Munir & Muchdi PR

Jun 20th, 2008, in Opinion, by

Ross on BIN chief Muchdi's questioning by police over the murder of activist Munir.

The former deputy head of the country's spy service, BIN, has been taken into custody, apparently voluntarily, in connection with the murder of the rights activist Munir. He is presumably meant to be the brains behind Pollycarpus, the rather dim-looking Garuda pilot who is already behind bars for the homicide.

Muchdi
Muchdi, left.

Major-General Muchdi Purwopranjono's arrest is something akin to a deputy chief of the CIA being hauled in for questioning in relation to somebody like Ralph Nader or David Horowitz being killed.

What will result from this remains to be seen.

Will Muchdi PR be accused of pursuing a personal vendetta against Munir, or will his former high rank within BIN lead to further charges against further high-ups? Judging from comments in today's news by Munir's widow. the admirable Suciwati, one tends to think the latter is what she expects.

Munir
Munir

The farce of Polycarpus' imprisonment, release and re-imprisonment, however, make the opposite, surely, more likely. Clearly there are not so much high rankers but high politics involved. Questions surge up on all sides.

Can we expect to see Pak Muchdi spending as long in police hands as the 50 out of 59 Islamofascists arrested after the FPI thuggery at Monas on June 1st? Will he be out and about in time to enjoy the performance by Inul at the Jakarta Fair next month?

Is he a kambing hitam or will he start bleating embarrassing names as he endeavours to avoid the sort of country-club conditions that well-connected crims like Tommy ("I had a judge murdered") Suharto) tend to get if the verdict goes against them?

Or, and here we display the sort of conspiracy theory mentality that Indonesia induces in its long-term residents, is this a move to show that, despite the regime's craven cave-in on Ahmadiyyah, there is a vestigial quest for justice and fair play, alive and well in the Istana Merdeka?


56 Comments on “Munir & Muchdi PR”

  1. avatar Abdul Khalid al Jumhuri says:

    Big step in Indonesian law enforcement and a courageous move from all sides. We all need to be cautious about it. This is the big step to move forward irrespective of the final result. The press should cheer this up and provide adequate share of print and share of prime time instead of sucking up to the morons of FPI kinds. Let’s see what’s come up.

  2. avatar Muz Irman says:

    What is the impact of Muchdi ,s arrest? Especially, his group of Kopasanda, military elite of Indonesian.
    We should worry that his friends in Kopasanda will take an action about that. Is it possible ? That is why Chief Police has already prepared to stand by the Brimob troop and Muchdi will tranfer to another place close to Brimob .

  3. avatar kinch says:

    It’s a weird day when Brimob are actually the good guys.

  4. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Ross,

    A tad on the confused side here.

    I thought a guy like you would’ve loved Muchdi and his ilk for their role in incarcerating, torturing, and repressing communists for 32 or so years.

    And the heroic Mr. Munir, was, let’s face it a bit Bolshie from time to time, expounding very un anti-communist organizations like trade unions.

    What’s got into you ?

  5. avatar Rob says:

    Don’t you have to say the jury is out on this one until the process gets a little further along.

    If the Timor Leste human rights trials are anything to go by then Indonesia is not really into convicting army officers.

    If it looks to this bloke like he will go down then he might be inclined to roll and that could be a pandora’s box that sets Indonesia on a different path with respect to law enforcement. Simply, because the killing of Munir was not a random act and it will be interesting to see how things like “plausible deniability” go for those leaders in control at that time, including Megawati who was one of them!

    The plot thickens.

  6. avatar Ross says:

    Achmad, You see everything in black and white, no room for shades of grey, or red or blue. Antagonists may have more complex philosophies than you ever dreamed of.
    The Muchdi geezer probably was a mere stripling in 1965, and thus has not had many real Reds to deal with.
    Yes, I do suspect that Munir was a bit of a pinko, but despite disagreeing with folk, I don’t go in for poisoning them on planes. And if I did, I’d own up to it. The assassins in this cas are cowardly knaves and deserve to be dragged to Monas Square and strung up. And I admire Suciwati tremendously.

