Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2003
The Indonesian War of Independence Sukarno was expecting the Japanese to grant Indonesian independence before World War II ended, so he was taken by surprise when Japan surrendered first. On August 17, 1945, he proclaimed the independence of the Republic of Indonesia, with himself as president and Muhammed Hatta as vice-president. The Dutch were willing to negotiate a new future for the Indies, but complete independence was more than they were willing to give. Sukarno and Hatta replied that they could not take back their independence declaration, and that the only thing worth talking about was the speedy liquidation or removal of everything the Dutch owned in the islands. This impasse made war inevitable. The first skirmishes were directed against the Japanese troops that occupied Java in August 1945. The surrender terms imposed on Japan required that her troops in occupied areas maintain order until the arrival of Allied units. In September British forces arrived to disarm and
Seeing Double A few months ago, Austrian right-wing politician and political enfant terrible Jörg Haider caused quite an uproar when he travelled to Iraq on what he claimed was a "humanitarian mission", met and shook hands with Saddam Hussein and extended his greetings and "the best wishes of the Austrian people" to Saddam. Green party leader Alexander van der Bellen, usually a very stoic, thoughtful man, summarized pretty much what just about everybody in Austria thought when he said: "Haider has now gone completely gaga." Now it seems Haider didn't meet Saddam after all. According to the Austrian news magazine Format, German forensic law professor Dieter Buhmann claims that Haider merely met one of Saddam's doubles. Buhmann says that he has done extensive research on video footage of Saddam Hussein, and his results have shown that there are at least three doubles of Saddam, surgically altered to look like him. Haider was apparently not im