Death Row Inmates & Debate

Jul 25th, 2008, in IM Posts, Opinion, by

Ross sees sinister motives behind renewed debate over the death penalty.

Sound and fury and firing squads

Tuesday’s Jakarta Post had a frontpage report on the handful of convicts recently executed, whom it identified as two Nigerian drug-traffickers and certain Indonesians who murdered several neighbours. It might usefully have gone into detail about the so-called ‘dukun', who killed 42 innocents, all women, so far as I know, and was greatly mourned by Amnesty International, a body ever-ready to shed tears for scumbags.

Tuesday’s item displayed the JP’s notorious left-lib bias, in its description of the five executions as a death penalty ‘spree’. Such hyperbole, to describe five instances of capital punishment in a country of more than two hundred million people, where Islamist swine who behead schoolgirls on religious grounds get preposterous sentences of a mere twenty years, is just daft.

But perhaps there is more to this than mere bad journalism. The night before, we had tuned into Metro TV’s late current affairs programme, which focused also on ‘hukum mati’, with an underlying theme of how capital punishment in this country seemed unfairly to target the less well-off.

Perhaps so, and all the better reason to expand its use dramatically, I reflected, my thoughts interestingly mirrored on the 22nd, when I got home in time to catch another Metro tea-time feature, which centred on the idea that corruption convicts ought to face the death penalty, a proposal floated, if I’m not mistaken, by Wiranto in his last presidential bid, and one that many locals and expats would surely welcome.

Then, after I’d devoured my nightly ration of rendang, TV One had yet another programme about executions, in which the phrase the ‘death penalty season’ was deployed (more hyperbole!) Next day, TV One featured a debate on capital punishment (7.30pm. 23/7) which would have been better if they'd got some big-name speakers, but proved lively nevertheless.

What fascinates me is this sudden prominence across a wide range of media of this issue.

None of the death row inmates was remotely to be lamented, except naturally by their immediate kin, and in that dukun's case probably not much by them. So why the fuss?

That question might be answered by another article, on page 2 of Tuesday’s JP, in which the devoutly-to-be-wished-for, but so far unrealized, execution of Amrozi and the other Bali Beasts is promised ‘before Ramadan’. The latest pathetic excuse for delaying this gladsome day is the failure of the Attorney General’s office to receive a copy of the Supreme Court’s rejection of the strangely reluctant 'martyrs’ appeal. (You’d think all those gorgeous maidens in paradise would be a destination eagerly sought!)

Amrozi
Amrozi

I’m not totally familiar with the geography of government buildings in Jakarta, but one would have imagined that a keen tukang ojek could have fetched that necessary scrap of paper across town inside half an hour. Never mind! Clearly there is no great sense of urgency in the corridors of power to mete out justice to Amrozi and his fellow-bigots along the same lines as was done with the three Christians in the outer islands a year ago. For already we have a spokesman, a deputy A-G no less, Abdul Hakim Ritonga, asserting that if the good deed isn’t done by the Holy Month, further postponement may be necessary, 'as otherwise we'd be showing no respect to Muslims'.

Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus Da Silva and Marianus Riwu
Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus Da Silva & Marianus Riwu.

So Amrozi may get another round of play-time, to avoid upsetting ‘Muslims’? Very odd! Decent Muslims, as opposed to the Laskar Setan caricatures exemplified by Amrozi and Co., should surely be sufficiently upset by the abominations committed in their name by Jamaah Islamiyah and be anxious to see those pigs put down asap. It is a tad unconvincing that the occasion of religious ritual should be offered as a potential cop-out, the executions possibly dragged out for further long weeks.

Of maybe more significance, therefore, was the JP’s inclusion of a comment by SBY’s office that the President was bound by the law and could not intervene unless a request for clemency landed on his desk. The Man is not going to step in - unless he is pushed.

Now reconsider all that media sound and fury. What does it portend? Why, this month, the sudden televised debate, why, all of a sudden, arguments deployed to revise the scope of death penalty law?

'Kontroversi Hukum Mati' was the tag attached to several tv items. There is no ‘controversy' in Indonesia, except for that generated by a handful of elitist intellectuals, similar to their counter-parts in the West, who are hopelessly out of touch with what the man on the Clapham Omnibus, (or, here, the M11 microlet through Slipi) really thinks. Paradoxically, the left-libbers for once share (no doubt uncomfortably) a goal with those Islamists who object to their activist allies paying a fair price for wholesale slaughter of innocents.

