Indonesian ambassador leaves Aus

The Indonesian ambassador to Australia has been recalled to Indonesia

The Indonesian ambassador to Australia has been recalled, after revelations that Australia has been spying on the Indonesian government. It has been reported that Australian spies tried to tap the phones of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoono and his wife, Ibu Ani. Indonesia is also reviewing the position of Australia’s diplomatic staff in Jakarta, including the Australian ambassador Greg Moriarty.

The information came to light when US whistleblower Edward Snowdenleaked documents which were published by the ABC and The Guardian Australia website. The phones of the Indonesian President, his wife, Vice-President, former vice-president and Indonesia’s foreign affairs spokesperson were all targeted, as were the phones of a number of senior ministers.

The information was contained in a slide presentation. One slide was entitled ‘IA Leadership Targets + Handsets’ and closed with the slogan, ‘Reveal their secrets – Protect our own’.

The Indonesian President’s special advisor for political affairs, Daniel Sparringa, has said that the information had “devastated” the President. “Until today, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has always paid special attention toward the deepening of the two countries’ relations. Therefore the news has devastated us.”

The President’s spokesperson, Teuku Faizasyah, has said that Australia needs to “clarify this news to avoid further damage. The damage has been done and now trust must be rebuilt.”

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has declined to comment on this specific act of spying, however, he has defended information-gathering in principle. “All governments gather information … and all governments know that every other government gathers information,” he said.

“My first duty is to protect Australia and to advance our national interest and I will never, ever depart from that. Consistent with that duty, I will never say or do anything that might damage the strong relationship and the close co-operation that we have with Indonesia.”

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has also declined to comment on revelations that Australia was spying on the Indonesian Government. “It is not practice for the Australian government to comment on intelligence matters and I intend to maintain that practice and that principle,” she explained.

Read more at the ABC News website


Opinion: Caught red handed

I’m going to ask the silly question here. Why are we antagonising Indonesia? On a political level, it seems a little counterproductive, given the Indonesian government is integral to Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s promise to turn back the boats. Maybe this is going to be his big excuse, the reason he failed to deliver on one of the central points of his electoral campaign. Or maybe he is, at this very moment, ordering a double-shot long black and trying to stay very, very calm.

On a national level, I don’t really see the benefit in angering one of our nearest neighbours either. Here are some fun facts:

 

Indonesian Armed Forces

Australian Armed Forces

Active personnel

476,000

57,994

Available for military service

52 million

8.5 million

Reaching military age annually

2 million

282,292

Total possible armed forces (approx.)

54.5 million

8.3 million

I, for one, am uncomfortable with the idea of being on the wrong side of a country whose possible armed forces outnumber ours nearly seven to one. That’s just basic maths.

Now, I understand that our current government is cleaning up a mess which was made in 2009 under the Labor Government. This isn’t a dig at the right or the left, because no matter who is in government, Australia’s secret service will continue to spy on other countries’ governments. It’s what we pay them for. And Mr Abbott is right – all governments do gather information. It’s just that this time, we got caught. And we got caught spying on a country which isn’t going to let it go lightly. No matter who is at fault, I think that Indonesia is a very dangerous enemy for Australia to make, so I just hope that our newly elected Federal Government has the diplomatic know-how to steer us through this crisis relatively unscathed.

What do you think? Should we be upset that Australia was spying in the first place? Or just that we got caught? What do you think Indonesia is going to request as political compensation? And should we, diplomatically, remind Indonesia of the six Australian journalists who were murdered by the Indonesian forces illegally invading Timor-Leste?





    COMMENTS

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    Pommy
    19th Nov 2013
    9:44am
    Of course we should gather information, that is the way of the world.
    My concern now is that Indonesia will use this as an excuse to ignore our requests for co-operation re asylum seekers. I am of the opinion that Indonesia makes too much money from boat people to stop this foul trade, and this is just the sort of excuse they will welcome. Perhaps we should withhold aid until they start taking steps to stop the corruption that is rife in the refugee business.
    I hope we take a tough stand on this and don't succumb to Indonesia's blackmail.
    We seem to be more concerned about antagonising Indonesia, but they don't seem to care about antagonising us.
    moorlands
    19th Nov 2013
    11:17am
    Agree with you Pommy, why would Indonesia want to stop what is a very lucrative source of income for them from transiting illegals, the money they spend in Indonesia would be more than two years wages in Indonesia. But could you clarify instances where they try to antagonize us?
    Anonymous
    19th Nov 2013
    5:29pm
    Pommy it is also part of the plan to Islamize the whole world by stealth. Immigration in vast numbers where they stay on welfare and use up monies for services and eventually out breed the host people is the plan.
    Germany has alread said via thir Chancellor that it is suffering Islamification along with the rest of Europe and that is has gone past the point of return for them.
    Not sure why Tony Abbott is saying they are most important as that is of course our biggest ally US of A.
    And they have troops here now thanks to Gillard and it is in their interests to keep us an ally too so Rachel and the lefties can for once love the military of both countries instead of denigrating them or usual cutting down on their budgets and numbers as Labour did to Britain WW2 and how they ignored Nazism until almost too late trying to appease bullies never works. Anddidnt John Madigan say that Indonesia has spent 8 billion on upping their military? So why do we give them aid only 674 million but we could use that here at home. And didnt they get the lions share of the Timor sea oil?
    robin hood
    21st Nov 2013
    5:01pm
    Agree totally with you Pommy but Indonesia is one country I would never trust or visit and the government is corrupt to say the least
    nightie
    22nd Nov 2013
    8:08pm
    they who shouts the loudest..........they ignored the invasion of East Timor, the inhumane slaughter of the Balibo 5......even one of their top former spies says that Indonesia's intelligence spied on our own politicians. I think what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Anyway, all countries spy on each other, friend or foe.
    If Indonesia wants to withdraw military co-operation we can simply withdraw aid.
    I think that it is a fair trade.
    tj
    19th Nov 2013
    11:05am
    Very glad to see i am not the only one that remembers our journalists murdered by Indonesian military.I wonder if the Indonesians remember or care
    LENYJAC
    20th Nov 2013
    9:10am
    NOW THESE INDOS ARE USING SHAPELLE CORBY AS A THREATENING GESTURE TOWARD AUSTRALIA TYPICAL???????
    solmon52
    19th Nov 2013
    11:12am
    Labour should have to answer this not mr abbott. He is not going about it very well and the media should but out as they dont report the truth abd they are making it worse. If you knew more about syb and his family you would wonder why there police are not spying on them.
    We dont need indonesia they need us and if they keep carrying on we should pull out all aid and the people in ausaid working there.
    dougie
    19th Nov 2013
    11:16am
    The current Government did not carry out this surveillance it was in 2009 and I believe that another political party was in government at that time. Another one of the Rudd - Gillard - Rudd government blunders for the Liberal government to fix up and redeem. And just think that Labor members are standing in parliament and accusing the Abbott government of widening the gap with Indonesia. Come on Mr Shorten cop it sweet, you were there when this was happening. Labor should be on the telephone and issueing a "mia culpa" to the Indonesian government not leaving someone else to clean up their mess. They were also the government which undertook to share information with other countries. Another mess!

    Tony Abbott must stand firm and acknowledge the facts but not bow down to Indonesia. After all I wager they use their embassy in Canberra to listen and gather facts and I will guess that their surveillance system is at least equal to ours. Be honest and strong in your governance Tony Abbott.
    Wstaton
    19th Nov 2013
    11:56am
    If I read correctly it was occuring between 2004 and 2009 which means both parties were responsible.
    student
    19th Nov 2013
    2:48pm
    I'm with you Wstaton. I'd like to add that although it is (supposedly) common practice for all countries, that doesn't make it right. Seems to me that a political friend is a 'conditional' friend. Lies, lies and more damned lies.
    Anonymous
    19th Nov 2013
    5:33pm
    I see the left is at it here too - and yet come th day they will cry save me to the poor old soldiers who lately under Labor have been cut back to 1938 budget amounts.
    from the nanny state
    20th Nov 2013
    8:23am
    BIG VAL... i am with you
    Aloysius
    19th Nov 2013
    11:37am
    Every embassy of every country gathers information any way they can. They all spy on us. It gets out of hand when people who have signed the secrecy act start divulging information and suddenly we have to account for what has always gone on under every government. The leakers cause the damage no matter how noble they try to appear. It is treason.
    Pommy
    19th Nov 2013
    11:37am
    moorlands - my point was that Indonesia do not seem to be concerned that we are not happy about the boat people and are not inclined to do anything about them. Maybe "antagonise" was the wrong word. It's just that we seem to be worried about what Indonesia thinks of us and that does not seem to be a two-way street. My opinion only.
    Aloysius
    19th Nov 2013
    11:46am
    I agree. We don't need to suck up to Indonseia, the USA or anyone else. It's about time Indonesia showed us some respect and managed the unseaworthy Indonesian boats with Indonesian crews leaving Indonesian ports with paying passengers without proper authority. Their problem.
    moorlands
    19th Nov 2013
    5:59pm
    And we respect your reasoned opinion, I think the financial benefits for Indonesia is maybe the key for their inaction. and our generous welfare system is the attraction for the illegals, I was told by a European truck driver who regularly uses the channel tunnel between France and the UK that France provides accomodation camps and transport to the French exit to the tunnel so that the illegals do not dally in France, and those that manage to conceal themselves on the trucks are given a pre-recorded tape that when discovered in the UK, they then present to officials claiming asylum,ONLY hearsay, but why bypass France for the UK? of course the welfare system in UK is based on need, unfortunately in Australia it is now based on greed.

    19th Nov 2013
    11:41am
    Abbot stuffed up. His response was politically insensitive. He only needed to respond in a manner that allowed Indonesia to save face. Instead the response was arrogant and dismissive.
    both sides are playing to their voter base.
    Wstaton
    19th Nov 2013
    11:59am
    From what I remember it was mentioned during the election runup that TA lacked diplomacy.
    Anonymous
    19th Nov 2013
    12:12pm
    It was an honest response but.
    dougie
    19th Nov 2013
    1:29pm
    Anything more would give Indonesia the upper hand. Tony Abbott stated the case as is and it should rest at that. If Indonesia cannot accept honesty in Mr Abbott's dealings then too bad. To see Bob Carr carry on as he has today is just more codswallop adding fuel to the fire. Bob Carr you are gone!
    student
    19th Nov 2013
    3:03pm
    dougie, you mention 'honesty' ... but Australia has not been honest. We lied about our friendship as we were spying on them. Our friendship was not genuine. We were caught out!! Simple as that. There are ways of saying things without grovelling and saving face. This will take first class diplomacy. This should be fought and settled behind closed doors then both countries save face.
    dougie
    19th Nov 2013
    3:12pm
    To those of you who say the Government is not honest and should not spy on our friends, I ask, "how often when you hear a car or a door slam in front of your house do you look to see what is happening and how will such an event affect you". That is spying and we are all guilty so accept the facts of political life.
    geomac
    19th Nov 2013
    6:13pm
    Spot on Jag . Abbott should have said some sombre words and offered a useless response that sounded full of gravitas and looked good . Like wikileaks it comes down to poor USA security where minor operatives have access to a large collection of data .
    aquatrek
    19th Nov 2013
    6:21pm
    thats a strong accusation Jags - stuffed up. Maybe the international political circus arena will get used to someone who delivers straight lefts instead of powder puff shadow boxing cuffs !! Go Tony and tell it like it really is. Lets hope that his corner troops are up to the task as well.