  7. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Ross,

    So how ’bout this: if you ever meet Suciwati — please tell her your views on “Reds” and how dangerous they are.

    When did you of all people, discover nuance ?

    You said repeatedly, again, and again that reds were a menace, and squeezed all sorts of peopled into the single-color.

    If they are as deadly, sneaky and ruthless a menace as you made out, well, states need secret intelligence agencies and machiavellian tactics. Once you set up such agencies, they tend to take on a momentum of their own. Institutions have a way of getting entrenched.

    It’s rabid anti-communist crusaders that set up those institutions. So you’ve unwittingly made an intellectual (if you can call it that), for them.

    I’ll leave you to your rancid beer in Jaksa.

  8. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Also, Ross — another question.

    Do you think execution or assasination of individual communist figures in peace time democracies is every justified ?

    What about people who aid and abet those people ?

  9. avatar Ross says:

    Aaah, Achmad, still consumed with combative ire…how relentless you are in pursuit of anti-communists, when the clear and present danger is wrapped in a white suit with a green banner.
    Yes, if I meet Suciwati. I will not hide my views; as you may have noticed, I seldom do. But I doubt I’ll meet her. Have you?
    Rancid beer? You insult exemplary publicans rather than me. If I get a bad pint, I’ll get it changed for a better. You should do the same with some of your narrow perceptions.
    So all intelligence agencies are ipso facto bad? Are you serious? Having a bad Tuesday, are we? How else can we weed out traitors?
    Or, like the communist menace, were all those Cambridge Five, Alger Hiss, Rosenbergs etc just figments of a fevered imagination? Did Philby not really flee to Moscow at all, but hid in a pub off Parker’s Piece?

    No, in a stable, constitutional democracy, execution of all actual communists is not required. In wartime, their incarceration is entirely justified, surely, if the war is with those to whom their allegiance counts more than that due to their own countries. Aiding and abetting subversion is subversion, to answer your last point. If you give shelter to crims, you are breaking the law.
    You always manage to steer diccussion away from the nub of the topic. Is is a deliberate ploy?

  10. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Ross,

    I’m actually not steering away this time.

    I’m arguing that your anti-communist arguments, taken to their logical conclusion, can lead to the murder of people like Munir.

    On the question of intelligence agencies. Now, now, Ross, dishonest debating tactics. BIN, BAKIN etc, aren’t allintelligence agencies. They’re just the ones here. Even with them, states are imperfect things.

    Just like your arguments. From what you’ve said about reds and above, I think Muchdi could conclude he probably did the right thing.

    There were alot of “subversives” in and around Kontras and human rights groups in the ’80s and ’90s. Where do you think all the communists when after ’65 ?

    I’m not saying that Munir was a communist at all — I think he was a true Indonesian hero. Just unmasking Rossism for what it is.

  11. avatar Wilson says:

    Ross,

    I see that you have a new “novel” out called ”WHITE TRASH -A Novel of the Jakarta Expat Underclass; which you claim is “For those who are familiar with Jalan Jaksa”. As I’m not; do you put yourself in your “white trash/Jakarta expat undeclass” catagory or are you looking down your nose at those “white trash bule” who don’t have any money and hang out in Jaksa?

  12. avatar Abdul Khalid al Jumhuri says:

    Folks,
    Sorry, we are out of topics and wasting our time. Could we back to Muchdi case please?

  13. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Abdul,

    Not diverting, though, yes we should steer back to Muchdi. We’re not just discussing the ins and outs of the Muchdi case, or breaking details, but the issues it raises and how they’re relevant for people on the list.

  14. avatar Ross says:

    ‘If they are as deadly, sneaky and ruthless a menace as you made out, well, states need secret intelligence agencies and machiavellian tactics. Once you set up such agencies, they tend to take on a momentum of their own. Institutions have a way of getting entrenched. ….On the question of intelligence agencies. Now, now, Ross, dishonest debating tactics. BIN, BAKIN etc, aren’t allintelligence agencies. They’re just the ones here. Even with them, states are imperfect things.’

    Make up your mind, Ahmad! ‘States’ in general or ‘just the ones here.’

