whatever GWB’s intentions, it will be his undoing.

  • Joshua

    BillyTheKid-

    You might be on shaky ground insinuating that “respecting cultures” would necessitate leaving Iraq alone. As you point out, that nation is really a collection of nations cobbled together to make the map come out right. Talk of Iraqi culture is pretty complex, and there’s certainly no evidence to suggest that respect for Iraqi culture and leaving Saddam in place are at all related goals.

    I think you’re almost certainly right that the insurgency will continue as long as allied troops remain so visibly present (of course, there will always be American bases there now, even after official “withdrawal” – since that, as you rightly point out, was part of the objective). But the question is of what will happen after withdrawal? The insurgency is pretty rag-tag. It’s doubtful that anyone can agree on a leader for the general putsch. As you say, the various groups are all pulling in their own independent directions – and that just might leave the central government holding the biggest stick in the end.

    Of all the countries in the region that we could have coughed up a plausible excuse to invade, Iraq is pretty much the only one even remotely likely to turn into a functioning democracy. The invasion is a gamble – no one is denying that. But it’s early yet to call it a failure. The potential dividends (if it pays off – which I agree is up in the air) are huge.

    Contrary to popular belief, there is not a limitless supply of recruits in the ME. Engaging them in Iraq gives them something better to do than shipping people over here for more mischief. It’s sort of like asking all potential terrorists in the region to please raise their hands, and then shooting them when they do. Eventually this death toll reaches a critical mass where families (mothers especially, one presumes) begin to realize that they’re losing sons to no effect. At that point, the gas does tend to come out of it. In the meantime, Iraq gets rebuilt some, there are more jobs, there’s a new government to participate in, and hopefully life returns to normal. Inaility to have done much about Iraq discredits the Islamo-fascist movement just a bit more – and especially so if Iraq turns out to be prosperous. Icing on the cake is that Saudi Arabia’s days as biggest oil supplier in the region are numbered.

  • Robert Alderson

    Verity,

    I think you are right about Saudi Arabia being the key to the financial and moral support of the Al Qaeda ideology. They are long overdue for a revolution and when it comes it will be as significant as the French revolution was for the West.

    Steadily increased sanctions against Saudi Arabia aimed at crippling the oil industry could be effective but would entail considerable economic pain in the West. Also, don’t just worry about Russia being on side you need to worry about China too.

    Saudi Arabia is run by the several thousand princes in the royal family. My approximate analysis (well guess really) is that a smallish percentage are truly committed to a Bin Laden / Wahabbi world view, a small percentage belive that their country would be best to follow a pro-Western (even secular) route but the overwhelming majority have no political thoughts and care only for being able to keep their money and their decadent lives. Convincing that apolitical majority that their personal futures are safest if they follow the West is probably the way to go. In general we should be trying to make sure that when the revolution comes in Saudi Arabia it does the West as little damage as possible – a clean break with the Saud family well before the revolution is a good step.

    We have to be highly specific about what we do. Vaguely talking about bombing (or nuking) the “Mullahs” doesn’t really get us anywhere. People who suggest this tend to be very vague about who they want to kill, leaving the impression that they are happy to just kill any Muslims.

    The war on terror is a new type of war. The Geneva convention rules etc. are as outdated as Polish cavalry against the German Blitzkrieg. An armed Saudi captured in Afghanistan in 2001/2 should be imprisoned simply because of those facts.

    There is clearly a role for military action when other governments do not take appropriate measures or actively collaborate with terrorists but the really important battle against terrorist acts in Western cities will be waged by traditional law enforcement – they are best placed to catch murderers.

    The story about toy pigs getting banned seems to get distorted in the retelling. I haven’t read the original Sun article I only read the Dhimmiwatch article which talked only about pig toys being distributed in a West Midlands council office – not quite clearing them from shelves. Using a second or third hand story as the basis for bombing a civilian market is not a good idea.

  • BillyTheKid

    and that just might leave the central government holding the biggest stick in the end

    So what change have we really effected if it takes a central government holding a stick in order to govern? I say we are right back where we started after the British left it. The only question at this point is who will be the next King Faisal?

    The invasion is a gamble – no one is denying that

    This is a gamble that I, as an American taxpayer, resent. We are spending over $200B a year on this campaign. Meanwhile, the federal deficit is about 5% of gdp, the current account deficit at 7% of gdp and the savings rate is virtual zero. Our nation is sitting on top of a debt bubble that is ready to collapse at any moment.

    This is not 1945 when the USA ecomomy stood at 50% of world industrial capacity, we had an enormous current account surplus and were a net creditor to the world. Now our industrial capacity is a little over 20% and shrinking. Meanwhile, we can’t even keep our infrastructure up to date nor provide for our own citizens who are imperiled by natural disastors. This adventure in the ME is something we simply cannot afford. Reality is going to be a swift slap in the face for our nation, and our standard of living.

  • Verity

    I come back, again, to Nixk Timms’ illuminating comment: this war is being fought by outmoded methods in the same manner as WWI generals were fighting by the rules of engagement of the previous century because it was all they knew. They couldn’t adjust to what was then the modernity of modern warfare.