    All this diplomatic bullshit is a failure as it is the press that are left to 'interpret' what it meant. The press are arseholes all over the world. They sell 'stories' for money = their income - never the truth.
    Pass the Ductape
    19th Nov 2013
    11:42am
    What! All the posturing and outrage is about as weak as it gets. And Indonesia doesn't spy on us? The audacity of that country to act as though butter wouldn't melt in it's mouth. For a start, it's government is one of the most corrupt in the world and we damn well need to know what they're thinking every minute of the day if you ask me. We didn't get caught spying - we were dobbed in by a ignorant fool whose brain must have wondered why it was ever born inside the fools head.
    azpers
    19th Nov 2013
    12:07pm
    How come you said exactly what I was going to write. Are you spying on me, or summit. Somebuddy auta do sumfink.
    Lets hope the Indies push it harder and rattle the war sabres. I'd love to see them bombed back to the stone age- which they ain't far off anyway.
    student
    19th Nov 2013
    3:17pm
    so tell me duct, is it wrong to lie or tell the truth?? If you knew a truth and someone was telling a lie, would you right that lie??
    Actual Cat
    19th Nov 2013
    11:51am
    It's certainly no surprise that Australia spies on Indonesia. As for the Indonesian government taking offence, it's very doubtful that they don't spy on us too. Their indignation is rather laughable. Looking at the statistics of Australia's military capabilities versus theirs, well, they could take us over whenever they wanted to.
    Meanwhile, cashed up Chinese are buying up our land and property - one way or another, Australia will change hands - it's just a matter of time.
    Huskie
    19th Nov 2013
    11:56am
    Let us not get into a LNP v Labor blame game. governments of both persuasion have done it and should continue to do it. Just need to be more careful in the future!
    The fact is that all countries gather intelligence about other countries, friendly or otherwise, and have done so for centuries. That is what the Dept of Foreign Affairs and the Intelligence Services do the only difference is what intelligence they gather
    Australian Security also keeps "tabs" on Australian citizens! I was in a job with a "Top Secret" security clearance and one day was summoned by our security person to his office and asked if I owned a described vehicle with ????? rego number and why my wife was visiting the Russian Embassy! The Aussie spooks used to, and probably still do, monitor all activity in and out of the Embassy.
    By the way she had a vlid reason to go there she was getting visas for Aussie Diplomats children who were at boarding school in Aus so that they could holiday with their parents in Russia!
    Foxy
    19th Nov 2013
    12:02pm
    ........ "fun facts" ?? I would call them extremely serious facts !! Put China's "table of facts" against Australian figures and it's 100 times scarier!

    There was some Professor from a Uni. in the U.S. (not quite sure which one as I was "channel chopping" at the time) - being interviewed recently and his words were chilling to say the least - he stated that Australia is far too complacent regarding it's geographical position in the world and our expansive and unsecured borders will be detrimental to us in the long run.

    He stated that the No. 1 country (regarding invasion into Australia within the next 20 - 40 years) would be CHINA - No. 2 - INDONESIA and No.3 - PAKISTAN.....he also based his "predictions" on a similar table of "military and population" figures from these 3 countries and said the "invasion" would be food/population driven! We need to "spy" on our "neighbours" else we'll just be "sitting ducks" (like we currently are!) ....
    catsahoy
    21st Nov 2013
    11:11pm
    foxy, remember what bob menzies said,'BEWARE THE SLEEPING DRAGON'' looks like its almost here,
    catsahoy
    21st Nov 2013
    11:11pm
    foxy, remember what bob menzies said,'BEWARE THE SLEEPING DRAGON'' looks like its almost here,
    catsahoy
    21st Nov 2013
    11:11pm
    foxy, remember what bob menzies said,'BEWARE THE SLEEPING DRAGON'' looks like its almost here,
    catsahoy
    21st Nov 2013
    11:11pm
    foxy, remember what bob menzies said,'BEWARE THE SLEEPING DRAGON'' looks like its almost here,
    catsahoy
    21st Nov 2013
    11:11pm
    foxy, remember what bob menzies said,'BEWARE THE SLEEPING DRAGON'' looks like its almost here,
    Oldie84
    19th Nov 2013
    12:21pm
    One thing not surprising about all this is that the Communist Guardian and the ABC couldn't get it on air fast enough to embarrass Australia thus forcing Indonesia into showing outrage. Typical. Of course there is surveillance and eavesdropping. By ALL countries. How do you think they catch the nut cases Who want to blow us up.
    Give me a break!
    lowflyer
    19th Nov 2013
    12:24pm
    Maybe they should also acknowledge that they have been spying on us....Also that we the Australian people should NO Longer send them any further further assistance.
    NeilC
    21st Nov 2013
    1:39am
    I'm with you lowflyer, how much of our taxes and other assistance flows into Indonesia's coffers. Time to shut the cheque book!!
    Young
    19th Nov 2013
    12:32pm
    The ABC is loving this.
    Nightshade
    19th Nov 2013
    1:28pm
    Haven't we sold them off yet
    The Australian Tax Payer is not a charity
    The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is costing the Australian Tax Payer in excess of $1.18 BILLION per year
    And for little or no return
    MONEY DOES NOT GROW ON TREES
    What is wrong with us that we are so sucked in by AUNTY
    It is the oligarchy that they sing to, their pay masters, with our money.
    dougie
    19th Nov 2013
    1:36pm
    The ABC Labor media must be the only government funded agency in the world which can be outright rude and anti government and still carry on being funded by the government it decries. It just goes to show how much this current government values "Freedom of Speech" when it allows this to happen. SBS at least gives a balanced view. Sell off the ABC and make them work to retain their jobs instead of being well paid fatter than fat cats.
    Nightshade
    19th Nov 2013
    3:33pm
    Dougie :-
    Mi casa su es casa man !
    Nightshade
    19th Nov 2013
    3:35pm
    dougie -I was distracted - sorry dude - mi casa es su casa
    dougie
    19th Nov 2013
    3:59pm
    Nightshade,
    My house is also the house of ASIO. Beware they are watching you.
    I do not know the name of the Indonesian spy agency but I bet that they have read each and everyone of these little notes. A bell would ring each time Indonesia is mentioned so that they are aware of what and when to read.
    geomac
    19th Nov 2013
    6:16pm
    Well nightshade Abbott , Joyce , Randall etc all think the taxpayer is a charity that funds wedding attendances , footy games , bike events and buying property .
    Abby
    19th Nov 2013
    12:34pm
    Of concern is how the information leaked
    If it happened in 2009 why is it surfacing now ?
    Anonymous
    19th Nov 2013
    1:08pm
    Its all there in this weeks New Idea - go get a copy before they sell out.
    Foxy
    19th Nov 2013
    1:33pm
    Whoooaaaaa.... (always thought u the "gentleman" of the forum?)
    geomac
    19th Nov 2013
    6:20pm
    Abby
    The yank who revealed the data is a recent event . Apparently the Guardian vetted the material before contacting the ABC and both released the info . The ABC contacted the govt and got the stand response , we don't comment on security operations .
    robin hood
    21st Nov 2013
    5:06pm
    Apparently leaked by that idiot Edward Snowden from the usa seems to me to be the biggest troublemaker in the world why is it that the usa breeds these kind of people and the rest of the world have to suffer thanks to the likes of him
    Abby
    25th Nov 2013
    10:54am
    Geoff
    ABC had the information May 2012 before the Election
    I ask again why release it now ?
    Nightshade
    19th Nov 2013
    1:14pm
    "they are spying on us " they cry .../?
    In today's world there is no excuse -
    In today's world we have TOYS enough to boggle the mind.
    The Most Important, Powerful Persona on this Planet are being spied on .../?
    HOW - ?
    HOW ON EARTH IS THIS THING HAPPENING
    UNLESS THEY ARE ALL IN ON IT TOGETHER
    UNLESS THEY ARE TO CHEAP TO LASH OUT & ON PREVENTION PRODUCTS :
    IT'S A BIG ACT & NOTHING MORE
    IN THEIR OWN MIND THEY ARE MOVIE STARS LIKE JACKIE CHAN
    PLAYING JAMES BOND & THE PRECIOUS PRINCESSES IS ALL THAT IT IS :-
    Today we have Secure Mobile & Desktop Phones:-
    Anti-spy Ware Software Products:-
    State - of - the - art Bug Detection Products:-
    Attention seeking is behaving in a way which is in pursuit of attention from others. A sustained pattern of attention seeking in adults is often associated with, in particular, historic personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder or boarderline personality disorder.
    It's like Proudly Captain Dreadful Bibi Netanyahu, who lights up like an Xmas tree at the hint of a CAMERA.
    Nightshade
    19th Nov 2013
    3:40pm
    he, he , he,
    I was so incensed that Netanyahu was bombing Gaza, I christened him Proudly Captain Dreadful Bibi Netanyahu on Desertpeace & guess what - it took off globally.
    Despicable man that fella.
    wally
    19th Nov 2013
    1:16pm
    This is another move in the diplomatic chess game Indonesia is playing with Australia. Not so long ago, the Royal Australian Navy picked up "refugees" in Indonesian waters near the Indonesian island of Java. The Indonesians refused to accept the refugees and the boat crew, even though they were in Indonesian waters aboard an Indonesian flagged vessel and thus, were in Indonesia's area of responsibility.
    Now the Indonesian government claims to have their knickers in a knot over a spying/phone tapping incident hat happened four years ago. Their ambassador goes home.
    It seems to me that the Indonesians are (in Neville Wran's words) applying the blow torch to Tony Abbott's belly to see just how tough Abbott, and the new LNP government is in withstanding Indonesian pressure. The big question is when will it end, and what will the Abbott government's response will be?
    A lot of noise has come out of the Greens and the Labor side of Parliament about what Abbott should do to make the Indonesians happy and start loving (?) Australia again.
    Apologise? Since the phone tapping incident happened in 2009 when The Great Apologiser Kevin Rudd was running the show, I think it would be appropriate for Kevin to put on his "I am so ashamed of what I allowed to happen" face once more and do the apologising again, this time to Indonesia. ( It will be good practice for him in the coming Royal Commission over his Pink Batts Fiasco).
    Too many cooks spoil the broth, as the saying goes. This also applies to the irrelevant and politically motivated commentators in parliament and the media who are deservedly being ignored as Abbott governs in his own right.
    Lastly, perhaps Kevin's diplomatic aspirations might be fulfilled by packing him off to Jakarta as our new ambassador.
    Nightshade
    19th Nov 2013
    1:23pm
    I was watching TV when, in an annoyed fashion, Kevin Rudd said we should go to war with CHINA.
    A NUT JOB TO BE SURE ...
    Where do we think that China would bomb us first
    How many nukes would hit us & in how short a time
    How much damage would we sustain
    How long would it take for our best friend the United States of America to get here to save us from doom
    Would they even come to the party
    Kwacha
    19th Nov 2013
    2:07pm
    well anyone watching last nights TV must also realise Indonessia is more than aware of who is involved in the Boat smuggling. The Chap who was imprisoned for this in Indonesia is apparantly is living like a king there and running his smuggling operation by phone from inside the prison with their knowledge, you can even bribe a Guard to personally see him at anytime.
    I wouldn't be surprised if we were spying on thier local embassy to monitor their participation in these activities, and probably the possibility of being exposed and what we discovered pertaining to same, is more upsetting than the actual been spied upon. Every country spies on others including our own, its the name of the Game.
    genimi
    19th Nov 2013
    2:36pm
    for goodness sake! everybody spies on everyone else - who really cares? I very much doubt it came as any real surprise to anyone anyway. so stupid to be posturing over this or looking for someone to blame.
    student
    19th Nov 2013
    3:13pm
    Rachel, as per usual you have picked a juicy post. There is no real right or wrong answer. We were doing the wrong thing morally, and 'everyone does it' but they don't get caught. Maybe the crime here is getting caught. How much accountability do our 'security' departments have?? Does ASIO answer to anyone?? This little blunder will cost us and you can bet Indonesia will play it to the hilt. And why shouldn't they!! We would if we were in their shoes.

