Building Bridges not Bunkers

Aug 10th, 2009, in IM Posts, by

Different approaches to Abu Bakar Bashir from the police and military in Central Java.

As part of a 'building bridges' attempt the police chief of Central Java, Alex Bambang Riatmodjo, on 6th August donated five computers, one printer, and a memento type gift to the Pondok Pesantren Al Mukmin in Ngruki, Sukoharjo, led by Abu Bakar Baasyir.

Police General Riatmodjo had intended to hand over the gifts in person to Abu Bakar Bashir at the Al Mukmin school but was taken sick suddenly, while a senior official of the Sukoharjo police force stepped in to take his place.

Al Mukmin Islamic boarding school has produced graduates such as Amrozi, Mukhlas and Imam Samudra, executed on 9th November 2008 for their roles in the Bali bombings, and after the recent suicide bombings in Jakarta suspicion immediately fell on the school again.


Alex Bambang Riatmodjo

Alex Bambang Riatmodjo later said that his intended visit was to ensure that the police and the Islamic community had a similar vision and to prevent any misunderstandings between them.

On the visit of Riatmodjo Bashir said the police initiated the attempt to improve relations, and: kompas

As far as I know the police chief wanted to find out what our school is actually like. There is the issue of some people believing that there is a secret bunker under the school, but if he visits he'll see there's nothing like that.

In recent days military officers had searched the school complex looking for an underground facility.

They searched everywhere, even in the toilets and in my house.

Pangdam IV Diponegoro Major General Haryadi Sutanto had ordered the search of Ngruki, having some suspicions that Noordin M Top may be being hidden at the school, and saying of Bashir: okezone

Every time there is a terrorist act in Indonesia Baasyir always says it is a form of jihad to defend Islam. It is the wrong way of thinking about it and it is a justification of terrorism. In my view there are three causes of terrorism. Wrong ideology, poor education, and poverty.


35 Comments on “Building Bridges not Bunkers”

  1. avatar Odinius says:

    Does Indonesia still have a law against treason? Conspiracy? Incitement? Blasphemy against any of its recognized religions? Because surely Bashir is guilty of at least 2 of these…

  2. avatar diego says:

    Strange, why Megawati refused to hand over that buck-toothed stinky low-life old-fart to the US? I bet that animal would’ve enjoyed its stay in the gitmo. Geez, not getting rid of that shit is like doing a half-way treatment to cancer…, things can only get worse afterward.

    (Sorry for the S word, as I was trying to avoid the word “he”. I don’t consider that animal a man).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Bakar_Bashir

  3. avatar ET says:

    Every time there is a terrorist act in Indonesia Baasyir always says it is a form of jihad to defend Islam. It is the wrong way of thinking about it and it is a justification of terrorism. In my view there are three causes of terrorism. Wrong ideology, poor education, and poverty.

    Strike poor education and poverty. Lots of poor countries with poor education in the world that don’t produce terrorists.

  4. avatar DumadiSatrio says:

    They searched everywhere, even in the toilets and in my house.

    makes sense… since Bashir’s a cockroach

  5. avatar Ross says:

    Careful, Diego, you begin to sound like me!
    Baashir is abhorrent, his rant about tourists deserving to get duffed up only one of the utterly obnoxious outbursts I recall.
    Like that turd Lubis, who urged his goons to ‘kill,kill,kill’ Ahmadiyah people, he is surely open to charges of incitement to violence and if SBY found it upsetting that some terrs were using his photo for target practice, surely he ought to be ordering his security forces to bring these evil men in for questioning..

  6. avatar Odinius says:

    ET said:

    Lots of poor countries with poor education in the world that don’t produce terrorists.

    And lots of not so poor countries do, e.g. Spain, Northern Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Germany and Italy in the 1970s and 1980s, etc.

    And lots of other poor countries produce other types of violence, which are immeasurably worse in terms of death toll than terrorism in Indonesia. 40-60,000 people are murdered every year in Brazil from the drug trade. An even larger number, per capita, are killed in Colombia. Even in LA, there are about 500 murders a year from gang violence. That’s more than the total of all of Indonesia’s bombings.

