October 13, 2003


It shouldnít pass without comment that Margo Kingston -- assisted by self-appointed teller-of-truth Bruce Power -- used the anniversary of the Bali bomb attacks to once again announce: Howard knew!

The Australian government canít win in this situation. If it issues warnings, the antiwar Left accuses it of needlessly frightening the populace for the purpose of convincing us the War on Terror is a vital necessity; if it doesnít, it is accused of not properly protecting us. In the case of Bali, the foreign minister asked the ONA some months before the attacks if warnings should be upgraded. He was advised in the negative. There wasnít sufficient specific intelligence.

Which is a circumstance Margo should appreciate. Letís review her immediate response to the attacks:

I know little about Bali, and whether we've respected and nurtured the place we love to visit or colonised it with our wants. A friend in Byron Bay said Australians had taken Bali over, business wise, and that acquaintances with businesses in Bali were considering coming home before this horror. They sensed resentment, and felt a growing unease.

Maybe part of it is the lack of services for locals. A completely inadequate hospital, for instance, so graphically exposed in the aftermath of the horror. Some people - foreigners like us, elite big-city Indonesians - make their fortunes. Have residents lost their place, their power to define it? Did the big money fail to give enough back to the people who belong there, whose home it is? Have Muslim extremists destroyed the vibe of Hindu Bali to force us out?

Bad rich whitey. Ruining everything with their ... er ... money and trade and jobs. Bad!

UPDATE. Professor Bunyip remembers the shameless Bali soapboxers, including Margo, Adele Horin, Robert Manne ...

Posted by Tim Blair at October 13, 2003 04:15 AM

How inconsiderate of Australians to have failed to provide a hospital capable of handling several hundred bombing casualties at once. I mean, what responsible businessmen *don't* plan ahead for a possible mass incineration at a tourist destination?

It's all the Aussies' fault.

Posted by: E. Rey at October 13, 2003 at 05:41 AM

As E. Ray has mentioned, Australians failed to supply all the accoutrements of a successful terrorist bombing and for that they should be ashamed.
If Australians were as enlightened as the Islamicists, they would have packed more of their own into the fated night club and provided humane explosives that injure only non-Muslims.
The Australians should have also provided greater opportunity for the locals by building lavish resorts and then turning them over to the deserving citizens of Bali.
It is common knowledge that locals, when given resorts, are less likely to kill tourists visiting their country

Posted by: bleeding brain at October 13, 2003 at 05:59 AM


He/she/it actually used the word "vibe"?

Wow. A coworker also used the word "groovy" this week. Was there some 60s nostalgia celebration I missed?

Posted by: Ken Summers at October 13, 2003 at 07:28 AM

And she actually used the whorey old "a friend...said" technique??
you know, the method you use when you have no actual first hand evidence of a theory, but you still want to give that theory some substance, (instead of just saying "this is just a theory of mine,but...)

Posted by: Michael at October 13, 2003 at 08:54 AM

This article ranks right up there with that one she wrote before the Iraq war. She published some rubbish from a guy who reckons that the only reason we joined the Americans was because they possessed anti-gravity technology which they would share with us provided that we helped them....

I am still waiting for my hover bike Margo!!!! We were jipped!!!

Posted by: Rob at October 13, 2003 at 09:38 AM

Margo is a national disgrace. Apart from basing her report on ' a friend said'she really has no idea. Has she acually been to bali? I used to be part of the "Mc Donalds is bad" view of developing countries until I went to bali and spent some time with the balinese. It might rile Margot, though most people in Bali just want a job. They want to have enough money to send their kids to school and yes, electricity, toilets and indeed Mc Donalds, just like us.

Its funny in a way, Margot accuses Howard and others of the right about not being 'compassionate', yet at a time when compassion for the families of victims is most appropriate, all Margot can do is inflame the situation.

I suppose that she's all 'compassioned out', what with refugees, iraq, lesbian penguins, etc, etc, she has missed the suffering of her neighbours.

Shame on her.

Posted by: nic at October 13, 2003 at 10:59 AM

They sensed resentment, and felt a growing unease

Hence the "Balinese resistance". And just like the "Iraqi resistance", the "Balinese resistance" consisted of people who weren't from Bali. (Ok, the "Iraqi resistance" includes Saddamistas as well as foreigners).

Balinese got resentful, therefore non-Balinese attacked Westerners and people working in Bali. This would pass as insightful analysis with Iraq.

Posted by: Andjam at October 13, 2003 at 11:32 AM

So the Margoyle reckons we should be building schools and hospitals in Denpasar oops, we already have- that's why they're resentful, they don't have a reason to whine to their own local governments about lack of services like the left here enjoy doing so much.
Maybe she should stop smoking her tampons.

Posted by: Habib Bickford at October 13, 2003 at 11:44 AM

I just hate it when terrorists 'destroy the vibe'. Can't they leave the goddamned vibe alone?

Posted by: pooh at October 13, 2003 at 12:37 PM

If it's possible, let me apologize to our Australian friends for the absolute total negligence of the U.S. press in recognizing the anniversary of this terrible day. Not more than a few seconds on the news.

Granted, much of the coverage had to deal with today's (10/12) bombing in Baghdad. But the networks, especially the cables, had plenty of time to focus on the ridiculous Kobe Bryant case.
Bunch of dopes making news decisions nowadays.

Our thoughts and prayers are with y'all.


Posted by: SteveMG at October 13, 2003 at 12:42 PM

When did the "no-Margo" policy end?

Posted by: Vittel at October 13, 2003 at 01:57 PM

More pleasantries from the SMH letters:

Anyone who went to Kuta before the Bali incident knows that Australians treated it as a cheap place to get drunk and behave as most wouldn't have dared to do in their home town. Kuta generally attracted the least appealing aspects of Australian society that had no respect for Balinese culture. Now it seems Australia wants to turn Kuta into another Gallipoli, with associated parading politicians. Do Australians as an educated nation need to have John Williamson singing Waltzing Matilda on another nation's soil again?

Perhaps as a final tribute, on the way to the next Ashes series, Steve Waugh and the boys could stop off at Kuta for a friendly game of beach cricket as a motivational tool as per their mock game of cricket at Gallipoli? Then I believe I would have seen everything.

Ronald Jackson, Griffith (ACT), October 12.

Where's the mention of the bad smell booze creates?

Posted by: Andjam at October 13, 2003 at 02:37 PM

I also want to join SteveMG in extending thoughts and prayers to the survivors and families of all victims of the Bali horror.

Posted by: timks at October 13, 2003 at 03:49 PM