Indonesian Approach to AntiTerrorism

As I chose my fruit and vegetables at the street market this afternoon, I was listening to Australia’s Radio National podcast – Background Briefing. I’m a longtime listener of BB, and every now and then they cover a topic that makes me stop what I’m doing, rewind, and listen again to every detail.

Today’s topic was one of those, focusing on Indonesia’s tactics to prevent acts of terrorism. According to the report, which includes a very eye opening interview with the nation’s anti-terrorism director, Indonesian police make it a priority to treat suspects with respect and not break laws in the name of obtaining information. Meaning no torture. No secret prisons. Due process for all suspects.

There must be American military and CIA listening and thinking it is either a lie or the worst tactic ever, since it is basically the opposite of theirs.

At some point in the program they go into detail about how police make sure that convicted terrorists are visited by their families. They talk to children and spouses, and provide money for the family to live on or pay tuition for children to stay in school. During the broadcast you hear from convicts who actually cooperate with the police to tell them about tactics. You hear how some of them have changed their minds about means of fighting for what they believe in, especially when it comes to taking the lives of innocent people.

My summary, is of course, not enough to understand what is discussed in the program. You really must hear it in it’s entirety. I’m sure critics will denounce it as lies. But even if its only 50% true… it is still a very impressive outlook on how to treat the issue of terrorism, and one that I think the world could learn alot from.

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This Man Has a Name… His Name is Henry Paulson

I went with an obscure movie/reality post title today, but I’m going to talk about neither the new treasury secretary of the US nor the film.

I’m also not going to talk about the Iranian president’s interview with Der Spiegel that D-Rock just pointed out to me. Not yet.. I’ve something special planned for it in my podcast in the coming days.

Instead, today I have to turn my attention to Indonesia. Several days have now passed since the 6.5 earthquake and the death toll of over 5,000 continues to rise. And to further complicate things a volcano is now spilling lava within the earthquake’s area. Of course, as of this morning, 27 countries had already offerred help in the form of people/stuff/money. But it is such a difficult part of the world, not only because of what seems like a large amount of natural disasters, year after year, but because despite its wealth in natural resources and the fact that the clothes on your back are probably made there – it is still the under-developed world, where the average person has little in the way of emergency measures and options and the government certainly doesn’t seem to make it priority number one that their nation be equipped to handle various levels of natural disaster emergencies.

For the willing and able, I refer you to the Java Earthquake Relief Wiki, where you may find some role you can play as a citizen of the same planet. And to best keep up to speed via blogs, use the WorldWideHelpTeam.

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Tsunami Update…

The way mass media chew up and spit out news, you don’t tend to get much in terms of history or updates for different issues and events. So today I’ve been combing the internets for info about the Tsunami recovery. Bet you hadn’t thought about THAT for awhile. 150,000 + died, yet it terms of news value – it couldn’t hold a candle to 9-11. Ponderous.

My search was for updates. How the recovery effort was going, across the region; how crops have been effected, how populations are coping, and if there’s any good news.

So far what Ive been able to find is that some people see a silver lining. That rice crops survived fairly well in places like Indonesia. But on the other hand, still lots of bad news, including that many people are still living in constant fear of another such disaster. Forever traumatized. To further add to the bad news about recovery list, is that in some places, like Yemen; the international community and agencies pretty much failed to notice how bad the effects were.

For all those named Katrina, such as one beautifully crazy friend of mine, you gotta love the headlines today. Including my recent favorite, cause I know she’d be proud:

Katrina may cost insurers $30 billion

Most Importantly today — go and listen to me discussing the world with Madge, a Woman of Luna, on Yeast Radio.

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Back in 00

The year was 2000, the season was spring, and the journey was from Marseille, France (my place of residence at the time) to Amsterdam, NL to visit the D-Rock. (as he was residing in the dam then) It was pretty luxurious for a student, TGV to Lille, Eurostar to Brussels (stopover to see family), and this same international train to Amsterdam. It was a long and wonderous journey filled with plenty of young, worldy, and often good-looking backpackers to befriend.

I mention this because its been 5 years and I still feel that journey in my bones. Those backpackers are still on the train. Speaking their spanish or italian or australian english. I even noticed an Indonesian family doing some backpacking today. I glance over at them often and when its not too creepy, I offer help in the form of directions. They’re defensive but thankful, of course, as right they should be — lots of psychos with blogs out there.

Its crazy to think of myself now, an amsterdammer of about 3 years, to then – when all I wanted to do was visit my friend for a few days and head back to France. Little did I know. Little do we ever know the odd paths we later take.

Other news: Tim and his Radio Clash are in Spin Magazine. While xtx and her infamous cleavage are having a birthday! Oh and I mustn’t forget another birthday girl — FashionSloerie.

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