Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 96

Thread: Joint India Indonesian Army Exercise Garud Shakti Concludes.

  1. #41
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,706

    Default

    My experience in Asia is that nation's there are very much about calling their own "shots."

    What has gotten the US in trouble in the region is thinking that we should be calling shots that aren't ours to call. Far better we allow and support the appropriate parties in calling those shots, using our own power and influence to provide a counter-balance to rising Chinese power.

    The fact is that there is room, opportunity, and certainly risk for several powerful states in the Asia-Pacific region. The key is finding the right balance to help prevent any from being tempted to overplay their hand. As I said, the US historically has been seen as excellent choice as a partner by states with growing concerns of powerful states that are much closer and more likely to make an aggressive play to control them. We already see US influence on the rise in the region. I predict this trend will continue.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  2. #42
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
    Posts
    3,137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    My experience in Asia is that nation's there are very much about calling their own "shots."

    What has gotten the US in trouble in the region is thinking that we should be calling shots that aren't ours to call. Far better we allow and support the appropriate parties in calling those shots, using our own power and influence to provide a counter-balance to rising Chinese power.
    I would also say that nations here are calling their own shots, and that they are not really aligning with the US or moving into a US camp, rather they are managing their relations across a spectrum of countries in line with their own perception of their own interests... which after all is what anyone would rationally expect.

    I don't know how much "influence" the US could really be said to have in SE Asia, at least if we take the OED definition of "influence": the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something. I don't think we're having any such effect or that we have any such capacity: we're not changing the way anyone thinks or acts, and we're certainly not directing anyone's character, development or behaviour. We (and they) are simply finding areas where interests overlap and working to enhance those interests.

    In short, our relations with SE Asian countries are moving into a peer-to-peer mode, more resembling relations with Europe than the old-school patron-client relationships that used to characterize relations with the developing world. That's probably least true in the Philippines, but even there we aren't calling any shots, far less so in the rest of the region.

    I'm not at all sure that US influence (defined as above) is rising in the area: we do not have and are not gaining the capacity to persuade or compel any of these nations to do anything they don't want to do or weren't already doing. I also don't think it's accurate to think that the SE Asian nations are joining a US camp or falling in line with a US strategy. None of this is directed or orchestrated by the US; the nations involved are calling their own shots for their own reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    the US historically has been seen as excellent choice as a partner by states with growing concerns of powerful states that are much closer and more likely to make an aggressive play to control them. We already see US influence on the rise in the region. I predict this trend will continue.
    China's a long way from making an aggressive play to control anyone in the area, and I'm not sure that's really the concern. Also most of these nations are not really looking to the US as a first choice partner, rather as one partner among several. The Vietnamese, those closest to the perceived problem, engage with the US, but are also engaging actively with India (including proposed joint ventures in offshore energy projects in disputed areas) and other SE Asian nations, while buying most of their arms from Russia. That's true elsewhere in the region as well: most states are not looking for a big brother to protect them, rather to build a network of supporting alliances. Assuming that it's all US-centric is, I think, a mistake.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

  3. #43
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
    Posts
    3,137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    Bringing in a US presence to be a threat in being to the Moro Muslim rebellion is like a red rag being shown to a bull!

    So, the Philippines Govt wants to raise the hornets’ nest?

    I find it naďve and too simplistic an explanation since I wonder if that meets the US strategic interest too! I would think that if the Moros were to be eliminated and not aggravated, 600 US soldier would not do the trick.
    I wouldn't make assumptions about sectarian conflict in the Philippines based on observations in the Middle East and South Asia, very different environment, very different conflict. The US presence in the south has been in place for over a decade and it has not in any way raised a hornet's nest or provoked more conflict. It's actually had a calming influence and has been well accepted by the local Muslim populaces, mainly due to the perception (accurate IMO) that the Philippine military and government behave better with Americans watching them. The larger Muslim groups see the US less as a rival than as a potential mediator that has in the past tried (albeit ineffectually) to persuade the Philippine government to take a less hard-line stance on many of their core issues.

