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February 01, 2008


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David Weman

Doug, in the CT thread you said:

“I truly don’t know what sort of moral calculus should be applied in this case. Suharto was a mass murderer and a thief on an immense scale. But he also brought prospetity, human development, health and schools, electricity and medicine and clean water. I do think that calling him “one of the worst political criminals of [the 20th century]” is simplifying a complicated story. He wasn’t a cartoon villain.”
It’s as clearcut as any issue can be. The man was guilty of genocide. So, the economic wellbeing of his people was a 2nd order or 3d order priority of Suharto’s, as opposed to no priority for someone like Mobutu, but that’s it as far as redeeming qualities. And in any case, nothing could redeem genocide. Suharto was one of the worst political criminals of the 20th century.

Doug M.

"This was sort of an interesting discussion over at that blog" != "so I'd like to do it all over again on this one!"

Doug M.

Nich Hills

Mm-mm. Doug, you linked to the thread in question then restated your central argument. While I can see why you wouldn't want to re-create that debate here I can also see why David felt a rebuttal was permissible.

Commiserations on another challenging week. My better half collapsed while bushwalking on Monday and had to be taken by air ambulance to Canberra hospital. After rehydration and tests we now know what happened and what to do to avoid a recurrence.

Agree that despite its quirks _The Once and Future King_ is a top read.

Doug M.

Actually, I restated the other folks' argument, not mine.

I'm sorry to hear that about Mrs. Hills! But very glad she's okay. That must have been... alarming. Sorry you guys had to go through that, and best wishes for her swift and permanent recovery.

Doug M.

Jasmine Pierce


I agree with you - i hate how people like to reduce historical figures to one-dimensional caricatures with none of the shades of grey of reality.

Nich Hills

Thanks, Doug.

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