The squabble started with a leading Indonesian newspaper (Rakyat Merdeka) portraying John Howard and Alexander Downer having sex under a palm tree on an otherwise barren island called ‘Papua’. The Australian newspaper this morning has responded with a cartoon by Bill Leak showing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia having anal intercourse with a black man who has a bone through his nose under the caption ‘No Offence Intended’.
I took offense and feel nothing but contempt for Leak and The Australian for this childish tit-for-tat attempt at humour. It isn’t funny and makes no point of value.
SBY is a friend of Australia and has resisted attempts to break diplomatic relations over the incident of the 42 Papuans given asylum in Australia despite strong pressures. Australia acted inconsistently, even if with sound humanitarian intent, in giving these refugees asylum when it had refused equally deserving refugees from Afghanistan and elsewhere. The Indonesian government is better than the hateful Taliban and deserves to be accorded more respect. At times Australians should pull their heads in and shut-up – its not only morally sound but in our national self-interest.