An Opinion not more!
With the Indonesia presidential and provincial elections looming, politics unmask the strange bedfellows in Indonesian political landscape. The Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior, what U.S. naval expert’s dub, a non-state navy, or maritime non-state actors (MNSAs), arriving with the full endorsement of Jokowi’s cabinet.
Officials from the Ministry of Forestry urge Greenpeace “to carry on the fight”, the Minister of Fishery cozying up to the activists and get tips from the vegan menu and comment how good the fish from the galley of the ship tastes.
Greenpeace has achieved full endorsement from the leftist leaning administration of president Jokowi who is running for re-election in 2019 and is currently on a whirlwind tour to shore up support to appear presidential.
The rather negative record of the group, and links to the loss of revenues to the Indonesian government are somehow lost in the euphoria of fish sambal and trying to convince the public Jokowi is greener than green. After all his cabinet is packed with activists, and are well-funded by foreign NGOs, such as the Climate Land Use Alliance (CLUA) and others.
“It is frightful thinking about the greenish, revolutionary activists on the policy button on one of the largests agricultural industries in the region. It’s like Trump and his big nuke button. The outcome is instability.” (Indonesian policy source)
A World without Greenpeace, Why not?
Last year Greenpeace asked what if the planet would be without Greenpeace, trying to drum up support for its claims in the court case against Resolute Forestry. The Canadian company has since re-filed its case against Greenpeace to the federal court. In January 2018 Greenpeace filed motion to dismiss. The case against Greenpeace continues at the donors expense.
The answer to Greenpeace’s own question is brutally simple: Nobody cares. Most grown-ups would think; thank God they are gone. Public opinion is firmly negative against Greenpeace and other self-proclaimed apostles of the green doctrine.
Even the otherwise low key Steve Forbes weighed in, calling the Resolute lawsuit by the usual fanatic eco-friendly Canadians, “an outstanding example of how unfairly attacked companies should respond.”
“…the Resolute lawsuit by the usual fanatic eco-friendly Canadians, “an outstanding example of how unfairly attacked companies should respond.”
If Indonesian officials would bother to read the commentary section after the Russian government arrested the crew of the Arctic Sunrise charging them with piracy, the strong global public resentment reflect the undercurrent against Greenpeace.
Russia was an unexpected blow back for Greenpeace, the public were gleefully grinning in support of Russia and the ‘public outcry’ consistent mainly of pro-Greenpeace supporters and their green bot-army.
As reported by the polling group VTSIOM, around 60 percent of Russians believe the authorities were justified in employing harsh measures against Greenpeace. Russians often accuse Greenpeace activists of working as agents of the U.S. State Department, protesting to support policies that serve U.S. interests in exchange for money, writes Anna Nemtsova in Foreign Policy.
Many around the globe are fed up with the theatrics of Greenpeace and other ‘direct action’ groups. Notable, since the release from prison no Greenpeace action was conducted against Russian national economic security installations. A valid lesson for Indonesian officials.
In 2016, an Australian critical of the Greenpeace methods wrote,
“Having read this article, Greenpeace must be feeling the sting of the schadenfreude currently being enjoyed by every compny or person they’ve ever brought a frivolous lawsuit against, as the long arm of civil ‘lawfare’ comes around to give them a long overdue slapping……..Greens activists have a long history of lying, fabricating evidence, whipping up scare campaigns,…. The boot is on the other foot, and it’s remarkable how well it fits!…”.
Many in the public share the ‘schadenfreude’. In Indonesia, like around the globe the public shaking its collective head on the naivety on display by the Jokowi officials.
Jokowi’s naivety or political calculi?
Observers argue, if Jokowi needs the few hundred thousand votes from the green-eco leftists his re-election changes may not be as firm as pollsters claim. A few shared by Matthew Bush in Foreign Affairs in his article Jokowi’s Panicky Politics. Despite Jokowi is enjoying broad public popularity his critics are on the rise.
