Daily Archives: 11 October 2004

Macam-Macam on the Bali Bombing

Macam-Macam reflects on the 2nd anniversary of the Bali bombing, which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, “the largest peace-time loss of civilian life in the country’s history.”

Politically, the Bali bombings have been raised as refutation of the view held by many that it was our involvement in the Iraq war which has made us a terrorist target. Arguments can be had about whether Jemaah Islamiyah targeted Australians specifically in Bali, or simply Westerners in general, but they do not really matter. The fact is, Australia was a terrorist target well before April 2003 (the Iraq invasion) and indeed October 2002. In February 2002, the Singapore Government thwarted a JI plot to bomb the Australian High Commission, amongst other places.

The truth of the matter probably lies in Australia’s leadership of INTERFET, the multinational military force that oversaw East Timor’s transition from Indonesian province to full-fledged sovereign nation from 1999 to 2002.

If the undisputed view amongst Australians is that it was just and right to assist the East Timorese people shake off 25 years of Indonesian occupation, this leads to the inescapable conclusion that Australia was attacked for doing the right thing.

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Filed under Australia, Indonesia

Language Hat on Native Speakers

Language Hat has inspired another long and fascinating comment thread by asking his multilingual lay and linguist readers to weigh in on the question of whether the label “native speaker” describes primarily one’s linguistic competence or one’s biography. Responses come from all over the sociolinguosphere.

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