    You should visit Jaksa sometime. Or buy the book!
    Most regulars are okay people, but there are some foul-mouthed yobs, though honestly not as many as hang about South Jakarta, which is why I tend not to go there too often.
    The bules I most look down on are those who hide behind Indonesian names in order to gain legitimacy for rambling, inconsistent posts, which forever resort to ad hominem ‘arguments’ when the rest of us want to discuss the current issue.
    If you wish to debate the Red menace, there are several threads devoted to that. We can pass the time rehashing our disagreements there.
    Meanwhile, here on this thread, let’s observe the progress of the Munir case.
    PS You’ll need to stew for a few days. I’m busy this week.

  15. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    All:

    A common Ross tactic: dodge, bob, weave, avoid, when things get difficult. Fair enough in the boxing ring – Muhammad Ali did it. Pathetic in debate.

    Ross: your arguments lead to fascist tactics. Face it.

    As for states “in general” vs the ones here:

    * Your arguments: communists are an evil menace. Sneaky, surreptitious methods, (I assume), prone to violent tactics. Looking around the world, possibly even terrorist tactics (my assumption) – Red Brigade, Shining Path etc.

    * If they are such a menace, democratic states are entitled to use “extra” democratic, some say unconstitutional methods to combat such threats. Ie if they won’t play fair, we won’t play fair.

    * Indonesia, like all states in the Cold War, faced such questions. Indonesia, a developing country with limited resources, set up such agencies like BIN, BAKIN etc. Once established, agencies take on a life of their own and are hard to dismantle.

    You, my friend, are a rabid anti-communist, even in 2008.

    Hence, must bear some the responsibility for setting up the momentum of the murder of Indonesian heros like Munir.

    What do you think he would have said to your anti-communist rants ?

  16. avatar Wilson says:

    Ross,

    Your sweeping generalizations just reveal your ignorance and poor analysis on most issues.

    there are some foul-mouthed yobs, though honestly not as many as hang about South Jakarta, which is why I tend not to go ften

    How on earth can you condem an entire part of a city like this? You are probably talking about bule in hooker bars in Blok M. Basically; you seem to be another sad bule in Jakarta whoose knowledge and experience of Indonesia goes no further than Jalan Jaksa and Blok M.

    Get out more mate, explore the city and then write!

  17. avatar Ross says:

    Wilson
    You think somebody is ‘ignorant’ because you have a different take on the social scene? Methinks your own prejudice, like Ahmad’s is directing your insults. I can find my way round most parts of Jakarta by public transport and probably on foot, maybe better than most bules.I have lived and worked in all but North Jakarta. Most of my daily conversations are in Indonesian. Hardly ignorant!
    Sad -far from it. Occasionally saddened by what is happening to Indonesia, but busy and active, so no time to be too sad. And when I read Achmad’s rants, as ever refusing to acknowledge his own contradictory statements, I have to smile.
    His latest attempt to brand me as some kind of inspiration to Munir’s murder is a new nadir of stupidity, even for him.

    Rabid I’m not, never having been bitten by Achmad, but of course I’m anti-communist, as should all decent people be.
    Some Americans have defined Achmad’s neurosis, ‘anti-anti-communism,’ the determination to attack those who recognise Marxism’s essential evil, as possibly much more dangerous. People like Achamd may bray about how much they disapprove of gulags and other re atrocities, but they never turn their verbal guns against them, preferring to assail more consistent and principled people.
    Frankly, I get the strong impression that Achmad only sees the Munir case as a football to kick around, and his indifference is confirmed by the way he has turned this thread into a fatuous witch-hunt against what he has defined as ‘Rossism.’
    Why doesn’t Achmad give a damn about Munir?

  18. avatar Janma says:

    but of course I’m anti-communist, as should all decent people be.

    Ross, are you trying to say I’m indecent? I’m not an anti communist…. but I bath twice a day, wear underwear, say please and thank you, stick to one partner (at a time) and haven’t spied on the plunge pools in Maya Resort since my binoculars broke…. I thought I was pretty decent.

    Plus I think Achmad is just smarting from being denied the outright insult fest that was planned a few months ago between you two and never happened….