Between them, it could be argued, they - or at least their media pals - have set off a disputatious chorus calculated to stall justice for the murderous Bali Bomb pigs. What will happen if the 'death to corruptors' proposal is taken up and and a wholesale review of the law invoked? Would pending sentences be held back, sine die, or what? That would let lots of people off the hook.

It may be that SBY will have the guts to get on with the executions, rather than quail before local abolitionist/fanatic rantings, endorsed by the EU, Amnesty and Al Qaeda. Let’s hope he makes the right decision.


60 Comments on “Death Row Inmates & Debate”

Pages: [1] 2 »

  1. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:
    July 25th, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Ross,

    If you don’t like Indonesia, you don’t have to renew your visa next time.

    I also see you rant and rave about murder, but eat Rendang, or beef, killing an innocent cow to feed your fast-growing girth.

  2. avatar timdog says:
    July 26th, 2008 at 4:14 am

    Thank you Ross! Sincerely! Things have been a tad quiet here of late. I’ve scanned on a daily basis in search for something worth passing comment on, and found nothing; I thought it was just me, but others seem to have been distinctly un-voiciferous too – this might liven things up.

    Now, before we procede, would you care to lay out in simple, declarative terms, why you believe that the death penalty is a good thing (without, if possible, using the traditional non-argument of holding up a child-murderer/terrorist bomber and shrieking “does this man deserve to live?!?!?” – you’re a sharp guy so I believe you’ll be up to that challenge…)

    This would be helpful so we know precisely the foundations of your standpoint before the carnage commences…

    In eager anticipation
    tim ;-)

  3. avatar Odinius says:
    July 26th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    I don’t support the death penalty in any situation, as I don’t believe the state should be in the business of taking lives of citizens. But if you are going to have it, just make sure it’s actually used to punish the worst criminals. When killers and terrorists go free after a few years but hapless drug mules gets shot, priorities are out of whack.

  4. avatar mirax says:
    July 26th, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    I think that it is a always good thing that there is more discussion on the death penalty – and that ultimately, it is abolished or only applied in very severely restricted cases. I think that Ross’ complaint is that he feels whatever discussion that has been initiated recently is not genuine but rather a conspiracy of sorts to let the Bali bombers off the hook/noose etc. I don’t know how credible such a scenario is.

    As for this board, it has been deadly dull – apart from some activity on the perenially favourite dating threads (is it all desperate old men bules here?). There is a very rare Indonesian thread on the Guardian’s website : http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jul/25/warcrimes.indonesia

    Only 7 commenters so far, those of you hoping to sink your teeth into some real meat, might want to pop over while the post stays open for comments (2 days left). I am curious about some of the assertions made – how does one go about setting up a topic for discussion on IM?

  5. avatar AchmadSudarsono says:
    July 26th, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Mirax,

    What, only Oxbridge-educated Indians are capable of a heated debate ? Alas, Mirax, your tricks might work in the Punjab, but not down here in Nusantara, a land which will one day be Singapore’s master.

    Yours always,

    Achmad Sudarsono.

  6. avatar AchmadSudarsono says:
    July 26th, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    BTW — all, Tom Fawthrop is one of the smelliest journalists in Asia, worse than the Indians…

  7. avatar AchmadSudarsono says:
    July 26th, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    I think the issue on the Bali bombers versus the Nigerians is that the Bali bombers were fighting for something. The Nigerians were just doing it for the money. The Bali bombers, however, were fighting for a cause, something this Republic is founded on.
    Mr. Ross would find this hard to understand because he’s just out here for a quick thrill in the form of the resident night life at Blok M. Anyone who cares about this country knows different. It is interesting to see the outporing of Pathos for the victims of the Bali bombing. Yet the Australian press is nearly silent on the deaths from preventable causes, like Dengue fever, Malaria, and even malnutrition in Indonesia and the rest of the world.
    Why ?
    Not a hot enough story ?
    Only newsworthy when a white person dies ?
    Over to you Ross.

  8. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    July 26th, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    Achmad said

    The Bali bombers, however, were fighting for a cause, something this Republic is founded on.

    So were Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus Da Silva & Marianus Riwu. Nevertheless they were shown no mercy and couldn’t have been executed more quickly.
    The point is not the pros and cons of the death penalty, but the double standards that seem to be used in its application.

