It’s not a matter of guilt or innocence

If anyone is naive on the subject of international diplomacy it must be Harry Mansson of Clareville, NSW who in letters to the editor writes;

THE amateurish Australian handling of the Indonesian spying crisis is beyond belief ("Indonesia queries joint security", 5/11).

Either we are guilty or we are not. It must be assumed that we know what it is, and the Indonesians have seen the Snowden documentation. If not guilty, then Julie Bishop should swear that this is so, and it may be believed.

If guilty, then simply say so, that it was a mistake, and it will not be repeated, apology will be accepted, and a more solid mutual ground will be created to continue on. The current response to "never admit or deny" admits guilt without the courage and honesty to say so. It undermines the declaration of trust and friendship with Indonesia, and whoever invented it should be out of a job.

Harry, I was spying on the Indonesians in the 60's as a newly minted Indon linguist in the Army and I can tell you I felt no guilt at all.  I learned not to be afraid of their capabilities but that we did need to keep an eye on them and it will always be thus.  A country isn't "guilty" of spying on another country, it is just what civilized nations do.  We spy on the Indons, they spy on us and when some traiterous usefull idiot like Snowden points it out then nations are obliged to make diplomatic representation.  The diplomats talk, the media beat it up, naive people like yourself pontificate and the matter is put aside. It is not a mistake, it will be repeated (in fact it wont even be paused) and both parties know this. If you don't understand how the world works then stay out of the debate Harry.

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