Saturday, November 23

Relationship with Indonesia on the brink

Prime Minister Tony Abbot’s idea Indonesia can be our most important friend whilst asserting Australia’ s right to gather information necessary for her security without specially excluding spying on the Indonesian President, his wife or high ranking elected representatives seems to me to be a oxymoron. This approach underlines the inability of successive leaders to make progress, by accepting spying under the guise of security whilst attempting closer co-operation explicitly based on trust and good faith at a personal level.
This does not mean you have a blind trust, as Indonesia was reported to be spying on Australia in 1999, or to compromise security, but rather to preclude specific wiretapping at a leaders level until such information or events would tell you any further trust is unwarranted. The latest revelations jeopardize trade and strategic security for the region, and Abbot should seek to be more conciliatory and rule out further episodes. 
What should be of more concern is the wisdom of continuing to trust in the integrity of current information sharing facilities with the USA, given the repeated leakages via Wiki leaks and now through Edward Snowden. 

Wednesday, November 20

An Optional Truth.

Synopsis of a intended novel by Lindsay Byrnes –“An Optional Truth”.  
Out of the war of 1914-1918 comes this story, of an event that temporarily halted the war, and of a soldier executed for his complicity in the event, but about whom nothing much was known until a few rudimentary facts were discovered by another generation.
The story traces the journey, nearly a century later, and two generations further on, of descendants seeking to discover their great grandfather, who was reported as shot as a traitor. The quest to discover his story is frustrated by the authorities and only snippets from what has been handed down with the family history.
In the end each of the four siblings decide to collaborate to write their own story of events from their perspective, from what they know and can imagine, as a cathartic experience, as the sense of helplessness and the cruelty of war  becomes an unexpected burden.
This fascinating account has a common thread with each sibling evoking dark days and soaring sprits in an emotive narrative that captures a hero, an idealist, a loner or the sacrificial lamb to wars brutality with the spilling of innocent blood in the name of king and country. It belongs to a different era, where there were many such stories that can never be fully told, but must forever remain unknown except for what can be imagined in the minds of those who come after, to finally pay tribute to those who still lie falsely accused in the graveyards of our inglorious past.
It begins with prelude as the sibling’s enthusiasm to discover their great grandfather ends in the realization he must remain unknown, followed by their contributions which make up the story.