    Only newsworthy when a white person dies ?

    Not all of the victims of the Bali bombings were white; most of the victims of the second bombing were locals. They also deserve justice.

    The article says

    For already we have a spokesman, a deputy A-G no less, Abdul Hakim Ritonga, asserting that if the good deed isn’t done by the Holy Month, further postponement may be necessary, ‘as otherwise we’d be showing no respect to Muslims’.

    Need more comment?

  9. avatar timdog says:
    July 26th, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    I absolutely, catagorically disagree with the death penalty, always and under all circumstances (I will elaborate further once Ross has explained his countering position).
    HOWEVER, if having the death penalty on the statute books is bad, implementing it irregularly, inconsistently, politically, is even worse…
    Death penalties were handed down for Amrozi et al; I would prefer that the sentence had been otherwise (NOT because I think it was “too harsh”, but because I am fundamentally opposed to all judicial murder).
    However, that was the punishment perscribed by a court of law; sufficient time has been given for appeal, in the meantime similar judgements have been summarily meted out, therefore this one should be too.
    Picking and choosing who you execute and when for political and “social” reasons only makes the already obscene business of the death penalty even more repulsive…

  10. avatar Oigal says:
    July 26th, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    like Dengue fever, Malaria, and even malnutrition in Indonesia and the rest of the world

    Right on Pak Assmad…Fair dinkum unless Australia and the all those other evil nation step in and do something how on earth will people like Mud King and his children keeping having those wedding extravaganzas without feeling guilty about the Rayat dying in the streets below.

  11. avatar Lairedion says:
    July 26th, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    For already we have a spokesman, a deputy A-G no less, Abdul Hakim Ritonga, asserting that if the good deed isn’t done by the Holy Month, further postponement may be necessary, ‘as otherwise we’d be showing no respect to Muslims’.

    I reckon Hari Raya Idul Fitri is the most fitting day to carry out these long anticipated executions.

  12. avatar Rambutan says:
    July 26th, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Fair enough to talk about a ‘death penalty spree’ if you look at the numer of executions in recent years. Last year it was only one, in 2006 you had three (Tibo & Co). Now within a couple of weeks we had five executions and more are on the horiyon, incl the Bali bombers. If there is a conspiracy behind this increase I would assume that in the run0up to teh elections SBY is trying to improve his reputation as being hesitant and weak by being tough on crime.

  13. avatar Odinius says:
    July 26th, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    dewaratugedeanom said:

    So were Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus Da Silva & Marianus Riwu. Nevertheless they were shown no mercy and couldn’t have been executed more quickly.
    The point is not the pros and cons of the death penalty, but the double standards that seem to be used in its application.

    You got it. All the excuses in the world can’t explain away the double standards in Indonesia’s application of the death penalty. It’s even worse than America’s also flawed death penalty in that most of these decisions reek of political tampering.

    With terrorists:

    Christians executed; Muslims get prison

    With drug mules:

    Third-worlders executed; Bules (Corby) gets prison

    I’m perfectly fine with clemency, even for the Bali bombers. States shouldn’t be taking lives, in my opinion. It’s just that this clemency should be for Tibo and the unlucky Indian fellow who gets caught with heroin up his arse too.

  14. avatar Kaki Tiga says:
    July 27th, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Of course Indonesia applies the death penalty unfairly – the death penalty is inherently unfair.

    You have to look at the actual reason behind the death penalty in Indonesia. Is it to deter other people from conducting the same crimes? Statistically capital punishment has no impact on the target crime rates.

    Is it to save the state the expense of a life-time of prison expenses for the convicted criminal? Seems a little mercenary to kill someone to move improve a balance sheet.

    So it is to allow the family of victims to see ‘justice’ which is a well spun way of saying ‘it’s about revenge’. Getting our own back. That kid in the playground hit me so I’ll kick him back.

    Revenge is a childish impulse – the death penalty is a symptom of a childish outlook on life which is why as states become better educated, wealthier, and happier (i.e. more mature) they abolish the death penalty pretty sharpish.

    Perhaps the recent barrage of news and discussion about the death penalty shows that Indonesians are almost ready to drop this barbaric and unfortunate practice.

    I certainly hope so.

  15. avatar timdog says:
    July 28th, 2008 at 12:12 am

    kaki tiga – with you all the way on that…

  16. avatar ultratupai says:
    July 28th, 2008 at 3:58 am

    I do not favor the death penalty. The “State” should not have that power. If you note the news today Iran executed 29 (by hanging), China and the United States make Indonesia’s “controversy” pale in comparison.

