Editorial (409)


Trump's Visit to Iraq

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Almost no one knows that  US President Donald Trump visited an air base in  west of Baghdad, Iraq for about 3 hours on Wednesday (December 26, 2018). This visit was made  to meet US soldiers who were on duty in Iraq. His arrival was kept secret even though there was notice to the Iraqi Prime Minister's Office just hours before the plane landed. Evidence that the landing was in secrecy can be seen from   the presidential aircraft lights, Air Force One,which  was turned off and the window cover was lowered.

Donald Trump, despite coming to Iraq, did not meet up with the Iraqi leader. Talks with Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi were only carried out by phone. Both of them did not meet face to face because there was a matter of meeting arrangements. However, the Iraqi Prime  Minister Office said the President of the United States was invited  to Baghdad. The group in the Iraqi Parliament condemned Trump's arrival. Both the Islah group and its rival Bina consider Trump's visit a violation of sovereignty.

In front of the US  soldiers, Donald Trump conveyed the plan to withdraw US troops from Iraq. Trump doesn't want to delay anymore and states the US has been fighting for a long time for other countries. The US also does not want to play the role of world police. Yet, the statement was not in line with what was conveyed by White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She said there had been no plans to withdraw US forces in Iraq.

Trump continues the tradition of US President visiting  troops in the conflict zone. But his mission is to withdraw US forces who have retained their position in Iraq by order of former  President Obama. In some policies, Trump seemed to deliberately cut some of the things Obama had done.

The question is, whether  Trump is serious about withdrawing US troops from Iraq. If that happens and the ISIS forces are not in Iraq anymore, the country can begin to build its ruins from the war. Hopefully a peaceful Iraq in the coming year can be realized soon. 




Indonesia was hit by another disaster. Not long after the earthquake in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara and in Palu & Donggala, Central Sulawesi, tsunami in Sunda Strait hit Banten and South Lampung Provinces on Saturday (23/12).


Until Sunday (23/12), there were 222 people died, 843 wounded, and 30 missing in the disaster. The tsunami damaged many buildings and infrastructure.


Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency BMKG had confirmed that the tsunami was caused by vulcanic activity and eruption of Mount Anak Krakatau that had been seen since Saturday evening. This condition had been warned and the volcano was given alert status since June 2018.


The activity of Mount Anak Krakatau keeps increasing since June 18 2018. In the previous months, from July until November, eruptions keep happening. The latest one was on December 22, which was suspected to cause the dreadful tsunami in Banten and Lampung.


The tsunami which killed hundreds had become global concern. Some foreign media reported the disaster. Condolences and sympathy kept coming from some world leaders.


Series of disasters actually never makes Indonesian weak and desperate. Disaster must be faced, overcome, and seen – simply as a divine trial, so that Indonesians can be stronger in facing greater challenges. We could see the Japanese, who turned into an advanced country despite of frequent earthquakes.


Disasters which often hit Indonesia must be a lesson for her to avoid and anticipate them. Indonesians must stay alerted and ready to face the possibility of other disasters. Among others is by having simulations, so that the people will know what to do during disasters. Besides that, proper early warning system must be ready, so that both the people and local government can be alerted and save themselves before the disaster happens. This is expected to lower down casualties in disasters.




Although the two parties in dispute in Yemen, namely the Government troops and the Houthi rebels agreed to a ceasefire, there were still several shootingshappened. As a result, there is a possibility that an armed conflict will occur again between the two parties. Based on an agreement mediated by the United Nations, a ceasefire should  begin on Tuesday (December 18). But the UN apparently has not socialized the plan, as seen at a videoconference on Wednesday regarding troop withdrawals from Hodeidah.

The Saudi Arabian coalition supporting the Yemeni government, recorded that on Tuesday which should have been included in the ceasefire agreement, there were still 20 times of armed contact. If it turns out that it comes from both sides, then it is just a matter of timebefore  the Stockholm agreement becomes  a historical record on paper only.

In the war in Yemen, the issue of humanity also deserves the attention of the world. During the 4 years of war, the World Health Organization (WHO) noted, at least 10 thousands people died. However, various human rights activists said the  number is 5 times the WHO record. The war left nearly half of Yemen's 30 million people in starvation. It is also not wrong if the United Nations calls the case of Yemen the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

Unfortunately the UN record is still exacerbated by the deaths of 6 thousands children. Why did  they become  victims? Apparently they were recruited to be involved in warfare. Houthi rebels are claimed to recruit up to 18 thousand children. Why were the children recruited? One reason is the unbalanced number of power. The coalition forces are supported by 140 thousand personnel while the Houthi rebels have only 60 thousandsin number.