The optics of Greenpeace with its rape case in India, criminal complaints in a dozen countries, including two racketeering federal complaints, does not provide a lot of confidence in the judgment by the Jokowi administration. “Indonesian officials are ignorant about the true character of Greenpeace.”, one source said, “Jokowi is easily influenced by his green courtiers”, reflects the mood in the country.
Even if Greenpeace continues to beat the RICO mafia law case, which also continues in a U.S. Federal Court in North Dakota, activists under the green war banner are not as kosher as Greenpeace claims. Court documents show a troubling trend of militancy and extremism.
Indonesian questions if the hyped-up visit by Greenpeace has not improved the living conditions, and fundamentally changed things for the better, why bother? The answer may be found in: Politics by voter numbers.
Assigning blame, the usual scapegoat: the industry
But who is to blame for the rise of NGOs in Indonesia, Jokowi and his green leaning activist cabinet, the NGOs or industry?
Greenpeace after all, does what it does. Allegations, hyperbolic exaggeration, and “opinions”. Combined with fake news, falsehood and sarcasm, the underlining campaigns cause damage to the Indonesian economy is bread and butter of Greenpeace and the global action networks.
Used by the former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono his going ‘green’ were reflective of the Hillary Clinton, Obama years of promoting leftist agendas. But the political U-turn by the Americans was long in the making. U.S. Republicans warned if the elections swing the other way, U.S. environmental policy will change. And it sure did.
“If the public is not checking..”, so the logic of one activists, “it’s the public’s fault”.
Jokowi and his cabinet are also not to blame, after all his leftist leaning populist, politics are well known. He is pursuing a agrarian reform that failed miserably in South Africa. An attempt to appoint WWF to advise on agrarian policy on 13 October last year created a massive public outcry and did not survive a week. The plans were dropped thirteen days later.
The much pushed for “indigenousness” are failed South American policies are currently undone by a Peruvian government after the government realized the creation of second class citizens do not empower the impoverished rural communities.
“(Mines and Energy Minister Jorge) Merino has realized that with this law the government was shooting itself in the foot,” an industry source said.”
Despite the well-educated Indonesian intelligentsia understands the failures of a populist socialist agenda, Jokowi is fearful of AMAN cancelling the support for the populist president. Jokowi, like many other populists needs the grass root votes to win the growing resistances from the conservative national, right. And the public, like Donald Trump, voted for him. This leaves the usual suspect: the industry, the easiest one to blame.
Indonesian industry leaders on the Forbes list of mega billionaires fail to comprehend the strategic nail of death is hovering over the industry. Years of ignorance by the tycoons trying to “buy off the monkey” to attack the competitors, and a lack of comprehension of what is the character of NGOs are paying off.
The Indonesian companies have surrendered. Comments like, “we wait until a new government comes into power”, or “we deal with them in China”, lack strategy and foresight. “Companies still fail, after all these years to recognize that we wage a political campaign and not a PR exercise”, a German Greenpeace activist deported from Indonesia in 2010 said.
But this may be changing. Globally the trend is reverting. Greenpeace in its latest report shows actually a large group of corporations just simply ignore Greenpeace and the WWF cabal of the NGOs claims of global disaster.
“…Time is running out. Global brands must not walk away from the agreed milestone – an end to the link between deforestation and globally traded commodities by no later than 2020.” (Greenpeace report)
But in private many company officials interviewed spoke of, “serious concerns about the reasoning, underpinning questions of science claimed by Greenpeace and its flawed campaigns based on a politics of fear”.
“…Scientific and regulatory agencies around the world have repeatedly and consistently found crops and foods improved through biotechnology to be as safe as, if not safer than those derived from any other method of production. There has never been a single confirmed case of a negative health outcome for humans or animals from their consumption. Their environmental impacts have been shown repeatedly to be less damaging to the environment, and a boon to global biodiversity……..”