  7. avatar Ross says:

    This article also reminds me of the recent p.r. debacle – self-inflicted, as usual – when the much more professional cops out in the sticks swooped on that filthy piece of rat-s**t Sheyk Puji and hauled him off for his arrogant flouting of his bail conditions, then some top dog cop in Jakarta repudiated their diligence, saying they shoulda been ‘softly,softly’ in their handling of the child-molesting scumbag.

    Took me back to when a former police superstar sent a grovelling apology to the leader of the Laskar Jihad murder gang for his officers having raided the killer group’s hq, in Bogor, I think it was.

    And again to the sickening scene when Tommy Suharto was finally brought in after months on the run. There was a grinning dolt in senior police uniform with his arm draped in comradely fashion round the judge-murder-master.

    If any President of Indonesia really wants the public to trust the police, there should be a wholesale shredding of these dumbos’ careers, retrospectively, to ensure the creeps don’t collect pensions for their pitiful performance.

  8. avatar Odinius says:

    Basically, a big part of any democracy is the rule of law. Part of that is a monopoly on legitimate violence, or rather, violence that goes unpunished. Doesn’t have to herald a return to the Suharto days, just a dedication to telling these thugs: “no more.”

  9. avatar ET says:

    Odinius said

    And lots of not so poor countries do, e.g. Spain, Northern Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Germany and Italy in the 1970s and 1980s, etc.

    And lots of other poor countries produce other types of violence, which are immeasurably worse in terms of death toll than terrorism in Indonesia.

    Which was exactly my point. Terrorism isn’t caused by poverty or poor education, only by ideologies. Crime and violence may be produced by and for a number of reasons among which poverty and poor education, but these don’t fit the description of terrorism which according to Encyclopaedia Britannica is

    the systematic use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population and thereby to bring about a particular political objective.

    Jenderal Sutanto is IMO only mentioning poverty and poor education to sweeten the verdict on the real culprit of which anyone is afraid to mention its real name for fear of blasphemy.

  10. avatar Ross says:

    ET, you hit the jackpot. I refer to your wise rebuttal of the simpering pinkos who say that terrorism springs from poverty and other socio-economic problems.
    The terrs are simply evil.

    When did Osama ever go hungry, or Dr. Azahari, or indeed uni grad Noordin?
    All over Indonesia and Malaysia too there are honest, decent, poverty-stricken folk who’d do anything to enjoy half the advantages those 3 had or have. Some of those poor kampung families have no doubt lost friends and family to the onslaught of Al Qaeda or its local clones.

    People in dire circumstances are not given to wickedness through those circumstances; viz the crime levels in inner-city poor areas in Canada and the UK and no doubt elsewhere today. These are a matter of people choosing to be bad. We all can, and if we make that choice, we get consequences, which are largely absent from modern Western societies. But it wasn’t always so.

    Take Glasgow, where the Hungry Thirties indeed saw razor gangs but only in very limited numbers, whereas the huge majority of unemployed tholed their lot with dignity. They’d been brought up to respect teachers, cops and other people’s persons and property. The difference between right and wrong, cemented by realistic penalties, in this world as well as the next!
    Or Toronto, once derided as ‘Toronto the Good’ by intellectuals who disliked its respectable, law-abiding character, now plagued by hordes of hoodlums. My Ontario elementary school prinicipal just had to have his strap beside his desk, don’t ever recall him using it, but it symbolised a form of authority that would not countenance challenge.

    Nowadays if some spoilt brat gets told off, he wails for his mummy, his social worker and probably his tax-paid psychologist.

  11. avatar Odinius says:

    Plus the September 11 terrorists were all upper middle-class. Most terrorists in Europe have come from the educated classes.

    I think, worse than poverty, is a subjective sense of relative deprivation. That is, the sense that “those people over there [fill in the blanks] are wealthier than us [fill in the blanks], and don’t deserve it, as they are [fill in the blanks].”

    This can be ethnic, religious, class or whatever. But it starts with a sense of utopian entitlement, and the idea that this entitlement has been usurped by others who are less deserving.