But apart from that reason, it is not appropriate to involve children in armed conflict. This  should be solved  together by  the warring groups, to immediately end the battle. They should  think more about the fate of the war-torn country. When will the two parties begin to  think more about the interests of the Yemeni people instead of  the interests of their respective groups?



December 20 is commemorated as the Social Solidarity Day. The date was chosen since in 1948, all Indonesian people were united to protect the nation’s sovereignty by expelling the colonizers from Yogyakarta, the capital of Indonesia at that time. Ten years afterwards, the Social Solidarity day was initiated and later commemorated annually.

Social solidarity is an original value of Indonesia. The soul and spirit of social solidarity in the nation and people’s lives have principally existed long before Indonesia stands as an independent nation. Therefore, the social solidarity becomes an identity and is practiced until now. In the struggle for independence, it became a tool to fight the colonization.

Nowadays, Indonesia does not face colonizer anymore, but social issues such as poverty, social gap, natural disasters, diversity, and many others.

The struggle against those issues is not easy. Soekarno, the 1st President of Indonesia once said, “My struggle is easier, since it’s against colonizer. But, your struggle will be heavier, since you are facing your own brothers.” That quote reminds the current generation that the next struggle is social issues.

However, the Indonesian government cannot work alone. The people need to cooperate in solving it together. In solving the issues, the people must prioritize the social solidarity values such as mutual cooperation and helping each other.

Indonesian people’s work is how to maintain the social solidarity to stay in the mind set and real work of Indonesians in politics, economy, social, and culture. And that is not an easy task.



Indonesia is a country located in the ring of fire where aspects of volcanology and fractures of the earth's plates often occur. Indonesia also has many volcanoes both on the surface of the earth and on the seabed. The effects of volcanic activity often cause disasters. One of the mountains that has made a disaster is the tsunami in Banten and Lampung, which was caused by the activities of Anak Krakatau volcano. The question is to what extent is Indonesia's readiness to further address volcanology activities as happened in several regions in Indonesia?

We still remember the tsunami tragedy in Aceh that occurred on December 26, 2004. This tragedy killed more than 200,000 people. Now, the tsunami happened again in Banten and Lampung, due to the effects of the eruption of Anak Krakatau. Previously, the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency -BMM did not expect that the eruption effect in the form of a cliff landslide affected the underwater so that it was not well detected by seismographs. Initially, it was thought only the effect of the tide due to the full moon. But what happened was a tsunami that devastated Serang, Pandeglang and South Lampung. Regarding the tsunami danger, President Joko Widodo during a visit to the effected disaster areas said that the advanced early warning equipment of tsunami needs purchasing and installing in areas with potential high waves so that they can prevent many casualties.

Head of the Data Information and Public Relations Center for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency -BPPB, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said that the regional governments of Banten and Lampung regional apply emergency response period post-tsunami of Sunda Strait. The emergency response period is applied differently between the two provinces. According to Sutopo, for the Pandeglang region, Banten, the emergency response period is valid for 14 days from December 22 to January 4. For the South Lampung region, the emergency response period lasts 7 days from December 23 to 29. However, he emphasized that the Sunda Strait tsunami is not categorized as a national disaster because the regional administration is able to cope with.

Looking at a number of high-wave tragedies, Indonesia must have many sophisticated early warnings to be placed at several disaster-prone points. In addition, earthquake detection equipment or seismographs must also be more sensitive so that such Sunda Strait tsunami can be reported as soon as possible to the public. Based on the latest data as of December 26, the impact of the tsunami that hit the west coast of Banten and South Lampung on Saturday night, December 22, 2018 claimed more than 430 lives; more than 1,400 injured, 154 missing, and 16,082 people are displaced.