    I also agree that the death penalty is not applied on an equitable basis.

    Money talks and justice walks.

    In Indonesian and elsewhere.

  17. avatar Ross says:
    July 28th, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    Sorry for the delay in replying, Timdog, took a few days in Bali, which were fun but also reminded me of why i support the death penalty.
    Usual argument is that it deters, and it probably does, for many common crims, who will hesitate to kill robbery victims if they know it will cost them their lives…and of course it deters Amrozi types from repeat performances. The only good terr is a dead terr, because he can’t terrorise any more. (though I’d spare those who turn Queen’s Evidence or whatever the local eqivalent is here, if they provide good info helping to nail the bad guys)
    And I can see where corruption convicts might benefit from a wee bit of hanging, and even hesitate to rip off the country if they risk death by doing so.

    But fundamentally, I think retributive arguments are strongest. You kill wilfully, meanly, mercilessly, then you deserve to die. Especially if you show not a tinge of regret afterwards.
    Achmad, you’re hung up on my social life. I have enjoyed living in Indonesia for lots of reasons, and hence I take an interest in its politics, history, etc. Criticism of aspects of life here should be seen as evidence of one’s commitment to the country, not as a red card!

  18. avatar indahs says:
    July 28th, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Ross, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind (Mahatma Gandhi).

    Agree with Kaki Tiga’s point of view. I would prefer to replace capital punishment to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Capital punishment is too cheesy, especially for people like Amrozi, it will give them opportunities – as what they believed – to go to heaven and enjoy hundreds virgins faster…

  19. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    July 28th, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    @ those who oppose the death penalty

    If not the death penalty then what kind of punishment do you think is appropriate for terrorists like Amrozi et al. and for genocidal or war criminals like Eichmann and the finally captured Radovan KARADŽI? who all killed indiscriminately for purely ideological reasons, without showing any remorse, only contempt.

    Do you really believe they should still be allowed to have a place among us?

  20. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    July 28th, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    @ indahs

    I think we should leave the ‘virgins’ question out of it. Whatever their (the terrorists) belief of an afterlife is of no importance. I they think they are going to be rewarded for their actions, so be it. Why should we care? What is important is the question if the rest of humanity still has to put up with them, even feed them or let them get married 2 times like in Amrozi’s case. With our tax money, nota bene.

    Don’t you believe we should take a more practical approach and just get rid of it?

  21. avatar tomaculum says:
    July 28th, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    I am for a penalty by titillating to death or water drops torture or drowning them in a septic tank. :) (and what about “hukum picis”?)
    Seriously: death penalty wouldn’t hold such fanatics from bomb killing themselfs because they are already brainwashed.
    And death penalty for a revenge? If this is the intention, I would choose one of the alternatives above.

    Btw:imprisoning thugs like Amrozi cs for life time will give fanatics a beautiful change to blackmail the government to release them f.e. by kidnapping some christians.

  22. avatar Odinius says:
    July 28th, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    dewaratigendeanom said:

    @ those who oppose the death penalty

    If not the death penalty then what kind of punishment do you think is appropriate for terrorists like Amrozi et al. and for genocidal or war criminals like Eichmann and the finally captured Radovan KARADŽI? who all killed indiscriminately for purely ideological reasons, without showing any remorse, only contempt.

    Do you really believe they should still be allowed to have a place among us?

    Well, first of all, they wouldn’t “have a place among us,” unless we’re all in the solitary confinement cell with Radovan n’ co.

    Second, even death is not proportionate to what these people have done. In fact, it’s an easy out, a chance for “martyrdom” (since these butchers invariably see themselves as messiah-like figures) and a way to avoid long, lonely, isolated reflection on what they’ve done and how thoroughly they’ve lost.

    So I don’t see the death penalty having the desired effect of forcing the killers to confront what they’ve done.

    Now, that said, I also don’t think that this type of person deserves any but minimal human contact. Feed them, allow them outside for an hour a day and don’t let them have visitors. No contact with the outside world. Yeah that’s a bit cruel, but c’est la vie for the genocidaire types.