  12. avatar sambal says:

    The root of the problem is “islam” and muslims are the direct victim of it.

  13. avatar andrey says:

    Ross, your house looks nice. I’ll have the bed room and the kitchen.
    …hmm.. may be the living room also… . ok, while at it I’ll just have it all.
    You are welcome to stay peacefully in the backroom if you want.

    If you don’t like the backroom, I belief your friend next door will be glad to let you stay is his room.

    I am sure civilized people like you know how to solve problem with peace.

  14. avatar diego says:

    andrey:

    Your mumbling is just another boring cheap “palestina-zionist” stuff.

    Are you an indonesian? If yes, why the heck do you care about what’s going on in palestina & israel? It’s arabs’+jews’ problem, their problem, not ours.

    If you keep making fuss about that problem, just give up your indonesian citizenship, and join any of those arab countries.

    Indonesians should not give a shit about those shits happening in arab+jew world (fcking-middle east). We should be more busy improving our competitive advantages to realize the chindonesia triangle.

  15. avatar andrey says:

    I am just mentioning a possibility left un said by previous comentators.
    they argue that the reason is not poverty, so it must be some ideology.
    it is very convenient for them to say that, as they then can point the blame to some ideology they dont like, or religion.

    the want to make this conclusion because it suit their overall agenda.
    just like the usa in cold war era, everything bad was the fault of communism.
    I am sure they can somehow find a way to link a drainage problem to those red communist.

    So let me ask a question, why didnt Ross or ET bother to mention colonialism for a possible reason? they mention poverty, idelogy, religion, sense of utopian entitlement, and what else… but no colonialism at all. I am sure these are intelligent people, so “it didnt cross their mind” wont be possible.

  16. avatar Oigal says:

    Andrey,

    Really not a well thought out rebuttal at all

    I am sure they can somehow find a way to link a drainage problem to those red communist.

    You accuse others of finding links where there are none (in your opinion) and then go on to try and link colonialism to the issue (Which is simply bizarre..) As a matter of interest, USA, Australia and any number of other countries were colonised so your theory kinda sucks from the start anyway. Even if you were correct then by default you are supporting the seperatists from the non muslim parts of Indonesia, a pretty radical unpopular postion to take.

    As for the oh so boring I’ll take your backyard thingy, no one is taking your back yard and noone has. If you feel that strongly about that catch a plane but don;t you think instead of going and joining in a circle of misery, how about helping people in Indonesia make their lives happier instead of more miserable. You tell me how killing a father the day before his daughter is born helps anyone in this world or the supposed next. In the end it achieves nothing but adding just a little (lot) more misery in the world for the sake of some twisted ego of the irrelevent.

    Indonesia is democracy now, This is the issue that so frustrates the immature petulant thugs. If the people feel strongly enough about anything they get change things. They want Sharia law they can vote in it, they want all multinationals out they can nationalise everything (and live with consequences both good and bad). This is what drives the little petulant ones so crazy, the people have assesed their myopic view of the world and found it wanting and dimissed them as irrelevent to their lives. The violence, murder and intimitation is all they have left in world that has passed them by and even demented hatred and callous acts will just be a minor footnote in history.

  17. avatar ET says:

    @ andrey

    So let me ask a question, why didnt Ross or ET bother to mention colonialism for a possible reason? they mention poverty, idelogy, religion, sense of utopian entitlement, and what else… but no colonialism at all.

    Nice try to divert the attention from what happened here recently to, like diego said, problems somewhere else. What possible connection could there be made between the Marriott and Ritz Carlton bombings or even the planned attack on SBY, and what happens in another part of the world except that it involves muslims? By doing so you have given yourself grotesquely away by admitting that when it comes to your pathetic ideology any reason can be invoked to wage jihad and destroy everything that doesn’t conform to your delusions.

    Or do you still blame the Dutch for what happened here recently?

  18. avatar Ross says:

    Andrey, I confess I was baffled by your comment on my house. It’s just a little kontrakkan, not worth colonising. And then once I’d figured your underlying argument, I was surprised that you’d assume a common bond of ideology among those you castigate. Mine is somewhat different from most IM contributors, though widely held in the West among the common folk.