  19. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Ok Ross, you tried.

    But let’s break it down:

    You’re a strong anti-communist.

    Anti-communism was an ideology here that held to the establishment of intelligence agencies that used alot of tactics such as long-term detention without tril, violent interrogation, and sometimes assasinations.

    Alot of anti-communists argue the tactics of communist insurgents and groups justify the use of the intelligence agencies tactics described above.

    Very hard to dislodge the agencies, including “reprogramming” the ideological software they used, such as automatically suspecting activists of helping communists, seeing students as helping communists or other shadowy groups.

    Strong anti-communists have to bear some intellectual and moral responsibility for agencies like BIN and BAKIN. They should do so in the same way academic Marxist revolutionaries have to bear some of the responsibility for the Gulag, excesses and atrocities of the U.S.S.R and other states that make you so hot and bothered.

    I’m saying, Ross, that ideologically, you and the intelligence agencies are on the same side. So, yes, if you go talking about anti-communism in 2008, you’re allying yourself with the likes of those who deal Munir his fate.

  20. avatar Ross says:

    Janma, I never insult ladies. I’m sure you are delightful in every way. But why are you not anti-communist…you evidently value human rights and like ordinary people (except anti-communists!) so you logically should loathe a party or movement which despoils humans of their rights and has oceans of innocent blood on its hands.

    Achmad, more to the point, your way of life fascinates me. Every time I post, you are there ready to spring on to it. Do you not have a job that requires your attention? Are you one of the plutocratic elite here? If so, perhaps that explains your hostility to anti-communism, for the rich have often been the source of marxism’s keenest protagonists.

    I am not ‘allying’ myself with BIN. The ‘secret’ establishment here clearly has links with the fanatics who infuriate me much more than your posts do.
    If intel agencies are hostile to communism, then yes, we have that in common, but equally, you and I share views on Dewi Perssik, and that does not make me responsible for your other activities or attitudes.
    As I said earlier, you see it all in messianic terms, titanic struggle between goodie you and baddie me, whereas I assume you are not a cardboard cut-out bogeyman, but have a range of views that might even overlap with mine now and then.
    On Munir, I am in search of justice. He was foully slain by cowards, who ought to be hanged, along with Amrozi and the other Bali Beasts.

    And now it’s almost the weekend, so I shall review your responses on Monday. There is more to life than this or any other blog.

  21. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    @ Janma

    At the time, I didn’t feel like an insult-duel. Feel more like it now.

    @ Ross

    Bury your head if you want. The rest of us won’t.

    You would have hated Munir if you’d met him before he became a martyr. He was into land reform, helping trade unions, curbing the activities of foreign corporations, and very much into Pramoedya.

    Point is: there’s a clear and logical sequence of steps between your fierce anti-communism and kidnapping and or killing activists.

    Not saying you would.

  22. avatar Wilson says:

    OK; let’s get this thread wrapped up!

    Ross; try to get know Jakarta; areas like Kemang and Pondok Indah have a good range of resturants and bars as well; you’ll find them a little more civil and comfortable than Blok M and Jaksa; although the ladies; who are far more beautiful than the prostitutes you are familiar with in Blok M/Jaksa; won’t join you for money; even if you do offer to pay their bus fare! Jalan Jaksa is about to be widened by 7 meters on the right side of the road anyway; so most of those bars and hotels will be gone in less than a year and it’ll be just another road connecting Wahid Hasyim and Kebon Sirih and your “white trash” will have to find another street to vegetate in…

    Where the hell was Ross 1989-1991?

    You do know that the Soviet Union collapased in 1991? You do remember the overthrow of Nicolai Chauchesku and Wojciech Jaruzelski ? And that the Berlin wall was pulled down brick by brick around the same time…so why the hell are you banging on about the threat of communism? It’s gone…kaput…finished…years ago…China, Russia; it’s all about trade; so for God’s sake get off this; if you are indeed serious; but I suspect that you’re just another blogging wind up piss artist! Either way you come across like some kind of red neck from a time warp; about 40 years behind the times!