  23. avatar indahs says:
    July 28th, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    @ Dewaratugedeanom

    Sorry – I was joking about what they believe in – it is just that I don’t believe that death penalty will have effects as remedy of any crimes. Besides of its double standards (killing somebody is wrong and yet we kill of the murderer afterwards for justice?), isolated living for the rest of their life would cost them lifetime without proper social life.

    Furthermore, death penalty assures the execution of some innocent people.

    About costs, some studies in USA has proof that death penalty costs more than 40 years life imprisonment. I am not sure about the case in Indonesia though but it is worth to be studied.

    BTW – FYI, UN tribunal’s chamber does not have power to sentence Karadzic or any war criminals a death penalty but life imprisonment.

  24. avatar timdog says:
    July 29th, 2008 at 12:19 am

    Ok Ross, thanks…

    Before I state the reasoning for my opposition to the death penalty I will just repeat and restate that while I would prefer that death sentences were never handed down, they have been handed down for Amrozi and co, and as other such sentences have been meted out without delay, so should these ones. If they had been executed promptly after a reasonable time period allowed for appeal they would already have been forgotten by all but a few. Leaving them to fester on death row is absolutely counterproductive…

    BUT…
    The death penalty is wrong for various reasons.
    Firstly, killing people is quite simply uncivilised; governments all over the world do plenty of thoroughly uncivilised things, but if the government actively kills people (no matter what their crime) then it utterly debases itself.

    Secondly – and this is a crucial cornerstone of my opposition – even in the most advanced, polished, fair judicial systems miscarriages of justice do occur. New evidence is appears that overturns apparently watertight cases years after the trial.
    Now, if someone has been incarcerated for 20 years you can never give them back that time, but you can, and ought to give them a huge amount of money in compensation, and they can try to eke out some fragment of pleasure from what they have left – even that can extend no further from going for a walk in the park on a sunny day. If you shot, hung, electrocuted or poisoned that person two decades ago, then all is lost…

    Thirdly, and running on from the previous issue – I have heard it argued that death sentences should only be handed down in cases where the evidence is irrefutable. This is a complete non-argument because it instantly rests on the innate fallibility of judicial systems. A guilty verdict is a guilty verdict; if you start saying “This case is so solid that we can safely kill Convict A, but there’s still a flicker of doubt in that case, despite the guilty verdict, so we’d better just imprison Convict B…” then the whole thing collapses; verdicts of all kinds are revealed as meaningless and worthless, and anarchy ensues… To make this argument is to argue that all organised justice systems are worthless…

    Fourthly, and this is where the death penalty is revealed as obscene and repulsive on a deeper level…
    Death penalties originated with the disingenuous justification that they were “a punishment from god” (and they are still often dressed up this way). But they are not. Ultimately they are handed down by a human being; ultimately a judge makes a decision – the crime that this person committed is bad enough to merit killing them in revenge/punishment. This is totally subjective and dependent on the views of the judge, the views of the society from which the judge comes, and political pressure that the judge may be under. The death sentence is not an objective, clinical deal dealt out automatically: it is a human being – fallible and complex as all human beings are – deciding to kill another human being. It is repulsive…

    And this leads onwards to this: death sentences assume that ethics and morality are constants, received from above. They are not. They are flexible, varying, variant and vague…
    Barry Bollocks, Daily Mail reader from Bigotston, Little England, passionately believes that pedophiles should get the death sentence (“hangin’s too good for ‘em mate…”).
    Terry Taliban from Fanaticabad, Helmand Province thinks that homosexuals should die by having a wall pushed on top of them. Barry Bollocks doesn’t like poofdas, but he thinks that’s a bit extreme…
    Garry Glitter from Pervsville, Cambodia, believes that pedophilia isn’t even a crime (“I’m just teaching them about love…”) and that Barry Bollocks and Terry Taliban both need to be more open-minded.
    And Tim Dog, from Kota Liberal, thinks all three of them are f$%*n’ assholes…

    What a society considers evil enough a crime to warrant judicial murder is entirely dependent on the subjective ethics and mores of that particular country (or those who make the laws thereof), proving once again that death sentences are something based on, issued, and carried out entirely on the utterly unreliable emotions and beliefs of the massed diversity of human beings, and as such is ultimately one with “Kill him because he’s an infidel/a foreigner/a different ethnicity/rich/poor/because I want to” and is every bit as obscene…

