Relations with Indonesia were plunged into uncertainty last night after a dangerous biological agent - possibly linked to anthrax - was sent to the Indonesian embassy in Canberra in a suspected act of retribution against the Schapelle Corby sentence.They're now reporting that it's not dangerous, but geez - does anyone in this country have to sink that low over Schapelle Corby? The Bali Bombers killed 88 Australians, and then got a soft trial, easy-go prison conditions and a re-trial after they were given the death penalty. Nobody (that I can recall) sent abusive letters with possibly dangerous chemicals/substances in them to the Indonesian Embassy after that.
The Prime Minister, John Howard, issued an immediate apology to Jakarta, describing the act as "recklessly criminal", and saying it was a "very serious development for our country".
It was likely the incident was linked to the outrage over Corby's 20-year drug smuggling sentence. "Can I say to people, please, this is not helping her. In fact it will hurt her and anybody who imagines that this kind of gesture towards the Indonesian ambassador is going to alter attitudes in Indonesia - it will have a negative effect on the judiciary, it will have a negative effect on political opinion in that country."
But one girl, who I've been holding off from blogging about because of the sheer saturation of media coverage and public outrage, gets found with a bunch of drugs in her luggage - 4.2 kg extra weight that she doesn't really notice - and then has a defence team that couldn't get me off a charge of starting World War II, with less evidence than the first 2 minutes of a CSI episode, and now the complaints come. But 88 people die, and oh well. That's life.
We get outraged over the wrong things. A further example comes from the mum of one of the so-called Bali Nine:
ROBYN Davis is clearly unsettled by the Schapelle Corby verdict.Now the strangest thing happened. I opened up Google, and put a search through for "boycott bali". And the results were all Schapelle related. If you're going to boycott a place, at least make it over something better than one country's justice system - albeit a deficient one - working properly. Make it over something like the Bali bombings and the miserable response of the Indonesians, which nobody seems to care about anymore.
While her son Matthew Norman sits in a Bali jail cell accused of being a drug mule, Corby has been handed a 20-year sentence for a similar crime.
Corby was convicted of possessing marijuana.
Norman was one of the Bali 9 allegedly found with heroin in a Bali motel room, although he wasn't one of the group with heroin strapped to his body.
And now his Port Macquarie-based mum who fears he may become suicidal, wants Australians to boycott Bali.
But sadly, Schapelle supporters wouldn't listen even if their own mother told them that. They've been completely overcome by emotion, and have left reason somewhere, never to be seen again.
Now I'm not saying she's guilty or innocent. I believe she had a poor defence team with a poor argument, and thus it's not surprising she was found guilty. Isn't that the way legal systems work? If you can't argue your case with any effectiveness, you lose? So why the big complaints only now? Why the boycott calls only now?
Logical reason-based answers can be left in the comments.
(Cross-posted to The House Of Wheels.)