PENDAPAT GUS DUR ANGGOTA DPR RI SAMA DENGAN ANAK TK, TERBUKTI

Pendapat Gus Dur Anggota DPR RI Sama Dengan Anak TK, Terbukti!

REP | 18 August 2012 | 13:55 http://edukasi.kompasiana.com/2012/08/18/pendapat-gus-dur-anggota-dpr-ri-sama-dengan-anak-tk-terbukti-486509.html

Ketika masih menjabat sebagai Presiden Republik Indonesia yang ke 4, Gus Dur pernah melakukan kunjungan kerja ke DPR RI. Entah apa kala itu yang menjadi alasan dan konteks nya tiba tiba Gus Dur mengatakan bahwa para anggota DPR masih seperti anak TK (Taman Kanak Kanak). Pernyataan ini sangat ramai dikutip dan bahkan digelembungkan oleh Media, sehingga ketersinggungan anggota DPR semakin menjadi jadi kepada Presiden yang sangat cerdas namun ceplas ceplos itu. Belakangan ketika beliau dilengserkan dari Jabatan Presiden dan diganti oleh wakilnya Megawati Soekarnoputri, masyarakat mengatakan alasannya adalah karena DPR merasa sakit hati disamakan dengan anak TK.

Benarkah demikian? Belakangan saya sendiri melihat bahwa kinerja para anggota DPR kita memang ada hubungannya dengan pendidikan TK. Khususnya kebiasaan anggota DPR yang sangat getol melakukan kunjungan ke luar negeri untuk study banding. Bahkan DPR pernah melakukan study banding ke Afrika Selatan tentang kepramukaan, padahal Afrika Selatan pun belajar kepramukaan di Indonesia. Hahahahahha, Lucu banget yach… Study Banding ke negara yang jauh yang belajar Pramuka dari Cibubur.

Kunujungan anggota DPR dalam rangka study banding ke Australia dan Ke Jerman pada tahun 2011 dan 2012 bahkan mendapat tentangan yang sangat keras dari para mahasiwa Indonesia yang lagi belajar di kedua negara tersebut. Sebab study banding, hanya istilah. Padahal yang mereka lakukan adalah plesir dan berbelanja yang diongkosi oleh negara. Study banding hanya alasan, padahal yang mereka lakukan adalah bermain, atau main main.
Nah kebiasaan main main para anggota DPR inilah yang belakangan saya lihat mempunyai hubungan yang sangat erat dengan pendidikan TK. Kebiasaan bermain bagi para orang dewasa, sehingga tidak pernah fokus dalam bekerja dan tidak konsisten dalam melakukan pekerjaan besar ternyata mempunyai hubungannya dengan pedidikan di TK.

Dalam kunjungan ke Jerman baru baru ini mata saya sangat terbelalak mendengar konsep atau filosofi pendidikan TK di negara yang paling stabil ekonomi nya di Eropah saat ini. Diterangkan oleh seorang kepala sekolah TK yang dibiayai gereja bahwa, sekolah di TK metodenya harus bermain.
Jelas sekali bermain. Tapi sambil bermain anak anak tidak boleh sendirian. Mereka bermain harus dengan teman, supaya sejak awal mereka dididik bahwa hidup tidak bisa dilakukan sendirian. Mereka dibebaskan bermain apa saja oleh para gurunya, namun disanalah sambil bermain mereka diajarkan untuk berdisplin, tidak menggangu teman temannya yang bermain lain, bahkan berusaha menolong teman temannya untuk menikmati permainannya. Permainan apapun yang dipilih seorang anak harus dituntaskannya. Lalu ada yang bermain sepedaan sambil membonceng temannya yang memegang dan menyeret sapu. Katanya sedang menyapu jalan. Hehehhe.

Nilai nilai hidup, semangat kerja sama, fokus mengatasi masalah jika ditemukan dalam permainan , memakai toilet sendiri dan membersihkannya sehingga anak anak yang lain juga memakainya dalam keadaan bersih menjadi bagian dari kurikulum sehari hari di sekolah sekolah TK. Anak anak tidak diajarkan membaca dan berhitung, karena itu tanggung jawab sekolah dasar kata guru dan kepala sekolahnya. Pendeknya, kurikulum di sekolah TK harus 80 persen bermain. Untuk memastikan jumlah permainan di setiap TK, Dinas Pendidikan TK Jerman akan mengawasi jumlah sarana dan wahana permainan di setiap sekolah. Bahkan pengawasan untuk pendidikan TK lebih ketat daripada pengawasan untuk pendidikan dasar. Alasannya itu tadi, bahwa nilai kehidupan dan etos kerja berawal dalam pendidikan TK.

Saya sempat bertanya kepada kepala sekolah, apa dampaknya jika pendidikan untuk anak TK ini kurang, karena lebih banyak diajarkan menulis dan membaca ataupun berhitung/matematika? Dengan spontan dan meyakinkan kepala sekolah dan pengajar yang lain, termasuk pendeta yang mendampingi kami menjawab, mereka tidak akan pernah fokus dalam bekerja. Dan tidak bisa membandingkan mana kerja, mana bermain. Jika dalam pendidikan usia TK anak anak kurang banyak melakukan permainan, maka kemungkinan besar mereka tidak bisa membedakan pekerjaan dan permainan. Dan juga kemungkinan besar anak anak akan mempunyai semangat kerja sama yang sangat rendah, dan juga sulit berempati.

Jangan jangan itulah yang terjadi dengan anggota DPR kita. Mereka tidak bisa membedakan mana kerja, mana plesir. Mereka tidak bisa memisahkan mana uang pribadi, mana uang negara. Sehingga saat bekerja pun mereka selalu bermain main, dan tidak punya fokus untuk menyelesaikan tugas tugas kenegaraan atau konsisten serta ber komitmen mengerjakan pekerjaan penting. Juga, jangan jangan rendahnya perasaan empati bagi para anggota DPR dan petinggi negara adalah akibat pendidikan TK di negara kita yang tidak menyediakan waktu bermain. Sebab sekolah sekolah TK di Indonesia semakin bangga jika anak didiknya diterima di sekolah sekolah dasar favorit karena sudah bisa menulis, membaca dan berhitung. Meskipun mereka sangat miskin dalam nilai nilai hidup dan kerjasama?.

Oh, ternyata padangan Gus Dur yang menyamakan anggota DPR dengan TK harus menjadi bahan evaluasi bagi Bangsa kita untuk membenahi pendidikan TK di negara kita. Sebab kalau tidak, maka DPR tidak akan lebih dari lembaga bermain yang mempermainkan uang rakyat

http://harian-oftheday.blogspot.com/

“…menyembah yang maha esa,
menghormati yang lebih tua,
menyayangi yang lebih muda,
mengasihi sesama…”

KETERBUKAAN INFORMASI PEMERINTAHAN BARU

Keterbukaan Informasi Pemerintahan Baru
Oleh: Rumadi

HARUS diakui, agenda keterbukaan informasi pemerintahan baru kurang mendapat perhatian publik. Padahal, keterbukaan informasi adalah salah satu prasyarat penting kualitas kehidupan berdemokrasi sekaligus sarana untuk mencegah korupsi. Hipotesanya, negara yang semakin terbuka informasinya semakin rendah tingkat korupsinya.

