Saturday, November 26, 2005

wringing hands and necks

How slack is this. The Australian Government gets advice from two Australian international law experts that Van has a chance with an application to the international courts. Downer's office emails it off to another expert in England, who then emails back, giving it the thumbs down. As such, the Australian Government regrets to inform us that there's no point bothering with any further action as they apparently don't have a chance.

The Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer, said the legal opinion from Dr Ward and Professor Rothwell had "seemed at least, prima facie, to be at least worth examining". But the assessment by his department and the Attorney-General's Department was "pretty negative".
"But I thought, bearing in mind that this is a question of life or death, it was worth referring these ideas one stage further to Professor James Crawford, who is a professor of international law at Cambridge University. "He has emailed back today saying that on the basis of the ideas that have been put forward there simply was no basis for going to the International Court of Justice."

Based on one guy's opinion, when two others gave hope? A life comes down to that, to a few emails? Give it a go, at least. What can that hurt?
John Howard's refusal to more credibly intervene is saddening. In fact, it makes me think he is cringing on the subject because to call Singapore barbaric is to call America barbaric by proxy, since Uncle Sam still cheerfully kills people off too.
How convincing can John Howard ever be on the matter, anyway, when he describes his efforts to reduce drug-related crime and suffering in Australia as another War? See, you can kill people off when you're at War. You're just allowed to. There's casualties, State-sanctioned crazy barbarism. That's war. And as we know (and Judith Brett explains), deep down Howard loves war. Hence the crocodile tears.
So it's trafficker-emptor [er, or should that be caveat-trafficker?-Ed]. I initially reckoned the Bali Nine had stupidly brought their fate on themselves, but very soon realised the error of my thinking. Of course our Government is morally culpable in having dobbed these young people in, to a country known to impose the death sentence for drug trafficking. I mean, if our Government is prepared to do that, then as if they're going to lift a finger to do anything to help the poor Australian fools who get their lives caught up in these terrible situations--guilty or not. Meanwhile, we're supposed to be pleased they're considering negotiating with Indonesia and Singapore on future prisoner-transfer treaties.