    It should be noted that there is not and has never been any intention to eliminate the Moros: the US forces have been scrupulously kept away from the MILF, the larger and more influential rebel group. The mission was more to disrupt one of the smaller group sand attempt to neutralize its connection to the AQ/JI trunk line, a mission that has been fairly successful, though attempts to resolve the underlying drivers of insurgency have been far less effective.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    At best, the stationing of US troops (whatever be the strength) is basically to have a ‘core group’ on which a larger force can build up on, if and when the necessity arises. Till then, they remain a ‘threat in being’ and a warning of greater things to come!
    A "threat in being" to whom? Certainly not to the Chinese.

    I don't see the presence in the south as a core group on which a larger force can be built on: the location and environment would be most unattractive for basing a larger force. Port and airport facilities are grossly inadequate and there'd be all manner of security/force protection issues. if the Philippine government ever decided that it was necessary to invite more Americans in, I doubt it would be built on that base, more likely they'd be positioned in completely different locations. I don't think that's very likely to happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    I am not looking at local issue but the external issues and the indicators as I have already explained.
    Viewing external issues and indicators alone will give you a very inadequate understanding of the local issues and of why local decisions are made.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    I think the American Govt is neither fickle nor idiotic, nor do I feel that those who voted the Govt in are so.
    I wouldn't say the Government is idiotic, though they sometimes do idiotic things and often stray annoyingly close to idiocy. Fickle they certainly are, by design: fickleness is unavoidably built into the US political system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    You may not appreciate it because you are in the Philippines which has a history of closeness to the US. I see what is happening in India and what has happened in Vietnam! India does not want to surrender its sovereignty, and yet she is voting with the US against her interests. Vietnam, a avowed enemy of the US, has sunk her pride and ‘aligned’ with the US.
    I wouldn't know about India, but I don't think the Vietnamese have "aligned with the US", nor do I think they've had to sink their pride to deal with the US. They are pragmatic; they won their war and have no reason to shy away from engagement if it suits their perceived interests, whether economic or military. If it suits them they'll deal with the US or anyone else, but they'll do it for their own reasons and at their own initiative and to the extent that they see fit. They are not in the US camp, they are in their own camp.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    No one has said there will be a major confrontation.

    China is still not equipped to take on the US and its allies and friends.
    They also have no reason or need to "take on the US and its allies".

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    One would then have to start from the time and manner how the Pope toppled the apple cart in Poland and how enemies of the US were slowly squeezed out and then how the focus shifted to another lot that were causing great anxiety to the US.

    But as you rightly said, it is for another thread.
    For another thread perhaps, but it illustrates a point: just because things happen that suits the US doesn't mean that the US made those things happen. Eastern Europe and ultimately Russia rebelled against communism; that suited the US well, but it wasn't the outcome of a US strategy or of any US action. People simply got sick of submitting to a system that didn't provide for their needs and their desires. Communism didn't fall because the US brought it down, it fell because it sucks and people hate it. Similarly, people who take actions that seem to fit in with US objectives aren't necessarily pawns of US strategy, they aren't joining the US camp, or being directed by the US... they're simply following their own perceived interests, which happen, for now at least, to be at least tangentially compatible with those of the US.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

  4. #44
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Calcutta, India
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Ray you are absolutely correct. In addition a knowledge of the languages and actually living amongst the people is essential.

    Even then (as in parts of Africa) even speaking the local language but living in a separate community limits ones intimate knowledge of what the local people are thinking (which is quite often diverse anyway) and why (this is often the important aspect).

    Valid point.

    Having had the experience of foreigners living and working in India, some on long tenures, some short and some making India practically their home, it is my observation that there are three types of such people.

    1. Those whose circles were limited to their own people, local intellectuals, local professionals.

    2. Those who had come to India for professional studies and research.

    3. Those who made India their home.

    The first group may have known one of the Indian languages and while they thought they understood India, in actuality understood only the 'intellectual'/ professional India. In actuality, they did not understand the 'real' India.

