Published daily by the Lowy Institute

From the comments section: 'The Act of Killing', AirSea Battle and PNG visas

From the comments section: 'The Act of Killing', AirSea Battle and PNG visas
Published 3 Mar 2014 

Featuring the best comments by Interpreter readers, as selected by the editors.

In response to Peter Layton's piece on US plans in the event of war with China, Dexter writes:

I had hoped the piece would have examined Thucydides history of the Peloponnesian war much more. I should caution against the singular interpretation. While Thucydides is a contemporary of those events and generally we defer to their accounts, his interpretation of the causes of the war has been challenged by classicists like Donald Kagan who believe the war was not inevitable and there were various instances where both Athens and Sparta hit the brink but came back from it.

Catriona Croft-Cusworth's piece on the Oscar-nominated The Act of Killing brought this response from Susi Handayani Widodo:

Yes, anyone in Indonesia can see the film with a little effort (Youtube, free download, or ask for free DVD from the filmmakers), but mostly--unless in some campuses & art venues--they won't screen it openly for public because the fear of attack is still there in Indonesia.


From around 2.000 screenings in Indonesia, only less than 50 were open screenings. The fear of attack is like an automatic button every Indonesian has, installed and calloused through the fact that every time these anti-communist/religious thugs attack people who peacefully meets and discusses things, no one will be there to protect those events, venue, and people, no one will help them to stop the attack, and no one was arrested, tried, and punished for the violence they did.

Yes, Indonesia is a democracy. An unhealthy one.

Annmaree O'Keefe argued that Papua New Guinea's decision to impose pre-travel visa rules on Australians was self-defeating. Shennia Spillane replied:

Annmaree, I agree that restricted visa arrangements are an irritant, and an impediment to strengthening contacts between Australia and PNG. But why are you criticising PNG for adopting a policy of reciprocity - an entirely normal thing in bilateral relations - rather than Australia, for refusing to back its "people to people" rhetoric with any willingness to reconsider its approach? Why should PNG give us what we won't give them?

You may also be interested in