Sebenarnya, dalam Rencana Pembangunan Jangka Panjang Nasional (RPJPN) tahap ke-3 (2015-2019), agenda keterbukaan informasi terlihat meskipun samar. Dalam isu strategis bidang politik dan komunikasi, salah satu sasaran adalah peningkatan akses masyarakat terhadap informasi publik. Hal ini menunjukkan keterbukaan informasi yang diamanatkan Undang-Undang Nomor 14 Tahun 2008 menjadi salah satu agenda penting dalam pembangunan lima tahun ke depan.

RPJPN tahap ke-3 itu juga sudah merumuskan sejumlah strategi untuk mencapai sasaran, antara lain: 1) intervensi kebijakan/ regulasi untuk meningkatkan akses masyarakat terhadap informasi publik dan menjamin kebebasan berpendapat; 2) kebijakan mainstreaming open government dalam pelaksanaan pembangunan; 3) peningkatan kualitas konten informasi publik; 4) peningkatan sistem informasi dan sarana/prasarana akses informasi publik; 5) penguatan lembaga quasi pemerintah bidang komunikasi dan informasi.

Bagaimana mempertemukan RPJPN tahap ke-3 dengan visi dan misi presiden terpilih?

Visi keterbukaan

Dalam visi-misi presiden terpilih Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla, persoalan yang terkait dengan keterbukaan informasi bisa dilacak dalam sembilan agenda prioritas.
Poin kedua menyebutkan, pemerintah akan membangun tata kelola pemerintahan yang transparan, bersih, efektif, demokratis, dan tepercaya.

Caranya, dengan meningkatkan pengelolaan dan pelayanan informasi di lingkungan pemerintahan pusat dan daerah; mewajibkan setiap unit pemerintah untuk membuat laporan kinerja, serta membuka akses informasi publik.

Agenda ini dijabarkan dalam tujuh prioritas: 1) menjalankan UU Keterbukaan Informasi Publik (KIP); 2) meningkatkan pengelolaan dan pelayanan informasi di lingkungan instansi pemerintah; 3) mewajibkan instansi pemerintah membuat laporan kinerja dan membuka akses informasi publik; 4) mendorong partisipasi masyarakat dalam proses pengambilan kebijakan publik; 5) menjamin hak warga negara untuk mengetahui rencana kebijakan publik; 6) menata kembali frekuensi penyiaran; dan 7) mendorong inovasi teknologi informasi dan komunikasi.

Untuk mewujudkan, perlu konsistensi dan kepemimpinan yang kuat. Sepuluh tahun pemerintahan Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) sebenarnya sudah mengupayakan itu semua meskipun konsistensi dan kepemimpinannya bisa dipersoalkan.

Sejak UU Nomor 14 Tahun 2008 tentang KIP diimplementasikan pada tahun 2010, secara kelembagaan lembaga-lembaga pemerintah berupaya memenuhi tuntutan UU dengan membentuk Pejabat Pengelola Informasi dan Dokumentasi (PPID). Salah satu tugasnya adalah mengelola dan memberikan layanan permohonan informasi meskipun pada praktiknya masih sekadar formalitas.

Pemerintah provinsi juga sudah membentuk Komisi Informasi yang salah satu tugasnya adalah menyelesaikan sengketa informasi publik. Sayangnya, hingga sekarang, masih ada sepuluh provinsi yang belum membentuk Komisi Informasi. Komisi Informasi yang ada pun belum semua berfungsi maksimal.

Beberapa bulan Maret lalu, Presiden SBY juga mengeluarkan Instruksi Presiden (Inpres) Nomor 2 Tahun 2014 tentang Aksi Pencegahan dan Pemberantasan Korupsi. Inpres ini merupakan implementasi dari Peraturan Presiden Nomor 55 Tahun 2012 tentang Strategi Nasional Pencegahan dan Pemberantasan Korupsi Jangka Panjang Tahun 2012-2025. Inpres ini ditujukan kepada seluruh menteri, pimpinan lembaga negara, gubernur, hingga wali kota/bupati.

Ada juga Rencana Aksi yang terkait pelaksanaan UU Nomor 14 Tahun 2008 tentang KIP di mana seluruh kementerian dan lembaga menjadi penanggung jawab. Salah satu yang menjadi fokus adalah pembentukan dan penguatan PPID, adanya standard operating procedure (SOP) layanan informasi publik dan terimplementasi dengan baik, serta semua badan publik memiliki daftar informasi publik yang dipublikasikan melalui situs web.

Tampaklah bahwa ada titik temu antara visi-misi presiden terpilih dan agenda keterbukaan informasi publik yang terintegrasi dalam Rencana Aksi Pencegahan dan Pemberantasan Korupsi.
Hilangkan paradoks

Sebagaimana disinggung di awal tulisan, antara keterbukaan dan pemberantasan korupsi seharusnya berkorelasi positif. Pemerintahan yang semakin terbuka, menurunkan tingkat korupsinya. Namun, tampaknya di Indonesia masih paradoks.
Jika melihat data dari Open Budget Indeks (OBI) tahun 2012, tingkat keterbukaan informasi Indonesia, terutama dalam hal anggaran, terbilang baik dengan skor 62, lebih baik daripada skor tahun 2010 yang hanya 51. Indonesia menjadi negara terbaik di Asia Tenggara tingkat keterbukaannya dan nomor dua di Asia setelah Korea Selatan.

Namun, hal ini tidak berbanding lurus dengan Indeks Persepsi Korupsi (IPK). Data yang dikeluarkan Transparansi Internasional menunjukkan IPK Indonesia masih memprihatinkan. Skor IPK Indonesia tahun 2013 masih di peringkat ke-114. Ini jauh di bawah Singapura (86), Hongkong (75), Taiwan (61), Korea Selatan (55), dan Tiongkok (40). Di ASEAN, skor Indonesia jauh di bawah Brunei (60) dan Malaysia (50). Indonesia sedikit di bawah Filipina (36) dan Thailand (35).