    The second group who came for professional studies or research, understood India in their field of specialisation. They were better versed in understanding India because during their research or professional studies, they also had to interact with people, not specifically in their field alone. This is more so the one who had to undertake field study in the rural area.

    The third group who made India their home or even second home and who had no hesitation to 'muck in' with the locals of all strata of society and lived in their neighbourhood and not in exclusive upmarket localities, understood India best amongst foreigners.

    The missionaries, journalists/ writers who have made India their second home and their like would fall in this category.

    However, they still would not be totally conversant with the psyche and mindset of an Indian. Even an Indian would not understand the psyche of other Indians from different parts of India, since it varies immensely. Therefore, even such foreigners would not be totally 'in the know' of the psyche and mindset.

    It is also important that the locals should like you so that they share their views without hesitation.

    Why I say this is because the last Counsel General in Kolkata, Beth A. Payne , dressed like an Indian and ingratiated herself with the locals and was the toast of the town, even with the Communists who were ruling Kolkata and who were not too well disposed to the US. She went out of her way to identify with the locals, rather than stand on a high horse that normally the western diplomats are prone to do.

    Like it or not, while I cannot say that when she left, she became an expert on India, but this much I can say is that the anti US feeling that is natural for Communists went down exponentially and even the population at large (a large majority of Communist sympathisers) had become mellowed!

    Just my observation.

  5. #45
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Calcutta, India
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    As far as the Colour Revolution, Arab Spring etc. Now, if that is not of US’ making and it is merely happenstance, then God and Destiny is surely an American manufacture!

    I would find it too simplistic to believe that ‘people got disgusted by the system’ and demanded a change!

    Just one example to illustrate.

    If indeed the Russians got disgusted with the system and changed, then how come Russia’s Communist Party, relegated to the political margins after the fall of the Soviet Union more than 20 years ago, has seen an astounding comeback in elections as voters rebuked Prime Minister Vladamir Putin’s 12-year reign?

  6. #46
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,706

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    most states are not looking for a big brother to protect them, rather to build a network of supporting alliances. Assuming that it's all US-centric is, I think, a mistake.
    Agreed. I am merely talking to the US node of a multi-nodal equation. Every nation pursues their interests (or should), and there is indeed a balancing going on.

    Building partners around shared interests and appreciating and balancing risks against conflict where interests diverge is simply smart business. A business I don't think the US does very well as we tend to put too much emphasis on the security model that played out during the Cold War, with the globe broke up into a couple of idologically divided camps competing against each other and for influence over the rest. We are too apt to ride an alliance or a grudge too long, and think in terms of friends and foes, rather than being more flexible, pragmatic, and interest-driven.

    Arguably that was not the best model to establish post WWII either, but we did and we muddled through. Now? It continues to cast a shadow on US foreign policy and how we approach problems and relationships around the globe.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  7. #47
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Calcutta, India
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    The manner in which the current US Administration is being successful is the manner in which she is handling Myanmar is worth praise. None so far could change the chemistry!

    One may not appreciate what the US is doing in the Middle East wholeheartedly, but the manner the US has put the cat amongst the pigeons in an obscurantist region is worth note!
    Last edited by Ray; 03-31-2012 at 05:50 PM.

  8. #48
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,706

    Default

    I give little credit to the US, other than being willing to reach out to Myanmar government, and not bite off our nose to spite our face. But I believe Myanmar wants to be able to enjoy the benefits of their very lucrative relationship with China, without undue worry of becoming the first Chinese province to reach the Indian Ocean and reduce the critical vulnerability of having all ports East of the Malacca Straights.

