Australia: Jakarta bombings bring personal reactions

With three Australians among the nine deaths, responses to the terrorist bombings in Indonesia on Friday 17 July were not confined to the political blogs.

Specialist social network sites in Australia reacted soon after the news broke.

Overlander 4WD Magazine hosts a forum on its online website. D200 dug gave a personal view:

Our eldest son was in Jakarta this morning and had planned to attend a breakfast meeting at one of the bombed hotels. So this is pretty close to home for me. I traveled through Indonesia in the 1970s and found Indonesians to be enormously friendly kind and hospitable. …Talking to my son today he confirmed that the general population of Indonesians have not changed, they remain incredibly friendly welcoming and hospitable.
Jakarta Bombings Forum

TrevG at RealSurfers Forum was less than hopeful:

I sometimes wonder how far they can push it before “normal” humans feel that “offence” is the best form of defence.
Sort of like “do unto others, before they do it to you”
Not advocating it, personally but I do despair for the future of the world at times.
Bombings in Jakarta

Peter Martin is economics correspondent for two major daily newspapers, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. His initial reaction was one of outrage. He quoted a very strong reaction to the 2005 London bombings :

I was angry when I arrived at work to be told the news. Really, really angry.

It put me in mind of this , written on the website of the London News Review hours after the 2005 London subway attacks. (Apologies for the language – it's necessary)
The Indonesia bombings were really, really stupid

Duncan Graham, a Perth journalist who blogs at Indonesia Now , gave a measured analysis at On Line Opinion. He looked at Indonesian responses:

SBY’s instant and unequivocal response does indicate a welcome rejection of past equivocation. That included tolerating outlandish theories to brush away the idea of homegrown Islamic terrorism.

and concluded:

Most Indonesians are tolerant pluralists, genuinely friendly, proud of their country, and keen to meet and help visitors. Proportionally there are probably no more fanatics in Indonesia than Australia but the chance of meeting one ready to do serious harm is rare – there and here.
Jakarta bombings: bad things and evil people

Regular political blogger Duckpond explored the motives of the bombers:

Clearly, by targeting international hotels they were intending to harm international visitors, and it is not surprising that Australians and New Zealanders have been killed and injured. In that sense, it is personal. The people responsible for the bombing must feel that we have caused them harm. I just wish they would tell us what their grievances are rather than take such an extreme action.

It will probably turn out those who have organized this horrific action against their fellow human beings will claim to be strongly religious. As far as I know Islam teaches compassion and peace, and right conduct in the pursuit of war.

After quoting an Al Jazeera report, he suggested other reasons behind the bombings and raised questions of morality on both sides of the terror war:

Thus it would seem that the attack is an act of vengeance with a view to damage the Indonesian economy following the successful presidential election. Seen in this light, the bombing would appear to be “criminal” without any religious or social justification. I note that using drones to attack and kill civilians is similarly “criminal”.


  • […] Australians React to Jakarta Bombings Posted on July 21, 2009 by renniek Cross post for Global Voices: Australia: Jakarta bombings bring personal reactions […]

  • Cecily

    Great Article! I think that looking at how tragedies affect people is the most important analysis. It has been a while since the bombings and Indonesia has taken many measures to stop terrorism. Since your article was written about people’s reactions it is interesting to see the international response to the new measures. Foreign countries seem inspired by Indonesias response to the attacks but some consider the recent terrorist leaders deaths to be unfortunate because of the lack of judicial review.

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