    As to empires, ours (the British) did quite a lot of good, and I dare say there must be a lot of people in certain parts of Africa who wish the wind of change had been snuffed out sharpish.
    Compared to more modern empires, such as the Soviet Union and Red China, the Pax Britannica was a positive experience for its subjects.

    However, these interesting tangents do distract from the fact that terrorists, like communists, rarely spring up from the ‘underprivileged’ sectors of societies. They are usually deracinated half-educated spoilt brat types, who batten onto what they perceive as other folks’ troubles as an excuse to murder innocent individuals. They lack any recognisable conscience. They are BAAAD!
    Simple as that. Look at Ba’asyir in today’s papers.

  19. avatar sputjam says:

    Good idea this cop giving compuetr thing. They can then trace whatever message that is sent via e-mail. and the students can download porn.

  20. avatar Odinius says:

    Oigal said:

    You tell me how killing a father the day before his daughter is born helps anyone in this world or the supposed next. In the end it achieves nothing but adding just a little (lot) more misery in the world for the sake of some twisted ego of the irrelevent.

    Bingo. Utterly worthless.

  21. avatar diego says:

    I guess people have started to see terrorism the way they see “drug addiction” (narcotics, etc)…, as something lowly. Normal, dignified, mentally-healthy people will keep away from that.

    http://regional.kompas.com/read/xml/2009/08/14/17323914/keluarga.nana.kami.minta.maaf.pada.bangsa.indonesia

    The family of the suicide-bomber ask for an apology from the people of indonesia, for the _crime_ their member did.

    “Apa pun yang terjadi saya minta maaf kepada seluruh bangsa karena ini (Nana) anak bangsa. Kejahatan ini (terorisme) urusan kita semua,” ujarnya dengan logat khas Sunda.

    Too bad, that’s not the case with the family of the other terrorists (Air Setiawan and that other guy whose name I forgot). Instead they see those two terrorists as heroes.

  22. avatar andrey says:

    In my opinion, if you really want to know what drives people into terrorism,
    you should differentiate “their reason” and “the logic of it”. Becouse not everybody is as smart as you are, right?

    Take the Taliban for example. Are they terrorist or are they freedom fighter?
    Their IED blow up ordinary afghans, so they must be terrorist, right?
    But are they going to do that if the USA et al are not occupying their country?
    I think not. They have 5 years history of governing Afghanistan without the habit of putting IED on roads.

    So there must be some correlations between the Taliban putting IED on roads that kill ordinary afghans and the fact that the occupying US Army are staying in their country, right?

    Ross said:
    >They are usually deracinated half-educated spoilt brat types, who batten onto what >they perceive as other folks’ troubles as an excuse to murder innocent individuals.

    What is your definition of “other folks”? This is a subjective thing. Unfortunately for some people, common religious affiliation is good enough to be a reason for calling them self “brothers”, part of a “same folks”. You are like a Dutch colonial official who complained that people from Bali are bombing them as a revenge for their police action in Java, because in their mind, Balinese have no bussiness worring about the welfare of the people in Java. Unfortunately, the people of Bali and Java have long decided that they are part of the same “Indonesian” “folk”.

  23. avatar Odinius says:

    Hey Ross,

    As to empires, ours (the British) did quite a lot of good, and I dare say there must be a lot of people in certain parts of Africa who wish the wind of change had been snuffed out sharpish.
    Compared to more modern empires, such as the Soviet Union and Red China, the Pax Britannica was a positive experience for its subjects.

    I had a good time needling the Netherpeople about how much better it was to be colonized by the British, but in reality it wasn’t all nicely-paved-roads and powdered-wigs-in-court.

    There’s no native population in Tazmania, for one, and little left in the US or Canada. Got a bit better by the high colonial period, but Britain also bequeathed insidious racial social systems to South Africa and Rhodesia, as well as to Malaysia and a number of other places. Those countries are still burdened by that legacy.