In the current political climate, the Indonesian government has created the Disneyland for activists. Experts warn of the Jokowism doctrine of all-inclusiveness is seldom peaceful.
The costs for activism are borne by the Indonesian and global consumers contributing to the loss of 1-3 percent GDP to the Indonesian economy.
Critics in policy cycles complain that neither Jokowi nor the industry leaders are unable to see their cash stuffed accounts and push the responsibility to the government, who has subscribed to the Greenpeace narratives. One experts snared, “It furls one’s brow to see the combination of lack of comprehension by the industry, the main target of foreign NGOs, destroying the much needed foreign currency wealth for the country, simply mind-blowing”.
The logic for five-year olds
Early March this year a French court convicted French Greenpeace to jail. The pattern is always the same; Greenpeace demonstrates, activists get arrested, everyone is upset and usually everyone goes home. But, a more hardened stance by courts in democratic countries no longer follow the slap on the wrist-tactic.
Besides been kicked out of a half dozen or more countries, including South Korea, with Indonesian Greenpeace activists deported, Peru, India, the Russian Federation, China, New Zealand, Greenpeace in increasing numbers are found guilty on charges as seen in the plea bargain deal in Ohio. India shut down Greenpeace over foreign funding fraud and violations of the Foreign Contribution Act in 2015. Governments experience with dealing with Greenpeace and its network poses a threat to the economic development to many of the Asian countries.
But the militant underbelly of Greenpeace is not all smooth sailing. A rape case in Greenpeace India is particularly troubling. In Argentina the Greenpeace activist was given a six months jail sentence after fleeing from Peru after a failed stunt at the UNESCO heritage site at the famed Nazca lines. An long-time activist supportive of Greenpeace in the past wrote,
“…Pro tip: If you want to be taken seriously when you are delivering an important protest against the destruction of the Earth, it’s best to not desecrate a World Heritage Site in the process. While this advice could probably be categorized under “logic for five-year olds,” it has apparently eluded the folks at Greenpeace…”
But Peru or India is not the only countries concerned about the group. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police reported in 2014, “..Highly organized and well-financed anti-Canada petroleum movement that consists of ……activists, militants and violent extremists who are opposed to society’s reliance on fossil fuels.”
South Korea considered the group as a threat in 2010 since the former Greenpeace head travelled with two Pakistanis holding South African passports previously expelled as “dangerous persons” from South Korea.
Greenpeace: A History of rape, hostile workplace for young woman, aggressive campaigners & macho demonstrators
Greenpeace headlines in the past few years included currency speculation, frequent flyer trips of the bosses, a riot in the ranks of Greenpeace demanding resignations, the criminal complaint by Trumps lawyers against Greenpeace, banktrack.org, the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and EarthFirst!, who is listed as one of the few eco-terror groups in the United States and the UK, and a rape and sexual harassment suits in India.
Indian press reported the young woman was raped by her Greenpeace buddies. Only after a massive public outcry, oddly not by the NGOs, the Greenpeace India leadership were finally axed three years after the complaints.
Greenpeace’s internal review paints a horrific picture. The Greenpeace report spoke of aggressive campaigners, macho demonstrators and rewards bold and confrontational actions. The report summary states,
“…The ramifications of a hostile workplace for working women, especially young women, have not been adequately factored into the organizational vision. Sexism is not called out, bullying and harassment not firmly dealt with, while sexual harassment largely continues to be viewed as trivial and harmless jokes…”
Despite the summary was made available Greenpeace has not disclosed the full report drawing irks from its already alienated supporters in India calling the publication a “cover up”. But Greenpeace is not alone.
Oxfam another controversial NGO only recently caught flak over allegations of using prostitutes resulting Mary Wakefield writing in the the Spectator to ask, ‘Why we keeping ignoring NGO sex scandals.’ But the green groups are in good company. In March 2018 the Dutch Green Party fired one of its employees for sexually assaulting a trainee.