Berdasarkan data tersebut, salah satu agenda penting yang harus diwujudkan pemerintahan baru ke depan adalah bagaimana agar keterbukaan informasi berpengaruh pada IPK. Harus dikatakan, keterbukaan informasi Indonesia masih sebatas aksesori demokrasi, belum menyentuh substansi demokrasi. []

KOMPAS, 29 September 2014
Rumadi ; Komisioner Komisi Informasi Pusat, Dosen FSH UIN Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta
__._,_.___

KETUA KPK: KETUA DPR TERPILIH BISA MERUSAK CITRA DPR

Ketua KPK: Ketua DPR Terpilih Bisa Merusak Citra DPR
Kamis, 2 Oktober 2014 | 22:29

Tanggapan “‘Sunny’ ambon@tele2.se . in:[GELORA45]” GELORA45@yahoogroups.com, Friday, 3 October 2014, 4:55:

Tidak apa-apa, jika rusak citra DPR, karena begitulah takdirnya Dewan Penipu Rakyat. Hehehehe

http://sp.beritasatu.com/nasional/ketua-kpk-ketua-dpr-terpilih-bisa-merusak-citra-dpr/66178

Ketua KPK: Ketua DPR Terpilih Bisa Merusak Citra DPR
Kamis, 2 Oktober 2014 | 22:29

[JAKARTA] Selain merasa kecewa dan menyesal atas terpilihnya Setya Novanto sebagai Ketua Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (DPR), Ketua Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK), Abraham Samad juga menyebut terpilihnya Bendahara Umum (Bendum) Partai Golkar tersebut bisa merusak citra DPR.

“KPK sangat Prihatin dan menyesalkan terpilihnya Setya Novanto sebagai Ketua DPR karena yang bersangkutan punya Potensi mempunyai masalah hukum dan bisa merusak Citra DPR sebagai lembaga terhormat,” kata Abraham Samad melalui pesan singkat, Kamis (2/10).

Seperti diketahui, walaupun sempat diwarnai drama, akhirnya Setya Novanto terpilih secara aklamasi sebagai Ketua Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (DPR) periode 2014-2019.

Nama Setya Novanto memang kerap disebut terkait dengan beberapa kasus korupsi yang pernah ditangani KPK. Seperti, kasus dugaan korupsi PON Riau dan kasus dugaan korupsi proyek elektronik Kartu Tanda Penduduk (e-KTP).

Bahkan, Setya Novanto pernah diperiksa sebagai saksi dalam kasus korupsi PON Riau ketika penyidikan di KPK dengan tersangka Gubernur Riau ketika itu, Rusli Zainal. [N-8/N-6]

KPK INGATAKAN CONFLICT OF INTEREST ANGGOTA DPR

KPK Ingatkan Conflict of Interest Anggota DPR

http://www.sapos.co.id//berita/detail/Rubrik/12/37969

Kamis, 2 Oktober 2014

JAKARTA. Menyikapi pelantikan 560 anggota DPR, KPK berharap kajiannya yang dilakukan selama ini bisa dijalankan. Wakil Ketua KPK Bambang Widjojanto mengatakan, selama ini instansinya telah menyerahkan kajian terkait pencegahan korupsi di DPR. Ada beberapa item penting yang harus diperbaiki oleh DPR untuk mencegah terjadinya korupsi.
Yang pertama, perlunya supporting system untuk perekrutan staf ahli anggota dewan. Menurut KPK jika mekanisme rekrutmen tidak transparan dan akuntabel, maka orang-orang yang membantu anggota dewan itu bukan orang hebat. “Padahal pekerjaan anggota dewan harus ditopang oleh orang-orang yang spesifik keahliannya,” jelas Bambang.
Usulan KPK berikutnya ialah menyangkut kewenangan legislasi yang memungkinkan adanya lobi-lobi. “Harus ada sistem untuk meminimalisir potensi penyalagunaan kewenangan dalam mekanisme lobi,” jelasnya. Kalau hal tersebut tidak diatur maka di semua legislasi ada timbul potensi korupsi.
Bambang mencontohkan conflict of interest yang bisa terjadi pada setiap komisi. “Ada anggota dewan yang memiliki bisnis tertentu yang itu berkaitan dengan tugasnya di dewan sebagai regulator. Mekanisme kontrolnya bagaimana “” ujarnya.
Kajian yang kempat menyangkut membangun integritas dan”
akuntabilitas di dalam tubuh DPR. Menurut dia, fungsi Badan Kehormatan yang kini digantikan dengan Dewan Kehormatan perlu dievaluasi sejauh mana kinerjanya. “Kalau tidak dievaluasi akan sama saja keberadaan dua lembaga itu,” paparnya.
Sementara itu menyikapi penundaan pelantikan anggota DPR, Bambang mengatakan KPK hanya ingin melindungi citra dan kelembagaan DPR. Alasan lainnya ialah KPK ingin menimimalisir potensi kerugian keuangan negara. “Kenapa kok begitu – karena kalau sudah menjadi tersangka atau terdakwa, anggota dewan tetap dibayar walaupun dia tidak”bekerja. Padahal sekarang ini kita kan sedang kekurangan uang,” jelasnya. Dia berharap kebijakan itu bisa konsisten diterapkan oleh pemerintah baru nantinya.
Wakil Ketua KPK yang lain, Zulkarnaen berharap pada DPR baru akan belajar pada periode sebelumnya. “Kami berharap banyaknya anggota DPR yang terjerat korupsi selama ini tidak terulang lagi pada periode ini,” ujarnya. Menurut Zul, untuk mewujudkan hal tersebut perlu perbaikan integritas dari setiap pribadi anggota DPR.
Sementara itu, Jubir KPK Johan Budi S.P mengapresiasi langkah SBY yang menunda pelantikan anggota DPR bermasalah. Menjadi bukti bahwa presiden masih menaruh perhatian dalam pemberantasan korupsi. “Langkah Preside SBY untuk menunda anggota DPR yang berstatus tersangka layak diapresiasi,” jelasnya.
Johan menjelaskan, penundaan itu bukan berarti menghapuskan label anggota DPR yang melekat pada orang-orang itu. Jika proses hukum yang berjalan ternyata menyatakan tersangka tidak bersalah, maka dia bisa dilantik. Penundaan pelantikan ini juga bisa membuat anggota DPR itu konsentrasi menghadapi perkara yang membelitnya.(gun/dim/agi)

