Saturday, October 01, 2005

Poor Bali, again

More bombings in gentle Bali. Chaos on the streets. Fear and loathing. Again the targets are the tourist spots. Jimbaran Bay was hit, this time. This moves the attacks upmarket. It is a very different sort of tourist who stays there. It is not the drunken disco swill of Kuta, which also was attacked. Jimbaran Bay, last time I visited, catered for soft and more expensive getaway tourists with decadent and indulgent resorts. Absolutely lovely, actually. And then there was an attack on a department store, a very nice one filled with the latest Western fashions. A strike against women? That, also, is a new strategy from the terrorists.
The television footage tonight has been graphic to the extreme. Western tourists surrounded by Balinese doctors and nurses with close-ups on badly burned hands and the emergency procedures. Perchance there will be questions of invasions of privacy at some later time, since the victims would seem to be identifiable. Were they asked permission for filming, I wonder? It is a hard line the media walks when covering these crises.
And, of course, I am thinking of the newsrooms around the country. It is late on Saturday night and the Sunday papers will have been put to bed. Are the presses stopping and the editors rushing back to the office to change front pages? I bet they are.
Meanwhile, the Asian media analysts are discussing why it may be that Muslim terrorists are using a Hindu island for their attacks on the West. Perhaps it is just because it is easy and with so many Javanese there to shelter and support them. Perhaps it is because Bali has become so beloved of the wicked West and has compromised itself to much to cater for it.
There are many reasons to ponder and right now nothing is clear. Last time the bombings were targeting Australians and the reason give was East Timor. Maybe it is still the case. We can only mourn as we wait to be told - and mourn also for the sweet and civilized Balinese who will be beyond devastated that their island thus has been sabotaged yet again - and by their fellow Indonesians.

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