    In this game of poker, we lost. Next hand ....
    Reeper
    19th Nov 2013
    3:13pm
    Fact is Indonesia is spying on Australia as well. This is Indonesia chest-thumping for political purposes pretending to be the poor third-world country being abused by a Western power. The world knows what is going on and it is important Tony Abbott stands his ground. You will notice the Indon President isn't saying too much only 'Marty' who is clearly aiming for political progression. Bugger the Indonesians who lets face it are not an open society with their own share religious and class discrimination.
    student
    19th Nov 2013
    3:27pm
    But Reeper, Australia got caught spying, Indonesia didn't. Other points do not matter. We are indignant because we got caught! Why not vent on our 'Security' depts. that got slack and were caught. With all of your mentioned faults, Indonesia was not caught, we were. Time to 'fess up and go to the naughty corner, and not help the President-in-waiting.
    aquatrek
    19th Nov 2013
    4:14pm
    Rachel Tyler Jones - another child playing with the big kids in the big sandpit. To openly prevaricate is paramount to throwing sand in a big kids face. Naughty naughty.

    quote 'I’m going to ask the silly question here. Why are we antagonising Indonesia? On a political level, it seems a little counterproductive, given the Indonesian government is integral to Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s promise to turn back the boats. Maybe this is going to be his big excuse, the reason he failed to deliver on one of the central points of his electoral campaign. Or maybe he is, at this very moment, ordering a double-shot long black and trying to stay very, very calm.' unquote

    then this discombobulated 'cover my arse' rubbish:
    "Now, I understand that our current government is cleaning up a mess which was made in 2009 under the Labor Government. This isn’t a dig at the right or the left,"

    then why be silly to start with ?

    19th Nov 2013
    4:15pm
    Of course we are spying on Indonesia we have no choice.

    Indonesia has over 10 times our population on approximately one third the land mass as Australia. Much of that land mass is near sea level on small islands.

    If the climate change predictions are true , the increasing sea levels will flood between a quarter and two thirds of those islands over the next several decades.

    Given this and the fact that the countries to the north, Northeast and West of thenmare also over populated. The only way Indonesia can avoid mass deaths in the future is to invade the northern parts of Australia.

    The deaths as a result of fighting will be small compared with those resulting from stavation and disease that is inevitable with a increasing population living on a decreasing land mass.

    Why is this feasible because put simply Australia hasn't got the military resources to stop them gaining a foothold.

    Also Australia does not have the financial or personnel resources to incarserate/repatriate 100,000s of POWs.

    Whether they loss or win the "war" Australia will be left with either

    A) a large population of "prisoners" we can not supervise and a massive increase in "boat People" seeking to rejoin their "captured" family.

    B) a large section of Northern Australia populated and governed by Indonesia. With more people arriving all the time.

    in both cases there will be no way short of nuking large parts of Australia to stop them moving "slowly south".

    In truth such an invasion if carried out on mass with no prior warning is a win, win situation for Indonesia.

    If however such a plan was revealed to the international community in advance (say using intellegence resourses) it is just possible we may get international assistance in preventing any such incursion.

    Of course if indonesia can convince enough overpopulated south east asian countries that it is about time Australia shared the land with its less fortunate neighbors rather than hoarding it like "evil round eyed devils" . We would be totally scr*wed.
    Of course with good intellegence we may be able to head such collusions off.

    So of course we are spying on Indonesia we have no choice.

    19th Nov 2013
    4:33pm
    Ps America must love the way this is distracting people from them being caught spying on the germans.
    aquatrek
    19th Nov 2013
    4:37pm
    http://e360.yale.edu/feature/rising_waters_how_fast_and_how_far_will_sea_levels_rise/2702/
    at the present 3 mm per year even a 100 years will see only a rise of 30 cm

    19th Nov 2013
    4:48pm
    Doesn't matter how slow or fast the waters are rising a lot of those islands are near sea level already. One good storm and people die. Plus the population keeps growing with people already living in huts on stilts in shallows or on rickety boats. The population vs land problem still exists and is getting worse by the day.
    Remember they also need land to grow food.
    Invasion may eventually be their only option.
    aquatrek
    19th Nov 2013
    4:57pm
    247 million growing at 1.2% [and falling] = 3 million pa with approx 60% on Java

    https://www.google.com.au/#q=indonesion+population+groweth+rate

    19th Nov 2013
    6:04pm
    Their population is still growing, Their arable land is still shrinking.

    3 million whats that
    12 times the population of the NT,
    6 times the population of Tasmania,
    3/4 the population of Melbourne.
    every year.

    below are links to the sort of stuff they could be comparing

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/indonesia/population-density-people-per-sq-km-wb-data.html

    and

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/australia/population-density-people-per-sq-km-wb-data.html

    Do the comparison for yourself.

    Mostly it is preception it could be argued that the way they may see it is "they are crowded , poor and need room to expand , we are rich with more land than we could possibly use"

    Of course they may not see it that way but how do we really know with out good intel.

    So of course we are spying on Indonesia we have no choice.
    aquatrek
    19th Nov 2013
    8:13pm
    good analysis Rattus. I would like to live another 1000 years to see what happens to this evolving world. Africa/Asia/Sth America are all bastions of huge populations even now. The European colonial dominance has dissipated. The USA is in decline. Russia ? Those who study humanistic populations will have models on where its all going. Meanwhile Oz & the Indonesians play 'games'.

    19th Nov 2013
    9:37pm
    I suspect in a 1000 years time my sort will be one of the few sources of animal protein on this planet.

    As an aside
    Before then the yanks would have woken up the cryogenically stored armies of Mars. You know the ones that went into storage after their atmosphere was ripped away in the last stages of the war with that planet the one we now know as the asteriod belt.

    So this is all meaningless.
    All hail our new masters, who or whatever they may be.
    lasaboy
    19th Nov 2013
    4:33pm
    The Australian Governments (all) have been paranoid about Indonesia since at least the 80's that I am aware, our biggest problem is they could land a million men on the top end, and the first we would hear would be when they mobilized, not a good scenario, and with their attitudes in the past, they took over part of PNG, then killed heaps of people and Australia sat on it's hands, I have many Asian friends but would not trust the Indonesians people to cross the street
    Aloysius
    19th Nov 2013
    10:51pm
    Indonesia lacks the capability to land such a force or to maintain and supply it.
    lasaboy
    20th Nov 2013
    12:24am
    Then why did the army commission the building of a number of special 4wd bikes and trailers that could be mounted with heavy duty 50 cal machine guns?
    These two man units are able to be dropped from a plane and assembled in minutes, then capable of keeping a large force pinned down until re-equipped from the air

    20th Nov 2013
    12:29am
    Do not think conventually.

    Just off the top of my head.

    They could set up a couple of airstrips around Babar and Yandena islands supported by long range anti-aircraft missles.

    Drop some engineers with support on the Tiwi islands to build forward airstrips with long range anti-aircraft missles in theory these could be operational with in 60 hrs of the troops hiting the ground.

    With good commuications Indoniesia could be landing troops and logisics with in hours of the airstrips on Tiwi being operational. Australia is unlikely to be able to get sufficent fire power in place in time to effect this.

    A heavly armed forward base could be set up on Tiwi within striking distance of mainland Australia. From there you could soften up mainland targets with drone and missile attacks (or drop in commandoes).

    The main pupose of this base could be to draw attention
    .
    As while all this is going on hundreds of small fishing boats could be landing troops along the coast of Australia.

    As for supplies food should not be a problem as unlike most western armies the Indonesia army is trained to live off the land.
    Plus most will be farmer/fishermen soldiers those job will be to build huts and set up farms, fishing villages etc to feed and shelter the real troops.

    Constant harrasment of australian forces and communities back up by a constant stream of reinforcements arriving in seemingly random locations along a very long coast line.(you think we have a boat people problem now)

    Indonesia would probably lose more personnel to our wildlife than to our troops. The causulties would be high but it will be like trying to kill an ants with a fly swatter. Once it started we would never get rid off them.

    No doubt there would be protest groups around australia demanding we stop wasting resources and diggers lives defending a parts of Australia nobody wants to live in. Some will agrue that the ones who have build villages and are fishing/farming have as much right to be here as anyone else. etc etc

    No doubt there are holes in my idea but i'm not a military type.

    They probably could get away with just lots of fishing boats'
    I wonder how our border forces would handle a couple of hundred a day particularly if most were trying to avoid our ships rather than trying be rescued by them. They could possible carrying radar jammers and the like to make things interesting.

    Hell if they did it that way they could invade with out having to shoot as single bullet.

    just a thought.
    from the nanny state
    20th Nov 2013
    8:30am
    Mr Abbot is doing his utmost to stop the boats but it's very difficult to deal with a completely corrupt country like Indonesia....all they want is handouts... just like the criminals who get on these govt run leaky boats.
    robin hood
    21st Nov 2013
    5:21pm
    Agree with you totally from the nanny state couldn't be a more corrupt country than indonesia
    KSS
    19th Nov 2013
    5:04pm
    So we have righteous indignation from Indonesia and diplomacy being conducted on Twitter by S. B. Yudhoyono. Diplomacy by Twitter!!

    They are lucky they only care about the 15 day phone tap 4 years ago. What about all the other spying since? And can they seriously think we don't suspect they are doing precisely the same thing on Australia and a range of other countries? As Mr Abbott said, all countries collect information on other countries. Is Indonesia really the only country not engaged in 'collecting information' aka spying?

    More relevant is the fact they are making such a big song and dance over this whilst quietly forgetting their very recent refusal to go to the aid of an Indonesian boat in Indonesian waters with Indonesian nationals on board.

    I hope our Government stands up to this playground bully and tells them to grow up and join the real world. If Indonesia really wants to renegotiate 'strategic partnership' fine. We can take back our aid and other investment since they obviously don't want/need it.
    Toogoom
    19th Nov 2013
    5:08pm
    You were right - it was a silly question Rachel. Indonesia's present armed forces and potential forces are certainly relatively large but they are unlikely to be sent Australia's way for the act of our intelligence agencies being caught - they are no doubt feeling rather smug that they haven't been caught themselves.

    Clearly Edward Snowden is going to continue to cause great harm to the Western Alliance. However, the ABC have gone beyond the pale in publishing what they did - leave it to the gutter press - or are the ABC now competing for the title?
    aquatrek
    19th Nov 2013
    5:33pm
    as noted somewhere else the ABC knew about this much earlier but didnt release it as it would have 'disturbed' the Gillard campaign situation. Something has got to done about the ABC and or its boss.

