I have been following with some interest the ongoing soap-opera debacle of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the two convicted Australian drug smugglers currently on death row in Indonesia.

The “exchange” – such as it is – between Australian leaders (headed by Prime Minister and resident imbecile Tony Abbott) and Indonesian President Joko Wikodo has been characterized by a schizophrenic spectrum: here pleading for clemency and mercy, there threatening sanctions in the form of ham-handed references to the amount of tsunami aid given in 2010 to Indonesia by Australia (amounting to: “we should be able to buy your sovereignty”), and back to the passive-aggression of a candlelight vigil held for the two before they are executed (is there any better way for a country to sulk and, in doing so, all but proclaim they were unsuccessful?)

My comments on this whole situation, while brief due to time constraints, are summed up in the title of this little opinion-fragment. Forget (for a moment, but only for a moment) the fact that the Australian Federal Police acted against its own policies in diming the two to Indonesian authorities, knowing it would lead to the death penalty. Forget that Australia can be accused of cruel and unusual punishment in its detention of asylum-seekers in Papua New Guinea (after all…whoever expected politics to be consistent?). What has consistently fallen by the wayside in public debate on the executions – which has tended to focus on split opinions on the death penalty in general – is the insipid and inutile ideological colonialism (yes, I used the c-word) at the heart of these negotiations. Tony Abbott has been quoted far and wide on news programs as stating “Indonesia understands [Australia’s] position” on the matter. Carefully chosen words, to be sure1 – but does Australia really understand Indonesia? And what else is it but autoeroticism for a country to repeatedly congratulate itself, with ejaculations about “the dignity of humanity” and “life is sacred” approaching political masturbation, on its choice against the death penalty while persecuting countries that quite simply think differently?

Any project – through passive or active means, via ideology, military incursions or otherwise – to foist the opinions of one group on to another in an attempt to naturalize one’s ideology elsewhere is nothing less than a colonialist project. Sukumaran and Chan voluntarily assumed the risk involved with drug smuggling in that region of the world and they were caught. They are now facing the penalties imposed by a sovereign nation and all the doe-eyed, hand-wringing Enlightenment-era throwback philosophy about how special humanity is should – indeed must be thrown by the wayside. Real democracy is not – and should never be – a colonialist project. Real democracy involves tolerating countries and worldviews that quite simply do not match our own and think very differently from us.

There are 7+ billion human beings on the planet; if we dare say for a moment that they are all “God’s unique snowflakes,” we must logically admit as well that many of those snowflakes should have landed on a hot car hood and never made it this close to my morning coffee.

Fuck ’em. They’re Doritos…crunch ’em; there will be more, I guarantee it.

  1. Which means someone else chose them for him, knowing this fuckwit…