Indonesia halts all military co-operation

Australian embassy in Jakarta braces for protest over spying claims

Any thinking Australian must view the unfolding debacle in Indonesia through the prism of political process, given the accusations against Australia’s Government, that they have been spying on friends. Why has this situation escalated to the current situation? There are a number of reasons which are all being examined in the Australian media. One is that the Indonesians have declared that the Australian Government, and that would be the former Labour Government, crossed the line in listening in on president  S.B.Y’s private conversations with his wife, and also his wife’s calls. Of course, spying on “friends” should not be necessary, however, the road between our two countries has been a rocky one for many years, and the new path the current Liberal Government, being laid by Mr. Tony Abbott had begun what could only be seen as “reconnecting”, and the beginnings of stronger and more profitable ties where both countries stand to benefit substantially.

Likewise, Mr. Abbotts steady hand at the tiller has been viewed by many, even in the left-leaning media as very important to Australia, given the recent “thought-bubble” style leadership of the previous Labour Government. Mr. Abbott began the new process with much fanfare, and to all viewing the meeting of the two heads of countries, it was very impressive. The fact that Mr. Abbott has stated quietly and calmly that Australia as a sovereign nation does not need to apologise to it’s near neighbors and “friends” in it’s operations, security or otherwise, should have created little more than a ripple on any adult  Government in possession of it’s own borders and national power. The so-called insult to the Indonesian president is not being reported in it’s total context by the left-leaning media in Australia, or indeed, Indonesia, by way of the facts. What facts? The fact the Indonesia has carried out similar spying on Australia, as admitted by Indonesia’s former intelligence security head, as interviewed by the ABC  television network Wednesday,  November 20.

Here is an excerpt from an article 0f November 19, from the Guardian, entitled;  Should we be outraged that Australia spied on Indonesia? No

At the time of Australia’s alleged spying activities (2009), Wikileaks cables revealed the US refused a visa for a “senior aide”, former Indonesian army general Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin, to attend the Pittsburgh G20 leaders’ meeting, for “alleged involvement in East Timor war crimes”. SBY responded by making him deputy defense minister. Other leaked cables state that the family (the first lady in particular) sought to benefit financially from their political position, and allege that SBY used the Indonesian State Intelligence Agency (BIN) to spy on his political allies and opponents, a charge former president Megawati Sukarnoputri made this year. (End of excerpt)


The fact that all Governments spy on each other is common knowledge, but the hypocrisy being displayed by the Indonesian government is something to behold. Especially given S.B.Y’s recent agreements and new bi-lateral relations as established by both the Abbott led Australian government, and Indonesian governments which is in it’s infancy, one might be forgiven for thinking that there was no real commitment by S.B.Y, or his government. The so-called offence by S.B.Y doesn’t seem to have taken into account their own alleged spying on the Australian government and politicians, nor the fact that this alleged activity took place under the former Labour government, and therefore could have been easily forgiven in light of the new commitments made by Indonesia, and so easily dropped.

The fact that Indonesia has an election coming very soon should not have had any impact on these processes, but with the wave a national sensitivity by Indonesians, who are incredibly sensitive to matters of national security, showing their insecurity, and probably a smattering of inferiority complex, at least some of the perceived insult could be seen to be attempting to gain further compensations from the Australian people in return for their continuing cooperation Australia to stop illegal boat arrivals. Likewise with a mad-as-a-cut-snake and voracious media in Indonesia, the unprofitable twittering of S.B.Y in twittersphere, and the blogosphere of our modern techno-crazy world, all pre-judging Mr. Abbott and the Liberal Government, an absolute mountain is being made of a molehill, or sa they say, “a storm in a tea cup”.

As difficult as it may seem, the type of patience we have seen from Mr. Abbott is necessary, and he will have to ride this one out, because it will all blow over. However, our “friends” in Indonesia need to grow up, stop being so sensitive, when they are as guilty as Australia in this alleged “spying-scandal”, and given it was carried out on a former watch, surely S.B.Y might speak to Mr. Abbott, whoever calls who, and quietly sort political process out as mature leaders ought to, with a private phone call. Instead, weak and childish posturing to score political brownie points through a dumbed down media has resulted. Also, the media are being permitted to stoke the fires, instead of cautiously lead his people, S.B.Y has committed a cardinal sin in pandering to the politics of the media. If the president had any common sense, he would stop the chest-puffing, twittering, and political football carrying, care less for what the Indonesian media write, and begin a new era in adult politics by honoring the agreements he committed his country to, and in  the same gentlemanly manner as Mr. Abbott has been voicing in the Australian parliament, surely and steadily put to silence the foolish rhetoric of the past week.


(Please note: This article does not represent the opinions of the Australian people, or it’s politics, but are personal views expressed by the writer)

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