The Dangers Of Deifying Drug-Trafficking Scum

FOLLOWING the executions of drug traffickers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, a grotesque and sickening phenomenon is taking root in some sections of the Australian community as the deceased duo are eulogised, feted and — insidiously — revered. Opinions on the death penalty are one thing, but this pair peddled and profited from a scourge that kills far, far more youngsters than the two grubs shot for their crimes on Wednesday.

Those who follow me on Twitter will have probably seen, in the course of the past week, that I have been called all kinds of things for my stout refusal to buy into the bullshit surrounding the executions of recidivist drug traffickers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in the small hours of Wednesday morning; about the nicest thing someone called me was “a heartless prick — even by degraded Tory standards,” and believe me when I say that some of the names I was called (by people since blocked from interacting with me on Twitter) were unprintable.

Suffice to say, the “C” word was deemed by more than a few to be aptly descriptive of both myself and my views.

I have found myself talking in this column quite a lot of late about standards: standards of decency, of governance, and standards in ordinary society and around our communities, and it really does bother me that not only do accepted standards seem to be breaking down, but the people responsible for breaking them too often seem to be people who should (and perhaps even do) know better: parliamentarians, educators, legal practitioners, clergymen. The list goes on.

Yesterday, one of my favourite columnists — Sydney Daily Telegraph writer Piers Akerman — published one of the best articles I’ve seen on the subject, and I want to share it with readers this evening; just as I have talked extensively about standards when I have posted here lately, I have also been forced to regularly make apology for missing a day or two once or twice per week on account of my other (revenue generating) activities.

There are other issues I’d like to cover before the weekend is out, and I am acutely conscious of the amount of time we have spent on a couple of worthless criminals who no more deserve to be remembered by the community than they deserved the excessive and costly expenditure of resources squandered by the government on their behalf.

People can, as I have now said a number of times, support or oppose the death penalty as they choose; in that vein some of what has been said, written and/or done in the name of Chan and Sukumaran is perfectly acceptable, and — whilst I disagree — is more than appropriate as a platform from which to advance anti-capital punishment arguments with a tangible case to point to by way of reference whilst so doing.

But all of this has, regrettably, gone far beyond mere arguments over the legitimacy of capital punishment; rather, there seems to have been a concerted attempt to immortalise and elevate Chan and Sukumaran in death beyond what they were in life — a filthy pair of repeat offenders trading in the misery and destitution and broken (or lost) lives that collectively constitute the trail of destruction blazed by the illicit narcotics that were their stock in “trade.”

Piers spoke of the infection of NSW classrooms by this insidious disease, with the words “merciless,” “barbaric,” “futile” and “weak” posted on the electronic billboard of the Castle Hill High School, where the principal and her teachers apparently took it upon themselves to advance a particular position over the Bali Nine executions after students “expressed horror” about them.

By way of justification, principal Vicki Brewer claimed “a number of students felt like they had a relationship with (Chan and Sukumaran) because they had seen them on TV and seen their parents and families,” to which I can only respond that of course they did: of course these kids would feel a bond of sorts with convicted drug traffickers under the tutelage of an education system awash with the reprehensibly negligent left-wing objectives of a majority of the staff who “teach” in it, where the emphasis placed on personalising and advancing a political agenda is given far more weight than course content and other quaint concepts such as reading, writing, arithmetic, and a factual version of history undistorted by socialist perversions and bias.

And before Piers wrote about them, I’d heard about the “scholarships” being offered by the Australian Catholic University in the names of Chan and Sukumaran specifically for international students from Indonesia, so the pair could “live on” constructively whilst raising awareness in Indonesia of “the sanctity of human life:” these fully paid four-year scholarships would be awarded on merit, and weighted against the completion by candidates of an essay on — you guessed it — the sanctity of human life.

I actually hope no-one applies for these scholarships: the whole idea, let alone forcing Indonesian kids to write an essay in effect opposing the policies of their own country in order to skip four years of tertiary study invoices is patronising, condescending, and once again looks like Australia waving its finger at the rest of the world and demanding its position be accepted simply because we, in Australia, deign it to be so.

Zero applicants would be the uptake rate the ACU deserves for such an arrogantly demeaning and wilfully insulting sleight to Indonesian kids who had nothing to do with the executions of Chan and Sukumaran.

But the aspect of this I really wanted to focus on was the message being conveyed to impressionable young minds; teachers and university academics seem content to hold Chan and Sukumaran up as the victims in the whole tawdry catalogue of their criminal endeavours, whilst others whose lives have been wrecked or ended by the drugs they peddled — to say nothing of the families of those people, who invariably get left to carry the can and pick up the pieces — are ignored.

