Monday, August 15, 2005

Bishops, fishops, rabbis and Popeyes

Here's a story to which we should all pay more attention but won't: After 30 years of bloody conflict, the Indonesian government and Aceh rebels signed a peace treaty today to end fighting. The AP provides a straightforward, Dragnet-style "just the facts, m'aam" recounting LINK.

What remains to be seen, obviously, is whether both sides will stick to the agreement, but it is impressive that a deal was reached, especially on the heels of the assassination of Sri Lanka's foreign minister, an event that has no doubt upped the anti-terrorism ante in the region. But a Dutchman who will monitor the deal is cautiously optimistic:
Pieter Feith, the Dutch diplomat who will head the EU's monitoring activities in Aceh, on Monday expressed optimism that the new agreement would be more solid than the 2003 truce that quickly collapsed.

"We don't have a guarantee that all of this will be smooth riding," Feith told reporters in Brussels.

"But we have assurances, from the highest levels. And I have spoken really through the whole chain of command down to local commanders in Aceh," he said.

The ultimate motivations for peace are broken down in the AP story's nut graf:
The signing ceremony in Helsinki followed seven months of talks mediated by former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, who spurred the two sides to agreement to help international aid reach the Aceh region, which was devastated by last year's tsunami.

And though this post began with a John Lennon reference, it will end with a nod to a Smiths song penned by Morrissey, arguably Britain's best songwriter since Lennon himself: If it's not love, then it's the bomb that will bring us together.

But for more on Lennon, go here.


Blogger copy editor said...

Oh my!

2:19 PM  

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