    In the same way, there are entire governments in the West (save, oddly enough, France) who cannot adjust to the new rules of 21st Century terrorism – i.e., there are no rules. We must adjust to that fact fast. The cavalry isn’t in play any more. Sitting around sipping mint tea to demonstrate how frightfully tolerant and worldly you are will get you only one thing. The runner-up badge.

  • Verity

    Robert Alderson – “The story about toy pigs getting banned seems to get distorted in the retelling. I haven’t read the original Sun article I only read the Dhimmiwatch article which talked only about pig toys being distributed in a West Midlands council office

    And this is relevant how? Why shouldn’t pig toys be distributed wherever? Has someone suggested forcing Muslims to eat toy pigs during their “lead-up” (the previous 11 months) to their “the holy month” of ramadan which has absolutely no resonance among Britain’s 58m “straights”? So what? They are frightened of dogs and pigs, fine. But now it’s TOYS of pigs that insult them? And council offices cannot bend the knee fast enough?

  • Joshua

    BillyTheKid –

    Of course you’re right about the financial situation. I think the reasoning in Washington is probably that sustained and repeated attacks of the nature of 9/11 would be a worse financial calamity. That being the case, they really should start thinking seriously about tax hikes – or, better still, come through on their shelved election promise to reform Social Security and maybe just maybe shake a stick at Medicare while they’re at it. I ain’t holdin’ my breath.

  • Robert Alderson

    Verity,

    Accurate reporting of facts is relevant. Stories sometimes get distorted in the retelling. Somebody reading about “shelves” being “cleared” could easily think that shops had stopped selling the toys in question – which was not the case. In fact, workers in one department of a council were told to remove pig toys and calendars from their desks.

    I don’t have enough facts to comment on the action taken by the council. It could be that some ignorant member(s) of the department had started teasing a muslim colleague using the pig toys on the other hand it could be an over-sensitive muslim worker who complained about the mere presence of the toys. Either way somebody in a council office in the West Midlands is acting like a prat – hardly big news!

    If you view this as “societal creep” then I suppose you are right. I can well imagine a story thirty years ago with “Black” instead of “Muslim” and “Banana” instead of “Pig.”

    I’ve been thinking of two other examples of “societal creep.” Firstly, the cheddar cheese I buy is now marked as not just kosher but also halal. Secondly, the last time I was in Holland I noticed that some “coffee shops” which sold marijuana were now Muslim owned “coffee shops” selling – coffee. Both of these are pretty clear examples of “societal creep” – who should we bomb?

  • Verity

    I’ve been thinking of two other examples of “societal creep.” Firstly, the cheddar cheese I buy is now marked as not just kosher but also halal.

    I don’t want my cheese dumbed down by halal and kosher. I want Cheddar cheese as my ancestors have made it for hundreds of years in our English tradition.

  • “I don’t have enough facts to comment on the action taken by the council. It could be that some ignorant member(s) of the department had started teasing a muslim colleague using the pig toys on the other hand it could be an over-sensitive muslim worker who complained about the mere presence of the toys. Either way somebody in a council office in the West Midlands is acting like a prat – hardly big news!”

    Take this as a part with nativity scenes being banned,insult found in an icecream logo,Gideon Bibles removed from hospital and countless other acts of self abasement by the natives,Anglo-Bangladeshis believing that they have a right to slaughter on behalf of a third country.
    There is a problem,there is no reciprocity for any acts of reconciliation.

  • Verity

    We don’t have to perform a single act of “reconciliation”. They’re in our country. All the adjusting is to their account.

    Robert Alderson, Muslims are free not to eat pork if this constitutes some grave sin on the Muslim roster of things their god’s forbidden, but they are not free to demand that they live in a Western country and forever be spared the sight of a pig. As for the ice cream logo, someone should have pushed the tub of cream in the face of the whiny, controlling little person who complained. What was the company, by the way? Was it Walls? I am going to send them an email mentioning their elevation to international laughing stock.

  • Was it Walls? My god. The Wall’s heart is a multinational device that adorns many icecream brands – all owned by (I think) Unilever? We have Streets in Australia with the heart, and I remember seeing Vans with the same heart throughout China and India. WTF do the Muslim activists find offensive about a heart?

  • Whoops! Should fact check before posting. No, it’s not Wall’s, Verity. It’s
    Burger King.

    THE fast-food chain, Burger King, is withdrawing its ice-cream cones after the lid of the dessert offended a Muslim.

    The man claimed the design resembled the Arabic inscription for Allah, and branded it sacrilegious, threatening a “jihad”.

    And here’s what the fellow threatening Jihad had to say when Burger King withdrew the offensive Allah icecream from the market:

    “This is my jihad. How can you say it is a spinning swirl? If you spin it one way to the right you are offending Muslims.”

    World’s gone absolutely stark raving mad.

  • Whoops. Some of that was supposed to be blockquoted, too. Should also preview before posting.

  • Verity

    Dhimmi-King will have lost a lot of business – one hopes.

  • Susan

    Anglosphere bloggers are starting a “Free Piglet” movement to protest the latest encroachment by Islamists on Western culture:

    http://lostbudgie.blogspot.com/2005/10/free-piglet.html