China signaled that there would still be a trade war with the United States. Chinese President Xi Jinping implied it in a speech commemorating 40 years of Reformation in the country, in the presence of leaders of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing on Tuesday. In his speech, the President of China stressed that no other party could dictate the course of the country's economic development.
In Washington US President Donald Trump, called for China to stop trading practices that are considered unfair. Trump also urged Beijing to stop the practice of intellectual property rightstheft and carry out comprehensive reforms.So, it was not a coincidence that in his speech, Xi Jinping stressed that his country could not be dictated by anyone.The speech delivered by the President of China is a sign that the country with the most population in the world, will continue to try to be a driver as well as the central global economy to shift the role of the United States.The assertion that no country may dictate China’s economic policy has confirmed Beijing's position in the face of trade wars with the United States.What was said by both Donald Trump and Xi Jinping should be a warning to other countries to anticipate the situation and global economic development in 2020. As many economists predict, trade wars between China and the United States will be a major factor in the slowdown in world economic development in 2020.The world economy in 2020, especially in developing countries that have China or the United States as their main partners will be affected by the economic relations between the two world economic giants.


Four months ahead of the 2019 General Election (elections) the frenzy of democratic parties that lasted once in five years was increasingly felt. There are several problems that arise, starting from the problem of the rights of persons with mental disabilities in the General Election, the discovery of the Electronic Population Identity Card (e-KTP) is damaged and scattered, to the quality of the ballot boxes.
The invasion of electronic KTP was invalid (broken) and scattered, making some parties, especially those who have interests in the upcoming 2019 elections, worried about fraud. For this reason, Interior Minister Tjahjo Kumolo has instructed his ranks to assign the Population and Civil Registration Service to carry out extermination.
In addition to the KTP problem, there is now a problem with the quality of the ballot box. A number of politicians in the House of Representatives Senayan again fussed about the potential for fraud when the vote was held.
This time the trigger was the decision of the General Election Commission (KPU) to use a waterproof or cardboard cardboard ballot box which is also popular as a cardboard ballot box. There are a number of parties who question the use of ballot boxes made from soft materials rather than aluminum, because they are prone to damage or damage to the purpose of fraud.
In Article 341 of the Election Law which is an agreement of a political party in the rRkyat Representative Council (DPR) it is stated that the ballot box must be transparent and the ballots in it can be seen. Actually it is on this basis that the KPU procures again to replace the old ballot box made of aluminum.
Sound boxes made from cardboard are actually not new. This type has been used in a number of polling stations in the 2014 election and in three simultaneous regional elections that have been held, namely 2015, 2017 and 2018.
The use of cardboard ballot boxes in the elections to be held on April 17, 2019 departs from the spirit of budget efficiency. This is done because there has been an increase in the number of polling stations almost doubling in the upcoming elections.
The potential for fraud in the election, both at the time of voting, when distributing ballots and when recapitulation of votes, is indeed worth watching out together. However, it does not mean that any election management policy must be suspected. Cheating can occur not because the ballot box is made of what material, but because of weak supervision.
To reduce this frenzy, the General Election Commission and the Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) must truly ensure the voting process at the polling stations, the distribution of voting conditions until the recapitulation is safe from fraud. Simultaneous elections which become a new test for the maturity of the Indonesian nation in this democracy must be guaranteed to run honestly and fairly.


Indonesian National Police had a Formed Police Unit and Individual Police Officer Barret Ceremony at National Police’s Multi-purpose Training Center, in Cikeas, Bogor Regency,West Java on Sunday (16/12). The ceremony was given for Garuda Bhayangkara force in UN peace mission. National Police’s International Relations Division Head Insp. Gen. Maltha said this year Indonesia deployed more personnel compared to previous years. The increase was according to UN’s demand, since Indonesia is one of the most-ready contingent in the peace mission.Maltha said there were 381 personnel and 40 of them were Female Police. They join the Formed Police Unit which is sent to Sudan for United Nations African Mission in Darfur (UNAMID); and to Central Africa for Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). While the rest become Police Advisor to South Sudan, Haiti, and Congo.Members of Formed Police Unit and Police Advisor Indonesia will be on duty for one year. Their special mission is securing UN’s vital objects. They also must carry out Police Advisor’s duties such as protecting refugees and securing humanitarian aid distribution process.Joining UN Peacekeeping Force is an example of Indonesia’s commitment in maintaining world order which is based on independence, eternal peace, and social justice. All these are written in the Preamble of Indonesian 1945 Constitution. Indonesia’s involvement in UN peace mission has been ongoing since 1957.The deployment is also part of Indonesia’s efforts in fulfilling the promise to contribute to peace creation in conflicted countries. Specially, VP Jusuf Kalla in a public debate session at 73rd UN General Assembly Session in New York, on September said that Indonesia will deploy 4,000 peacekeepers until 2019 by increasing women’s proportion.Certainly, there is a special reason for Indonesia in having more women in peacekeeping force. Actually, it is not only because currently the number of women are only 3% of the total personnel or just to fulfill the UN Security Council Resolution no. 1325 / 2000 which prioritizes women’s role in peace negotiation and post-conflict reconstruction. But, they also have to protect the women and young girls from sexual violence during armed conflict.The role of female peacekeeping forces is significant, especially in post-conflict reconstruction mission. Women are more easily accepted and trusted in helping other women and children. Indonesian women peacekeepers can also be an example of how gender equality is implemented in Indonesia, a country with most Muslim population.


