If you have a thirst for politics and a need to know the machinations afoot inside the beltway, then Fairfax’s Peter Hartcher’s articles are best ignored because he typifies all that’s terminally wrong with Fairfax and, as a darling of the ABC, he will be one of the last rats to jump ship.
The US, Japan and the UK lead the way with amounts of around $10 million including airlifting massive humanitarian aid, then Canada, Norway and little old Australia is again punching above its weight, followed by China, Germany and Singapore with even the tiny impoverished kingdom of Bhutan kicking the tin with $1million.
Radical Islam has declared war on the world yet, curiously, few leaders seem keen to declare war on Radical Islam. Tony Abbott can unilaterally declare war on this subversive cult (he would need to eventually take it to Parliament) but he, like George W Bush did, backs off at a rate of knots fearing a mutinous Left uprising. Obama, of course, is part of that potential Left uprising.
There is a small group of Islands a little to the east and south of PN-G where cannibals live happily shrinking heads and practising voodoo. They love life, respect death and deal with natural catastrophes as they have done for thousands of years.
Gough Whitlam once said, “Australia will not stand in the way of Indonesia’s annexation of East Timor”. That worked out pretty well as a rampaging Indonesian militia promptly cut a swathe through a civilian population leaving five Australian journalists brutally murdered in their wake.
The current debate is about capital punishment, not drugs, and conflating the two makes it hard to argue the case for either. The moment a case is made against yesterday’s killing of the Bali two, immediately there’s a tirade against the evils of drugs. Fair enough, so what do you want to debate? Drugs or capital punishment?
The appalling circumstances that the families of the Bali two were forced to endure... the failure of the Indonesian Government to inform Australia that the executions had taken place, Joko Widodo leaving his phone off the hook and his crass insensitivity to international entreaties.
1. Scott Morrison had forced the Indonesian Government to, in effect, give millions to the military out of its own pocket. The Indonesian Government was powerless to stop the boats and was cleverly bypassed in settling the boats issue by Morrison dealing directly and solely with the military.
I have been against the death penalty ever since a journalist friend bore witness to Australia’s last execution, that of Ronald Ryan on February 3, 1967 in Coburg’s Pentridge Prison. But I have covered a number of stories on Indonesia’s death penalty and the part it plays in an outrageously corrupt judiciary and military.
Do you recognise this little monkey? Well, he is Ronny Sompie, the Bali Police Chief who reportedly replaced that other little monkey, Police Chief Harry Utomo, who took those grinning “selfies” of himself with the traumatised Bali two on the flight to “Execution Island”.
Do I have ANZAC fatigue? Yes I do have. Not that I haven’t thought deeply about a tragedy that should never have been. Not that I haven’t imagined my fresh-faced sons in the same trenches and winced. Such a pointless waste of valuable lives and for what?.... Nothing!