The bombing of a Marriot hotel in Jakarta is one of the top news stories (along with Europe's heatwave...), and so it might be instructive to recall how Indonesia's President Megawati Sukarnoputri reacted after the October 12, 2002, bombing of a nightclub in neighboring Bali.
Megawati Sukarnoputri is passionate about her garden. But when two powerful bomb explosions killed more than 180 people on the resort island of Bali on Oct. 12, the Indonesian president dropped her pruning shears and attended to the duties of state. Well, at least for a little while.The world should take note. Ignoring terrorism won't make it go away. Consider the recent terror attacks in Saudi Arabia as well -- there's hardly a more terror-friendly people than the Saudis, but their support for al Qaeda hasn't prevented them from being targets as well.
The following day she made a rare statement to the media condemning the attacks. Then she flew to the disaster site and briefly toured what remained of the Sari club, where the larger of two blasts rocked the Balinese town of Kuta. Within hours, however, Megawati had returned to the confines of her private residence in Jakarta – and wasn't heard from again the rest of the week. "She's confused," one of her senior advisers told NEWSWEEK. "She may lack the capacity to lead." ...
She has gone back and forth on information from her own intelligence agency on Al Qaeda's ties to local groups. And, most recently, alarms sounded by foreign governments that Indonesia had terrorists in its midst went unheeded. "[Former dictator] Suharto left us two big problems to deal with – one is corruption, and the other is midgets for leaders," says Jusuf Wanandi, chairman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta. "Megawati is weak so she does not dare [do anything]." ...
Washington isn't alone in its frustration: Megawati has also ignored warnings from her own people. Muchyar Yara, spokesman for Indonesia's State Intelligence Agency, acknowledged to NEWSWEEK that his agency learned last year that – two senior associates of Osama bin Laden, Ayman Zawahiri and Mohammed Atef, had visited a terrorist training camp on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi in 2000. "We gave a warning to the government," Yara said, but nothing was done.
Most nations seem to think that if they keep a low-profile the War on Terror doesn't really have to involve them. Good luck with that. Personally, I'd rather take the fight to the enemy and kill them on their own turf than sit around at home and wait for them at come to me while I'm surrounded by my family and friends.
France is filled to the brim with angry Muslim immigrants -- how long can it possibly be before there's a significant terrorist attack on French soil? What about Germany? In more repressed parts of the world terror attacks are a way of life: Russia, India, and China have problems all the time that rarely make international headlines. Are they all connected? Well, the troublemakers are almost all Wahabi Muslims; do the math.