    19th Nov 2013
    6:15pm
    The fact that both those for and against the release of this info are pissed with the ABC shows me they are getting it right.
    geomac
    19th Nov 2013
    6:26pm
    aqua
    You are incorrect about the ABC . They released the info within days of getting it from the Guardian and also contacted the govt pre release . The Guardian did have it longer but needed to vet the details before release . The ABC boss is or was a liberal member not just a supporter .
    geomac
    19th Nov 2013
    6:29pm
    Mark Scott was a Howard appointment in 2006 .
    aquatrek
    19th Nov 2013
    7:59pm
    geez you ALP rusted on nuts are hard to get off the communist bolt hahaha even WD40 soaking has no effect whatsoever !!!!!!!!!!

    at ALL times you have no friggin idea as to what is going on -

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Spigelman

    http://pickeringpost.com/story/abc-s-chairman-jim-has-an-appointment-with-the-pm/2126

    you swallow whatever crap it is that is put into your feed bowl - you do NOT think about what you are ingesting - you as a collective group are imbeciles.
    moorlands
    19th Nov 2013
    8:29pm
    Here we go again, you did it first, no you said it first ,and then,?GROW UP, why do you think PINE GAP the most sophisticated military communication network of the US was situated in Australia instead of the Nevada desert when nuclear war was a possibility,?because we were expendible and the first nuclear strike would have been to wipe out Pine Gap and military communication and probably the rest of Australia,do I think Australian spying is in our interests ? no I do not!
    aquatrek
    19th Nov 2013
    8:36pm
    what a dickhead !! the USA saved YOU from being a Japanese citizen - U are a moron and almost a traitor to the Oz nation. The Oz nation is in an alliance with several pacific nations and you would want to remove those pacts = bigusdickus.
    moorlands
    20th Nov 2013
    12:31am
    What a garbled incoherent reply from aquatreck, and he is given the right to vote? but I doubt if he is old enough, which reinforces my earlier challenge earlier to the Moderator, this is a Senior website, I can spot the kiddies so why can't you?
    baza18
    19th Nov 2013
    6:22pm
    The sooner we get those American bombers stationed at our northern bases the better, in view of the fact that we don't even possess a bomber with the F1-11 being retired in 2010 & not replaced with Labors defence cuts!Like the Yanks or not ,we would be up the creek without them.
    geomac
    19th Nov 2013
    6:39pm
    If Howard had not signed us up to a JFS ? we would not be in the position regarding the retired F1-11 . A fighter bomber on paper and he signs us up to it ! When we do get it it will not be the jet we signed on for , over budget , they always are and over due . Meanwhile our neighbours buy cheaper and better performing jets from the russians and now not later .

    19th Nov 2013
    7:35pm
    The ones you trust the most are the ones who can do you the most harm when they turn on you.

    When you allow another to keep weapons in your back yard you had best keep a very close eye on them and know what they are thinking before they do.

    Or simply put we better have good spys in the Pentagon.
    niemakawa
    19th Nov 2013
    7:37pm
    Baza18, not a truer word said.
    Oldie84
    19th Nov 2013
    6:51pm
    Why doesn't some one say these screen shots are a clever fake, designed to provoke trouble? Snowden could have made them up. Maybe he doesn't like Australia.
    niemakawa
    19th Nov 2013
    7:02pm
    I ask a similar question why is Indonesia antagonising Australia?. Also I question the Diplomatic know how of the Indonesian Government. Don't forget we have our perennial allies to assist us in any conflict. Australia has more to offer Indonesia than it has to offer us. At least with Mr Abbott, we know he will put Australia's interest first and not capitulate easily. Really the whole fiasco is just a storm in a tea cup and is not unusual. I doubt if the Indonesian media is supporting our tactics, but the Australia media supports all and sundry except our own.
    geomac
    19th Nov 2013
    7:14pm
    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/phone-tapping-indonesian-media-react-with-fury-20131119-2xsqb.html
    niemakawa
    19th Nov 2013
    7:23pm
    Geomac, exactly as I stated. Mr Abbot will not tolerate Indonesia's insolence.
    moorlands
    20th Nov 2013
    11:41am
    niemakawa. Suggest you read that article in the Age again, it is the exact opposite of what you said! the Indonesia are certainly not tolerating Abbots bullying arrogance, also suggest you read the International media, it seems we are being ridiculed by some of our past friends.
    Raine
    19th Nov 2013
    7:51pm
    In the Australian paper it said this ... INDONESIA says it doesn't spy on Australia; but it did once, according to a former Indonesian intelligence chief.

    In a 2004 interview, retiring Indonesian intelligence chief General Abdullah Mahmud Hendropriyono said his agency tapped Australian civil and military communications and politicians' phone calls.

    It also made unsuccessful attempts to recruit Australian spies, he said.

    General Hendropriyono, who headed the Badan Intelijen Negara under president Megawati Soekarnoputri's government, said it was well known both sides tapped each other's communications during the East Timor crisis.

    "We want to know what is really discussed about us," he told Nine's Sunday program.

    "We can say this is a public secret. You know, secret but the whole public knows. This is quite common intelligence activity."

    General Hendropriyono said he presumed Australia did the same thing to Indonesia. "She is silly if she doesn't do that, you know."

    He said Indonesian intelligence had "almost, but not yet", been able to recruit Australian assets for of supply confidential information.

    General Hendropriyono claimed the spying had ended because Indonesia and Jakarta now faced a common enemy in global terrorism.

    Tony Abbott yesterday played down allegations Australia eavesdropped the mobile phone calls of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, saying "all governments gather information".

    But Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natelegawa issued a blunt rebuttal.

    "Well I have news for you. We don't do it. We certainly should not be doing it amongst friends," he said.

    - See more at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/indonesia-spied-on-australia-in-2004-says-ex-intelligence-chief/story-fn59nm2j-1226763231240#sthash.Mb2HyIls.dpuf

    Its going to happen everywhere ... and there has been spies for as long as I remember I had a family member who was a spy for British Intelligence in World War 1 .. if you want to look it up google Conrad O`Brien Ffrench.. international spy... so nothing is new.. its a pity its happened like this and I agree with the comments on here by many...
    niemakawa
    19th Nov 2013
    7:56pm
    Just a more sophisticated game of " I spy with my little eye". I just love the intrigue of it all and it allows the imagination to be explored.
    aquatrek
    19th Nov 2013
    8:28pm
    bugger bugger bugger - we just DO NOT have any entrepreneurs at the top government level

    when the Indo ambassador left then we should have had a full on 'smoking' indigenous ceremony to bid farewell

    these indigenous guys know how to set a 'spell' - they have been at it for about 50,000 years
    lasaboy
    20th Nov 2013
    12:35am
    do you realise just how racist that is?
    aquatrek
    20th Nov 2013
    8:50am
    in what way ?
    niemakawa
    20th Nov 2013
    9:18am
    Lasboy, I do not see any racist remarks in the comment made by Aquatrek. Rcaist/racism, the most over used words, in our society today. Meaningless.
    Jurassicgeek
    19th Nov 2013
    8:28pm
    Does anyone here think the indonesians are not spying on us?? Get Real! They want as much as they can get from us without any reciprocation.. No apology MR Abbott..!!!
    aquatrek
    19th Nov 2013
    8:30pm
    high 5
    student
    21st Nov 2013
    8:17am
    it doesn't matter who spies on us ... they aren't getting caught. We did .. AND we spied on the private phone calls of the Pres. wife! How would you react if the Indonesians were caught listening in to politicians and their family's phone calls?? We were caught out ... apologise and make amends. Technology has changed the spy-game and rules of war.
    Abby
    25th Nov 2013
    11:33am
    We were not caught out, Australia was sold out by ABC the taxpayer funded media.

    The Government should sack the ABC Board for mischeivism.
    moorlands
    19th Nov 2013
    8:59pm
    I am relatively new to comments, but have realized that most comments are (hate Mails) but also realized that people do not trawl back to receive their replies , of which disregarding the political party sponsored (hate Mail) can be quite intelligent, I think the moderator like our new parliamentary speaker should check their bias.
    niemakawa
    19th Nov 2013
    9:05pm
    Moderators are biased as well. So although your suggestion has some merit, it will probably create a one sided view of topics.
    unicorn
    20th Nov 2013
    8:25am
    I, personally, am more cncerned abut being caught spying than thae actual spying that is going on by Australia , after all what are we going to do about anything? After all, as Debbie pointed out we do not have the numbers. And our own allies - America spy on everyone including Australia & probably England & Indonesia. If they want to get upset how about lambasting them (America) for the spying that is always going on. They (Indonesia) probably do it too.
    Grateful
    20th Nov 2013
    10:10am
    How pathetic has this forum become??? How many contributers have totally missed the point, mainly because of their shocking political bias and xenophobic attitude?
    THE point is NOT that spying is taking place, everyone does know that ALL governments who have their people's security as their utmost responsibility, spy.
    But, what is being revealed is how OUR Prime Minister is RESPONDING to sensitive issues and we are now paying the price for his choice as leader of the opposition.
    They elected the schoolyard bully to dismantle the government and he did that perfectly, but, the schoolyard bully is still running rampant like a bull in a china shop.
    What Indonesia is up in arms about is that their President, who is a genuine friend of Australia, his wife and several of his senior people have had THEIR phone conversations tapped. THAT is the problem. A personal insult to someone who is a genuine friend and a very powerful one at that, both in the areas of economics and security.
    What did President Obama do when the U.S. got sprung doing the same thing to the Chancellor of Germany, MUCH bigger fish than Indonesia and Australia? He rang her up and said that it would never happen again. No need for apologies, just basic common courtesy.
    THE issue is the suitability of this man to represent 23 million Australians when things become sensitive.

    This is the same bloke who responded to that boy who was king hit in King's Cross, that, maybe, he should not have been out that late!!

    The same bloke who dismissed the atrocities that DID happen in Sri Lanka as unfortunate and such things happen in difficult times, but, let's forget that and move on (i.e. shit happens). Compare that with the response of the British Prime Minister!!

    The same bloke who says that climate change is "crap".

    The same bloke that called superannuation a "huge con".