    Shared interests and balancing of power. This is what nations need to do. I believe the Obama administration more willing to be pragmatic than the Bush Administration was; but also that Myanmar government is probably more nervous about the the growth of Chinese influence in their country as well.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  9. #49
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
    Posts
    3,137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Building partners around shared interests and appreciating and balancing risks against conflict where interests diverge is simply smart business. A business I don't think the US does very well as we tend to put too much emphasis on the security model that played out during the Cold War, with the globe broke up into a couple of idologically divided camps competing against each other and for influence over the rest. We are too apt to ride an alliance or a grudge too long, and think in terms of friends and foes, rather than being more flexible, pragmatic, and interest-driven.

    Arguably that was not the best model to establish post WWII either, but we did and we muddled through. Now? It continues to cast a shadow on US foreign policy and how we approach problems and relationships around the globe.
    I don't think I'd call that a model that we established, more a balance that evolved... the other guys also played a major role in establishing it. It's gone now, and a new balance is still evolving, a more complicated one as it involves many points. SE Asia and the US actually represent good examples of how areas once pulled apart in cold war bipolarity can emerge in ways more driven by nations' own perception of their own interests, and how the US can interact with them as peers, rather than in a patron/client relationship.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    As far as the Colour Revolution, Arab Spring etc. Now, if that is not of US’ making and it is merely happenstance, then God and Destiny is surely an American manufacture!
    People eventually resist dictatorships. That trend has worked against the US - a number of dictators that the US called allies have fallen to popular uprisings - and it has also worked for the US, as dictators opposed to the US have fallen to popular uprisings. That reality is not of US manufacture.

    This is the first time I've heard anyone suggest that the Arab Spring was made in the USA. Most observers seem to think the US was caught by surprise by the whole chain of events.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    I would find it too simplistic to believe that ‘people got disgusted by the system’ and demanded a change!

    Just one example to illustrate.

    If indeed the Russians got disgusted with the system and changed, then how come Russia’s Communist Party, relegated to the political margins after the fall of the Soviet Union more than 20 years ago, has seen an astounding comeback in elections as voters rebuked Prime Minister Vladamir Putin’s 12-year reign?
    Disillusionment happens. After 12 years of the new despot, the old despot becomes a figure of nostalgia. That doesn't mean the old despot wasn't thoroughly hated at the time it was deposed, it just means the new despot has taken over the central role of hate figure and target of frustration.

    People demanded change then, they got what seemed to be change but turned out not to be change. Now they're demanding it again. Not so hard to understand, and there's no reason to see an American hand in any of it.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

  10. #50
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,169

    Default

    Posted by Ray,

    As far as the Colour Revolution, Arab Spring etc. Now, if that is not of US’ making and it is merely happenstance, then God and Destiny is surely an American manufacture!

    I would find it too simplistic to believe that ‘people got disgusted by the system’ and demanded a change!

    Just one example to illustrate.

    If indeed the Russians got disgusted with the system and changed, then how come Russia’s Communist Party, relegated to the political margins after the fall of the Soviet Union more than 20 years ago, has seen an astounding comeback in elections as voters rebuked Prime Minister Vladamir Putin’s 12-year reign?
    You're absolutely correct, and those changes are due largely the DImE in DIME, and it takes time to set the stage for these changes to take effect. There is no other global leader that promotes these changes, quite the contrary the only other legacy and current powers (USSR, China) fought against the trend in hopes of preserving their oppressive governments. You see this now with their responses to Syria, and China keeps North Korea on life support.

  11. #51
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
    Posts
    3,137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    There is no other global leader that promotes these changes
    Do you really think these changes occur because they are promoted by some global leader? Did the Americans in 1776 or the French in 1848 need a global leader to tell them they wanted to be rid of what they perceived as oppressive and degenerate royal families? Did the anti-colonial rebellions that followed WW2 need some global leader to kick them off?

    Is it so hard to imagine people acting of their own volition, for their own purposes, whether or not those purposes are actually achieved?
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

  12. #52
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Calcutta, India
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    Bill,

    You are absolutely correct.

    In the modern context, the States' (Nation) authoritarian and might can hardly be challenged with resistance, armed or otherwise. It will be ruthlessly put down. Sri Lanka crushing the LTTE is a live and modern example of the State's might. And to a lesser extent, the problem in Chechnya.