The Greenpeace independent review panel shows again the alarming range of internal issues that are surfacing in the NGOs. A pattern of poor supervision, excesses in both financial management and complaints against Greenpeace operations are telling signs of the group’s militant nature in need of supervision.
The Greenpeace audit report states, “….we found a consistent lack of reporting filed complaints per type, quantity, and region as well as a total lack of information on how they were resolved. We believe this is not an acceptable level of accountability….”
The report continues,
“…many evaluations mentioned in received Accountability Reports focus on collecting relatively large amounts of data on people reached, however, this does not tell us much about the improvement in their lives. Moreover, we should critically ask ourselves: What is the ICSO’s credit in this improvement and what positive impact is actually due to the people and beneficiaries themselves?….”
The reports also show a whopping 4,560 (!) public complaints against Greenpeace alone. Both tactics, and Non-Violent Direct Action are the lead complaints by the public. A similar dark picture emerges from within the supporter ranks. In the 2015 report an additional 5,693 complaints come from within the ranks of Greenpeace. That is a staggering average 28.1 complaint per day or 1.2 complaints every hour per year.
The Canada Revenue Agency found that Greenpeace had “no public benefit” and its lobbying would send Canadians “into poverty.” A view to be taken seriously by Indonesian officials subscribing to the post-truth narrative of groups like Greenpeace.
What do we need Greenpeace for if they cannot make our lives better?
Greenpeace Arrest Sheet: Long and not impressive
A Jakarta based foreign activist joked, “What’s the fastest way to get a criminal record as an activist? Join Greenpeace.”
Case in point is the sad story of one former U.S. Marine veteran, the 27-year old Tyler Wilkerson, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dave Philipps from the New York Times reported the veteran following the action against Procter & Gamble was fired by Greenpeace. So much for support by “green warriors” for one of its own.
Faced with the possibility Wilkerson spending jail time in state penitentiary the decorated Marine shot himself in October 2014 a few weeks before standing trial. Wilkerson committing suicide and tragic death is a reflection of Greenpeace ”commando”-style actions caused a troubled veteran to take his own life. It is a firm stain on the reputation of Greenpeace.
The global arrest sheet of Greenpeace is long, the Netherlands (44 arrested), Russian Federation (30 arrested, charged with piracy, later released, and 1990 by the KGB), Indonesia (14 arrests), Norway (35 arrested), in 2018 three arrests stand out in the hilarious annals of Greenpeace with the action ‘commandos’ gotten seasick much to the amusement of the arresting police officers, United Kingdom (5 arrested), New Zealand (9 arrested) and in 2004 (3 arrests), Japan (2 arrests for trespassing and theft), United States (7 arrests), Australia (1 charged, 27 arrests), France (8 arrests, convicted to jail time in 2018), Turkey (58 arrests), Hong Kong (19 arrests), South Africa (7 arrests), Greenland (18 arrests), Peru (24 indicted, some charged and convicted in Argentina), the Philippines (12 arrests), Canada (21 charged), Bulgaria (7 arrests), Greece (10 arrests), Indonesia (23 arrests) and Germany (120 arrests) just to name a few.
It begs the question why any serious Indonesian politician would want to be seen in public with a group holding this record of arrests?
NGOs: The money Moloch
Greenpeace is not a youth club, travelling around on a fancy boat, or dressing up as polar bears, or pretend to be eco-commandos. The Rainbow Warrior III, visiting Indonesia was after all paid for the Dutch gambling money.
Greenpeace is a corporate enterprise, and although courts have given Greenpeace a break to avoid prosecution Greenpeace International, Stichtung (the foundation in the Netherlands), Inc., the NRO’s, the National/Regional Organizations are interconnected to Greenpeace “Corp.” Greenpeace own publications show the links between the organizations in both legal and operational responsibility.
The 2013 report suggest 288 million Euros, in 2014, Greenpeace reported 297 million Euros and more, are circulating but nobody knows for certain since most of the activist groups are not transparent in its funding.