Quite aside from the obscene disrespect for Parliament that candlelit vigils conducted by Australia’s most senior political figures at that institution exhibited, these kids were sent the unmistakable message that even if “drugs are bad” (to use a South Park idiom), in some respects it’s OK because the attention and resources and political clout of an entire country will swing behind you if smuggling them through countries with a harsher penalties regime than ours lands you in trouble — and onto death row.

The nation’s allegedly best and brightest entertainment figures will come out in support of you, recording and posting meaningless statements of support that falsely blame everyone else on your behalf, but which make you look like a hero who has been grievously wronged.

Apparently a shrine to Chan and Sukumaran has been assembled in Sydney’s Martin Place, adjacent to the actual memorial to the victims of the Lindt Cafe siege there last year; aside from the utter disrespect to those innocents who were needlessly hurt and/or killed by the brutal actions of a “lone wolf” Islamic terrorist, no international drug kingpin can or indeed should have any monument erected to themselves simply because they were punished, and much less because some people disagree with the fact that that penalty was a capital penalty.

Yet everywhere you look, evidence of the calls for Chan and Sukumaran to “live on” and to “be remembered” is everywhere, and why? There are some who believe they were “completely rehabilitated,” and for all I know, after ten years in prison, they might have been.

But as we have observed before, Australia — with its relatively lax approach to custodial sentencing, penalties and parole — has a long history of releasing “rehabilitated” characters into the community merely to see them reoffend, often with desperately tragic consequences that could and should have been averted by keeping dangerous criminals behind bars in the first place: and for all the kindergarten-standard pictures Sukumaran could paint, or the religious “conversion” Chan ostensibly embodied, nobody could guarantee that had they ever been released they wouldn’t simply revert to type.

There has been a plethora of pictures and stories about Chan’s wife, Feby — whom he married two days before he was executed — all written from a “poor Feby” perspective, and these have appeared across the full spectrum of media outlets in Australia irrespective of what partisan stereotypes might otherwise apply to them: Feby was a victim, you see, because the evil Indonesians shot her husband (the storyline ignores the fact this was due to occur at the time of her marriage) and because the cruel, heartless government didn’t do enough to get Chan and his equally undesirable accomplice off death row.

It’s all bullshit.

Feby is no more a victim than Chan and Sukumaran; this pair of disreputable specimens knowingly, deliberately and repeatedly flouted laws in Asian countries to smuggle heroin, fully cognisant of the fact that if they were caught they were likely to be executed.

Chan, especially, was the ringleader and key figure in a cartel that recruited students and other young travellers to transport heroin by swallowing condoms filled with the drug before boarding commercial flights: completely cavalier to the risk of one of them bursting in transit and instantly killing the person who ingested it.

And both Chan and Sukumaran, as was shown in previous reports of their offending prior to their capture in Indonesia, conveyed highly developed contingency plans to subordinates in the event they were apprehended — and these, too, called for the murder of law enforcement officials in certain circumstances if the imperative to abscond unimpeded made such actions unavoidable.

So if we want to talk about the sanctity of human life and Chan and Sukumaran in the same sentence, let’s have some perspective: they certainly had no care for such a concept.

I understand that arguing that because Chan and Sukumaran had little respect for human life might grate with those opposed to the death penalty, and let me assure those readers that it’s not the sort of tit-for-tat argument they suspect.

But what I am saying is that Chan and Sukumaran were bad to the bone, rotten, evil and I believe irredeemable creatures who fooled enough people in their time in prison to elicit the sympathy and support of a contingent in Australia that accepted their “transformations” at face value and that — just like the national shame of the Prime Minister, opposition leader and other senior political figures lighting candles to drug traffickers — is an indictment when it comes to the signals and messages being sent to impressionable young people supposedly learning right from wrong, and finding their own ways in life.

What a terrible example. What a horrible precedent.

Australians should not revere Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, but curse them; they should not hold them aloft as fallen heroes, but instead spit upon their graves.

In the mad rush to capitalise on the opportunity to decry the death penalty, too many influential people have made the mistake of instead building this murderous duo up as heroes, and in seeking to make a case on the former have instead encouraged the deification and worship that goes along with the latter.

This is not the act of a rational, mature, civilised society, and as much as those who choose to may rail against capital punishment and the executions that occurred in Indonesia this week, no-one should lose sight of the fact that Chan and Sukumaran were filthy gnomes who, directly and indirectly, profited from ruining and ending far more lives — and inflicting far more misery — than the penalty they paid with their own.