    Why did the Hungarian uprising of 1956 not succeeded?

    These matters will never be in the public domain and it will he naive to believe it will be. However, if there is foreign influence and that too from an unchallenged global power, 'peoples' uprising' can effect a change. East Europe is an example. The Catholic Pope played his role as the benign 'cover'.

    The same Church that lay low when the Jews were being exterminated by Hitler! Political handmaidens can come from strange sectors!

    As far as the Arab Spring catching the US by surprise, maybe this can help that it was no surprise (that is why I say that if one has to keep an unbiased attitude one should Google the views and not only subscribe to those who support one's own favourite hobby horse):

    http://www.demdigest.net/blog/2012/0...ushing-defeat/

    Anyone who is aware of the NGOs and their funding are aware that they also are encouraged to 'assist the viewpoint' of those funding. Nothing is altruistic and it is not a falsehood that there is nothing called a Free Lunch.

    Even our pro US PM who has never said a word against the US (he told Bush India loves you Mr Bush! [when the non European world was seething will anger]), was forced to state that US funded religious NGOs were behind the ruckus over the Russian Nuclear power plant being commissioned in Tamilnadu.

    In many countries the US Peace Corps was accused of spying. Nothing surprising. There is nothing called a Free Lunch.

    Even the Aid given to poor countries are not without strings. See the state of Pakistan. They blow hot, but then they eat crow!
    Last edited by Ray; 04-01-2012 at 09:47 AM.

  13. #53
    Council Member Backwards Observer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    511

    Default asam di gunung, garam di laut bertemu dalam satu belanga

    Anjing menggonggong, kafilah tetap berlalu.

    RI, China ink $17.4b deals

    Indonesia inked dozens of business and strategic agreements in several sectors with China, Asia’s largest economy, during the state visit of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to Beijing on Friday.

    The signings were made after talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao, in which both sides reaffirmed the importance of bilateral relations.

    The agreement covered cooperation in areas including trade, tourism, anti-drug efforts and fisheries management.

    In the business sectors, Indonesian companies signed 15 investment agreements with Chinese corporations in Beijing on Friday worth a total of US$17.4 billion.

    “The business agreements are an indication of the growing cooperation between the two countries,” President Yudhoyono said in a speech after meeting with Wan Jifei, the head of the Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade at a hotel in China’s capital city.
    RI China ink 17.4B deals - Jakarta Post - March 24, 2012.
    Last edited by Backwards Observer; 04-01-2012 at 09:47 AM. Reason: fix link

  14. #54
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,706

    Default

    Indonesia is a great example. A nation working to solidify their hard-earned independence and sovereignty. They act in their best interests when they make deals like these with China to help them develop their own economy. They also act in their best interest when they seek to balance their relationships with powerful nations such as China, Japan, India and the US. This is what states do.

    The US burned a lot of influence in the early years following 9/11 when there was so much focus on the Islamic aspect of AQ's operation. Being the largest Muslim populace on the planet, many eyes turned to Indonesia as a nation we needed focus our security efforts upon. But while certainly some Indonesians support AQ, the AQ message has largely fallen on deaf ears there. Unlike Muslim nations of the Middle East, whose quest for greater autonomy was largely held frozen through the Cold War, states like Indonesia were able to secure an independence largely free of such Western influence and chart their own path. The political message of AQ does not resonate among the Muslims of SEA as it does among Muslims of the greater Middle East. Not because of differences in Islam, but because of differences in the political landscape.

    Indonesia does not want to be a radical Islamist state, nor does it want to be a Chinese satellite, nor does it want to be a ward of the US. Indonesia wants to be a sovereign state defined and governed on its own terms. Self-determination at work.