    A leopard never changes its spots. What you see and (sadly) hear, from Tony Abbott will never change. But, I am certain that very many members of the Coalition are starting to realize that they cannot have their cake and eat it i.e. an excellent and very effective leader IN OPPOSITION, who has now become the leader of the government. Watch that space very closely as the Nats and regional MPs from the Libs who depend very heavily on exports to Indonesia will be becoming extremely nervous.
    The live cattle trade issue over the abattoirs is chicken feed compared to insulting the President!!!
    aquatrek
    20th Nov 2013
    10:21am
    whew - I was sooo worried - last time when you frothed at the mouth I actually thought that you were a goner. Apparently you recovered. Wait till Julie gets to speak to Bambang - she will sooth it all over. Meanwhile the NLP will proceed on course through the polluted waters left by the last lot. Full speed ahead Captain aye aye Sir.
    Grateful
    20th Nov 2013
    11:14am
    Aquatrek. I am sure that most of us on this forum do not expect anything too dramatic to result from this episode. SBY and his party have an election in 2014 and as you read from his reponse, he wants Tony Abbott's response to be able to be believed and understod by the public. The Indonesian voters.
    It is nothing other than a bloke taking the opportunity to get some very big political points out of this and, sadly, Tony Abbott is going to have to eat some humble pie and the longer he leaves it the bigger the pie.
    This has nothing to do with political parties, or spying, it is ALL about politics and egos. Tony Abbott has a choice, he can certainly turn this around BIG time by simply doing what most would do in the circumstances, admit that his choice of words were insensitive and ring up SBY and have a chat. Surely that is not too difficult? (did you notice that he was reading from a prepared script)(who wrote that, the same people who dress him?) Or, he can keep his natural bully persona and try to "tough it out" and embarrass all of us. He is the only potential loser if he takes that approach. Why, even the media are starting to get "critical" of him. Wonder what Andrew Bolt and Paul Murray will be saying?
    Desiree
    20th Nov 2013
    10:37am
    You don't think the Indonesians spy on us! I think 640 Million in Australian Aid is sorry enough. Maybe we should withdraw the aid to help us fund the illegal boat people which the Indonesians are sending to us and are making a very nice profit as well.
    moorlands
    20th Nov 2013
    11:53am
    The International press are comparing Obama's humility towards Germany's concern about phone tapping of their leader, with Abbott's arrogance toward Indonesias concern ábout phone tapping of their leader and his family.
    toot2000
    20th Nov 2013
    11:45am
    Why hasn't someone mentioned that this alleged phone tapping happened during Labor's watch. Instead of throwing stones at Tony Abbott Labor voters should be hoping he can sort it out without crawling to them like a mangy dog.
    moorlands
    20th Nov 2013
    11:58am
    Just as the phone tapping of Germanys leader happened under Bushs watch, but instead of blaming Bush Obama accepted that he is now leader so he apologized.
    geomac
    20th Nov 2013
    12:00pm
    toot
    I think you will find it is Abbott and his poor handling of the situation that has fueled the fire .Obama managed to convey regret to Merkel while abbott says to SBY , that life .
    toot2000
    20th Nov 2013
    12:26pm
    Rubbish, remember when John Howard gave them one billion dollars? We have been nothing but a good friend to Indonesia and this is how they repay us? Give me a break!
    toot2000
    20th Nov 2013
    12:27pm
    Just in case you missed it, they have threatened us with dire consequences namely beef exports and asylum seekers. We shouldn't allow threats like this to influence our thinking.
    Grateful
    20th Nov 2013
    3:49pm
    Nor should we allow OUR Prime Minister to insult a President of another country. THAT's THE issue.
    Oldie84
    20th Nov 2013
    4:34pm
    Hi Grateful,
    I am somewhat confused: when did Tony Abbot insult the Indonesian president? Must have missed that.
    Cheers
    aquatrek
    20th Nov 2013
    5:12pm
    Oldie80 - you will have to forgive Grateful a wee bit. I am sot sure what is really wrong with her - last episode was frothing at the mouth. Is that rabies ?
    Maybe her dog bit her. But she is very good at putting 'spin' on anything. Shoulda been a spin bowler.
    niemakawa
    20th Nov 2013
    5:37pm
    I suppose because the media have been taking about it. Like all diplomatic misunderstandings, this one will run its natural course, and it will no longer be an issue. Probably Indonesia are trying to extract more "funding" from Australia, so they see this a good opportunity to bait our Government. Fortunately Mr Abbott is a strong leader and will not capitulate. All Australians should get behind the Government, especially the media, and not let Indonesia use this episode as an excuse to renege on standing agreements. If it does then Australia has to retaliate and not apologise. It is a two way street.
    Dolphin Haven
    20th Nov 2013
    4:37pm
    Indonesia is a pretty corrupt country, big sentences for carrying drugs but drugs are sold just about everywhere and no effort seems to be made to clean that up. Maybe withdrawing financial aid and boycott any business might make them consider how lucky they are to have Australia in their corner. The refugees are their problem, they are the ones who let them land in Indonesia in the first place. We are probably landed with more criminals than actual real refugees. Has anyone noticed how our crime rates have gone up in the last few years - shooting and knives not really the Australian way.
    geomac
    20th Nov 2013
    6:04pm
    Dolphin
    According to figures I have seen crime is down , varies according to type of crime . On your other point it was noted that refugees are 25 or 35 times less likely to front court for a crime than aussies . Was it times or percent less likely , any way it came out a few months ago . Figures do not align with your supposition Dolphin .
    student
    21st Nov 2013
    8:31am
    the point is we did the wrong thing and got caught. No 'ifs', buts or whys ... we did wrong and were caught. Just because every other nation spies AND they probably spy on us, does not make it right to spy on the private phone calls of a leader of a nation state.
    etnorb
    20th Nov 2013
    4:46pm
    Also, don't forget that in little Johhny Howard's time, Indonesia spied on our people too, as quoted in the "tiser today by the former head of Indonesian spies! Lets face it spying by all regimes in our world has been going on for centuries, it just gets "smarter" now with all the latest electronic gadgetry.
    geomac
    20th Nov 2013
    6:06pm
    Its not the spying its Abbotts response that is the problem .
    niemakawa
    20th Nov 2013
    6:13pm
    Well Geomac maybe you could send a personal apology to Indonesia.
    geomac
    20th Nov 2013
    9:45pm
    Not my place to do anything kawa . I am not Abbott or Bishop or Morrison who felt comfortable trashing Indonesia pre election . Abbott only had to be diplomatic , pretend to show concern but it was beyond him to convey that simple message . Obama managed to convey the right message to Merkel without actually changing much regarding security . So the USA still has slack security but has calmed its ally .
    aquatrek
    20th Nov 2013
    10:02pm
    about time that we had a leader with some 'balls'. Shock horror to the kowtowing bleeding hearts - Indo will soon back down offa their high horse antics.
    student
    21st Nov 2013
    8:37am
    how right you are geo. It's a pity Mr. Abbott didn't take notice of Pres. Obama. I am surprised at the bullying posts on here.

    20th Nov 2013
    9:31pm
    This is no longer about spying its about who is the top dog in the region.

    Indonesia is trying to show the world they are top dog, they are the country other countries should be dealing with in this region not Australia.

    Abbott has to meet threat with threat he must show them they need us more than we need them he must call their bluff.

    He has to show the world we are the strength in the region.
    If not he better start finding funding for Indonesian language classes in schools.
    niemakawa
    20th Nov 2013
    9:39pm
    It is a shame that Colonialism was disbanded, not just in Indonesia, but elsewhere, the World would be a safer place in which to live.
    aquatrek
    20th Nov 2013
    9:58pm
    high 5 Rattus:

    Oz needs to make a firm stand on this. Abbott is the man who can do it.

    Like spoilt children the Indo are not going to help out with the illegal human trafficking. Well that alone shows what despicable arseholes they really are.

    Otherwise will Indonesia challenge Oz to a war ? East Timor didnt seem to bother that regime although they seem to have lost that one. Maybe the Indo are bristling for a fight ? Would seem a strange action to take on this very exposed international stage.

    20th Nov 2013
    10:40pm
    No colonialism had us testing British nukes and not developing our own. we sacrificed our ability to protect ourselves on the basis of promises made by others.

    On the insistance of the yanks we supplied Pakistan and India with raw yellow cake rather than fuel rods forcing them to develep the technology to process it themselves.

    If we had develop that technology and sold them fuel rods for off the shelf reactors, we would be the ones with the capablity of nukes not Pakistan not India.

    No Australia has been the lapdog of too many countries.

    No cowtoweling to others has cost us the only tool a large country with a small population can possable use as a true defence.

    Now all we have is location and the hope our masters, sorry allies will come to our aid if we are directly threatened. Its alright for our boys to die in their little wars but will they return the favour?

    Indonesia also has location and are now trying to prove they our stronger and will make a better pet, sorry ally than us in this region.

    If we back down, Indonesia will take our place.
    We will become Indonesia's chew toy as they become one of the big boys new best buddy!

    Thats the sad fact we now have to fight to stay at our masters heels because we threw away our right to control our own future and became a true world power.

    Now we can at least show the world we are a blue heeler not a chew toy.
    Young Simmo
    20th Nov 2013
    11:45pm
    Boy this is the real storm in a Tea Cup. Come on Tony, tell Mr Bang-Bang if he wants to be a cry baby, our 23 million people will stop giving his 244 million people, $450 million per year as a free gift. Then draw a line on the water and let all the boat people on the wrong side drown. A simple solution to a simple problem.

    20th Nov 2013
    11:52pm
    Better yet draw a line on the water and sink anyone who crosses it with out permission. Other countries have enforced exclusion zones why can't we. Defence could use that $450 million to help finance it.
    Young Simmo
    21st Nov 2013
    12:01am
    Yeh Rattus, Also that $450 million could help all our pensioners to afford some custard on their Plumb Pudding at Xmas.

    21st Nov 2013
    12:08am
    We could use the money we save on processing boat people for that.
    Ps You can have my pudding I hate the stuff.
    robin hood
    21st Nov 2013
    5:38pm
    Ha ha young Simmo good one
    Henry
    21st Nov 2013
    7:44am
    Our PM needs very quick lessons in diplomacy. His refusal to apologise with a promise never to do it again is very wrong: this is NOT the time to make a stand. Yesterday in parliament he admitted Australia made an error of judgement and he added that Indonesia is our best friend: didn't he say the same about Japan?
    A skilled politician would've lied: I honestly didn't know this was happening, I will stop it immediately: A THOUSAND APOLOGIES!!! Not our PM. They are all the same: plain stupid!
    student
    21st Nov 2013
    8:48am
    Lieing and politics go together, and you're right Henry. With technology diplomacy has changed. An apology is warranted and should be forth coming.
    Grateful
    21st Nov 2013
    9:30am
    How simple would that be Henry, student and geomac. It has got nothing to do with party politics, nothing to do with "spying", it is all about how our P.M. responded to it. He still thinks that he is in opposition.
    In parliament yesterday he said that this problem "that was caused by media releases", it was caused by what HE said and what he didn't say.
    It is ALL about Tony Abbott and all he has to do is what Henry has said, give SBY a phone call and add, well played, you've scored big points for your elections in April and June next year, so let's cut this shit, cut the crap,and get this bloody thing off the front pages.
    Tony Abbott alone can do that and the sooner that he understands that the better for all concerned.
    And those 'gifts" that people think that we make to Indonesia, they are not freebies, they are VERY wise, pragmatic INVESTMENTS, in what will become the eight largest economy in the world and Australia positioning itself to the forefront of beneficiaries of that huge economy.
    Wise up everyone and start realizing that it is OUR side of the bread that is being buttered, WE have most to lose.
    aquatrek
    21st Nov 2013
    9:54am
    Politics is such a dirty game. BamBang calls it a moral and ethical issue - what hypocricy !!
    How immoral it is to actually 'support' human trafficking and BamBang is threatening to open the asylum boat floodgates. Yet the bleeding hearts on here want to grovel to BamBang. Its time to take a stand.
    Grateful
    21st Nov 2013
    10:44am
    Nobody is suggesting anything about "grovelling", just a simple admission that an unfortunate mistake in wording and that there will be no more phone tapping. Oddly, the chief of intelligence has already personally assured SBY that it has ceased.
    It is now just a personal issue between Tony Abbott and SBY, nothing more nothing less. Pick up that bloody phone Tony and stop this crap deteriorating even further than waht it already has. Some ugly stuff floating around the media over this.
    Is this Australia, the luckies country in the world??
    toot2000
    21st Nov 2013
    11:04am
    If Abbott apologises, so should Banbang after an ex Indonesia spy chief admitted they did it too. It wasn't an unfortunate mistake, it's an ongoing common practice that's been going on for years.
    Grateful
    21st Nov 2013
    12:46pm
    The "unfortunate mistake" was the way Tony Abbott's flippant and condascending, I could add arrogant, response to the President of Indonesia complaining about his and his wife's personal phone being tapped by Australia's intelligence gatherers.
    The apology is not for the intelligence gathering, "spying", but the very unfortunate way that the Prime Minister of Australia treated his complaint.
    That is the issue, Tony Abbott's suitability to hold such a high office.
    aquatrek
    21st Nov 2013
    12:53pm
    oh oh the frothing at the mouth is starting again
    Grateful
    21st Nov 2013
    1:39pm
    From the king, or is it queen, of froth. Wish you could harness your bias, bigotry and childish diatribe and allow this forum to display some sense of intelligence on what is an extremely serious issue, Australia's relationship with Indonesia and the suitability of Tony Abbott to be its Prime Minister. Very simple if you just opened your other eye.
    aquatrek
    21st Nov 2013
    2:00pm
    ahhhhhhh the G: emotions still run riot - you raise two questions one of which is topic based - an analogy being the Indonesian game of Surakarta versus the Rhodes scholar game of chess - Surakarta has 24 plain pieces whereas chess has 32. I will bet on the chess player to win as the pieces and the moves have almost unlimited permutations. Secondly some totally unrelated far far left ideology about a democratically elected leader of the current government being seen as unsuitable to be in the position. The latter is so stupid a question that only you G has any comprehension as to why you ask it.

