Friday, September 01, 2006

Bashir on the Bali Bombings

Bashir claims CIA bomb was used in Bali. I think I need to watch Foreign Correspondent before I comment too much, but in 2002 Bashir claimed that the bomb which caused the destruction in the Bali Bombings was the conventional bomb that Indonesian authorities said it was,but the United States was the one who actually constructed it because it was "too sophisticated" for Indonesians to make. That's Wikipedia's version of events but I can find no reference for the exact content of Bashir's October 12 2002 press conference in which he allegedly said this. A "micro-nuclear" device is part of a conspiracy theory dating back to almost immediately after the bombings.

Why embrace the "micro-nuclear" conspiracy? Especially if you've already previously articulated a conspiracy theory that contradicts it? Something to do with a perceived slight that the US has nukes and the Islamic world doesn't, perhaps? A way of saying that it must have been the US that did this act and not "good Muslims", because no "good Muslims" have nukes?

Alexander Downer called the claim "preposterous", telling ABC Radio "I don't think anyone would much believe anything he was saying". I would have to disagree, and it disturbs me that our Foreign Minister underestimates the potential appeal of a story which makes the US looks bad, makes Muslims look like undeserving victims and which may tap into latent fears of the US nuclear arsenal. To dismiss such remarks so cavalierly tells me that the Australian government really doesn't get the idea that America's so-called "War on Terror" is a clash of ideologies more than anything else. In such a conflict, failing to actively engage with and expose the flaws in the ideology of the opponent, as Downer has failed to do, will mean losing. We appear to be blindly following the US' idiotic path of believing that jihadists "hate us for our freedom", that "there's no reasoning with terrorists", and expecting that punitive action alone can win the day.

On a semi-related note, I can't help noticing that what passes for commercial papers' "journalism" on this topic is actually nothing more than expounding upon excerpts lifted from ABC news programming. Go the ABC, and boo to the so-called "news" outlets that can't even do their own investigative reporting without the ABC to spoonfeed them quotes on an issue du jour.

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