PERAN KEPALA DAERAH VITAL

Peran Kepala Daerah Vital
JAKARTA, KOMPAS — Setahun lebih setelah putusan Mahkamah Konstitusi yang mengeluarkan hutan adat dari hutan negara, masyarakat adat belum menikmati pengembalian hak itu. Kepala daerah diminta aktif menginventarisasi dan menetapkan masyarakat adat beserta wilayahnya supaya Kementerian Kehutanan bisa melepaskan hutan adat dari kawasan hutan.
”Keaktifan gubernur dan bupati mendata penting. Itu dasar kami mengeluarkannya dari kawasan hutan,” ujar Basuki Karya Atmaja, Staf Ahli Menteri Kehutanan Bidang Keamanan Hutan, Kamis (2/10), di Jakarta.
Hal itu dia katakan pada pidato kunci dialog nasional Perkumpulan untuk Pembaharuan Hukum Berbasis Masyarakat dan Ekologis (HuMa): Penetapan Hutan Adat Demi Terwujudnya Kesejahteraan Masyarakat.
Pembicara lain adalah Junaidi Hamsyah (Gubernur Bengkulu), Tengku Sarjani Abullah (Bupati Pidie, Aceh), Yahya Muaz (mewakili Wali Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, Shadiq Pasadique (Bupati Tanah Datar), Ahmad Sodiki (mantan hakim konstitusi), dan Chalid Muhammad (Ketua Badan Pengurus HuMa).
Basuki mengatakan, penetapan masyarakat adat dan wilayahnya oleh pemerintah daerah setempat dibutuhkan karena Putusan MK No 35/2012 tak merevisi pengakuan bersyarat tentang keberadaan masyarakat hukum adat. Atau, legalitas keberadaan masyarakat hukum adat masih memerlukan perangkat hukum tingkat daerah, seperti peraturan daerah dan surat keputusan kepala daerah setempat.
Bahkan, dalam sejumlah kesempatan, Menteri Kehutanan Zulkifli Hasan menyatakan, perda menjadi dasar baginya untuk melepaskan hutan adat dari kawasan hutan. Ia mematok, proses pelepasan hanya butuh waktu maksimal 30 hari.
Lebih tahu kondisi
Gubernur Bengkulu Junaidi Hamsyah mengatakan, respons daerah penting karena lebih mengetahui keberadaan dan kondisi masyarakat, termasuk masyarakat adat. Namun, diakui, hingga kini Bengkulu belum menerbitkan penetapan masyarakat adat.
Ia berharap dalam waktu dekat bisa menyusun dan mengerjakannya, setelah Juni 2014 bekerja sama dengan HuMa dan AKAR Bengkulu. ”Masyarakat miskin karena dibatasi aturan dan hak kelolanya,” katanya.
Sebanyak 46 persen wilayah Bengkulu merupakan kawasan hutan lindung dan konservasi. Sementara 600 dari 1.500-an desa bersentuhan dengan hutan.
Sementara itu, menurut Chalid Muhammad, pengelolaan hutan oleh masyarakat akan berkontribusi pada target 7 persen peningkatan ekonomi. Itu karena terdapat 33.000 desa/komunitas yang tinggal di dalam dan sekitar hutan.
”Pemerintah terlalu berharap peningkatan ekonomi dari korporasi yang terbukti gagal membawa keadilan. Pemerintah harus mendampingi dan memodali masyarakat sekitar hutan serta mendekatkan pasar agar geliat ekonomi dirasakan masyarakat desa,” katanya. (ICH/ISW)

Sumber: http://print.kompas.com/KOMPAS_ART0000000000000000009253266

PEREBUTAN KEKUASAAN DI PARLEMEN IKUT TEKAN RUPIAH

Perebutan Kekuasaan di Parlemen Ikut Tekan Rupiah

http://id.beritasatu.com/home/perebutan-kekuasaan-di-parlemen-ikut-tekan-rupiah/96179

Kamis, 2 Oktober 2014 | 16:26
Anggota DPR dari Fraksi PDI-P memprotes Pimpinan sidang sementara Popong Otje Djundjunan (kiri) dan Ade Rizki Pratama (kedua kiri) dalam sidang paripurna ke-2 untuk pemilihan pimpinan DPR di Kompleks Parlemen Senayan, Jakarta, Rabu (1/10). PDI Perjuangan meminta sidang dihentikan dan dilanjutkan pada Kamis (2/10). (ANTARA FOTO/Rosa Panggabean)

JAKARTA – Pengamat ekonomi Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) Yogyakarta, Denni Puspa Purbasari menilai kondisi politik domestik yang didominasi perebutan tampuk kekuasaan di parlemen, telah menekan nilai tukar rupiah, ditambah faktor eksternal dari bursa-bursa global yang sedang melemah.

“Memang bursa global juga sedang melemah. Dari politik domestik pasti ada dampaknya, apalagi jika kegaduhan di parlemen ini ’disengaja’ oleh pihak tertentu dan menimbulkan asumsi-asumsi negatif,” kata Denni saat dihubungi dari Jakarta, Kamis.

Pada Kamis pagi, nilai tukar Rupiah yang ditransaksikan antarbank kembali melemah 22 poin menjadi Rp12.147, setelah sejak Senin (29/10) kurs juga terus tergerus, meskipun sempat mengalami sedikit penguatan pada Selasa (30/10) sore. Di sisi pasar saham, indeks harga saham gabungan (IHSG) Kamis pagi juga dibuka melemah 33,80 poin atau 0,66% ke posisi 5.107,11.

Beberapa jam sebelumnya, pada Kamis dini hari, sidang paripurna DPR telah mengesahkan politikus Koalisi Merah Putih (KMP) dari Partai Golkar, Setya Novanto untuk menjabat Ketua DPR RI 2014-2019, dengan empat Wakil Ketua DPR yakni Fadli Zon (Gerindra), Agus Hermanto (Demokrat), Taufik Kurniawan (PAN), dan Fahri Hamzah (PKS).

Sementara koalisi partai pendukung pemerintah, PDIP, PKB, Hanura, dan Nasdem ,menarik diri atau “walk out” (WO) dari sidang paripurna.

Denni mengatakan, dampak dari kondisi politik domestik memang tidak dapat serta merta menjadi “kambing hitam” terkait melemahnya pasar finansial. Pasalnya, pasar finansial global juga secara bersamaan sedang melemah karena dampak meluasnya wabah Ebola dan juga aksi unjuk rasa di Hong Kong.

Namun, dia mengingatkan, kondisi pelemahan kurs dan juga IHSG tidak dapat dibiarkan. Pemerintah dan otoritas moneter perlu mendesain bauran kebijakan untuk segera dikeluarkan, dan memulihkan stabilitas ekonomi.

“Akibat dampak politik, respon finansial itu sebenarya jangka pendek, namun stabilitas politik itu neccessary condition. Seharusnya tidak ada gangguan,” ujar dia.

Bauran kebijakan pemerintahan dan otoritas moneter, kata dia, sebaiknya memperkuat sisi fundamental ekonomi, bukan hanya mengantisipasi dampak sentimen negatif yang bersifat sementara atau jangka pendek.