    21st Nov 2013
    2:03pm
    Any appology would be interpreted as a sign of weakness and no doubt result in Indonesia trying to scew more so call aid out of Australia.

    Any sign of weakness is always exploited that is politics both international and local.

    Our goverment did nothing wrong intelligence gathering is normal it is done by every country in the world by what ever means they consider practical. It's your responsiblity to keep your secrets safe.

    One of the main reasons to spy on allies to to see how much of the confidental information we shared with them is being handled securely and not bandied about in an insecure manner.
    Only a fool would communicate something secret with out heavy encryption.

    No the only appology that should be given is possibly by our intelligence services for their ineptitude in keeping this secret.

    In truth there are only a fews reason I can see for such an extreme reaction by Bangbang.


    That they either suspect we know something. Possible that they are up to something. Something they do not want the world or may be just their own people to know about.
    Maybe they hope that if they make enough noise behaving like the wounded party that whatever they are hiding will never come out or get lost in the noise if it does.

    Or may be they are looking for and excuse to inflame their people, create a common emeny. This technique has be used before to secure a goverment beyond its normal term.

    No Our goverment has nothing to apologise for.

    Personnally I supect Abbott is havering until he gets clear "advice" from the Americans.
    Young Simmo
    21st Nov 2013
    2:01pm
    I just noticed the latest headline, "Aussie flag burned as spying anger grows". Please don't give in Tony, you are right and Australia is right. Tell Mr Bang-Bang to go and buy a computer and do the same to us, and will laugh all the way to the pub.
    aquatrek
    21st Nov 2013
    2:03pm
    send them more flags and cans of kero immediately
    Gooch
    21st Nov 2013
    3:41pm
    The Ambassador is the only one going back and not costing the country any money lol
    toot2000
    21st Nov 2013
    5:32pm
    from Jakarta Post, July 2013

    Many Indonesians find it hard to control their temper each time they read or hear any kind of “provocative” remark or statement from the Australian media, military, politicians or celebrities. The country is perceived as an arrogant neighbor that has a strong sense of superiority toward us, and which has no more important agenda than to destroy the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).

    To us, Australia is a nation that has little respect for Indonesia, while we do not believe that we deserve such treatment as a great nation. We would like Australians to learn more about Indonesia because of its pivotal role in the global community. While at the same time we often ignore the principle “to know thy neighbor”. We are apparently reluctant to learn more about our neighbors and instead focus on forcing them to deepen their knowledge about us.

    A poll conducted this year by the Lowy Institute found that 84 percent of Australians believe that their country “acts as a good neighbor to Indonesia”, while only 54 percent agree that Indonesia acts as a good neighbor to Australia and only 30 percent of them believe that “Indonesia helps Australia combat people smuggling”.

    Who among Indonesians would not feel angry at the perception that a majority (54 percent) agree that “Australia is right to worry about Indonesia as a military threat” and that “Indonesia is a dangerous source of Islamic terrorism”? One thing we need to remember is that perception does not always reflect reality.

    Perhaps most of us will never forgive the continent state for “masterminding” the independence of East Timor (now Timor Leste), although we often forget that it was then president BJ Habibie who initiated an independence referendum for the former Indonesian colony.

    It is also no exaggeration to say that most of us are strongly suspicious that Australia will, again, be the main supporter of the Papuan people in establishing their own state despite repeated denials from Australian government officials, including Foreign Minister Bob Carr during a meeting with a group of visiting Indonesian journalists, because Australia was among the first countries that endorsed Indonesia’s annexation of East Timor in the 1970s. The presence of a strong US military presence in Darwin only strengthens the suspicion that Papua’s independence is high on the neighbor’s agenda.

    During the Soeharto era, the then president was outraged when an Australian newspaper reported the corrupt practices of his children, although we found later that the reports were not totally wrong (if not totally right).

    Today (Thursday), Prime Minister Kevin Rudd arrives in Jakarta to meet President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Indonesia will opt to remain neutral regarding the September general election in Australia no matter who emerges as the winner (Labor or the Coalition), although Yudhoyono probably has a personal preference for Rudd. Rudd’s visit itself was not at his own initiative because it was his predecessor, Julia Gillard, who tabled the visit.

    I remember visiting parliament in Canberra last month. Rudd was sitting in the back row when Gillard responded sternly to a statement by an opposition legislator who teased her about an economic issue. Rudd received little attention from the media or even his colleagues because most of the Australian media was confident that Rudd would not get enough of the vote to exact revenge against Gillard to secure the Labor Party’s helm.

    Gillard had called for an early general election in September, while the opposition party was leading in several opinion polls. Opposition leader Tony Abbott, who promised to take a much tougher stance against boat people, including the possible deployment of naval ships to chase away the boats carrying them, was outraged at Gillard’s announcement that she would meet with Yudhoyono in Jakarta in August.

    Gillard clearly wanted to get a major concession from the Indonesian government concerning boat people. I personally met with Gillard along with other Indonesian journalists as a part of an Australian Foreign Ministry program to organize a dialogue with their Australian counterparts. For Indonesia, Labor’s approach is more sensible because the burden is shared. Indonesia cannot control the flow of the boat people because of the vastness of the archipelago, and also because of the corrupt mentality of Indonesian officials who have direct contact with the migrants. The root of the problem lies not only with Indonesia but much more with the countries of origin.

    Rudd’s visit would be much more meaningful were he to visit again after winning the September election, and if it were more of a courtesy visit.

    In every way Indonesia is a major state and it is only right that it holds an honorable position among the international community. But we also need to behave as a great nation, one for which its people have high respect. There are 1,000 reasons to hate Australia, but we must also be ready when the same reasons are applied to us.
    Twila
    21st Nov 2013
    5:42pm
    All countries gather information. All diplomats have mastered the sense of "outrage".

    What is truly surprising about this issue, is how a phone could be bugged at such a high level, given the technology available.

    Who among our leaders, in the near past and the present, who would have the diplomatic skills to handle this. "Diplomacy is the art to tell someone to go to hell, so they would look forward to the trip"
    Oldie84
    21st Nov 2013
    6:16pm
    You are correct Twila. If I were in such a high position I am sure my Security Service would have given me an encrypted phone. Apart from that, don't ever say anything over a mobile phone that is confidential. As a friend said, going about in public one is certainly not under the impression that conversations private.
    Cheers
    aquatrek
    21st Nov 2013
    7:15pm
    what might have been the motive to bug the first lady Kristiani Herawati - known in the archipelago nation as Ibu Ani. As research for her dress size so that Oz could give her a paper bark dress as a gift ? Is Ibu Ani a super spy ? The mind boggles as to was it just mischievous or serious ?
    Twila
    21st Nov 2013
    6:33pm
    Oldie80,

    Absolutely correct about mobile phones.

    Private conversations? How often have we been subjected to these in public places? Nothing goes so well with a quiet coffee than hearing about what someone did to someone else the night before. :-[

    So many users feel the need to speak loudly, so there is no escaping such revelations.
    Twila
    21st Nov 2013
    6:45pm
    Considering that the phone of the wife of SBY was also tapped, it suggests to me that the "spies" were not searching for anything of political import, but perhaps where the purchase the best Gulai.

    21st Nov 2013
    7:14pm
    Actually that is quite a good move. a wife complaining about her husband neglecting her because he is doing ..... whatever or her cancelling a holiday or even discussing whether husband is sleeping badly can give a valuable hint to what is actually going on as opposed to what they want us to believe is happening
    Twila
    21st Nov 2013
    6:45pm
    Considering that the phone of the wife of SBY was also tapped, it suggests to me that the "spies" were not searching for anything of political import, but perhaps where the purchase the best Gulai.
    Twila
    21st Nov 2013
    8:38pm
    Perhaps, Rattus,

    But this would imply that the spies had other significant information and any comments made by SBY's wife would be seen in context.

    However, I am really struggling to accept the fact that their phones were vulnerable to bugging. Everything surrounding this, including our spying, seems mickey-mouseish.

    Can anyone recall any significant event involving Indonesia at the time of this event?

    21st Nov 2013
    10:44pm
    Or they could have just been testing these types of intercept can not be set up overnight. Its not Hollywood some computer geek does not just sit at a screen and set up an intercept realtime in 10 seconds. These things have to be researched, put in place and tested in advance so that they can be activated when needed.

    Just because pollies are smart at manipulating people does not mean they are tech savvy or willing to take advice from those who are.
    It was rummered that Margaret Thatcher at one point refused to use the then standard internal encrypted phone system because it made her voice sound strange and weak!.

    It also takes time to adapt encryption to new phones. You know how some people insist on having the latest and greatest smart phone as soon as it comes out. Pollies and their wifes are no different.

    Intelligence gathering is partly the art of taking advantage of the fact that people are seldom as intelligent as they think about secrets particularly when they feel comfortable. Like when they are talking to a loved one(even over the phone) .

    As for recalling a significant event at the time. If there was one about to happen and the intellegence community was on the ball they may have stopped it. In which case there would be nothing to recall!

    Smoke and mirrors only works by encouraging you to look the wrong way.
    Which way were we looking then and for that matter which way are we looking now?

    This one is a bit disjointed and I give you many things to think on , maybe even some smokey mirrors.

    enjoy
    Twila
    21st Nov 2013
    11:23pm
    Once Australia's spying on Indonesia was made public, and undoubtedly the spying would have continued up to the present, Indonesia had to take the diplomatic position it took. Any country would have had to do the same. To just wave it away would not have been an option. Outrage, feigned or real, was the necessary response.

    22nd Nov 2013
    12:20am
    Maybe, but for a leader of a country to complain directly and so publicly is odd.

    In the old days when spying was discovered the country being spied on would maybe arrest an incountry spy or two and/or expel a few diplomats accusing them of being involved. Now when the spy sits at a computer in his own country and the only thing incountry is software things are not so clear.
    But If Indonesia was really offended why did they not expel a few of our diplomats. The only normal reason to withdraw a diplomat suddenly is if the diplomat has done something wrong or he has some vital piece of intelligence that they can not risk losing or communicating any other way.
    Even at times of war countries are usually extremely reluctant to withdraw their diplomats.
    The whole thing is odd. But I still think an appolegy by our PM would be a sign of weakness.
    An appolegy by a lesser offical would be more appropriate.
    Young Simmo
    21st Nov 2013
    11:43pm
    As I said earlier this is a storm in a teacup. If you think this is big, wait till the Poms find out that the Kiwis are doing the same thing to the Queen. There will be 100s of Pommy war planes flying over New Zealand dropping sheep baits. Lighten up people.

    22nd Nov 2013
    12:28am
    I thought Murdoch moved to America not New Zealand?
    Twila
    22nd Nov 2013
    12:57am
    Rattus.

    "Maybe, but for a leader of a country to complain directly and so publicly is odd."