    …and to top it off, when Niall Ferguson made much the same claim, he was challenged by an Indian historican to come up with one other Indian historian who agreed with him, and couldn’t…

  24. avatar Ross says:

    One at a time, okay?
    Andrey, the Taliban were inflicting torments galoree before we intervened. They can’t use our wicked imposition of a free election as an excuse. ..though we made mistakes, not restoring the monarchy being one big one. That was Yank influence, not always sound but usually well-meaning.

  25. avatar Ross says:

    Odinious
    Look back at the history in Africa, and Asia, before it is re-written out of the annals.
    Kenya had the traditional rulers out demo-ing for us to stay. We handed over that country to the worst elements, which included Hussein Obama’s grampa. Read the Mau Mau rites if you doubt me. Same story in Ghana and don’t forget the Barotse in Zambia.
    In Asia, you have the famous Amritsar Atrocity, which in fact was a suppression of rioters gratefully welcomed by the Indian community. General Dyer got a commendation from the locals.

    SA and Rhodesia were vey different, and I recall Rhodesians who found SA terribly hard going, as they in Salisbury got on with multi-racial partnership, evidenced again by the readiness of black Rhodesians to fight shoulder-to-shoulder with their white neighbours against Mugabe’s marxist terrs. And weren’t they right, in retrospect?

    No, our empire wasn’t perfect, nor did I ever say so. But the legatees of empire would possibly have not been so keen to hang into the Commonwealth had they been so utterly pissed off at those who ‘took up the white man’s burden’ and built those roads and manned those schools and provided India with a civil service second to none in Asia.

  26. avatar Odinius says:

    There were plenty of riots analogous to Mau Mau within British territories while controlled by the British. For example, the West Indian labour riots, which were on and off for 5 years. Arab-Jewish riots in mandate Palestine. 1875 riots in Poona and Ahmednagar. 1919 riots in Malaya. etc. Not that it improved after decolonization. Actually, colonialism/post-colonialism doesn’t seem to offer any easy solutions to the riot issue.

    As for Rhodesia, even though Mugabe came to power through threats and intimidation, he wasn’t really all that bad until 1990, when his grip on reality began to slip, and he took the country down with it. Of course, Mugabe exploited a rift within the resistance to the racist White rule, and undermined the racial and political reconciliation camp (led by Muzorewa). That doesn’t mean that it should have remained as under colonialism (racist White rule), but that the wrong post-colonialism won!

  27. avatar Odinius says:

    Andrey said:

    Take the Taliban for example. Are they terrorist or are they freedom fighter?
    Their IED blow up ordinary afghans, so they must be terrorist, right?
    But are they going to do that if the USA et al are not occupying their country?
    I think not. They have 5 years history of governing Afghanistan without the habit of putting IED on roads.

    Apparently you have no idea what was going on in Afghanistan between 1997 and 2002. The Taliban waged a war to take over Afghanistan, publicly beat and even killed other Afghan Muslims for things such as not wearing a beard or burqa, engaged in several horrific massacres of the Hazara (who are Shia Muslims), banned music (music!) and television, blew up the ancient Buddha statues, etc.

    Here’s how the Taliban treated Muslims it didn’t like:

    The worst attack on civilians came in summer of 1998 when the Taliban swept north from Herat to the predominantly Hazara and Uzbek city of Mazar-i-Sharif, the largest city in the north. Entering at 10 am on 8 August 1998, for the next two days the Taliban drove their pickup trucks “up and down the narrow streets of Mazar-i-Sharif shooting to the left and right and killing everything that moved — shop owners, cart pullers, women and children shoppers and even goats and donkeys.”[72] More than 8000 noncombatants were reported killed in Mazar-i-Sharif and later in Bamiyan.[73] Contrary to the injunctions of Islam, which demands immediate burial, the Taliban forbade anyone to bury the corpses for the first six days while they rotted in the summer heat and were eaten by dogs.[74] In addition to this indiscriminate slaughter, the Taliban sought out and massacred members of the Hazara, a mostly Shia ethnic group, while in control of Mazar-i-Sharif.