    The US need not fear the economic synergy of China, that is what President Obama was talking about as to the future importance of the region. Not that it is a rising threat for the military to contain, but rather that it is rising hub of economic power that the US needs to be fully plugged into. As Chinese influence grows, states like Indonesia will naturally reach out to other partners, such as the US and India, to provide balance. It is in their interests to do so.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  15. #55
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Calcutta, India
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    While Indonesia may be the largest Muslim nation, they are not the same as one would take Muslim nations to be.

    To use a modern term, they are 'cool' and 'hep'.

    They do not have the Islamic hangover.

    I have an Indonesian Muslim relative and I also had a Muslim Indonesian maid when I was in Singapore!

    If they were conservative as Muslims are said to be, then I was more conservative than them.

    I would classify them as more hep and cool than us!

    The Indonesians are in close defence relationship with India too!

  16. #56
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
    Posts
    3,137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    But while certainly some Indonesians support AQ, the AQ message has largely fallen on deaf ears there. Unlike Muslim nations of the Middle East, whose quest for greater autonomy was largely held frozen through the Cold War, states like Indonesia were able to secure an independence largely free of such Western influence and chart their own path. The political message of AQ does not resonate among the Muslims of SEA as it does among Muslims of the greater Middle East. Not because of differences in Islam, but because of differences in the political landscape.
    Indonesia had its share of issues with foreign influence during the Cold War.

    Like many in the Middle East, Indonesians are willing to cheer and support AQ's fight against foreign intervention in Muslim lands. Also like many in the Middle East, they are quite willing to accept help from Islamist movements where their own local issues (traditionally involving sectarian conflict in Sulawesi et al). Also like many Muslims elsewhere, very few beyond a small core want anything to do with the idea of an Arab-ruled Calihate, or with local terrorism, or with the prospect of having an AQ-allied government.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    he US need not fear the economic synergy of China, that is what President Obama was talking about as to the future importance of the region. Not that it is a rising threat for the military to contain, but rather that it is rising hub of economic power that the US needs to be fully plugged into.
    Much of today's Sinophobia seems to me curiously unspecific... people seem convinced that we need to fear China but unsure of what they are afraid that the Chinese will do. I sometimes come away feeling that they simply feel bereft without someone to fear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    While Indonesia may be the largest Muslim nation, they are not the same as one would take Muslim nations to be.

    To use a modern term, they are 'cool' and 'hep'.

    They do not have the Islamic hangover.

    I have an Indonesian Muslim relative and I also had a Muslim Indonesian maid when I was in Singapore!

    If they were conservative as Muslims are said to be, then I was more conservative than them.

    I would classify them as more hep and cool than us!

    The Indonesians are in close defence relationship with India too!
    One wouldn't want to stereotype, but in general SE Asian Muslims are much less socially conservative than those in South Asia and the Middle East, even in places where Islamic radicalism has a foothold. That of course varies widely with location: an Indonesian Muslim from Jakarta is likely to be a lot less conservative than one from a rural village.

    There have been some efforts to impose a more conservative outlook, notably in Malaysia and Indonesia (such as the current proposal to ban skirts above the knee) but the fact that the clerics see the need to try to force such moves is in itself testimony to the reality that the culture does not demand them.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

  17. #57
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
    Posts
    3,137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    In the modern context, the States' (Nation) authoritarian and might can hardly be challenged with resistance, armed or otherwise. It will be ruthlessly put down. Sri Lanka crushing the LTTE is a live and modern example of the State's might. And to a lesser extent, the problem in Chechnya.

    Why did the Hungarian uprising of 1956 not succeeded?

    These matters will never be in the public domain and it will he naive to believe it will be. However, if there is foreign influence and that too from an unchallenged global power, 'peoples' uprising' can effect a change. East Europe is an example. The Catholic Pope played his role as the benign 'cover'.
    Again this looks like a topic for another thread, but...

    I think the impact of foreign influence on domestic rebellion is being vastly overrated here. Rebellions against strong governments that have full command of their armed forces will typically fail. Foreign support will only change that if it takes the form of direct military intervention.

