Excuse me if the following seems to show a scant lack of sympathy for the killed and injured in the recent hotel bombs. That would be wrong. In no way can any decent and morally upright world citizen condone random killing by morally uptight religious nuts.
However, there's been too much palaver about the failures of the varied intelligence services here to anticipate the re-emergence of these sexually frustrated morons - why else would they seek 72 virgins in the hereafter? There are also too many headlines about the lax security prior to the bombings and the lack of progress since in finding out whodunnit.
- More than a million people worldwide are killed every year by cars, whether as drivers, passengers or pedestrians.
And how many of those million were killed here?
-The authors present several scenarios in which the car system will be affected by increasingly scant resources and human attempts to limit damage caused by climate change. The most frightening, for its depressing plausibility, is that of "regional warlordism", based on the fight for post-peak oil. We may already be living in this period.
"Regional warlordism"? Isn't that a definition of the Taliban in Afghanistan and their caliphate seeking acolytes elsewhere - here?
For once, maybe just the once, I find myself in partial agreement with Vice President Jusuf Kalla who yesterday blamed the skewed level of prosperitybetween rich and poor Islamic countries for terrorist attacks in the world, urging leaders of Islamic countries to work together to spread wealth.
Not that the disparity is solely a matter of concern in Islamic countries. America's Christian far right, for example, have bombed abortion centres and been responsible for other attacks.
I'd agree with JK more if he'd left out the Islamic bit. After all, as an editorial in the Post entitled Poverty Kills pointed out seven months ago, poverty is non-denominational. It cited deaths from malnutrition in the (Muslim) South Sulawesi capital, Makassar - Kalla's stomping ground, and the largely Christian provinces of Papua and East Nusa Tenggara.
Not only do these deaths speak volumes about the depth of the poverty problem here, but they bring into question the government's credibility, given its apparent neglect of the social and economic well being of citizens.
That the central government quickly shifted the blame to local administrations will not repair the damage that has been done. The government's quick retreat to that old favorite, the blame game, is further cause for concern about the prospects of eventually winning the fight against poverty, because the government is apparently part of the problem instead of the solution.
Mind you, some blame can certainly be laid at the feet of local governments.
Take the matter of the poor shoeshine kids who have been set free, yet been proven guilty of gambling on coin tosses at the airport without permission from the airport authorities so will all remain under the control of the social welfare agency until (they) are no longer minors.
Unfortunately, the airport lies with Tangerang township which has imposed their form of sharia law.
M, 14, braced himself for the worst to come Monday as he stood beside nine other shoeshine boys at the Tangerang District Court on charges of gambling that threatened to land them in prison for five years.
But his frail body was seemingly succumbing to months of pressure and tension, marathon questioning sessions, hearings and uncertainty over his future. He vomited and passed out just before the hearing, due to anxiety and exhaustion, sending his mother into a panic.
What are the odds that these ten children, now scarred for life, will harbour such resentment against society that they too will resort to 'terrorist acts'?