    If you really need an enemy to fear to make you feel better; how about the Speculators and Markets that are screwing up the world with inflated oil prices and globalization…we are in 2008 by the way!

  23. avatar Ross says:

    Peace Ho, Caesar Speaks! Wilson declares this thread is to be wound up, and thus we must all fall silent, leaving him to finish on that rather snooty note.
    I think not!

    If people don’t want to talk about Munir and Muchdi, fine, though Saturday’s Jakarta Post had a report which observed that I am not alone in wondering if the recent arrest might not be a ploy to divert attention from the easy ride given to Islamist bigots.It seems a shame the thread had to go off on the tangent Achmad initiated in his ‘anti-anti-communist’ post. It seems to be not me but he who is determined to go on about the Reds. But as he wishes….

    I could ponder why Wilson thinks we should all forget the crimes of communism. He doesn’t say, nor does he seem to care about Cubans, Chinese, Vietnamese and Laos who still suffer its denial of the freedoms we take for granted. Yes, Wilson , in 2008! Get with it, man -your indifference to tyranny in this day and age is pathetic.

    Sure, Romania’s red tyrant paid the right price for what he did to his country, and one hopes that sooner or later either or both of the Castro brothers will suffer the same fate for their transformation, by means of gestapo-terror, of a reasonably prosperous little republic into a dictatorship where the ruling class hog the best health services and leave ordinary working folk to languish in a quagmire of sub-standard medical care, nor do the workers have any right to strike never mind vote in opposition to Communism -but Wilson and Achmad don’t care about rights for victims of marxism.

    And yes, the Berlin Wall is thankfully fallen, but where have all the Communists gone? How many of the European Commissioners are ‘ex’ card-carrying communists?
    Were Mandelson and the other sometime Reds genuinely repentant, they’d be making that clear, but he and his Brussels comrades don’t have a lot to say about the evil they have allegedly eschewed. The double standards of the new Eurocrat class are plain in their refusal to apply an even-handed ban on totalitariian symbols. It is out of order to fly swastikas, but the Hammer and Sickle which tormented millions for decades is quite acceptable.
    We also have a chap in America who claims that one his most influential confidants in his younger days was a convinced, committed Communist.
    Yet Wilson and other like him ignore this, unworried that a rising star’s radiance sheds a red glow. Anybody who draws attention to it is shrugged off, as if a history of far-left associations is a matter of no consequence.

    RIGHT, THAT SHOULD GET THE LEFTIES GOING.
    Now for the stuck-ups.

    Wilson lauds South Jakarta’s unsullied damsels, who hang out in expensive bars for altruistic motives, so let’s reflect on the distaste of the wealthy for Jalan Jaksa, a bias Wilson epitomises.

    I acknowledge readily that there are nice places to eat and drink South of Melawai, nor did I ever suggest otherwise. I have enjoyed meals and socialised with friends at many of those, and have met several of their proprietors. They seem a decent bunch as a rule, who run their businesses well. Even so, it ain’t hard to find bloated racist bar-flies in most of them. Kemang has far more bules than Jaksa, hence it is only logical that there are more oafish specimens too. Moneyed drunks can be no less obnoxious than poor ones.

    Wilson’s implication that Jaksa is a den of vice, presumably in contrast to the flashy joints where you can pay three times as much for a beer, demands a rebuttal.
    Take Pappas, where indeed bar-girls wander in and out, but are generally content to mooch a Fanta. They are usually outnumbered by ordinary Jakarta folk of both local and foreign origin. Parents bring their kids in for lunch, too. Take a stroll down Jalan Jaksa on Saturday afternoon, and you’ll meet back-packers, budget tourists, oil-men and teachers too. Some of them hit the booze too hard, but most are civilised and friendly.
    Hardly a sleaze centre.
    Take, on the other hand, certain posh hotels, where I do go, for special occasions, usually at the invitation of well-heeled associates. I’m not prejudiced against affluent people, just rarely in their company!
    The food is good, the alcohol of a high standard – and so it should be at those prices – but come 8pm, the crowd mushrooms to accommodate all manner of lovelies on the make.
    And good luck to them, but they are no less hookers because they charge a helluva lot more than the Jaksa slappers. This is partly because they have to bribe the security personnel to get in.
    They’re not shy about quoting the going rate, even if you just strike up a casual conversation, as one does when in the proximity of cute chicks! Nice to talk to, but if you fancy your chances, bring a wad of dollars, pounds or even boring old rupiah!

