When Good Men Do Nothing

26 Feb

Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan are two young men that went down the wrong path. They intimidated, threatened and influenced others to import and smuggle drugs. They were legally and morally devoid when they  committed their crimes, almost 10 years ago. They disregarded their family, friends, the Indonesian and  the Australian people.  Their selfish acts  directly destroyed seven peoples lives and indirectly affected the lives of people with substance abuse issues.

They are criminals.

I am not here to convince you that these men are angels, but, to deny them a chance of redemption by taking their life seems hopeless, futile and inhumane.

In Saudi Arabia and Iran they have a concept call Hudud. It is practiced strictly under Sharia law. These include the religious crimes of adultery, fornication, homosexuality, apostasy, consuming intoxicants, transgression, highway robbery and theft. In sharia law, Hudud crimes trigger a class of punishments that range from public lashing, publicly stoning to death, amputation of hands or public execution. These sentences are currently carried out in both these countries.

As a nation we publicly denounce these archaic and barbaric acts. In the modern world these punishments ‘do not’ fit the crime. The problem is, these laws over simplify an often complicated situation. Initially justice may seem to be served but what has really been achieved. Crime, adultery and homosexuality still exist in these countries regardless of the harsh punishments. The only thing these punishments do is feed evil and decrease the value of human life. That is why the argument of  ‘their country, their rules’ is completely ridiculous. Just because it is law in another country doesn’t make it acceptable on a world scale. The people who support the execution of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan  help promote this form of justice.  As the law abiding majority we institute laws based on societal moral codes. If we support killing another person then how are we any different from the criminals we send to jail.

Do we hold the moral high ground if we can seemingly  justify this callous and barbaric act?

The fact is you can never justify killing someone in this manner, regardless of any countries set of laws . Our justice system keeps us from lowering ourselves to a criminal level, by not taking the life of another human being. As a modern day society that is our responsibility to one other.

Maintain life, preserve it, rehabilitate it and save it, if and when we can.

Many people have argued, the drugs that the Bali Nine attempted to smuggle would  have killed countless people. To hold them entirely responsible for drug induced deaths is over simplifying the issues of ‘societal drug addiction’. Their drug importation would have certainly contributed to drug consumption but a myriad of factors are responsible for the death of drug users. To attribute the deaths of all drug takers to Myuran and Andrew only serves to support a hollow agenda to justify their executions and make them more palatable.

Would they have kept importing if they hadn’t been caught? Probably.

In order for Myuran and Andrew to operate their drug syndicate they chose ignore the big picture in order justify their actions. They didn’t consider repercussions. They never thought or cared , ‘who will actually be affected by this’. They blindly and carelessly enacted their crimes.

Aren’t those in support of this execution, thinking exactly the same way?

Aren’t they simply ignoring the big picture to justify the means?

This is what should be considered before condemning these men to death. Could I  in fact shoot these men to death? Could I take these two  lives by my own hands? Could I watch televised pictures of the execution? Could I watch these men being placed against a post and a bullet fired into their skulls? Could I watch the final beat of their heart and their last breath? (Watch this video. Watch it all the way through. It is painful.* WARNING: This VIDEO contains a man executed by firing squad.)

If the answer is ‘Yes’ to all those questions, then I pity you and I seriously fear for your mental state. Because trust me, from experience, to see life leave a person’s body is something you do not forget. I could imagine that being responsible for taking a life would be even more devastating. Just ask our armed service men and woman and see if they found it easy to kill  (even if it was an enemy) and then live with it.  A piece of your humanity withers and never recovers.

If the answer is ‘No’ then you can’t possibly support this madness. To support it on social media or even from privacy of your home, means, you are in part responsible, for the deaths of these two human beings. By taking a backseat supporting role you are blinding yourself from the horror of this event. Get your face in it, surround yourself by it, indulge in it, take responsibility for it because to do anything but, is a complete act of cowardice.

We don’t cut off limbs, we don’t stone people to death and we don’t put people to death by firing squad . No family should ever have to suffer the loss of a loved one in this manner.  Compassion, forgiveness and love is what criminals like Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan need, even when they may not deserve it. Use this instead of a bullet and see how it makes you feel.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”.

                                                                                                           Edmund Burke

180583-bali-nine

Rant On.

One Response to “When Good Men Do Nothing”

  1. Ken Oath February 26, 2015 at 11:05 am #

    As always Johnny, I love how you write to your passions. And I’m in total agreement with the sentiment of this blog.

    But…….

    It’s based on the presumption that the moral position that we both take on the issue is the RIGHT position. That it has some moral or ethical dominion over that of the culture in which this travesty (in our opinion) is taking place.

    I believe that assumption is dangerous.

    It’s the same assumption made by the architects of the crusades, and many other campaigns that you and I would agree are morally reprehensible: that our position is THE right, and ONLY right, position.

    On my way to the Persian Gulf in 1990, my ship stopped in Diego Garcia to refuel. As an 18 year old, I was still able to see that the local people and their culture had been shut out by the juggernaut that is American Cultural Influence. The natives of that sovereign state were second class citizens in their own country, steamrolled by the cultural domination of the US society who had rented space in their land and, consequently, had taken over like a virus. The locals were disregarded, disrespected second-class citizens. That observation was the start of my questioning the absolute nature of culture, morality and dominion.

    In short, none of them are absolute, in my opinion. That’s the only conclusion I’ve been able to draw in the 25 years since. Morality, dominion and culture define not only the nuts and bolts of what happens in a society, but the philosophy of, and value we attribute to, actions of the people in that society. And it’s entirely self-defining, governed by those experiencing that culture/time/place/etc.

    To assume a supreme, objective morality is a logical error. The same error made by the proponents of Christ, Allah, etc. in assuming a civilised/heathen polarisation of the human race that’s based in an oversimplified adjudication for the purpose of validating a subjective moral position. And I believe that any statement that sounds like it’s grounded in that philosophy is dangerous. Like “That is why the argument of ‘their country, their rules’ is completely ridiculous.”, for instance.

    Morality is a subjective animal. Statements that claim otherwise are flawed.

    Having said that, my personal sense of the case in point is totally in line with yours. And with regard to your personal opinion on the issue, I couldn’t agree more. But if you’re advocating for an objective, as opposed to subjective, moral position in this (or any case) then I have to take issue, because I think that’s dangerous.

    I’d like to finish with a quote too, that I think you’ll be amused by:
    “One great thinker said one thing, another said another, and while the two thoughts are contradicting, the one that backs my argument at the moment is the superior statement.”
    ― Jarod Kintz, This Book is Not FOR SALE

    Subjective validation at it’s best, right there.

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