Whereas everybody else is accused of transparency, Greenpeace and other groups operating without supervision in Indonesia escape the scrutiny of Indonesian tax officials.
Greenpeace collects approximately 18% of its local raised revenues to an obscure Greenpeace fund. Annually this generates 53,4 million euros.
The exact size of this mysterious slash fund remains out of reach for the public and questions if this fund is managed off-shore in one of the tax havens was never addressed. A more concerning trend is Greenpeace targeting retirement funds and estates with Morgan Stanley managing stock transfers to Greenpeace. The full extent of the implications of fund management is unclear and escapes U.S. federal regulators.
Documents viewed showed the financial and operational importance of Southeast Asia as early as 1997. Greenpeace brass chose Thailand as its initial regional hub because the government at the time tolerated Greenpeace if they demonstrate in other countries in Asia.
This no longer holds true. In subversive fashion Greenpeace today organizes demonstrations in south of Thailand targeting power projects and does the usual mischief and mayhem with creating Greenpeace units in Singapore and Malaysia. ‘La Lucha Continua”, the struggle continues.
NGOs: Agents for collective action & Fake News
Greenpeace does not operate in a vacuum, it is, despite grandiose claims by the green group, part of a global nexus of activists, mostly foreign, who influence media, academia and policy officials.
Dutch academics called this network the Global Action Network (GAN). Greenpeace use of paid adds, fake news stories and Facebook paid ads are documented and undisputed fact. Post-truths, fake news is today the hot topic, but Greenpeace has used these tools for a considerable period of time. It’s written reports titles “Dirty Bankers”, “Moment of Truth”, “Burning Issue”, induce the concept of emotional fear.
Not unlike Cambridge Analytica Greenpeace is as sophisticated as the political masterminds.
Critical examination by the Policy Press Institute in Jakarta shows the scientific narrative is replaced with a large volume of reports often generated by the NGOs to provide some credibility of the claim. “We advise policy officials of the current administration and members of parliament to critically examine the claims and dispel the emotional notions claimed by the civil society groups.”, Rahmat Mochtiar said in a telephone interview.
Some experts argue today’s fake news are even more skilfully applied by NGOs than the Russians. And if this does not work, brute threats by the activists is not uncommon either as seen in the case of the ex-Communications Director of Greenpeace India who proclaimed, Greenpeace India: “We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work.” The public reaction was swift,
Gene Hashmi (“Gene from Greenpeace India is known around the Greenpeace world for stating his opinion loud and clear, and not being a diplomat. He wrote this blog, showing the links, tight and loose, between the various player in the industry of climate inaction.”) believes that it is now time for Greenpeace to engage in eco-terrorism.
Even the usually pro-Greenpeace UK Guardian condemned Greenpeace love affair with revolutions, eco-terrorism and suggestive claim of anyone opposed to the new green, sounding more like old red, should be beheaded.
A fascinating example of pre-Cambridge Analytica revelation surfaced in the post-Lego campaign against Shell. The presentation (available here) paints a complex strategy of paid, earned actions with two hooks to sell in to press and aggregators. In plain English, Greenpeace paid for ads to influence the public.
Like the exposed Cambridge Analytica, Greenpeace acted on the emotion, the Zeitgeist, authenticity and storytelling. This includes the satirical fake press release, video and parody.
One academic went so far of saying, counter terror officials could learn a “thing or two” on how to run a successful anti-terror narrative against ISIS if they would use the propaganda techniques in use by Greenpeace and the NGOs.
“…. Greenpeace has claimed it does not necessarily “hew to strict literalism and scientific precision” and that it engaged in “hyperbole,” “heated rhetoric,” and “non-verifiable statements of subjective opinion…”
Unfortunately, very few policy and academics study NGO propaganda despite the literature is extensive. Peter Reich, one of the world’s leading forest ecologists, has said that Greenpeace has “a fundamental disregard for scientific reality.”
For example in Indonesia the exaggerations of “possible (might cause) 100,000 deaths” due to the haze was bitterly rebutted by Indonesia officials.
“Data on deaths is clear. We have surveillance,” [Health Ministry director general of disease prevention and control Mohamad] Subuh said, adding that the assumptions of mortality based on mathematical calculations were “irresponsible”.
Despite its factual challenge, foreign media regularly misquotes the fake news generated by Greenpeace campaigners. But then, nobody really bothers.
The role of Greenpeace, ex-Greenpeace, and the nexus of actors, groups and funders are well documented. The lonely, sole voices of critical reasoning in the Indonesian parliament calling NGOs conducting “black campaigns” are ignored by the president and his green team.
But the critics have a point, the NGOs are responsible for the loss to the state.
U.S. corporate interests, Violation of Indonesian laws?
For example the 2013 Greenpeace report shows the U.S. corporate legacy foundations are actively funding Greenpeace. Since the Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA) are U.S. corporations, like the Ford Foundation, Packard Foundation, the founders of Hewlett Packard, or the Oak foundation, Greenpeace claims of not receiving funds from corporations is rather thin.
“The Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA) supported Greenpeace with a grant of $1m US dollars for Greenpeace’s Indonesia forests work …”,
“…Oak Foundation is a trusted, long-term supporter of Greenpeace in many countries. In 2013, Oak Foundation made an investment of $2m US dollars over three years, so that Greenpeace International can continue to rise to the challenges of a rapidly changing landscape and build stronger and more effective campaigns in Brazil, India, South Africa, South East Asia, China, Russia and the US…”
Some estimates argue NGOs are responsible for about 500 billion USD in damage, roughly the size of the current Indonesian deficit, every year. The Indian government main reason to shut the foreign NGO was it acted against India’s economic interest.
Counter claims of billions of dollars of loss due to environmental damage lack convincing arguments despite given the “Harvard study” title by the activists. Critical examination of the NGOs claims often assembles more like fake news than factual science.
It consists of a large network of groups, factions, and cell that constantly morph and change names. For example, Bustar Maitar the long-time lead of Greenpeace attacking Sinar Mas, is now working for Mighty, which is according to its website a “project for the Center for International Policy”.
Headed by Glenn Hurowitz, his name surfaces in funding documents of the Climate Land Use Alliance. Also, in Mighty are Henry Waxman a former Democratic senator for California, and long-term supporter for alternative energy companies and other Greenpeace activists.
The Center for International Policy with an annual budget of about 4.6 million USD is running programs such as Win without War, a rather odd title and sounding more like an intelligence operation, the Security Assistance Monitor, and the Avoided Deforestation Partners (AD Partners). AD Partners are a U.S. leftist lobbying group to advance U.S. interests. U.S. interests are the focus. Not Indonesian interests.
Glenn Hurowitz enjoying his new role as the CEO in Mighty, is an example of representing of U.S. lobbyists. In a highly publicized article on how he defeated the Wilmar leadership, the activist cum lobbyist was not shy to boast he threatened the leadership into conceding.
“Every one of your customers’ headquarters is going to look like this,” Hurowitz remembers writing.
His role in Chain Reaction Research is firmly established which is targeting Asian banks to divest from the soft commodities in a South African style divestment campaign.
Since Greenpeace likes to present military terminology such as “warrior”, “[non-violent] direct action”, having a long history of using strategy as a technique to force a country policy direction the arguments against politicians should not engage with Greenpeace are moot.
The cabinet of the leftist Indonesian government is stacked with pro-NGO activists, funding from the leftist Climate Land Use Alliance is happily flooding the Indonesian NGO scene and warning by the State Intelligence Agency of NGOs, including Greenpeace, so happily visited by official cabal, are…ignored.
But, who is to blame? And why bother?
Whereas it is easy to blame the Jokowi administration for buying into the global hysteria of climate change, the actual parties to share the main blame for the rise of the NGOs are the Indonesian mega conglomerates who failed to comprehend the strategic threat NGOs pose. This does not alleviate the responsibility of the failed policies of Jokowi but in good NGO traditions, let’s blame the “industrial bourgeoisie”.
NGOs understand the corporate mindset with the precision of a military strike. Corporations fail miserably in comprehending the depth of the NGO strategic outlook. Corporate strategy centers on the 1-year/2-year spreadsheet, and profits, Greenpeace works on a 20-year strategy. So, does WWF.
The corporate message, the purpose of the existence and the role of the corporations playing in contributing to the wealth of the nation is lost. Corporate leaders in the industry, APRIL, Sinar Mas, Wilmar, IOI are perceived as arrogant and out of touch with the public audience. The corporate messages are playing into the hand of the NGOs. The costs to investors and more so, the costs to the public are considerable. The examples of how the industry struggles is based on a lie. The lie of hope. To hope to save the whales, the planet, the rhino are emotional attachments. Extinction, like it or not, is part of the cycle of life.
NGOs understand the emotional trigger points. NGOs are outsmarting, outflanking and outpacing corporate strategic communications any time of the day. Corporations in Indonesia have surrendered the field. And the government stacked with NGO activists helping Greenpeace and the green groups willingly along.
Fake news produced en masse by the pro-NGO narrators of CLUA funded online NGO websites are neither countered, nor corrected. “Any average undergraduate will be able to dissect the falsehoods circulated in the public narrative, from proclaimed health scares, poor science and lack of scientific credible evidence”, an academic with a European centre specializing in propaganda research added.
Haze reports, inflated claims on health issues widely and aggressively slapped across the media outlets fail regularly to pass a science screening test. “Of about 196,000-212,000 messages we annually reviewed”, an academic who wants to remain anonymous said, “about 86-90 percent are fake news, recycled stories and inflated narratives”.
“Like Islamic State, or Russian propaganda, NGOs utilize social media, on-line echo chambers, and its global on-line supporters to portray and promote their agenda”. He added, “We, the public, are shocked about Russian meddling in US elections but fail to grasp foreign NGOs are regularly abusing the press with fake news to blackmail the industry in Indonesia. The industry is simply incapable to recognize the falsehood and even lesser willing to recognize the losses to the business in the global market space as a result of NGO campaigns”. Neither does the Jokowi administration he added.
Long-term studies of civil society focusing on the use of social media shows growing concerning trends. With the political leadership in Indonesia embolden groups like Greenpeace, activists from the more radical fringe utilize the lack of comprehension by the industry and the government to freely spread radical messages through the online social eco-chambers.
“We have seen a steady increase in militants in Indonesia posing as eco-warriors, but they are the new extremists. The surfacing of the black bloc in Central Java linked to the Greek eco-terror group Nuclei of Fire is a dangerous trend”, an academic from the University Indonesia added.
Do Indonesian companies understand activists? “No”, said Muchtar Sadikin, a researcher for a German research centre. “Indonesian Chinese businesses particularly in the palm oil and paper and pulp business, lack to courage and strategic depth to challenge, counter and defeat groups like Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, or the Rainforest Action Network.”
“They hope the problem goes away if the companies sign up for a sustainable program and donate funds to the garden variety of eco-businesses and green consultancies. The negative impacts on Indonesia and eventually their own business is not just understood.”
Jokowi and the inner circle have bought in lock, stock and barrel to the NGO agenda. The economy is already into the red as a result of the economic meddling by NGOs and the lackluster support for investment reflects the growing unease of the industrial leaders to support Jokowism and his new-found love for a greener, and more left tilting political doctrine.
But the troubling history of Greenpeace of rape, criminal charges, Persona Non-Grata and links to the leftist extremist scene are troubling signs of a future Indonesia. Unless some of the grown-ups in the Jokowi administration finally snap out of the Green fantasies Indonesia remains the Disneyland for activists, radicals and extremists of all shades, even if they come with a boat and a full load of activists.