“Secara teoritis rupiah melemah karena arus dana keluar dari bursa saham. Dan karena pasar sudah didominasi asing, jadi saat dana asing keluar, ya pasti bergejolak ke permintaan valuta asing dan akhirnya ke Rupiah,” ujar dia. (ant/gor)

SISTEM DESENTRALISASI MEMPERCEPAT IMPLEMENTASI PUTUSAN MK 35

Sistem Desentralisasi Mempercepat Implementasi Putusan MK 35
Jakarta (Greeners) – Dalam pengaplikasian putusan Mahkamah Konstitusi nomor 35 tahun 2012 tentang pengakuan hutan adat bukan lagi hutan negara, menurut Gubernur Bengkulu, Junaidi Hamsyah, hal tersebut harus dilakukan secara desentralisasi.
Junaidi berpendapat, bahwa tujuan pertama dari desentralisasi adalah untuk mewujudkanpolitical equality sehingga pelaksanaan desentralisasi tersebut diharapkan akan lebih membuka kesempatan bagi masyarakat untuk berpartisipasi dalam berbagai aktivitas politik di tingkat lokal.
Namun, menurutnya, dalam sistem desentralisasi pun masih perlu memperhatikan faktor lain yang cukup penting dalam pengaplikasian putusan MK 35. Faktor-faktor lain tersebut, lanjutnya seperti karakteristik daerah, wilayah dan budaya masyarakat, lalu potensi yang ada dan kekhususan-kekhususan yang dimiliki oleh masing-masing daerah.
“Setiap daerah kan punya karakteristiknya masing-masing, contoh seperti di Bengkulu ini, mayoritas masyarakat desanya itu petani,” terang Junaidi saat menjadi pembicara pada Dialog Nasional Hutan Adat, Penetapan Hutan Adat Demi Terwujudnya Kesejahteraan Masyarakat, Jakarta, Kamis (02/10).
Junaidi menjelaskan jika menggunakan pendekatan Peraturan Pemerintah Nomor 43 tahun 2014 tentang peraturan pelaksanaan Undang-undang Nomor 6 Tahun 2014 tentang desa. Maka, tambahnya, kepentingan desentralisasi pada pemerintahan desa adalah penyelenggaraan urusan pemerintahan dan kepentingan masyarakat setempat.
“Jadi, masyarakat bisa dengan leluasa dan tidak takut merasa tertindas secara sosial maupun ekonomi dalam mengelola sumber daya alam hutannya,” tambahnya.
Menurut Junaidi, karena karakteristik dan kekhasan setiap daerah itu berbeda-beda, maka pemerintahan provinsi yang melakukan desentralisasi untuk pemenuhan mandat UU No 6 Tahun 2014 tentang Desa tersebut harus disertai dengan penyerahan dan pengalihan pembiayaan, sarana dan prasarana, serta sumber daya manusia. Tentu saja sesuai dengan kewenangan yang diserahkan kepada pemerintahan provinsi.
“Sehingga dengan pengesahan UU Desa No 6 Tahun 2014 tersebut, mampu memberikan pengakuan dan penghormatan atas desa, pelestarian, dan memajukan adat serta mendorong prakarsa, gerakan dan partisipasi masyarakat dalam proses pengelolaan Desa,” tutur Junaidi.
Dengan adanya UU No 6 tahun 2014 tentang Desa dan Putusan MK 35 ini, diharapkan akan lahir berbagai inisiatif yang melindungi dan mengakui hak-hak kesatuan masyarakat adat terhadap wilayah adatnya.
Pada kesempatan yang sama, Direktorat Planologi, Kementerian Kehutanan, Basuki Karya Atmadja, juga secara gambalang mengakui bahwa berdasarkan putusan MK 35 tersebut, hutan adat sudah seharusnya dikelola dan dijaga oleh masyarakat adat setempat.
“Setelah putusan Mk 35, hutan adat tak lagi menjadi bagian dari hutan negara. Dalam artian ini, negara tidak lagi mengelola hutan secara langsung namun memberikannya kepada masyarakat hukum adat termasuk pengaturan dan pengelolaannya,” jelas Basuki.
Dia juga menghimbau kepada para Bupati dan Walikota agar bisa proaktif dalam melakukan pendataan jumlah masyarakat, batasan wilayah dan luasannya, serta segala pendataan yang dibutuhkan yang berada di daerahnya masing-masing.
“Bupati dan Walikota juga harus membuat peta wilayah keberadaan masyarakat adat dan hutan adat agar bisa lebih terkontrol,” katanya.(G09)
sumber : http://www.greeners.co/news/sistem-desentralisasi-mempercepat-implementasi-putusan-mk-35/

UNMPLOYMENT: MIRROR OF A FAILED SYSTEM

Unemployment: Mirror of a failed system
03.10.2014

http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/03-10-2014/128706-unemployment_failed_system-0/

Any social system that does not provide for the needs of its citizens is flawed. Any social system that endemically fails to cater for the needs of its citizens, which creates rates of youth employment reaching 40%, which fails to reintegrate unemployed workers is not only flawed, but can only be described as a failure.
Welcome to the corporatist system, which derides the Socialist model as being obsolete and unworkable. If unworkable is providing education, healthcare and housing for free, providing free or heavily subsidized public utilities and guaranteed employment, meaning an unemployment rate of zero, then how do we describe a system that has turned education and healthcare into a business, to the point where an astonishing number of people cannot afford regular dental treatment, to the point where growing numbers of young people come out of schools semi-literate? What do we call a system which refuses to give 100 per cent mortgages to first-time home buyers, making it virtually impossible for them to get on the housing ladder, what do we call a system in which job security is a thing of the past?
How satisfied and comfortable can citizens feel in their daily lives if they do not know whether they will have a job tomorrow? However, before they start thinking about a job tomorrow, they have to enter the work market today. Until they have, in most countries they are not even classified as unemployed because they do not have the right to receive the subsidy. So what are they supposed to do?
Apply to a job center? How many jobs do job centers provide? I am speaking about proper jobs, not a three-month contract at a call center which will be renewed until the day that the legislation states that the worker has to be taken on full time. Then (s)he gets a boot up the posterior and a guided tour to the door.
Enter a paid induction program ? You know, one in which companies offer a training course for 5,000 USD and take on ten trainees a month (and make 50,000 USD in the process) only at the end of the month to tell everyone they have passed the final exam but of course the training program never guaranteed a job, so thank you very much don’t call us, we’ll call you and where are the next ten candidates? A nice little business at the expense of the misfortune of others.
Work for free? How many companies offer unpaid internships for three or six months, then release them without a permanent contract, only to take on more unpaid trainees, providing a constant supply of slave labor?
Those who do get a work contract these days can consider themselves lucky, so much so that they are ready to accept an inhumane salary, nearing the minimum salary before tax and devoid of any respect for the working conditions, such as a decent timetable which provides people with time for their families and personal life.
This is not what the work ethic is about. It is supposed to consume one third of the time, is supposed to be enjoyable, comfortable, interesting and dignified and is supposed to contribute towards the welfare of society and its members.
A system which provides a start in life in which the skills learnt in the education system are useless, in which the job seeker feels demoralized and defeated before (s)he has even started and then uses people working for free is by no means workable. In fact, it is downright manipulative, exploratory and evil.
The solutions

