The shape of the world a generation from now will be influenced far more by how we communicate the values of our society to others than by military or diplomatic superiority. William Fulbright, 1964

Sunday, February 16, 2014


By the way: 

The RAID - Redemption

Good morning delegates. Welcome to the committee formed to Respond to Australia’s Incursion Demeanor, which we’ll now call the RAID. I’ve asked Joe Taslim to be our technical advisor and take the minutes.

As you know our southern neighbors have been behaving like the arrogant colonial godless sons of convicts posturing as deputy sheriffs that we all know they are.

(Nods all round).

We’ve shown our measured displeasure by withdrawing our ambassador.  Even if we want to send him back we can’t because the road to the airport is flooded.

They won’t send their envoy home because he comes from Perth.  He’s waiting till the heat waves have passed.

Anyway, enough gossip. First item on the agenda – how to make Australia take us seriously – yes, Minister?

Thank you, Madame Chair:  I suggest we give them smartphones with GPS apps for their navy.  Then they can find our maritime borders.

… and we can eavesdrop Tony Abbott’s wife.  But do we have the money?

We’ll make them pay for it.  They give us more than half a billion dollars a year for aid projects like schools in Nusa Tenggara.  We can siphon off some of the cash.

Haven’t we done so already?  Anyway, seems a fine idea.  My cousin’s a Samsung agent – I’ll talk to him for a morning price.  (Sends SMS) Yes, delegate.

Order, order! I don’t think we should let this get out of hand. Let’s just urge the President to call his best friend.

He’s tried, but Abbott won’t pick up the phone. Perhaps it doesn’t work.  Along with his navy’s GPS. We could send him one. I’ll chat to my cousin. (Sends SMS)

Maybe the Australian Prime Minister has been attacked by black magic, like our President.

Tell him to pray.

But he’s a Catholic.

Tell him to pray for a conversion.

Here’s another one: Let’s re-arrest Schapelle Corby – that’ll turn their media feral.

Aren’t they already?

Excuse me Madame Chair; I think it’s time to talk tough.  First we ban visas on arrival for all Australian tourists. 

Treat them like they treat us. Make them fill in a 14-page form in Indonesian, apply in person in Canberra and pay ten times the price.  No Internet applications allowed.

Great thinking – let’s go further and include immigration arrival and customs forms – all in Indonesian! Make them learn our words, like demokrasi, teknologi, bisnis - we’ll become a world language leader yet.

Profile them – anyone tall, white and blue-eyed needs to be detained!  And sniffed by a quarantine dog.

Do we have any dogs?

The Balinese do.

But they’ve got rabies.

Even better.

Hang on friends, I like what I’m hearing, but suppose they bypass Bali and head for Phuket?  Think how much we’ll lose in tax on Bintang sales.

Who cares?  It’s like banning exports of unprocessed ores.  OK, thousands will lose their jobs and the economy will crash but we’ll teach those greedy multinationals that we’re not a banana republic.

How about this: We bring back all those students in Australia and make them go to our schools and universities. That’ll cripple Australia’s education industry and boost our own …

What? No way!  My daughter’s in Melbourne on an Australian scholarship. I don’t want her coming back until she’s got a foreign husba … I mean, qualification.

Order, order!  I’ve got a message here from the TNI – they’re going to send the fleet into the Arafura Sea, provided they can get fuel.

AusAID can pay.  Do they have GPS sets?  I’ll talk to my cousin. (Sends SMS)

Excuse me again - I hear the Australians have bought lifeboats to send asylum seekers back to our shores.  What do we think about that?

They’re trying to corrupt us.  Let’s reflag them with the red and white, the boats, I mean, not the refugees. Fill them with  pencak silat fighters, and return to sender.  That’ll shake them up and shows we’re honest.   OK with you Joe? Is Iko Uwais free?

Delegates, thank you for your inputs.  I think we now have the basis for a policy.  We’ll have it ready once the elections are over. Duncan Graham

(First published in The Jakarta Post 16 February 2014)

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