    Finally, some miscellaneous bits and pieces: there is scant evidence that the “deterrent” nature of capital punishment has any effect whatsoever.
    Killing people makes martyrs, and by far the best place for Amrozi would be festering for however many years he continues to live in some obscure (and media off-limits) jail cell, rather than parading around on celebrity deathwatch. There’s glory for certain fools in being executed; there’s no glory in sixty years in a small concrete room, sh*tting in a bucket and sleeping on the bottom bunk under Garry Glitter from Pervsville Cambodia…

  25. avatar Patrick says:
    July 29th, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Why make these killers heroes or their actions seem heroic by publicly executing them? The late great Sam Cooke wrote a song years ago that best describes how to incarcerate these guys. Now if only Indonesia could hire some down-home Southern style rednecks to run the prison system? Can’t think of a better deterrent than a chain gang for terrorist wannabes!

    Chain Gang Lyrics
    “(Well, don’t you know)
    That’s the sound of the men working on the chain ga-a-ang
    That’s the sound of the men working on the chain gang

    All day long they’re singin’
    (hooh! aah!) (hooh! aah!)
    (hooh! aah!) (hooh! aah!)

    (Well, don’t you know)
    That’s the sound of the men working on the chain ga-a-ang
    That’s the sound of the men working on the chain gang

    All day long they work so hard
    Till the sun is goin’ down
    Working on the highways and byways
    And wearing, wearing a frown
    You hear them moanin’ their lives away”…

  26. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    July 29th, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    @ timdog

    There’s glory for certain fools in being executed; there’s no glory in sixty years in a small concrete room, sh*tting in a bucket and sleeping on the bottom bunk under Garry Glitter from Pervsville Cambodia…

    But this is Indonesia, mate. Here deathrow inmates get laptops smuggled into their cells to continue spreading their vile propaganda, here they are allowed to marry twice and continue to be worshipped as heroes suffering for their unlucky fate having been captured. Not to mention what happens if guardians and prison directions are bribed enough to give their inmates a luxury life, even let them out to go dining. We have other examples of this.

    Tomaculum was right when he said

    Btw:imprisoning thugs like Amrozi cs for life time will give fanatics a beautiful change to blackmail the government to release them f.e. by kidnapping some christians.

    Your opinion about the death penalty and its alternatives may be valid in civilized Western countries, but when it comes to justice Indonesia is still the jungle where survival comes first and bullsh*t walks if money talks. To breath the local atmosphere I suggest you polish your bahasa a bit and have a look at the Indonesian threads here in IM about the FPI.

    Also if your theory

    This is totally subjective and dependent on the views of the judge, the views of the society from which the judge comes, and political pressure that the judge may be under.

    is extended to all crimes then we may as well say goodbye to justice and replace it with tantric counseling.

  27. avatar Lairedion says:
    July 29th, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    timdog said:

    “Kill him because he’s an infidel/a foreigner/a different ethnicity/rich/poor/because I want to” and is every bit as obscene…

    But of course timdog, killing is every sense is obscene, except when critics of Islam are murdered, then it’s only unfortunate and reprehensible. Or was it “kick a dog long enough and he will bite back”?

  28. avatar timdog says:
    July 30th, 2008 at 3:37 am

    @ Dewa – re. your “But this is Indonesia, mate. Here deathrow inmates get laptops smuggled into their cells etc…” line – that was exactly my point. As I stated above, it seems to me that Amrozi is currently enjoying all the celebrity and glory of being sentenced to death without the traditional inconvenience of actually having to die. This is the best possible situation for him, and by far the worst and most counter-productive scenario for the rest of us.
    Where he should be is locked away forever on a no-parole life sentence with an injunction on talking to the press etc…
    It’s fairly common these days in some countries for sentences to include injunctions on the inmate publishing or broadcasting material, or on talking to the press… Yes, this is Indonesia, but Indonesia managed to lock up the “writer” Mr Pram for years without access even to pen and paper (actually, that was perhaps the most civilised thing the New Order did – taking his writing material away I mean, not locking him up ;-) ) so why not also Amrozi? (That’s a rhetorical question by the way, just for clarity).

    when it comes to justice Indonesia is still the jungle

    This is a long and slippery slope, and one onto which it is best not to step. I’ve heard the depressing line “Iraq needed Saddam; Iraq needed a strong hand, we’re not like you Europeans…” (from people who had every reason to hate Saddam).
    It’s a sad fact that countries governed by oppressive, despotic regimes have very low crime levels and high levels of “social stability”… that doesn’t mean that those are good, admirable goverenments though does it?