    While the slaughter can be attributed to several factors – ethnic difference, suspicion of Hazara loyalty to their co-religionists in Iran, fury at the loss of life suffered in an earlier unsuccessful Taliban takeover of Mazar – the belief by some Sunni Taliban that the Shia Hazaras were guilty of takfir (apostasy) may have been the principal motivation. It was expressed by Mullah Niazi, the commander of the attack and governor of Mazar after the attack, in his declaration from Mazar’s central mosque:

    “Last year you rebelled against us and killed us. From all your homes you shot at us. Now we are here to deal with you. The Hazaras are not Muslims and now we have to kill Hazaras. You either accept to be Muslims or leave Afghanistan. Wherever you go we will catch you. If you go up we will pull you down by your feet; if you hide below, we will pull you up by your hair.”[38]

    Hazara also suffered a siege by the Taliban of their Hazarajat homeland in central Afghanistan and the refusal by the Taliban to allow the UN to supply food to Hazara in the provinces of Bamiyan, Ghor, Wardak and Ghazni.[75] A month after the Mazar slaughter, Taliban broke through Hazar lines and took over Hazarajat. The number of civilians killed was not as great as in Mazar, but occurred nevertheless.[76]

    During the years that followed, rapes and massacres of Hazara by Taliban forces were documented by groups such as Human Rights Watch.[77]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taliban

    So conclusion? The Taliban are terrorists.

  28. avatar Ross says:

    Quite true, Andrey. It does grate on the logic when we hear about the West’s ‘war on Muslims’ in Afghanistan and Iraq, as if the governments we are helping were composed of Christians or Jews, when of course they are at least 90% Muslim, in both cases empowered by reasonably free elections by overwhelmingly Muslim electorates. Actual war on Muslims is waged by Al Qaeda and its think-alikes, in bombings where totally inoffensive Muslims (as well as other religion’s folowers) are killed for no reason except to demonstrate the terrs’ bloody-minded nastiness.

    Odinius makes the point that the ‘wrong post-colonialism’ came out on top in Rhodesia aka Zimbabwe.
    Sure, Mugabe got a lot worse as time went by, but he’s only a stretch worse than most of Africa’s post-colonial elites, going right back to the Gold Coast in the 50s, where Nkrumah’s commanding win in the first elections did not deter him from instituting a one-party state. This dictatorial system in Ghana became the model for most of our ex-colonies, one-man, one-vote, one-election only.

    We should have hung on a bit longer until not just a small minority had higher education, but enough to ensure democratic stability.
    Okay, some will say we shouldn’t have been there in the first place, but having gone in, it was our duty to leave the countries in an orderly and prepared state.

    Having said that, wiser perhaps on exiting to dismantle white-imposed borders and reunite peoples who straddled those artificial lines, and allow tribes (nations?) to secede as they wished.

  29. avatar Odinius says:

    Ross,

    Agree on the first part. Besides, the West isn’t even the ultimate enemy of the extremists. What they really want to do is topple any non-Islamist (or incorrectly Islamist) regime and institute a Taliban-style theocracy across the Muslim world, where women get beaten for being outside without a husband or close male relative, men get beaten for trimming their beards and you can be shot dead for all kinds of mundane activities. I’d call it medieval, but that’s a horrible insult to the tolerant and cultured Islamic civilization of the Middle Ages.

    On to colonization. Okay that’s a different argument, Ross. I can agree with the notion of “we should agree to hand over power but try to make sure we do it right.” But I wonder if this ever was going to happen? After all, the British did peacefully let go of most of their colonies, and did so later than the others. In some cases, there were definite dividends–Malaysia and Singapore’s comparative wealth versus Indonesia’s lack is partially attributable to the fact that the British left more workable institutions than the Dutch did. But there were also downsides–Malaysia’s domestic politics constitute, as I see it, a quite disturbing “ethnocracy.”

    Probably there’s no perfect decolonization method. The US withdrawal from the Philippines looked, on paper, like the perfect combination. But Philippine politics are still kinda ****ed.

  30. avatar Joey says:

    The more you read some of these responses, the more you realise that there are so many ignorant people. And you can hardly blame them, for news in most countries is very one-sided. The true open-minded citizen reads both sides on the internet.

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