    I think there was so much publicity surrounding this, it couldn't be avoided. Perhaps it was an over-reaction, but given the media hype, it is not very surprising. I also don't think that Indonesia is experienced in diplomacy ... Indeed, looking at their history, it has been a bit woeful.
    Grateful
    22nd Nov 2013
    1:37pm
    SBY's response is all about next year's April and June elections. He is a politician.
    The whole mess though has been caused by another, very inept, politician and that person now has to resolve it HIMSELF.
    The trouble is that he has now left it too long to make that "cut the bullshit" phone call and now it is down to written letters and it had degenerated into a "nationalistic" issue instead of a simple diplomatic blue. Sadly, the perpetrator won't admit that and has very successfully turned this into Indonesia's problem.
    Fortunately there are very many in his own "coalition" who do have the smarts and will get US out of the mess that HE has created. How long do you give him as P.M.??
    Twila
    22nd Nov 2013
    1:24pm
    Rattus,

    There is also the fact that Indonesia has been on the back foot with Australia regarding the boats, and there response amy have been "holier than thou" because of this. Feigned outrage.
    moorlands
    22nd Nov 2013
    2:09pm
    As usual reasoned comment from the left, and babyish personal abuse from the right, Abbot what have you started?
    moorlands
    22nd Nov 2013
    2:11pm
    Sorry Twila, I was not referring to you, but I have just read through all the posts, and it comes through every time.

    22nd Nov 2013
    2:58pm
    Twila,

    Good Point also he last thing Indonesia wants it to be lumbered with "refugees" passing them on to us is one solution.

    Having us look like the big bad back stabbers may make it easier to put the blame onto us when people die trying to make the crossing. Hell I would not be suprised if they started forcing people on boats at gun point claiming their sending back Australian spys. (This I must admit is a bit ridiculous but then so is this whole thing. )

    I suspect Bangbang fancies himself as a clever diplomat. He probably thinks he is doing something terribly clever to gain an advantage both locally and internationally.

    Oh well enough talk. I have to get back to my revisions. Lots of cryptic notes to decypher, lots af pages to retype and not an advance in sight. Oh well back to the grind.
    Oldie84
    22nd Nov 2013
    3:19pm
    Ooh moorlands,
    reasoned comment from the left? You are a great comedian. ha ha ho ho hi hi
    Cheers
    Ny19
    22nd Nov 2013
    2:05pm
    Abbott should apologise. He is being exceedingly emotionally immature (not surprising) because the notion of apology connects with empathy and understanding rather than guilt alone. He needs to think " How would I feel if I discovered that Margie and I have had our conversations bugged by another country?" I'm sure he would want apology on behalf of that country because that denotes respect and understanding of the wrong. To have the view "I didn't do it so I won't apologise" is childish. He is hopeless in the realm of diplomacy because of his emotional shortcomings.
    Oldie84
    22nd Nov 2013
    3:22pm
    How do you know that he and Margie are not being listened to?
    It never ceases to amaze me how people are so sure they know the other person to allow them to pass judgement like you do , Robiconda.
    Grateful
    22nd Nov 2013
    3:33pm
    People are saying not to apologise as it is an admission that a mistake has been made. Tony Abbott was interviewed on the 7.30 Report and slipped up, trying to pass the buck, when he asked Leigh "when did IT HAPPEN". Leigh, wisely did not answer, BUT, silly Tony did by saying that IT HAPPENED in 2009 under Labor!!
    So, he HAS admitted that IT HAPPENED!! So, he CAN apologise.
    But, he won't admit that HE RESPONDED badly by not showing RESPECT to the President of "our best friend in the region and his wife".
    Again, without trying to bring "politics" into this, unlike Tony Abbott, this entire issue is a very simple error of judgement by Tony Abbott by not showing that necessary Respect to SBY, but, his personality now does not allow him to admit that "diplomatic mistake", because that's all that it was.
    Sadly, by not doing that, IMMEDIATELY, it has been blown out of all proportion and we now have a full scale diplomatic mess that IS going to take a very long time to rectify. A five minute humble phone call would have saved months of diplomatic "negotiations".
    Let's just hope that SBY and his party are returned at those April and June elections, as the Indonesian opposition is very much opposed to the importance of Australia that SBY has been pushing to his people for all of these years. SBY now has no choice but to try to appear strong to his people over this issue, otherwise, he will most certainly lose those elections and this stand off will go on for many years, very much to our detriment.
    And never forget that the asylum seekers that come on boats from Indonesia are not Indonesian and their presence in Indonesia is a huge burden on their economy and the aid given to them is much disliked by all those Indonesians that are battling just to survive themselves.
    So, it will not be difficult to refuse to co-operate with Australia's attempts to "stop the boats". In any case, that has effectively been resolved by Kevin Rudd's agreement with PNG and Nauru. Tony Abbott should be most grateful for that and should not be trying to take any credit for the reduction in boat arrivals. HE has done nothing himself to remedy that situation, one of his MAJOR election PROMISES!!
    If Tony Abbott is not man enough, "big" enough, to see how easily this problem, that he has caused, can be so easily resolved, how can he be relied upon to lead this great country of ours through what is going to be a very difficult few years?

    Is one man's ego, more important than the 23 million people whom he represents?

    I really expect that there are some excellent "statesmen" in his Party that will sort it out eventually, but, I wouldn't be too sure about what the Nationals are thinking right now.
    What Tony Abbott has done is infinitely more damaging than what Kevin Rudd ever did, and he got crucified. Tony might be very fortunate that he does not have those "faceless men" to worry about. Or, does he???
    Oldie84
    22nd Nov 2013
    4:12pm
    Well grateful, I would say to that it certainly is not in the league of the murder of Australian Reporters by the Indonesian Military or our help to East Timor against Indonesia. Storm in a teacup indeed.
    Grateful
    22nd Nov 2013
    5:02pm
    Oldie. It is nothing as serious as that. And THAT is the whole point. It was a very petty diplomatic error. But, THE issue is the inability of OUR Prime Minister to swallow his pride and admit it. He is a diplomatic embarrassment and 23 million people have to pay for it. Unless HE admits HIS error we will ALL pay big time. Just watch the Nationals in the "united coalition" if this isn't resolved ASAP.
    Sadly, by leaving it so long, Tony Abbott has turned this from athe storm in a teacup that it was into a diplomatic typhoon. HE CAUSED IT HE HAS TO ADMIT IT!!!!
    Ny19
    22nd Nov 2013
    2:12pm
    Further: our emotionally bereft PM fails to understand how powerfully healing it is to receive apology for a wrong. John Howard also failed to understand this fact in relation to our indigenous stolen generations. Rudd demonstrated the power of apology.
    Oldie84
    22nd Nov 2013
    3:25pm
    And I guess all is sweetness and light now with our Indigenous people now that Mr Rudd has apologised. Stolen generations indeed. It takes a lot more than that on which he did not deliver.
    Young Simmo
    22nd Nov 2013
    3:34pm
    Boy it is easy to pick the Blind, Immature, Mental Retards that support Labor when you read through here. The Liberals inherited 33,000 unprocessed boat people, as well as this so called spying crap. The Insulation Batts costs, and a host of other disadvantages, and now the idiots want the liberals to crawl on their hands and knees to the Indonesians. I say if you lot like the place so much, move up there and don't come back. Agree Surfer?
    Grateful
    22nd Nov 2013
    4:07pm
    "Young" people should keep out of very serious matters.

    How pathetically immature was that comment???
    Young Simmo
    22nd Nov 2013
    5:47pm
    I obviously touched a nerve, but then that is easy when dealing with thin skins.
    You are right about one thing, I am a young 73, and still smart enough to vote Liberal.
    moorlands
    22nd Nov 2013
    9:24pm
    See what I mean? Right wing , straight into personal abuse, they have nothing to submit to sensible comment. Oh Abbott what have you unleashed!
    unicorn
    22nd Nov 2013
    5:56pm
    I have one thing to say to the Indonesian who left Australia with his nickers in a knot Good bye & good riddance to you,
    you don't impresss me at all. As for Tony's speech about them being mportant to us? What about what we give them every year I am not sure how much but it goes into millions. Wake up Bang Bang & get you act together instead of acting like a spoilt brat just shut up & put up with the millions.
    Young Simmo
    22nd Nov 2013
    6:11pm
    Unicorn, it was quoted on one of the news last night that we give them between $600 Million and $1 Billion per year. That's probably not too bad when you think about how well off our pensioners are. Now they are talking about banning our cattle exports, I say Bloody good, let's rebuild our meatworks like it was back in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Let all the cow cockies cry their eyes out, they only care about themselves, and not all the jobs that abattoirs would create.
    moorlands
    22nd Nov 2013
    9:49pm
    Simmo sometimes you talk a lot of sense, but why do you get so abusive when someone disagrees with you? only point that I would disagree with is how well off our pensioners are, I agree that many of them deserve no more because they have pee'd it up against the wall, but many have'nt, I am a self funded retiree, so please save your abuse.
    unicorn
    22nd Nov 2013
    6:39pm
    Okay "Young Simmo" I take your point about how much we give Indonesia every year maybe Joe could help with the budget by not giving them so much after all that is not the usual liberal government way of doing things they generally only give to the rich & take from the poor. If some remarks on here are to be beleived I am not trying to inflame anybody I am sick to death of the Libs vs Labs that is not what the questions is about at all. It is Indonesians acting like spoilt brats in my opinion.
    Grateful
    22nd Nov 2013
    7:11pm
    It is about Tony Abbott acting like the bully that he is and we could all pay the price of his egotism. Get rid of him before we suffer even graeter problems. He is an absolute dud. The 'mad monk" as he has been correctly known for 20 years. Leopards don't change their spots.
    Twila
    22nd Nov 2013
    7:32pm
    Rattus,

    You have me intrigued. Are you writing your opus?

    Regarding sea levels. I'd be very surprised if Indonesia didn't follow the example of Singapore and Malaysia. Singapore has been reclaiming land from the sea for a long time and this is an ongoing program.
    Twila
    22nd Nov 2013
    7:41pm
    Oldie80,

    Indeed, it is very easy to say sorry ... more importantly, 'what then ...'?

    Those who know me from these fora, know that my opinion of pollies, no matter their persuasion, is not great. I can't think of any that could be identified as 'statesmenlike' ... actually this seems so worldwide. Some may come close ... but ...
    Radish
    22nd Nov 2013
    7:51pm
    Yes, Bali is cheap to visit and the "bogan" Aussie is a regular and embarrassing visitor but I for one, after two visits, twenty years ago, will never set foot in the place or Indonesia in general ever again. I would not feel safe there now and the corruption that exists has well and truly put me off. Not thanks, not for me and this latest blow up has well and truly made up my mind. People need to be very careful now up there and I truly believe we will see problems from now on with Australians ending up facing more criminal charges and these so called "schoolies" need to be extra vigilant.
    Twila
    22nd Nov 2013
    9:34pm
    I wonder how Rudd would have handled this situation.
    moorlands
    22nd Nov 2013
    10:11pm
    Well he tried to build relations, whilst trying to negate the Australian sense of superiority that is prevalent in Australia, But the Indonesians remember Abbotts negative racial remarks about them when he was in opposition, and now he treats them as inferior.
    Abby
    25th Nov 2013
    10:57am
    Rudd would have lied to them.
    Twila
    22nd Nov 2013
    10:08pm
    student, you state:
    "the point is we did the wrong thing and got caught. No 'ifs', buts or whys ... we did wrong and were caught. Just because every other nation spies AND they probably spy on us, does not make it right to spy on the private phone calls of a leader of a nation state."

