It would appear that time has at last run out for Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, the two leaders of the infamous ‘Bali 9’, the hard drug dealers with Australian passports who chose to ply their vile trade in a country that had very publicly made it clear what the penalty would be should they be caught. These men had a choice. We all have the same choice. Do we lead our lives, treating our fellow humans the way we would expect to be treated ourselves, or do we exploit them, regardless of the impact on their well-being, and get rich and comfortable at their expense? Because the vast majority of people are basically decent, caring human beings (and I sincerely believe that), most choose to show kindness and consideration to others. And it is not a difficult thing to do. The Bali 9, on the other hand, chose to bring misery to others in order to fill their pockets with money. They made their choice and now they are going to pay the price. So, why is the Australian Government seriously endangering our nation’s relations with Indonesia over this?
Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is trying everything to get the condemned men’s sentences reduced to life imprisonment, on the rather dubious premise that capital punishment is barbaric, that all human life is precious and has value. Frankly, I doubt if the lady is all that familiar with the ‘all human life is precious’ argument. Why? Because one of her brilliantly thought through proposals to President Widodo of Indonesia is that our two nations do an ‘exchange’. The proposal is that Indonesia gives us back our two Australian drug dealers, and in return we give them three Indonesian ones captured on our soil. Then, our home-grown scumbags can serve a cosy prison sentence here, and the Indonesian scumbags can go home and get shot! Evidently, Miss Bishop’s understanding of the sanctity of life only applies to those holding an Australian passport. As I write, the death toll in Katmandu has climbed over 4,000 following the earthquake on April 25, yet the Australian media and government continue to focus their attention on the fate of the Bali 9 leaders. Where the Hell are our priorities? Virtually every Australian I know has enormous sympathy for the Nepalese people and none for two greedy drug dealers, so why does our media and government continually tell the world the opposite? There are vigils being held around the country, but they concern Nepal not Bali!
Another suggestion Bishop made was regarding paying for the upkeep of the Bali 9 leaders. If Indonesia would agree to commute their sentences to life imprisonment, then the ever-generous Australian taxpayer would pay for their upkeep in prison for the next zillion years. Once again, however, the Foreign Minister has missed the point entirely. Does she really think the Indonesian president is dead set on executing all drug dealers because it costs money to keep them in prison? This has nothing whatever to do with money, so why even bring it up? Does she seriously expect him to agree to do an about face on the very policy that got him elected just to save a buck? Who thinks up these ideas – Mickey Mouse? Possibly the same idiot who dreamt up the knighthood for Prince Phillip fiasco.
PM Tony Abbott & President Widodo
Yet another ploy adopted by our eager government was to request an enquiry into the trial judges, to investigate rumours of them being corrupt. Evidently, our government seriously considers the possibility that the highest judicial minds in Indonesia are on the take. How often do we accuse our judges of corruption? Not often, I’ll wager. No wonder President Widodo dismissed this insulting proposal out of hand. In fact, each one of these proposals is a slap in the face of Indonesian culture. What gives us the right to criticize their judgment when it comes to dealing with crime in their country? How dare we accuse their judges of corruption? What right have we to call Indonesians ‘barbaric’ because their methods for handling serious crime are different from ours? In fact, the method that should be ridiculed is our own weak-kneed, lily-livered approach to ‘punishing’ major criminals. The word ‘punishing’ is used laughingly in this context, because our own system is nothing short of a joke.
We hear in the media how the Australian Government should go about pressuring the Indonesians over this issue in other ways as well. It has been suggested that we, the Australian people, should boycott Indonesia as a tourist destination, Bali in particular, as a form of national protest over the proposed executions? Yeah, right, good luck with that. How about we threaten to withdraw our aid to Indonesia? Another staggeringly thoughtless idea. In protest over two greedy drug dealers getting their just desserts, we should go ahead and disadvantage people who are already disadvantaged up to their eyeballs. Brilliant. What rocket scientist in the media thought that one up? But all this posturing and criticizing of the Indonesians is not going to change anything anyway. President Widodo was elected partly because he promised to take a hard line with drug dealers. His nation has only recently (historically speaking) emerged from 300 years of oppressive foreign rule. It intends asserting itself as a seriously minded nation on the world stage, one capable of deciding policy for itself. And rightly so. If Widodo gives in on this issue; if he suddenly commutes the sentences of foreigners, but continues executing Indonesians for the same crimes, how long will he remain in office? About five minutes, if he is lucky.
Lately, the Indonesian media, irked by the whole situation, has been throwing around veiled threats about ceasing to co-operate with the Abbott Government on the ‘boat people’ issue. It was reported recently that Widodo might very well release all 10,000 ‘immigrants’, currently residing in Indonesia, if Australia does not relent on the execution situation. ‘There will be a human tsunami in Australia’, an Indonesian spokesman warned. Well, it would appear that Indonesian spokesmen are just as prone to exaggeration as are ours. I mean, ten thousand people? That’s not even a decent sized football crowd, much less a tsunami. We are such hypocrites. America, Australia, Britain, the West in general, are forever bleating about the barbarism of capital punishment, about the sanctity of human life. Well, what happened to the ‘sanctity of human life’ argument when the ever eager Coalition of the Willing rushed into Iraq and killed 600,000 Iraqis! Evidently, the sanctity of life is a conditional thing. It only applies to western life, Caucasian life. Oh yes, and wars don’t count either. Please, don’t kill the two Australian drug dealers President Widodo. How about we give you three Indonesian drug dealers to kill in their place? Can you imagine the response in Indonesia if he agreed to that? That Abbott and Bishop had the gall to even propose such a thing tells us a lot about their mentality. And to think they were elected in a landslide. They say we get the government we deserve. Well, there you go then. Sadly, the Opposition offers nothing better.
Final footnote: It is April 29 in Australia and the executions have been carried out. It should be over, yet the PM and the Foreign Minister are still bleating about how ‘we deplore what’s been done’. Well, if they are personally against capital punishment, then that is their prerogative, but to tell the world that we (Australians) deplore what has happened is just untrue. Australians are fed up with drugs and drug dealers and the misery these greedy, lazy, ruthless bastards inflict on society. We are fed up with the escalating crime caused by the drug trade. We are fed up with the sympathy shown to both dealers and users. If there were no buyers there would be no sellers, so both are equally to blame in the eyes of most Australians. Our so-called leaders, however, just don’t get it. They have recklessly damaged our relations with Indonesia over this issue, and are about to withdraw our ambassador from Jakarta. Worse still, their ‘bleeding hearts’ stance has all but given an engraved invitation to the world’s drug dealers: ‘Don’t sell your shit anywhere but in Australia. Make Australia your base of operations for your trade. Why? Because here, even if you get caught, we will show you sympathy. Our government will actually feel sorry for you, and the highest penalty you will get will be a few years in a cushy Aussie prison. Then you will be released and can start pushing your shit all over again. Come one, come all, to the land of opportunity! Meanwhile, the death toll in Nepal continues to rise. Sooner or later the government and the media might get around to addressing it. Maybe.