The fact they knew their enterprises could end with a bullet through the heart, before they even started, should act as a substantial counterweight to the imbecilic idea they are worth remembering at all, or celebrating, or teaching kids a story in which the purveyors of evil are the victims of the world around them.

They are nothing of the kind. Chan and Sukumaran were human filth. It’s a reality that does not preclude arguing against capital punishment, but of course too many people appear to lack the basic intelligence to draw the distinction.


15 thoughts on “The Dangers Of Deifying Drug-Trafficking Scum

  1. The article by Piers says “It is estimated that China executes thousands every year, the numbers in Iran run into the hundreds, Iraq is believed to have executed more than 160 last year, Saudi Arabia 79, North Korea 70 and the US 39.”

    It is indeed bizarre that people will moan over the execution of two guilty drug smugglers, when huge swathes of innocents are mowed down by the same Indonesian army in West Papua. The executions pale in comparison to the torture, enslavement and execution of innocents in the Middle East. As to the idea that death by firing squad is barbaric, just compare it to the process used by the nutcase dictator in the DPRK.

  2. Remember Stephanie Scott? She was murdered and her body burnt a week before her wedding. None of her loved ones even got to say goodbye let alone knew she was going to die. Where’s the scholarship in her name?

  3. Even George Orwell couldn’t have envisaged this sort of inverted lionisation of traditionally reprehensible villains. Robin Hood was at least supposed to be a non-profit criminal confronting a supposed usurper. We weren’t expected to admire Al Capone or Bugsy Malone, though we may have been fascinated by their evil; we weren’t asked to condone their behaviour. Ned Kelly is justified in fiction and film for avenging his sister’s honour and for wanting to set up a utopia for Irish-Australian farmers, and the police he killed are painted as corrupt bullies. But no one has even attempted to whitewash Chan and Sukumaran, apart from references to their childish paintings and self-serving acts of expedient compassion. Even with all the laudatory hyperbole about their very ordinary efforts that are bettered by the average rotary member without comment, and the millions of diplomatic dollars spent on their behalf, there are still those who say that if they were white and middle-class the Australian government would have saved them. But it looks as if they were middle class; and there was a lot more effort spent on them than the white, dopey bogan, Schapelle Corby, who only carried cannabis, and who was more like a mule than a mastermind. Yet Corby’s life has been ruined without mention of a scholarship, or even a bronze monument.

  4. ACU morality;

    Spend your youth drug trafficking – Get a scholarship named after you

    Spend your youth being molested by catholic priests – Sucks to be you.

  5. None of this could happen if what were formerly our civic leaders had not become civic followers. This trend has existed for decades with people allegedly leaders, would not proceed with anything without consulting the auguries of public opinion first to gauge support, and then modifying what ought to be done to suit a distilled version of public opinion to ensure maximum support with least grief. Now with social media the process is not only wider spread and more immediate, but to our considerable shame, the powers that might have been are taking their cues from the great unwashed, unlettered, clueless, and gormless masses because they have a vote! God help all of us!

  6. Well done! this is a much more sane and balanced article than nearly all I have read on the subject.

  7. You have truly missed the point. It seems pride in domestic policy has overcome the factual deficiencies in this account. We celebrate Chan and Sukumaran for their rehabilitation and for their traumatic experience within a corrupt Indonesian judiciary and interfering executive who prefer not to adhere to the international treaties to which it is party. We do not support the crimes that were committed. We are vehemently opposed to them. However, a robust legal system is a fundamental necessity of a true democracy. Indonesia has shown the world that it falls far short of the mark. You can choose not to see the ACU scholarships as a positive. We think they are a wonderful bridge. Perhaps an Indonesian university could do the same with one of its programs. The more opportunity to discuss fundamental issues, the less likely this sort of commentary will be published without an analysis and acceptance of those facts. There is far more to this story than the drug smuggling. Life is not black and white, the shades of grey are what define us.

    • No, I haven’t missed the point at all, but you have.

      I have been consistent, at all times, that whilst I support the death penalty others are quite legitimately able to argue and campaign against it.

      However, the cultural embrace (for want of a less nauseating phrase) of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran has bordered on deification. This pair are not and were not heroes, gods, role models or otherwise upstanding individuals who should in any way be emulated.

      As for rehabilitation, I am as entitled to my opinion as you are yours, but I do not believe for a moment that this pair did anything other than try to hoodwink Indonesian prison officials into thinking they were a pair of reformed characters.

