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Fishy Tanks

by | 24th, June 2003

‘IN a major show of support for British military kit, our friends in the Indonesian government have been parading some of our weapons in the little known Aceh province.

Made in Britain, fired in Indonesia

Melting boots, non-firing guns, wrongly sized uniforms and dodgy tanks might not be the best way to go into battle against a well-drilled professional and well-equipped army, but against a ragtag bag of insurgents they get the job done.

Why then does the Guardian accuse the Government of going against it own much-vaunted ”ethical foreign policy”?

The paper has failed to spot that the deployment of 36 British-made Scorpion light tanks is a clever piece of diplomacy: the Indonesians get to look tough, and the separatists get to walk away unscathed.

Just listen to what Indonesia’s Colonel Ditya Sudarsono has to say on the matter.

The army man says that that tanks will be used ”offensively” but ”not used to violate civilians’ human rights”.

Of course, when they have no rights, it’s pretty easy to avoid abusing them.

But still Foreign Office minister Mike O’Brien has been in Jakarta to urge local president, the powerfully named Megawati Sukarnoputri, not to use British arms against insurgents or in violation of those human rights.

But why worry when none of the weapons work properly anyway? If she wants to really attack the populace, Megawati should do what the British do and borrow some gear from the Americans…



Posted: 24th, June 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink