Why President Yudhoyono Should Not Visit the Rainbow Warrior

Source: Wikipedia


President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is reportedly considering an invitation to visit the Rainbow Warrior III, a motor-assisted sailing yacht operated by Greenpeace to stage attention-grabbing environmental protests.

According to insider sources, the crew will be closely monitored by the Indonesian police if they leave the vessel. Greenpeace does not seem to be as welcome in Indonesia as it likes to make out.

Were President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who is commonly called SBY, to visit the Rainbow Warrior III while it is in Indonesia, he would be de facto giving his tacit approval to the often illegal means by which Greenpeace conducts its affairs. Such a visit would be scandalous, as it would imply that the President endorses a militant campaigning organization.

Rainbow Warrior I was sunk by the French secret service in 1985 to prevent Greenpeace from interrupting French atom bomb tests. In 1989, Greenpeace also got into conflict with the US Navy, which rammed the vessel.

Rainbow Warrior III was built in Germany and features advanced telecommunication equipment, specialized scientific equipment and a helicopter landing pad. It was paid for by a hefty multi-million dollar donation by the Dutch lottery.

Recently, a Greenpeace naval vessel was found guilty of violating the Environmental Protection Act in Alaskan waters. Such a violation, for a militant ‘green’ organization, bolsters the argument that Greenpeace is not as green (or peaceful) as it often claims to be.

Overseeing Greenpeace Southeast Asia’s Indonesia unit is a well-known Indonesian activist who, in her younger days, was known to have said that the only reason she chose to support Friends of the Earth Indonesia (also known as WALHI) was so she could overthrow the government. Why is the President not concerned?

Greenpeace has no credible educational programs, no programs to improve the quality of life for communities, or programs to improve the mortality rate of poor families. Greenpeace is after all a campaigning organization.

In New Zealand the organization’s charitable status was revoked and a Greenpeace challenge to the revocation was upheld under appeal. As mentioned previously, the US Court of Appeals upheld a judgment against Greenpeace actions against Royal Dutch Shell in Alaskan waters.

Greenpeace needs money from Indonesia’s growing middle class, as it has to repay the estimated 2.8 million euros that it loaned its chapter in Thailand. And as in any corporation, each of the Greenpeace subordinate entities has to cough up about 18% of its earnings to the Dutch-based Greenpeace Investment Fund. In other words, ultimately Greenpeace HQs collects profits from local Greenpeace activists and the public in Asia.

Informal presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto would no doubt exploit SBY’s visit and give the critical view the oxygen it needs to show that the current administration is more concerned about pleasing foreign, militant activists than protecting Indonesian interests. After all, Greenpeace and its cohort of green interest groups halted the palm oil production of Indonesian paper giant Golden Agri and therefore contributed to the Malaysians gaining the upper hand on the global market.

Proxy activists with the European Environmental Paper Network made it a point to have the activists delay the banking loans needed for expanding APP’s business and halt APP operations as long as possible. Clearly serving its own strategic interests, APP has subscribed to a cease fire agreement that uses the former adversaries now working as capitalist consultants with the Robertsbridge Group and The Forest Trust/TFT, a UK-based green consultancy. The complete financial flow between these groups has not been disclosed but it seems that in the environmental movement, as in politics, money counts.

APP should take note, however, that Greenpeace can never be a true ally of a private company, as Greenpeace disparages free markets. According to the blog Nofrakkingconsensus.com, Greenpeace advocates “a system of global governance – a system in which unaccountable UN bodies have “real powers” to pass extensive new regulations and then to force people, businesses, and nations to comply.”

“When you donate money to Greenpeace you are funding people who want new taxes, who want to meddle with the economic system in myriad ways, who believe the entire “global trade system” is their plaything,” the blog’s creator and long-time observer of green action networks Donna Laframboise writes.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono should consider these points before endorsing Greenpeace by visiting its Rainbow Warrior.

By: Scott H. Gray

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