    Why is it wrong to spy on another country? Isn't it better to establish the truth, than act upon a falsity?
    Grateful
    23rd Nov 2013
    9:04am
    Alleluia. How simple would that be?
    Now, if we all took a deep breath and counted to ten and took off our blinkers, we could put that into the proper context of what has now spiralled out of control.
    There are oxymorons everywhere you look.

    It started when it was revealled that the President of Indonesia and his wife's personal phones were tapped by Australian intelligence gatherers.

    He, who has always called Australia a "good friend" and has defended that against very much hostility from very many of his own people (you have seen their reaction in Jakarta). He is also facing an election in a few months.

    He complains to Australia and asks for an explanation.

    Our P.M., on hearing that, states very firmly in our Parliament, very publicly, that "every country DOES IT and they all know that it is done"!!
    Consider that. He has not denied that it WAS DONE!!

    He then goes on public T.V. and categorically states to "look when this WAS DONE" in 2009, under Labor. Again, he did not say that it was not done.

    "Yet, he and many others are now saying that he should not apologize because that would be admitting that it was done!!

    For goodness sake, our own P.M. has said it very publicly, several times, in our Parliament and also on public television.!!

    So, by his own words, our P.M. has ADMITTED that it was done, and, by definition, he has no excuse not to aplologize to a person whom he considers is a very good friend.
    But, he will not admit that he made a simple diplomatic gaffe with his first reaction and it has now blown out into an extremely ugly mess.

    All for the sake of not making that immediate phone call, where, like President Obama to the German Chancellor, in identical circumstances, all he had to say was, look, friend, that happened in 2009, before my time, I knew nothing about it as I was in opposition, but, bloody hell, I am as pissed off as you are that it happened and you can be bloody assured that it will never happen again if I have anything to do with it. I will be asking for a FULL explanation and I won't be satisfied until I get to the bottom of this. I will keep you fully informed. We will talk soon and work together to make sure that it never does happen again. Good luck in next year's elections.
    It is still not too late for that phone call. Friends do not resolve problems by writing letters, they TALK!!!
    He must not try to "tough this out" as that will indeed be a very Pyrrhic victory, at great cost to all.
    Twila
    22nd Nov 2013
    10:24pm
    moorland,

    I may be wrong, but Rudd appeared to see himself superior to every other living thing. How does that translate into diplomacy?
    Jurassicgeek
    23rd Nov 2013
    7:46am
    Pommy,they have not really cooperated with us in any real sense unless there is money involved...There are other ways of dealing with the boat problem and we dont need play ball with these corrupt islamic regimes..withdraw the aid and stand firm...
    Jurassicgeek
    25th Nov 2013
    5:42pm
    I cant understand why we give them aid in the first place and I'd bet my left testicle only a tiny bit gets to where it is meant to go...
    unicorn
    23rd Nov 2013
    9:00am
    Agree Jurrasicgeek, stop the huge payouts to the Indonesians &tell them to grow up & stop acting like spoilt brats, which they seem to be.
    solmon52
    23rd Nov 2013
    9:11am
    If the indonesians are fair dinkum they should refuse any aid and revoke visas for ausaid staff. If they dont want to play ball with security and people smuggling ask them to add aud to the list. Lets face it if our govt gave 450 ausies not imports but born and bread abd loyal aussie 1 million each to spend in our own bacjk yard e could each build three to six houses in the country and house the homeless here. That equates to 1500 to 5000 houses for homeless nit refugees.
    Rose
    24th Nov 2013
    5:01pm
    I agree with Jaguar.It is what some country call it "respect".You show respect when you allow the other part to "save face".
    Australia was not caught red handed, she was exposed (read betrayed) by a US whistle-blower..At this point I wish to ask:Who is going to benefit from this situation ? Who is Australia's competition in the Indonesian market?
    Follow the money trail.
    Twila
    24th Nov 2013
    6:30pm
    Undoubtedly, Indonesia spy on us.

    When the PM stated that everyone was doing it and they all know they are, he could have well have being including - indeed speaking to Indonesia. It would be nice to know all the facts. He couldn't make a sincere "apology" if ...

    There are protocols to be followed in any eventuality; undoubtedly written in a guidebook for diplomats. Did Indonesia over-react? if so, to what purpose? From an objective point-of-view, "goodwill" seems to have been a one-way street. Was Indonesia attempting the moral high ground by over-reacting.
    Twila
    24th Nov 2013
    6:48pm
    And 'No' - Abbott wasn't diplomatic. Indeed, who of our resident pollies would have been able to pull this off?

    "The ability to tell someone to "go to hell" so that they look forward to the trip."(Diplomacy 101)
    Twila
    24th Nov 2013
    7:02pm
    'Spying' is not just about tapping phones, but includes many varied activities, even to gathering information about moving sandbars on waterways, or the number of service-stations along a particular stretch of road. Anything and everything that might be of interest, now or in the future, to another government.
    toot2000
    24th Nov 2013
    7:35pm
    Kevin Rudd should be asked why he signed off on bugging the president and his wife. If John Howard had done it, Labor would be howling their heads off, yet Abbott has refused to cast blame at the feet of those responsible. Could it possibly be true, there really is a 'Team Australia" in this case? Wonders will never cease!
    Young Simmo
    24th Nov 2013
    7:54pm
    At the risk of being shot down in flames for getting off subject, wasn't it wonderful to see the BIG MOUTHED POMS get blown out of the water today on the GABBA. It is going to be a long summer for them, I hope they bought plenty of tissues with them.
    Young Simmo
    25th Nov 2013
    12:10am
    That's disappointing, after about 2 or 3 hrs and no flack, maybe all the POMS can not see through their tears. Please note, I am not a stirrer, just an honest objective observer, HIC, HIC.
    unicorn
    25th Nov 2013
    12:42pm
    Hay "Young Simmo" get off your high horse and stick to the subject.
    Sorry, dont mean to be a grouch.
    Young Simmo
    25th Nov 2013
    1:11pm
    unicorn, the subject seems to be almost dead, so I decided to throw out a bait. I can't get off my high horse, because somebody stole my ladder.
    Dolphin Haven
    25th Nov 2013
    4:19pm
    What exactly does Indonesia do for us? How many of our people have been killed over there?
    If they were stopping the boats coming over here why are they all here. So nothing much really changes. I will certainly never go to Indonesia or purchase anything that comes from there. Just to make something clear, I have no problems with refugees coming to Australia, The ones that have been in refugee camps should get first preference and some of them have been patiently waiting for years.
    Twila
    25th Nov 2013
    7:30pm
    student,
    You are very clear and assured in your views about spying, particularly regarding Australia's spying on Indonesia. Whatever your feelings about this, all nations in the modern world spy for reasons of national security.

    The following article clarifies Australia's legitimate concerns about Indonesia. A few short points are noted under. I hope you find it interesting.

    "We Can't Afford to be Ignorant on Indonesia"
    by Clinton Fernandes, Assoc. Prof. with International and Political Studies Program, UNSW
    https://newmatilda.com/2013/11/19/we-cant-afford-to-be-ignorant

    "Indonesia has a massive military and a history of violent colonialism - our defence force spies on them for a reason."

    Remember: "that Indonesia had used armed force on 3 occassions at least to change, or seek to change, International borders".

    "Indonesia seized West Papua by a combination of military pressure and diplomatic threats in the 1960s. That same decade Indonesian troops launched a series of cross border raids into Malaysian territory in order to destabilize the newly formed Malaysian federation."

    Fernandes states: "Australian forces were deployed against Indonesian troops in order to protect Malaysia. Twenty three Australians died during this episode known as "Confrontation."

    "... in 1975 Indonesia illegally invaded East Timor, a non-self-governing territory as defined by the UN Charter. According to Article 73 of the UN Charter - there was a "sacred Trust" to uphold "the well-being of the inhabitants of those territories."

    "Indonesia's invasion and 24 year occupation of East Timor caused the largest loss of life relative to total population since the Holocaust."

    And you think that Australia should not be concerned?
    Twila
    25th Nov 2013
    7:35pm
    In a 2004 interview, retiring Indonesian intelligence chief General Abdullah Mahmud Hendropriyono said his agency tapped Australian civil and military communications and politicians' phone calls.It also made unsuccessful attempts to recruit Australian spies

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/indonesia-spied-on-australia-in-2004-says-ex-intelligence-chief/story-fn59nm2j-1226763231240
    Twila
    25th Nov 2013
    7:54pm
    The Indonesians didn't know about Australia's spying? They knew from at least the early 2000s.

    Indonesia expressed appreciation of the AFP (a front for Aus. signals) being able to tap the phones of the bombing terrorists and of this ability being made available.

    (The Australian)
    toot2000
    25th Nov 2013
    10:11pm
    I think there's a lot we don't understand about this situation. A quote from Australian National University professor of Asian history Robert Cribb said the backlash is primarily a reflection of Indonesia’s sensitivity to foreign interference.

    “After a long history of colonial rule by the Netherlands, a brief Japanese occupation, a four-year war of independence, an immediate post-independence period in which the U.S. and the Netherlands were perceived to be encouraging secession, and perceived Western engineering of the independence of East Timor, Indonesians have learned to feel affronted when foreign powers engage in illegal activity on their soil,” he says. “The issue is compounded by the fact that President Yudhoyono is widely seen as a friend of Australia. There is a significant element of personal betrayal” he said.
    It's also being said that Australia needs Indonesia much more than they need us, they could survive very well without the aid we give them as their economy is now on a par with ours.
    unicorn
    26th Nov 2013
    7:46am
    Young Simmo sorry to hear that somebody stle your ladder, how upsetting that would be after all you would need a very ta;; person maybe Tony can help get you off there he might even take your horse away, so that you don't get ito jams again. As far as the site being off subject agraid it has been most of the way with only a few showing whether people beleive in Labor or Liberal. Most subjects seem to go the same way these days. The site is getting boring as far as I am concerned. Could think of better subjects rather than start the L's v L's all over again.
    aquatrek
    26th Nov 2013
    7:51am
    maybe its the YLC topic makers who bear the responsibilty for using the media 'front page' dramas as their main source of stirring up political fervour
    aquatrek
    26th Nov 2013
    7:53am
    to list the sizes of the national armies in this topic case by the author is so childish - like my sand castle is bigger than yours
    unicorn
    26th Nov 2013
    8:56am
    You may be quite right, Aqua, I thik the whole thing is answered before we are even asked to comment.
    Grateful
    26th Nov 2013
    1:59pm
    What exquisite timing!!! Perfect timing.
    Today we hear the uproar and nationalistic fervour exploding by someone who "said the wrong thing". No, it is not as "serious" as a barney between governments and Presidents and Prime Ministers, it was from anothet high profile bloke who is also not known for his "diplomacy or tact".
    But, the whole outcry puts what has happened this week with Indonesia perfectly into context.
    It is all over the tabloids in England, the tweeters have gone crazy and there is every chance that the Bristish Ambassador will be recalled!!
    Ozzie flags could be burned in Trafalgar Square!!
    But, this time it was an Australian cricketer, yes, none other than the team's "diplomat" Dave Warner, who called an English batsman, a highly reputed one, Stuart Trott, "weak".
    Be very interesting to watch how Cricket Australia and Dave Warner handle the issue and how long it lasts.
    And the captain was fined $3,000 for sledging another English batsman. Immediate reprisal but immediately resolved. Maybe cricket has much to teach our politicians.
    unicorn
    28th Nov 2013
    2:55pm
    Quite right Grateful, and about the same thing, The Pommies like it when reported on that they say things like the Ausies are useless but don't like it when it comes back at them. Let's all pick up our toys and head for Mummy.


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