    You can also take a walk round those South Jakarta upmarket malls and find yourself pleasantly bothered by pretty would-be companions. The fact that somebody less handsome than Robert Redford (i.e. me) can be amiably accosted indicates that these girls in these ritzy settings are not exactly motivated by an urge to ensnare a dashing suitor, but rather by the (alas mistaken) notion that bules have loadsa money.

    Of course there are numerous ladies in search of more serious relationships, but that goes for the ones who visit Jaksa too. Many student girls go there, partly for research but also doubtless prepared to find a ‘steady,’ if likely lads are about.

    It would be sad if Jaksa were bull-dozed or gentrified. There are precious few parts of town where you can still enjoy a bottle of Anker for about Rp.25,000. We are not all employed by multi-nationals at commensurate salaries and you don’t have to be ‘white trash’ to appreciate somewhere it’s possible to spend an afternoon without spending a week’s wages.

    I don’t actually post as some kind of wind-up, Wilson. It seems at times almost a penance for something I’ve done in a previous incarnation to have constantly to spend valuable time and energy injecting sense into some threads. I persist because I perceive a wish on the part of some people that I’d just shut up and leave the field to left-libbers, so obviously I feel is a moral duty on me to keep at it.
    But I’m genuinely interested in your reply (and even more to see if Achmad can bring communism into this detour!)

  24. avatar Wilson says:

    Ross,

    You are the Christopher Lee of the blogs; drowned in ice, a stake through the heart but Ross has risen from the grave… once again…

    A dictator is a dictator; Stalin and Hitler, Ngo Dinh Diem, Pinochet and the thugs in El Salvador and Argentina during the 80s…all tyrants…all murders…but you only seem equate communism with dictatorship…Baby Doc, Bokasa, Mobutu, Pinochet, Somoza and Suharto were all great blokes right Ross? Cos they hated commies too…as did Hitler.

    You see the world as black and white. Is Mandelson really the heir to Castro’s ideology? Who is the “chap in America”? Obama? Is Ross an American? 8 years of George W. have basically opened the doors for Chairman Mao to be voted in; if he was running. You’ve really gone nuts with all your “reds under the bed” theories here. The commies burned the Reichstag, sure; Hitler said it…did the commies kill Kennedy and Princess Di as well? Did the commies do 9/11? I bet you’ve got a link…haven’t you Ross? You are a wind up merchant for sure…

    It sounds like you’re just cutting and pasting these silly views from the sort of nuts that are given TV shows on Fox News and are watched only by bored expats who are a long way from home. It’s crap, it’s not real and nor are you!

    Regarding Indonesian women; you seem to take the ugly “whitey” view in Asia; that women are for sale and better to go to the cheap market (Jaksa) than the mall to buy. Try falling in love old boy and finding a good lady who’ll hang around; through thick and thin; if you’ve got a full bank account or not.

    OK…that’s it…I can get Ross’ opinion or predictable reply (on foreign affairs) from Fox News featuring the likes of the Resurrected Ollie North, Pat Robertson or some other discraced right wing American pundit…then again…why waste my tv’s power…better talk to my plants.

  25. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    @ All,

    Ross is taking the boredom-by-attrition tactic of debating. Ross, dear boy: verbal diarrhea is no substitute for logic.

    Here are the issues in the Munir case:

    How on earth could those nasty spooks still be pulling this stuff in 2004 ? It was six years after Soeharto fell, when Indonesia was well on the way to becoming a fully fledged democracy, with a directly elected president ?

    To people who can see nuances, (unlike Ross), there was another question: where Soeharto-erae elites stage-managing and manipulating democracy ? Or where they just pulling a random stunt, like a sidelined bully ?

    What would SBY do about it ?