I started this piece by mentioning education and job security. Let us ask some questions.
1.The education systems
Starting with the first, how can the workforce be adapted to enter the job market if education programs run with their backs turned to the marketplace? How integrated are secondary school syllabi into the environment around the schools, how much professional practice do University students have in the workplace? How flexible are the school and University programs in adapting to changes as they appear?
All it takes to build a flexible education program is a 12-year plan with a number of core subjects at its center, such as the mother tongue, mathematics (taught as a language and not in a dogmatic, top-down approach), sciences/environmental studies, communication skills/social awareness, geography/spatial planning and philosophy and then a number of other optional subjects around these, such as chemistry, physics and biology, IT and technology, history, a second and third language and so on.
The optional subjects available should provide for the interests of the students in any particular geographical area. For instance, in Europe, schools in inner city areas with a greater number of Asian students might wish to provide a course which took a look at Asian history alongside the national program. But fundamentally, alongside the compulsory and optional subjects, there should exist a new one, one that does not exist today, called workskills, and this should be a multi-faceted hands-on, practical course which takes the students on a ride through a number of workplaces and situations and professional areas, which includes lectures from members of the community, and why not, work placement programs/induction courses/internships?
The obvious reaction to this from the corporatist system would be to abuse it and allow any such idea, once again, to provide slave labor for free. However, one thing is a program which runs concurrent with the education system, another is a situation in which a worker has left school/University and has joined the workforce… and expects to work and be paid, not used.
Another vector which should be introduced is regular sessions of psychotherapy for all pupils/students, starting at primary/elementary school, through middle and secondary school, onto higher education and why not, to accompany people during their working lives. By scheduling regular sessions with a trained psychotherapist, anti-social or sociopathic tendencies could be spotted before they start to have exponential social costs downstream and children at risk could be accompanied to bring balance to their lives before things get out of control.
Some children are already marginalized at 13 years of age, or before and what does the corporatist system do? Nothing. Or little – maybe a visit from a social worker who has not even bothered to read the case or who has no idea of how dysfunctional the family may be. How much time is dedicated to the little boy who pulled his deskmate’s hair, then six months later sexually molested three girls at primary school, kicked a cat to death when he was six, stuck the hamster in the microwave when he was seven, set fire to his neighbour’s garage when he was ten, beat up the old gentleman in the tobacco shop because he refused to sell him cigarettes when he was eleven, and was then high on dope every night, when he wasn’t doing glue, at twelve years of age, dropping out of school, after falling years behind in the syllabus. If he had had the proper support right at the beginning, it would have started and finished with pulling the hair of the girl sitting next to him.
2. The corporate response
Corporations and companies have something called a social responsibility, which together with their social objective means that they are supposed to provide services to the community, and at the same time, provide employment for citizens so that they can bring up their families, finance their choices in their personal lives, have a dignified and comfortable existence and contribute to the common wealth through taxation.
What happens in reality is that a growing number of companies and corporations are managed by executives armed with the EXCEL sheet, meaning that they concentrate on the bottom line (profits) and make cuts in all the boxes above, so that the profit increases year after year. What do Governments do to change the situation? Nothing, they simply manipulate the figures and the statistics to shape public opinion.
Surely, any political manifesto should start with the words Jobs, Jobs, Jobs and that means legislation which does not allow companies to simply uproot and take off for Burkina Faso where they can pay miserable wages and leave 500 families destitute in Europe or the USA. If societies and socio-economic and political models cannot even provide this basic requirement – a dignified working life with job security – then how can they claim to have a viable and valid system?
How do you pay for it?
The big question to any such ideas is always the same: Yes, but how to you pay for it? The answer is perfectly simple. In fact, there are two answers. One, pretend we are speaking about a bank that needs a bail-out…not a hospital or a school or a nursing home, but a bank…and suddenly billions become available. Two, well if the annual expenditure of NATO is 1.2 trillion dollars (that is one point two thousand billion dollars a year, each and every year), it seems there is plenty of money available. Then it is merely a question of priorities. Do countries waste money destabilizing sovereign nations with terrorists, then more millions massacring civilians in their attempt to kill the terrorists they created, or stay at home, stop interfering and sort out their own problems?
How many scholarships, how many work placement programs, how many alternative education resources, how many psychotherapists could be funded with a cash cow like that providing the financing year after year after year?
Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey
Pravda.Ru
(timothy.hinchey@gmail.com)

SETYA NOVANTO KABUR LEWAT TANGGA DARURAT

Usai digeledah KPK, Setya Novanto Kabur Lewat Tangga Darurat

merdeka.com

http://m.merdeka.com/peristiwa/usai-digeledah-kpk-setya-novanto-kabur-lewat-tangga-darurat.html

Merdeka.com -

Setelah menggeledah sekitar 6 jam, penyidik Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) membawa 4 kardus warna coklat, 1 kardus warna putih, 2 buah map dan 1 buah laptop dari ruangan Ketua Fraksi Partai Golkar di DPR, Setya Novanto.

Tanpa menghiraukan berondongan wartawan terkait apa saja yang dibawa, penyidik segera menuju lift untuk kembali ke KPK dan melemparkan pertanyaan tersebut kepada pemilik ruangan.

“Silakan tanya saja sama yang punya ruangan,” kata salah satu penyidik usai menggeledah ruangan Setya di Komplek Parlemen, Senayan Jakarta, Selasa (19/3).

Sedangkan pada waktu bersamaan, secara diam-diam Setya menyelinap keluar melalui tangga darurat. Sementara awak media yang sedang fokus dengan penyidik KPK, tidak berhasil mengejar Setya.

Hal dibenarkan oleh petugas Pengaman Dalam (Pamdal) saat dikonfirmasi terkait keberadaan Setya Novanto.

“Tadi sudah pergi, lewat situ,” ujar seorang Pamdal sembari menunjuk arah tangga darurat.

Selain menggeledah ruangan Setya Novanto, hari ini penyidik KPK juga menggeledah ruangan Kahar Muzakir. Dari penggeledahan di ruangan Kahar, KPK membawa angkut 3 dus. Diduga penggeledahan ini terkait dengan kasus korupsi PON.