    Here’s a thing – in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan “pre 9/11″, opium production had been virtually irradicated, a large proportion of a gun-addicted populace had been disarmed, and although the roads were scarcely distinguishable from the surrounding desert/mountain, in terms of security it was actually safer to travel between cities by road than it had been for almost two decades…
    Under the current Afghan government opium production is at record levels, everyone has guns again, and though the main roads have now been resurfaced, they are far from safe to travel on…
    Does this mean the Taliban were better? (no, it doesn’t).

    Here’s another thing – having capital punishment on the statute books of an otherwise fairly orderly and un-despotic country doesn’t appear to have much of a detterent effect. However, practicing extra-judicial police killings with suspected thieves kidnapped in the middle of the night, shot and left lying on the roadside on the edge of town (as was done in Java in the mid-90s) does appear to have a detterent effect… So is it a good thing? (no, it’s not).

    If you execute people, you might as well go the whole way and behead poachers and sheep-stealers and people who disobey traffic rules and stick their heads on spikes along the approach routes to all major cities – you’re almost garunteed to have a significant drop off in crime rates…

    And if “my theory is extended to all crimes”, then yes indeed all justice ultimately breaks down – because all “justice” is ultimately flawed. Locking up petty thieves for life under “three strikes and you’re out” type systems is grotesque; finding a 16-year-old caught sleeping with his 15 years and 364-days-old girlfriend guilty of statutory rape and putting him on the sex offenders register is grimmly, absurdly comic; incarcerating for years someone caught with a tiny amount of cannabis, while in the neighbouring state of the same country he would simply be given an on-the-spot fine is f*&^n outrageous…
    BUT, there is a certain line, a very clear, absolute, unmistakable line that separates all that nonsense from the point when your government starts killing people…

  29. avatar Shloka says:
    July 30th, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    @ dewa

    How dare you complain of the victims’- both white and local of the Bali bombings? Don’t you know that you should be making fun of them instead, of their pathetic attempt to blame the bombings on not following tradition.

    Bali blaming bombings on neglect of tradition is indeed similar to Aceh blaming tsunamis on neglect of Islam. Of course, one is a natural calamity and the other man made, or specifically Islamist made, but you should ignore the difference right? Don’t you know that if we don’t treat Islam caused terrorism deaths like natural calamities and the Muslims right to strike with the same inevitability and resignation as Mother Nature’s right to strike, its a case of “kicking the dog long enough…?” ;-)

    Of course, Bali never compelled women to dress in traditional Balinese clothes in the aftermath or retaliated by counter bombings. They’ve quitely resigned themselves to a smaller influx of touridts and lesser revenues. “People” exposed and trained by differing ideologies, react differently, just like reading Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” and Gandhi’s “the Story of my experiments with truth” would yeild different results.

  30. avatar timdog says:
    July 31st, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Still hammering away down that single-track railway eh, Shloka?
    I wonder if you could clammber off your hobby horse long enough to form an opinion on the death sentence without somehow connecting it to “Evil Islam”… I doubt it somehow… Probably you think it’s ok so long as only Muslims are executed (with a start made on executing Christians once the Muslims are all gone?).
    Hitler? Gandhi? What are you talking about? Are you a fan of Hitler? Quite possibly, given that he had a rather successful recipe for dealing with what he sincerely considered to be a “troublesome minority” (some of your crew have made favourable statements about Hitler in the past)…

    Anyway, I am trully amused, and not a little satisfied that I have had such a powerfully disturbing effect on a highly vocal Hindutva chauvenist – still fizzing weeks after I last addressed her. A set of opinions inheritted with birth, religion and nationality can rarely be changed, but it’s fun to stir them into a rage…

    As for the Dutch guy, given that his idea of intelligent debate is to make banal and unfunny comments along the lines of “all muslims should eat pig sh*t and be executed, on Hari Raya Idul Fitri! LOL! LOL!!! LOL!!!!!!!” (deliberately offensive political incorrectness can be hilarious, but he ain’t got it…), and then, if someone resonds with a comment of more than three lines that happens to contain a long word or two, to start sneering about “semi-intellectuals taking over IM” with all the inverse-snobbery of the willfully banal, why bother passing comment at all? (LOL! LOL!!! LOL!!!!!)

    And now I’m going on holiday for a month, so, with love and affection, da-da!

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