    The point about anti-communism is that the agency likely to have done it is a relic of the anti-communist era and part of their vanguard. The anti-communist movement in the West, including the U.S. supported, these agencies all over the world.

    Ross ignored this point (tha’ts ok Ross, I do it too, when I want to annoy people). But as pointed out, the murder of civil society activists, even if they do have orange hair, is no joke.

  26. avatar Ross says:

    I always have the grace to credit antagonists with intelligence till they prove otherwise.
    So I assume Wilson is being wilfully obtuse when he distorts my post. His waffling about ‘love’ suggests he didn’t even read what I said, that many Indonesians, and bules, are into serious relationships. He says nothing to refute the point I was making about the chicks on the make, who are just as numerous in South Jakarta as elsewhere. Their search for wealth doesn’t bother me, but his snobbery re Jaksa does…it’s indefensible, hence his failure to defend it.
    As for Wilson’s ‘insight’ into why we need not care about the suffering of Cubans or Tibetans or Vietnamese, it amounts only to a list of long-dead non-communist tyrants or authoritarians.
    They’re gone, man, wake up to 2008, where marxist despots are wooed with trade deals. We should be helping their tormented subjects, funneling military means of resistance, as was wisely done when we had to defeat Hitler durig 1939-45.
    Look at the fuss about Yangon’s misrule, and the silence on Hanoi’s and Beijing’s, and of course Havana’s.

    Achmad, we don’t know who killed Munir. If it was an anti-communist, hang him, If it was a communist, hang him. If it was an Islamist, hang him. Is that ecumenical enough for you.?

  27. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Ross,

    Oh we don’t know now. I think we’ve got a reasonable idea. Not reasonable enough for the legal burden of proof, but there are a lot of things pointing to BIN.

    In any case, they’ve done plenty of nasty ops, and intelligence agencies have certainly “disappeared” (murdered), their fair share of activists like Munir.

    I think that’s a fair statement.

    Committed anti-communists have to cop a share of the blame. Just like you argue Marxists have to share some of the blame for the Soviet Gulags.

    Consistency, Ross.

  28. avatar Ross says:

    Yes, agreed, of course some of those opposed to communism are not nice chaps.

    But you have to differentiate between groups/philosophies etc. Royalists/ conservatives/capitalists/ fascists/ nazis/clericalists can all be anti-communist but those are not interchangeable terms, nor do they stick necessarily up for each other.

    However, getting back at last to the thread-theme, we don’t know how far up the tree the Munir trail extends.
    I’m reminded of the interesting item in a mag last month on how FPI were immune from serious prosecution because their patrons were old buddies of The Man.
    When is The Man going to take his lackeys by the scruff of the neck and make them play by the rules?.

  29. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Sometimes the ops kept quiet for “plausible deniability.”

  30. avatar Wilson says:

    Ross,

    To be honest; as most locals will tell you; Jalan Jaksa has a rather sordid reputation; despite your personal recommendation that it’s a nice place to take your family to. By South Jakarta; you probably mean Blok M, Pasaraya, Blok M plaza; so yeah; same cheap whores; different place. Hey; if you want to be the PR representative for Jalan Jaksa hookers; go for it. My point is; Ross, that by saying I’m a snob about where bule take prostitutes from is rather like saying one is a snob about where one buys drugs from. Personally; I don’t spend my money on either. It’s a shame that “love” and relationships are “waffle” to you; but then I don’t really care where you drink or have sex. Have your fun. However; South Jakarta does stretch further than Blok M; get a map.

    More importantly; you claim that I don’t care for people suffering under oppressive regimes; but once again; you are distorting my words as you are; as always, distorting these absurd thoughts in your head.

    Finally; how can you claim that human rights abuses in China and Cuba are ignored? Ridiculous. Burma is an international disgrace and the recent media attention on that brutalized country has been about the regime’s refusal to allow international aid to the cyclone victims and their recent massacre of monks involved in peaceful demonstrations. That vile regime outranks both China and Cuba; in terms of its total disregard for human life and human rights. But there seems to be only three countries that bother you; Vietnam, Cuba and China. Once again; it sounds like you’re stuck in the 1970s; do you have the BBC or CNN at home?

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