      Another article has appeared in the Sydney press this afternoon that you might like to peruse:

      Ampuni — if that’s your name — you are free to say and think whatever you like, for this is a free country, and I have no issue with that.

      But as far as the unmitigated passage of horse shit about “remembering” this pair goes and some of the truly abhorrent activities that have been undertaken in their names (the vigil by elected representatives at Parliament first and foremost) I actually think it’s a moral and ethical reflection on the people who are perpetrating this nonsense, and a mark against them for holding up two individuals who were rotten to the core as somehow worthy of the goodwill of a decent society.

      Campaign against the death penalty by all means, but if you can’t separate that issue out from the extremely dubious quality of the two men executed on Wednesday as a different matter altogether, then perhaps you should be looking at yourself and the falling standards of the society you live in rather than lecturing people like me for not buying into this crap about “poor, grievously wronged” Chan and Sukumaran.

      THEY WERE NOT VICTIMS. It stuns me that such disreputable specimens have been able to convince so many to the contrary.

    • What next – beatification? THEY. WERE. DRUG. SMUGGLERS. They had successfully imported drugs into Australia prior to being caught. As to their ‘rehabilitation’, chew on this – defence counsel likely would have told them that their best hope of having their sentences commuted was to be pillars and do good things. But I guess it didn’t work out for them.

      You may not agree with the death penalty. But there’s no denying that they were guilty of the crime for which they were charged. Had they been tried and sentenced in Australia, they would likely have got 5-7 years, then out on the streets to deal again. And let’s not forget that, in this country at least, drug dealers run very lucrative businesses from behind bars. The true test as to whether someone has been rehabilitated is what happens when they are given the opportunity to re-offend. Adrian Bayley told his parole board that he was rehabilitated. And then he saw Jill Meagher.

      The ACU scholarships are a travesty, and have the impression of creating martyrs from criminals. Now that’s unjust.

  8. Who cares, good riddance. The twittersphere will move on to their next pet project to express outrage over soon enough while the silent majority will just get with our lives.

  9. I think ampuni needs to snort a line or two of coke and have a good lie down!
    Mary mackillop had to wait for a century to pass and perform a miracle or two and after a lifetime of good works was beatified…..she did not even make it to sainthood in one run. But we now know that all that is needed is to be executed for evil deeds ( to which they confessed) by a judicial system with cohones, and one can make it with a home run. And kindly stop using euphemistic weasel words like ‘celebrate’ Social media allows people like you to make far more noise than your station in life warrants and you kid yourself that yours is the majority view when it is clearly not. The journos are only interested in whipping up indignation for the sake of sales and the acid test is how quickly they have changed their slant now that the inevitable has passed. These are views which ought to have received airing long ago. And please also understand that I do not regret my inability to be a Chan or Sukumaran scholar. Who in their right mind would?

  10. At what point to drug users take responsibility for their habbt, call it recreational or otherwise?

    The laws of supply and demand dictate the whole drug trade, be it from source to end user.

    Chan and Sukamaran, while painted as kingpins, fitted somewhere down the line, and reported to operatives higher up.

    Many of the illegal substances regarded as narcotics have at one point been legal. The narcotics industry is only a degree of deviation from other substances and folly that constitutes harmful or addictive, be it alcohol, tobacco (chop chop), pornography, gambling, all have potentially life altering consequence yet continue to operate through legal and illegal markets.

    Money will always be a lure and common denominator in these economically driven trades. Chan and Sukamaran like many others have been used to make a quick buck in an industry akin to pyramid selling when you do the math between cost of production to street value.

    Be quick to judge but the real points in all of this is around rehabilitation and the economics and injustices of the Indonesian legal system black market. He who can afford to pay, gets freedom. Indeed if Chan and Sukamaran were the kingpins they were painted as, they would most likely be serving a 10-20 year sentence and not being buried.

    • What absolute drivel. Chan was running operations out of China. They had both successfully smuggled drugs out of Indonesia previously (as I and others have already pointed out). Someone said to me that their customers were to blame – they could choose not to take drugs. That’s all very well and good – but these bozos need not have chosen to make a living off others’ addictions. And misery.

      Frankly, I’m sick of hearing about what ‘wonderful, reformed’ individuals these people were. As I said in an earlier post, the true test as to whether someone has been rehabilitated is to see how they behave when they have the opportunity to re-offend. Chan and Sukumaran have no such chance. I can’t say that I’m at all sorry about that.

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