September 13, 2009

Sociopolitical notes for the week

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:46 pm by Chris

I

People seem to be ignorant of Indonesia’s real motivations for not  wanting an independent West Papua. Jakarta doesn’t give a shit about West Papua, but it cares an awful lot about the precedent that any moves to regional independence would set, particularly for the militant Muslim separatist movements that it’s been battling in some provinces since the 1940s.

II

Holocaust survivor Jacob Bronowski stands knee-deep in the ashes of Auschwitz and talks about why what the Nazis did had nothing to do with science or the scientific mindset. Starts out silent:

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2 Comments »

  1. heteromeles said,

    Hi Chris,

    I think you might want to read this Wikipedia article on the Freeport Mine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeport_mine) before you say that west Papua is worthless to the Indonesians. Not the case, unfortunately for the Papuans. It’s also a “Wild East” frontier that they’re settling peasants from Java and Sumatra on, with all the problems that phrase implies.

  2. Chris said,

    I know about Freeport, in fact that was part of the discussion I was listening to on the radio about West Papua. I think it’s a convenient excuse, not a real reason. There’s oil in the Timor Sea, but East Timor still managed to gain independence.

    It’s shocking how little information about Indonesia hits the English-language news. 230 million people, the 5th largest standing army in the world, it’s just across the strait from Australia and not really all that far from NZ… and I’m lucky to hear it mentioned once a week.


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