Breastfeeding Day and Indonesian Minister Blog on Middle-East Conflict

When citizen journalists or ‘ordinary’ bloggers are making political statements on current Middle East conflicts between Israel and Lebanon, they are usually talking with their hearts. They write whatever they want to write without any consideration of impacts. But when a minister of the largest Muslim country in the world like Indonesia is blogging, he must have been facing difficulties to speak up his mind and hence has to walk in the tight rope between personal statement and the portfolio of ministership he's holding. Hence the ability to read “between the lines” is needed to understand what he is actually talking about.

That's what happens to Juwono Sudarsono, the Indonesian Defense Minister, the first and only Minister to have a blog who is also former professor of international relations at the prominent Universitas Indonesia.

In his latest post he wrote about the current Middle East conflict from various angles especially from the diplomatic point of views.

On the incapablitity of UN and “awkward” position of US stand:

The UN in New York issued its predictable litany of diplomatic statements, underlining its helplessness in having credible leverage over any of the protagonists.

The US Secretary of State rather awkwardly wanted “a ceasefire in days, not weeks” but found her words undercut by intensified shelling and missile attacks by both Israel and Hizbullah.

The deep divisions even among the Arab countries:

Heads of states and of governments in Arab capitals differ in their approaches to seek a solution, depending on the respective Arab government’s strategic attitudes toward Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

He equally states that both Israel and Hizbullah have acted beyond their respective backers i.e. the US and Iran respectively.

What the root cause of the conflict?

The intense hatred arising from anger, fear, deep vengeance and radical rhetoric, combined with personal as well as collective sufferings on both sides have led the military conflict run unchecked.

He thinks that the war will last longer than predicted because,

Hizbullah found new methods of running a total war effort, confounding the Israeli military with their ingenuity and skill in deploying rockets and missiles from wide and dispersed areas. It can ignore calls for a cessation of hostilities so long as its human and military resources remain intact. The Israeli defense force, under increased international pressure to agree to a ceasefire or cessation of hostilities, can only do so if it feels that the Hizbullah forces are dismantled, if not destroyed, entirely. Neither side can afford to be seen as having to step down from its absolute minimum military threshold. So longs the war of military attrition continues, an agreed diplomatic formulation will have to wait for the appropriate balance of military forces.

The post attracts some interesting comments which you can read below:

From Masindi:

I don't see this conflict purely as a result of tension between Lebanon/Hezbollah and Israel, but rather, the two Greater Forces are using the smaller ones to fight each other for whatever objectives that they wanted to achieve.

In my opinion, U.S. is using Israel as an extension of its arm to fight against Iran (Hezbollah gets its military armament from Iran).

All in all, this war can only be stopped when U.S. agrees to give Iran some space to breathe.

Seeharry worries over some Indonesian voices which call for the boycot of the US products, yet he agrees on switch to other currencies instead of U$D:

Right now, I hear some voices to ban american/ european product such as McD, carrefour, starbucks and others. I do not agree with them, because there are some indonesian people who work at those companies. I think we should try to find another way to push america/ israel such as not to use USD for international trade.

Qisai does not seem to agree with the Defense Minister's “elegant” opinion:

Suggesting to “wait for the appropriate balance of military force” before “an agreed diplomatic formulation” could be acheived is, in my opinion, only making the matter worse, especially for the civilians trapped between the conflicting parties.

Should we ignore their desperate plight for peace and security? Or should we force the fonflicting parties to end the hostility for the sake of humanity?

In this current conflict in the Mideast, I see the US govt as an important player that should mediate or take immedate decision in ending the crisis. As the sole superpower in this rather unilateral world, and in its apparent support to the Israeli military agression, I have little doubt that once the US tell Israel to stop all its milatary attacks, ultimately Hizbullah would also stop launching its rockets to Israel.

No diplomatic solution could be achieved by the international community without any active role from the US govt, even when “an appropriate balance of military force” is achieved. And unless there is no change of US policy in the Mideast, a sustainable resolution to the crisis would remain elusive and more and more civilians would only become the victims in a prolonged crisis.

The writer thinks of more radical action agaisnt the powerless UN: dissolve the UN!

Breastfeeding Day

In the meanwhile, Lita, a mother of two kids, at Banana Talk posts an article about breastfeeding day being celebrated around the world. In her introduction of her post she says:

According to the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (the organizers of the week), over 60 countries have legislated all or many provisions of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (the Code), which regulates the marketing of breastmilk substitutes. The week will celebrate this success and draw attention to the work still needed to improve breastfeeding practices worldwide.

In the post, Nyam comments that “Kemaren nonton beritanya di tipi. ASI tetep yang terbaik untuk bayi….. “

I watched the news on TV. Breastfeeding is still and will always remain the best for baby.


  • Indonesia:印尼國防部長的blog與母乳哺餵日

    原文鏈接: Breastfeeding Day and Indonesian Minister Blog on Middle-East Conflict 作者: A. Fatih Syuhud 翻譯: Fool Fitz 校對:benorkan當公民記者或「庶民」blogger發表他們對目前中東情勢,以色列和黎巴嫩的衝

  • breastmilk is a gold standard to feed our baby. Unfortunatelly not all mom in indonesia know about it.. why?? because even in the hospital, every newborn baby can (strongly suggested) consume formula! and when they leave the hospital, they bring some present from the hospital, guess what they bring? Formula milk!!
    So if indonesian government really want to improve breasfeeding practice, first off all is make some rule about not to give formula milk in hospital for healthy newborn baby and no advertisement about formula milk in hospital, just like other country do..

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