Every December 13, Indonesia commemorates Nusantara Day, the archipelago day. This commemoration is to commemorate the service of former Prime Minister, Djoeanda Kartawidjaja who bravely declared on 13 December 1957 that the Indonesian sea was included in the surrounding sea, between and within the Indonesian archipelago to become a unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia -NKRI. Nusantara Day was officially stipulatedby the 5th President of the Republic of Indonesia, Megawati Soekarnoputri through Presidential Decree No.126 / 2001.

The present generation deserves to be grateful, because without the Djoeanda Declaration, Indonesia's sea territory only covers the sea three miles from the coastline that surrounds the islands in Indonesia. Thus, among the Indonesian islands there is a free international sea, which separates one island from another and this means a threat to the NKRI. In addition, without the Djoeanda Declaration, Indonesia's marine wealth potential is only around 1/3 of its current potential.

Chairperson of the Indonesian Farmers and Fishermen Movement, Prof. Rokhmin Dahuri said that Indonesia has a huge economic potential in the marine sector. If the economic potential of the marine sector is managed optimally, these economic potentials can reach US$1.2 trillion dollars per year and are estimated to be able to employ 40 million people.

Based on the theme of the Archipelago Day 2018 commemoration, "The Realization of the Whole Unity of the Archipelago through the Juanda Declaration", the commemoration of the Nusantara Day is very important for the present generation to unite the feeling of being Indonesian citizens, considering the threat of national disintegration and separatism is still a threat to the NKRI.

 In addition, the commemoration of the Archipelago Day is very important to remind all components of the Indonesian nation that maritime power is a source of Indonesian nation's strength. Indonesian sea not only unites, connects islands to islands, but also has a large source of wealth. Indonesia still has to work hard to enhance the economic potential of the marine sector so that it can become a source of people's welfare.



Indonesia is a country that consists of more than 13,000 islands, 250 ethnicities and various kinds of cultures that are a source of national strength and potential. Thus, the 2018 Indonesian Culture Congress held on December 5-9 becomes very important for the influences of foreign cultures that enter without limits through various media. Moreover, the domestic political situation ahead of the 2019 Election currently tends to heat up and potentially lead to nation’s split. It takes thoughts and willingness to accept and respect differences, both related to the culture of the Indonesian nation and other nations.

At the closing of the 2018 Indonesian Culture Congress, last Sunday (9/12), President Joko Widodo emphasizedthe importance of the spirit of tolerance in interacting amid the complexity of today's culture. He argued that interaction in various matters, including word contestation and politics would result in utterances of jealousy and hatred if not accompanied by tolerance.Therefore, President Joko Widodo took for example that at present,Indonesia needs a stage of tolerant interaction.

Meanwhile, Director General of Culture at the Ministry of Education and Culture, Hilmar Farid said that facing other differences and influences, Indonesian people have to position culture as inclusive one. Because, the characteristics of inclusive culture are mutual learning, knowing each other, knowing each other's views, understanding each other, and empathizing. So, tolerance will arise from understanding, instead of doctrine.

The 2018 Indonesian Culture Congress is expected to be a significant event to work and produce various ideas for the progress of the Indonesian nation in the future. Naturally, the discussion of cultural strategies that have been going on for 10 years, often leads to delays due to various interests. Fortunately, there are points in the Cultural Strategic Agenda that have been successfully formulated at the 2018 Cultural Congress. These points are to provide space for the diversity of cultural expressions and encourage cultural interaction to strengthen the inclusive culture. This is expected to be a reference in handling and maintaining the sustainability of national culture.

Then, the results of the congress become recommendation to be immediately followed up by the government as the regulator of the Indonesian nation. However, the effectiveness of the Cultural Strategic Agenda does not have to depend on the government alone. The Indonesian people must love and feel proud as part of the Indonesian nation. Thus, all stakeholders have to maintain and respect each other and agree on the values of the diversity of the Indonesian nation in a culture.

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