    Rebellions succeed when governments lose their mojo. This happens: regimes age, tyrants lose their potency, the populace becomes restive, the military and police apparatus begins to waver in their loyalty. Not all states are mighty, and when the regime or the tyrant grows weak, the mighty become vulnerable. Mubarak didn't fall because foreigners conspired against him, he fell because his own armed forces wouldn't back him when push came to shove.

    The presence or absence of foreign support is far from the only variable determining success or failure of a revolution, unless of course the foreign support takes the form of direct military intervention

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    As far as the Arab Spring catching the US by surprise, maybe this can help that it was no surprise (that is why I say that if one has to keep an unbiased attitude one should Google the views and not only subscribe to those who support one's own favourite hobby horse):

    http://www.demdigest.net/blog/2012/0...ushing-defeat/
    There's nothing here that even remotely suggests that the Arab Spring was a product of US intervention... this piece deals with so-called "democracy NGOs" in the post-Arab Spring environment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    Anyone who is aware of the NGOs and their funding are aware that they also are encouraged to 'assist the viewpoint' of those funding. Nothing is altruistic and it is not a falsehood that there is nothing called a Free Lunch.
    Of course, but how effective are these NGOs, really? Certainly they have no capacity to create revolution, nor have they any capacity to make a revolution succeed if the government being rebelled against is not ripe for it. All the NGOs on earth wouldn't bring down a Gadaffi... it took direct military intervention.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    Even the Aid given to poor countries are not without strings. See the state of Pakistan. They blow hot, but then they eat crow!
    A lot of countries, including Pakistan, accept the conditions for aid, take the aid, and then ignore the conditions or make nothing beyond a superficial and very nominal attempt to meet the conditions. The US is no great puppet master; they get played as often as they play others.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

  18. #58
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,169

    Default

    Posted by Dayuhan,

    Do you really think these changes occur because they are promoted by some global leader? Did the Americans in 1776 or the French in 1848 need a global leader to tell them they wanted to be rid of what they perceived as oppressive and degenerate royal families? Did the anti-colonial rebellions that followed WW2 need some global leader to kick them off?

    Is it so hard to imagine people acting of their own volition, for their own purposes, whether or not those purposes are actually achieved?
    My post,

    You're absolutely correct, and those changes are due largely the DImE in DIME, and it takes time to set the stage for these changes to take effect. There is no other global leader that promotes these changes, quite the contrary the only other legacy and current powers (USSR, China) fought against the trend in hopes of preserving their oppressive governments. You see this now with their responses to Syria, and China keeps North Korea on life support.
    In short I agree with myself

    Do you really think these changes occur because they are promoted by some global leader?
    Read my post carefully, I said "set conditions" for these revolutions to take place, whether we promote them or not. I would argue most of the time the consequences were unintended. I also said promote, not cause. We have promoted the ideas of freedom and democracy throughout the world, and given hope to the oppressed (intended or not). People can act out in anger, but unless they pull off a rapid coup it is unlikely they will be successful unless they receive foreign support. Much like we did during the American Revolution. Never say always, nevery say never, but generally this is the case. Most people won't act unless there is a reasonable degree of hope of being successful. We provide that with information (specified and implied). A case in point where people thought they had the support of the U.S. and acted out against a dictator was the Shi'a and Kurds after DESERT STORM.

    Did the anti-colonial rebellions that followed WW2 need some global leader to kick them off?
    Yes, they needed the ideas of freedom that their educated leaders learned in the West, and they needed foreign support to sustain their revolutions.

    Is it so hard to imagine people acting of their own volition, for their own purposes, whether or not those purposes are actually achieved?
    Acting on their own volition yet, especially when they believe they have a chance of succeeding. We didn't have to provide armed support to the Poles, only moral, informational and financial (along with the Catholic Church).

    We should take credit where it is due, and not be overly influenced by our excessively left leaning educational institutions who find wrong in everything our nation does. We are far from perfect, and often not moral, because in the real world nations pursue their self interests, yet quite frequently and more than any other nation we have done a lot of good.

