The Guardian October 23, 2002


Who is behind the Bali bombing?

Faced with strong criticism of the response to the Bali bombing by Prime 
Minister Howard and Foreign Minister Downer, the government has sent 
forensic police and an unspecified number of ASIO agents to Indonesia, to 
identify the victims and to find evidence as to who might have committed 
this terrorist act. Many American and British agents have joined them.

The total lack of evidence at this stage did not stop the Government and 
the mass media pointing the finger at Islamic fundamentalists as the 
culprits and calling for the arrest in Indonesia of Abu Bakar Bashir, 
spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah.

The Bali atrocity has been used by the Australian, British and American 
governments to put heavy pressure on the Indonesian government to arrest 
Bashir and to join America's bogus "war on terrorism".

Having failed to pass on to Australians in Indonesia the warnings that came 
from American sources of a possible bomb outrage, Government leaders have 
now swung to the other extreme. The government is now telling all 
Australians to leave Indonesia based this time on very vague and non-
specific warnings. Similar advice is being given to American and British 
citizens by their governments.

However, this advice, if tourists and others working in Indonesia follow 
it, will have the effect of putting substantial pressure on the Indonesian 
economy that relies heavily on tourism. This is the intended effect and has 
the added bonus of reinforcing the fear factor.

Undemocratic laws

The outside pressure and interference has already forced the Indonesian 
Government to impose by decree so-called anti-terrorist laws that move the 
country back towards the undemocratic state of affairs that existed at the 
time of the Suharto military dictatorship.

The Indonesian government is now destroying the democratic rights that were 
won by the democratic revolution that overthrew the Suharto dictatorship.

These laws provide for the detention of citizens for up to six months 
without charge and for the death penalty for anyone found guilty of 
committing a terrorist act.

They can, and will be used against those in Indonesia who disagree with the 
policies of the Indonesian rulers, against trade unions and civil rights 
activists while allowing the foreign investors and local exploiters to make 
huge profits from cheap Indonesian labour.

The Australian Government very slow to give help to the stricken people in 
Bali, but, on the other hand, Prime Minister Howard was quick to again 
declare that the fight against terrorism is global. His statement is meant 
to assure his American patrons and is aimed at justifying Australian 
involvement in a war against Iraq and any other country that the 
warmongering Bush administration invades in the future.

It is time to recall some main events.

The destruction of the World Trade Centre (WTC) on September 11 last year 
has been used to launch the "war against terrorism". It was used as the 
excuse to invade and occupy Afghanistan although not even one of those 
alleged to have flown the planes used in that attack came from Afghanistan.

At the time of the civilian planes being hijacked the normal alert 
mechanisms put in place to enable air force fighter planes to intercept 
hijacked aircraft were not triggered. Why?

George Bush was on a public relations visit to an infants' school when 
informed of the attacks on the two WTC towers. But instead of attending to 
his duties as President of the US and Commander-in-Chief of the armed 
forces he merely continued the PR program with the children. Why?

The Bush family and the bin Laden family are long time business associates. 
With Afghanistan crawling with US troops, and FBI and CIA agents, why has 
Osama bin Laden not been located and arrested and why has the huge media 
campaign for his arrest or killing been dropped?

The WTC bombing also swept away the big anti-Bush movement in the US that 
was gathering strength before September 11. This movement was generated by 
the anger of many people over the ballot rigging which allowed Bush to 
steal the election and put himself in the White House.

Another recent event was the attack on the French oil tanker off the coast 
of Yemen. Why should Islamic terrorists attack a French oil tanker when 
France was in the lead of those nations opposing the American demand for 
war? Was the bombing of the oil tanker an attempt to force a change in the 
policy of the French government?

The Bali bombing can also be seen as having objectives in addition to that 
of putting pressure on Indonesia.

The US is concerned at the majority opposition in Australia to war against 
Iraq. The US Embassy in Canberra even sent its representatives to interview 
the candidates running in the Cunningham by-election last week in NSW, so 
concerned are they that public opposition to war will weaken the resolve of 
the Howard Government to support the intended US aggression. 

A longer-term objective is to force the Indonesian government to agree to 
the stationing of US troops in Indonesia as has already happened to the 
Philippines.

No organisation has claimed responsibility for the Bali bombing.

The "war against terrorism" requires a steady flow of scare warnings and 
also alleged "terrorist acts". More such events can be expected with the 
inevitable loss of many innocent lives. They will be used to implement 
plans to occupy other countries, establish military bases and install 
governments that will comply with the demands of those whose ultimate aim 
is the domination of the world.

World events always follow a pattern and it is necessary to ask  who has 
the motive and who gains from such events?

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