WHY SYRIANS SUPPORT BASHAR al ASSAD

Why Syrians support Bashar al Assad

By Tim Anderson

http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/30-09-2014/128641-syrians_support_assad-0/

30.09.2014
The sudden reversion of Washington to a ‘war on terror’ pretext for intervention in Syria has confused western audiences. For three years they watched ‘humanitarian intervention’ stories, which poured contempt on the Syrian President’s assertion that he was fighting foreign backed terrorists. Now the US claims to be leading the fight against those same terrorists.
But what do Syrians think, and why do they continue to support a man the western powers have claimed is constantly attacking and terrorising ‘his own people’? To understand this we must consider the huge gap between the western caricature of Bashar al Assad the ‘brutal dictator’ and the popular and urbane figure within Syria.
If we believed most western media reports we would think President Assad has launched repeated and indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas, including the gassing of children. We might also think he heads an ‘Alawi regime’, where a 12% minority represses a Sunni Muslim majority, crushing a popular ‘revolution’ which, only recently, has been ‘hijacked’ by extremists.
The central problem with these portrayals is Bashar’s great popularity at home. The fact that there is popular dissatisfaction with corruption and cronyism, and that an authoritarian state maintains a type of personality cult, does not negate the man’s genuine popularity. His strong win in Syria’s first multi-candidate elections in June dismayed his regional enemies, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey; but it did not stop their aggression.
Syrians saw things differently. Bashar was thought to maintain his father’s pluralist and nationalist tradition, while modernising and holding out the promise of political reform. Opinion polls in Syria had shown major dissatisfaction with corruption and political cronyism, mixed views on the economy but strong satisfaction with stability, women’s rights and the country’s independent foreign policy. The political reform rallies of 2011 – countered by pro-government rallies and quickly overshadowed by violent insurrection – were not necessarily anti Bashar.
The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and other sectarian Islamist groups did hate him, along with the secular state. Yet even these enemies, in their better moments, recognised the man’s popularity. In late 2011 a Doha Debates poll (created by the Qatari monarchy, a major backer of the Muslim Brotherhood) showed 55% of Syrians wanted Assad to stay.
Armed Islamists went further. In 2012 Reuters, the UK Guardian and Time magazine reported three ‘Free Syrian Army’ (FSA) leaders in Aleppo saying the Syrian President had about ’70 percent’ support; or that the local people, ‘all of them, are loyal to the criminal Bashar, they inform on us'; or that they are ‘all informers … they hate us. They blame us for the destruction’. Unpopularity, of course, is fatal to a revolution; to a religious fanatic it is merely inconvenient. All three FSA groups were Islamists on good terms with al Qaeda.
None of these revelations changed the western media reliance on Muslim Brotherhood-aligned sources, ‘activists’ or ‘moderate rebels’. They relied, in particular, on the UK-based Rami Abdul Rahman, who calls himself the ‘Syrian Observatory of Human Rights’. Such sources kept ‘Bashar the Monster’ alive, outside Syria.
Central to the Bashar myth are two closely related stories: that of the ‘moderate rebel’ and the story that conjures ‘Assad loyalists’ or ‘regime forces’ in place of a large, dedicated national army, with broad popular support. To understand the Bashar myth we have to consider the Syrian Arab Army.
At over half a million, the Army is so large that most Syrian communities have strong family links, including with those fallen in the war. There are regular ceremonies for families of these ‘martyrs’, with thousands proudly displaying photos of their loved ones. Further, most of the several million Syrians, displaced by the conflict, have not left the country but rather have moved to other parts under Army protection. This is not really explicable if the Army were indeed engaged in ‘indiscriminate’ attacks on civilians. A repressive army invokes fear and loathing in a population, yet in Damascus one can see that people do not cower as they pass through the many army road blocks, set up to protect against ‘rebel’ car bombs.
Syrians know there were abuses against demonstrators in early 2011; they also know that the President dismissed the Governor of Dara for this. They know that the armed insurrection was not a consequence of the protests but rather a sectarian insurrection that took cover under those rallies. Saudi official Anwar el-Eshki admitted to the BBC that his country had provided weapons to Islamists in Dara, and their rooftop sniping closely resembled the Muslim Brotherhood’s failed insurrection in Hama, back in 1982. Hafez al Assad crushed that revolt in a few weeks. Of the incident US intelligence said total casualties were probably ‘about 2,000′ including ‘300 to 400′ members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s elite militia. The Brotherhood and many western sources have since inflated those numbers, calling it a ‘massacre’. Armed Islamists posing as civilian victims have a long history in Syria.
Quite a number of Syrians have criticised President Assad to me, but not in the manner of the western media. They say they wanted him to be as firm as his father. Many in Syria regard him as too soft, leading to the name ‘Mr Soft Heart’. Soldiers in Damascus told me there is an Army order to make special efforts to capture alive any Syrian combatant. This is controversial, as many regard them as traitors, no less guilty than foreign terrorists.
What of the ‘moderate rebels’? Before the rise of ISIS, back in late 2011, the largest FSA brigade, Farouk, the original ‘poster boys’ of the ‘Syrian Revolution’, took over parts of Homs city. One US report called them ‘legitimate nationalists … pious rather than Islamists and not motivated by sectarianism’. The International Crisis Group suggested that Farouk might be ‘pious’ rather than Islamist. The Wall Street Journal also called them ‘pious Sunnis’ rather than Islamists. The BBC called them ‘moderately Islamist’.
All this was quite false. Syrians in Homs said Farouk went into the city with the genocidal slogan: ‘Alawis to the grave, Christians to Beirut’. Shouting ‘God is Great’ they blew up Homs hospital, because it had been treating soldiers. The churches blamed Farouk for the ethnic cleansing of more than 50,000 Christians from the city, and for the imposition of an Islamist tax. Journalist Radwan Mortada says most Farouk members were sectarian Salafis, armed and funded by Saudi Arabia. They later happily worked with the various al Qaeda groups, and were first to blame their own atrocities on the Army.
Let’s consider some key accusations against the Syrian Arab Army. In May 2012, days before a UN Security Council meeting set to debate possible intervention in Syria, there was a terrible massacre of over 100 villagers at Houla. Western governments immediately blamed the Syrian Government, which in turn accused the foreign-backed terrorists. Western officials at first blamed Army shelling, changing their story when it was found most had died from close quarter injuries. One UN report (UNSMIS) was shelved while another (CoI), co-chaired by US diplomat Karen Koning AbuZayd, blamed un-named pro-government ‘thugs’. No motive was given.
Although the Houla massacre did not result in a Libyan-styled intervention, because of opposition at the UN from Russia and China, controversy raged over the authors of this atrocity. German and Russian journalists, along with the Mother Superior of a Monastery, managed to interview survivors who said that a large Farouk battalion, led by Abdul Razzaq Tlass, had overwhelmed five small army posts and slaughtered the villagers. The gang had sought out pro-government and Alawi families, along with some Sunni families who had taken part in recent elections.
One year later a detailed, independent report (by Correggia, Embid, Hauben and Larson) documented how the second UN Houla investigation (the CoI) was tainted. Rather than visiting Syria they had relied on Farouk leaders and associates to link them to witnesses. They ignored another dozen direct witnesses who contradicted the ‘rebel’ story. In short, they tried to bury a real crime with identified perpetrators and a clear motive. As Adam Larson later wrote, the ‘official’ Houla massacre story was shown to be ‘extremely ambiguous at best and at worst a fairly obvious crime of the US-supported Contras’.
Houla set the tone for a series of similar ‘false flag’ massacre claims. When 245 people were murdered in Daraya (August 2012), media reports citing ‘opposition’ activists’ said that ‘Assad’s army has committed a massacre’. This was contradicted by British journalist Robert Fisk, who wrote that the FSA had slaughtered kidnapped civilian and off-duty soldier hostages, after a failed attempt to swap them for prisoners held by the army. Similarly, when 120 villagers were slaughtered at Aqrab (December 2013) the New York Times headline read ‘Members of Assad’s Sect Blamed in Syria Killings’. In fact, as British journalist Alex Thompson discovered, it was the victims who were from the President’s Alawi community. Five hundred Alawis had been held by FSA groups for nine days before the fleeing gangs murdered a quarter of them. Yet, without close examination, each accusation seemed to add to the crimes of the Syrian Army, at least to those outside Syria.
Another line of attack was that there had been ‘indiscriminate’ bombing of rebel held areas, resulting in civilian casualties. The relevant question was, how did they dislodge armed groups from urban centres? Those interested can see some detail of this in the liberation of Qusayr, a town near the Lebanese border which had been occupied by Farouk and other salafi groups, including foreigners. The Army carried out ‘surgical attacks’ but, in May 2013, after the failure of negotiations, decided on all-out assault. They dropped leaflets from planes, calling on civilians to evacuate. Anti-government groups were said to have stopped many from leaving, while an ‘activist’ spokesman claimed there was ‘no safe exit for civilians’. In opportunistic criticism, the US State Department expressed ‘deep concern’ over the leafleting, claiming that ‘ordering the displacement of the civilian population’ showed ‘the regime’s ongoing brutality’.
As it happened, on June 5 the Army backed by Hezbollah, liberated Qusayr, driving the remnants of Farouk FSA and their al Qaeda partners into Lebanon. This operation, in principle at least, was what one would have expected of any army facing terrorist groups embedded in civilian areas. At this point the war began turning decisively in Syria’s favour.
Accusations of ‘indiscriminate bombing’ recur. In opportunist questioning, more than a year later, British journalist John Snow demanded of Syrian Presidential adviser Dr Bouthaina Shaaban why the Syrian Army had not driven ISIS from Aleppo? A few questions later he attacked the Army for its ‘indiscriminate’ bombing of that same city. The fact is, most urban fighting in Syria is by troops on the ground.
The most highly politicised atrocity was the chemical attack of August 2013, in the Eastern Ghouta region, just outside Damascus. The Syrian Government had for months been complaining about terrorist gas attacks and had invited UN inspectors to Damascus. As these inspectors arrived ‘rebel’ groups, posted videos on dead children online, blaming the Syrian Government for a new massacre. The US government and the Washington based Human Rights Watch group were quick to agree. The UN investigation of Islamist chemical attacks was shelved and attention moved to the gassed children. The western media demanded military intervention. A major escalation of the war was only defused by Russian intervention and a proposal that Syria hand over its chemical weapons stockpile; a stockpile it maintained had never been used.
Saturation reporting of the East Ghouta incident led many western journalists to believe that the charges against the Syrian Government were proven. To the contrary, those claims were systematically demolished by a series of independent reports. Very soon after, a Jordan-based journalist reported that residents in the East Ghouta area blamed ‘Saudi Prince Bandar … of providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaeda linked rebel group’. Next, a Syrian group, led by Mother Agnes Mariam, provided a detailed examination of the video evidence, saying the massacre videos preceded the attack and used ‘staged’ and ‘fake’ images. Detailed reports also came from outside Syria. Veteran US journalist Seymour Hersh wrote that US intelligence evidence had been fabricated and ‘cherry picked … to justify a strike against Assad’. A Turkish lawyers and writers group said ‘most of the crimes’ against Syrian civilians, including the East Ghouta attack, were committed by ‘armed rebel forces in Syria’. The Saudi backed FSA group Liwa al Islam was most likely responsible for the chemical attack on Ghouta. A subsequent UN report did not allocate blame but confirmed that chemical weapons had been used on at least five occasions in Syria. On three occasions they were used ‘against soldiers and civilians’. The clear implication was that these were anti-government attacks by rebels. MIT investigators Lloyd and Postol concluded that the Sarin gas ‘could not possibly have been fired … from Syrian Government controlled area’.
Despite the definitive nature of these reports, combined, neither the US Government nor Human Rights Watch have retracted or apologised for their false accusations. Indeed, western government and media reports repeat the claims as though they were fact, even falsely enlisting UN reports, at times, as corroboration.
——————-
When I met President Assad, with a group of Australians, his manner was entirely consistent with the pre-2011 image of the mild-mannered eye doctor. He expressed deep concern with the impact on children of witnessing terrorist atrocities while fanatics shout ‘God is Great’. The man is certainly no brute, in the manner of Saddam Hussein or George W. Bush.
The key factor in Syria’s survival has been the cohesion, dedication and popular support for the Army. Syrians know that their Army represents pluralist Syria and has been fighting sectarian, foreign backed terrorism. This Army did not fracture on sectarian lines, as the Takfiris had hoped, and defections have been small, certainly less than 2%.
Has the Army committed abuses? Probably, but mainly against the armed groups. There is some evidence of execution of foreign terrorists. That is certainly a crime, but probably has a fair degree of popular support in Syria, at the moment. The main constraint on such abuses seems to be the army order from ‘Mr Soft Heart’, to save the lives of Syrian rebels.
However, despite the repeated claims by sectarian Islamists and their western backers, there is no convincing evidence that the Syrian Army has deliberately bombed and gassed civilians. Nor would there be a motive for it. Nor does the behaviour of people on the streets support it. Most Syrians do not blame their army for the horrendous violence of this war, but rather the foreign backed terrorists.
These are the same terrorists backed by the governments of the USA, Britain and France, hiding behind the fig-leaf of the mythical ‘moderate rebel’ while reciting their catalogue of fabricated accusations.
The high participation rate (73%) in June’s presidential elections, despite the war, was at least as significant as the strong vote (88%) Bashar received. Even the BBC could not hide the large crowds that came out to vote, especially those that mobbed the Syrian Embassy in Beirut.
Participation rates are nowhere as near in the US; indeed no western leader can claim such a strong democratic mandate as this ‘dictator’. The size of Bashar’s win underlines a stark reality: there never was a popular uprising against this man; and his popularity has grown.
———————–
About the Author
Tim Anderson is a Senior Lecturer in Political Economy at the University of Sydney. He has researched the Syrian conflict since 2011 and visited Syria in December 2013.

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