  19. #59
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default That's a good post...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    ...I would argue most of the time the consequences were unintended. I also said promote, not cause. We have promoted the ideas of freedom and democracy throughout the world, and given hope to the oppressed (intended or not)...
    ...
    We should take credit where it is due, and not be overly influenced by our excessively left leaning educational institutions who find wrong in everything our nation does. We are far from perfect, and often not moral, because in the real world nations pursue their self interests, yet quite frequently and more than any other nation we have done a lot of good.
    Only change I'd make would be to "almost every time" in the first quoted paragraph. At least insofar as actual versus hoped for results...

  20. #60
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
    Posts
    3,137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Read my post carefully, I said "set conditions" for these revolutions to take place, whether we promote them or not. I would argue most of the time the consequences were unintended. I also said promote, not cause. We have promoted the ideas of freedom and democracy throughout the world, and given hope to the oppressed (intended or not).
    Rebellion against tyranny and foreign occupation is as old as tyranny and foreign occupation, which is pretty old. Certainly rebellion against tyranny and foreign occupation dates back to well before the concept of democracy... in fact it dates back to a time when folks in "the West" were still painting themselves bright colors and bashing each other with clubs. Our ideas have likely shaped the rhetoric of rebellion to some degree (the ideas of communism, if not the substance, have also helped shape and inspire many rebellions against tyranny) but I think we're giving ourselves way too much credit if we pretend that there would be no rebellions without our ideas or our promotion of those ideas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    People can act out in anger, but unless they pull off a rapid coup it is unlikely they will be successful unless they receive foreign support. Much like we did during the American Revolution. Never say always, nevery say never, but generally this is the case. Most people won't act unless there is a reasonable degree of hope of being successful. We provide that with information (specified and implied).
    Again I think this overlooks a key element in the dynamics of rebellion. Oppressive regimes are typically in a constant state of very low level rebellion. People are constantly pushing the regime. Most of these efforts fail, and most are never even noticed by outsiders, but the populace sees very clearly. They also see when the point comes when the regime fails to push back, when the security forces waver, when the people around the tyrant seem ready to break away. The key element is not foreign support, unless the foreign support comes in the form of direct military intervention. If the regime is strong, foreign support doesn't matter: all the moral support and democratic ideals on earth couldn't make Tiananmen succeed. They won't bring down Assad either.

    The key to me is not the foreign support (again barring direct intervention), but rather the moment when the populace perceives that the tyrant has lost his mojo. The aura of invincibility shatters, the barons start looking for a new leader, the armed forces become reluctant to use force lest they be held accountable down the line. Once that perception hits, it snowballs very fast. It's an internal phenomenon and it has little or nothing to do with foreign support.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    We should take credit where it is due, and not be overly influenced by our excessively left leaning educational institutions who find wrong in everything our nation does. We are far from perfect, and often not moral, because in the real world nations pursue their self interests, yet quite frequently and more than any other nation we have done a lot of good.
    We sometimes take credit where it's not due, and we sometimes assume that all that happens in the world revolves around us and our influence. Recently on another thread I saw a comment that one positive outcome of the Vietnam War is that "we" prevented a communist takeover of Indonesia and Thailand. Didn't say anything, as it wasn't an appropriate venue for dispute, but definitely a bit of the "whoa, say what?" reaction...
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

Similar Threads

  1. Towards a U.S. Army Officer Corps Strategy for Success
    By Shek in forum Training & Education
    Replies: 50
    Last Post: 05-16-2010, 06:27 AM
  2. Army Training Network
    By SWJED in forum TRADOC Senior Leaders Conference
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-20-2009, 03:45 PM
  3. Brigadier General Selections for 2008
    By Cavguy in forum The Whole News
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-22-2008, 05:15 PM
  4. JAM infiltration of Iraqi Army?
    By tequila in forum Who is Fighting Whom? How and Why?
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-30-2007, 01:15 PM
  5. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-05-2006, 02:06 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •