The United States may have had an active role in carrying out last week's bombing of an international nightclub, members of a panel said at a campus round-table discussion Friday.greenspun.com : LUSENET : Current News - Homefront Preparations : One Thread
UC Berkeley Panel Probes Cause of Deadly Bali Blast
By BRIAN WHELAN Contributing Writer Monday, October 21, 2002
The United States may have had an active role in carrying out last week's bombing of an international nightclub, members of a panel said at a campus round-table discussion Friday.
Five academics and journalists came to UC Berkeley and examined a number of theories on the source of the explosion.
The Oct. 12 blast in Bali, Indonesia killed nearly 200 people, including more than 100 Australian tourists.
"The information received is that several groups are being looked at more closely," said Jeffrey Hadler, a UC Berkeley professor of South and Southeast Asian studies. "The most important thing is to wait for the investigation."
But the United States may have been directly involved in the bombing in order to further its war on terrorism, he added. President Bush alleged Oct. 14 that Al Qaeda terrorists were behind the bombing because Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim country, Hadler said.
The allegation also furthers Bush's call for war in Iraq, he said.
"Al Qaeda has turned into this incredibly convenient phantom," he said.
Sylvia Tiwon, a professor of Indonesian at UC Berkeley, said Al Qaeda is too small to have perpetrated the bombing. Some panelists said a western military response to the bombing would have negative repercussions for Islamic countries, which they described as politically interconnected.
"Muslims are global and part of a global entity," Tiwon said. "They are all connected.
Some students in attendance said the panel was insightful.
"It opened up a huge list of new questions we're not talking about in the media," said UC Berkeley graduate student Ellen Boccuzzi. "The same way as the World Trade Center is a symbol of western capitalism, so is Bali a symbol of western capitalism."
Other students said international allegations of Al Qaeda involvement in the bombing remove the need to speculate on its perpetrators.
"The U.S. and Bali governments came out and definitively said that it was Al Qaeda," said ASUC Berkeley College Republicans Senator Paul LaFata. "You don't need a big group to pull something off.
-- Anonymous, October 21, 2002