Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Monday, August 22, 2011

The death penalty...

In Australia we oppose the death penalty. And we would most certainly oppose even more vehemently, summary execution. But only in Australia...

And yet we're quite happy to invade other countries and send in our highly trained killers to kill anyone in those countries who shoots back at, or tries to blow up, our highly trained invading killers. No arrest warrant needed. No evidence called for. No fair trial afforded.

Just kill, kill, kill.

"They" committed the capital crime of being labelled by us as "the enemy". For this they deserve summary execution.

En masse.

I know what I'd do to someone who came to my country and behaved like that !!!


Anonymous JL said...

Only partially correct in my understanding. While the official Australian govt position is anti death penalty, at the time the death penalty was outlawed ('66 ? or thereabout) 2/3rds of the population were pro death penalty, and I understand about the same percentage is now pro death penalty "for extreme crimes".

I'll try and find the URL it was reported in the SMH in the last 12months IIRC.

In other words your premise is flawed (I think), many /most Australians are just as happy to kill their own as have "others" killed in there name

August 22, 2011 2:17 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

@JL: Our laws have abolished the death penalty, John. Our laws are designed to grant every citizen a fair trial before being convicted and sentenced.

None of that is available to those we kill in lands we invade on very flimsy pretexts indeed.

August 22, 2011 3:08 PM  
Blogger AndrewM said...

Well, what would you do, Gerry, if someone invaded Australia and started indiscriminately killing people? You'd fight back and kill them, wouldn't you? And if there were a lot more of them than you could cope with on your own, you'd get your mates to give you a hand. You might need an army of mates, of course ... wait a minute ...

And if this gang of invaders attacked New Zealand first, what then? Same thing, surely. We pretend to get all competitive with the Unzuders at netball and cricket, but I tell you, youse lot pick on my kid sister, I'm warning you, it'll be on.

So, Gerry, all you are really objecting to is wars like Vietnam and Iraq, where Australian troops have no business being there at all. And I don't think anyone who reads your blog would disagree with you.

I would contend that the use of cluster bombs and landmines is a war crime, and the use of napalm on populated areas is a war crime. And as far as I know, the VC/NVA didn't use any of those weapons in Vietnam.

August 24, 2011 5:26 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

@AndrewM: "Well, what would you do, Gerry, if someone invaded Australia and started indiscriminately killing people? You'd fight back and kill them, wouldn't you?" Did you read the last line of my post, Andrew?

And yes, "all I'm really objecting to" (nicely dismissive touch you have there, Andrew) is Vietnam, Iraq, AND Afghanistan. Collectively, over five million died in those US-engineered attrocities in which we had no good reason to be.

Five million, Andrew. Five million. I wouldn't be too dismissive about five million dead, Andrew. I imagine their friends and relatives aren't.

I'm saying we're way too quick to get involved in wars which are (a) none of our business, and
(b) just plain wrong.

I'm saying that war is mass murder, and as such should not be justified except as a very, very last resort, and only in the most dire circumstances. Economic imperatives hiding behind trumped-up "security reasons" should not even begin to enter the equation.

I'm wondering if our unwillingness to see the dead on the other side as tragic and upsetting has something to do with our arrogant notion of cultural (or racial? or religious?) superiority.

August 24, 2011 7:02 PM  
Blogger AndrewM said...

Gerry, all I was trying to do was clarify your slightly schizophrenic post. So, OK, you do accept that sometimes killing may be necessary, and your post was about 3 wars in particular: Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

I agree with your position on the first two but not the last. However, I think your 5,000,000 figure is wrong.

I can make the Vietnam figure pretty much anything I like based on published sources, at least between 1.5 million and 6 million. Let's go with the figure on your blog: 3 million Vietnamese deaths.

The Iraqi death toll is about 150,000 to end-2010 (Source: Wikileaks quoting US military stats). That doesn't include Coalition casualties; it's just Iraqis.

The Afghan death toll is about 33,000 to end-2010 (Source: Crikey quoting Afghan Government statistics). Again, that doesn't include Coalition deaths; it's just the figure for Afghans.

And I'm assuming your 3 million figure for Vietnamese deaths doesn't include those who were killed after 1975 - Wikipedia quotes various estimates from 400,000 to 1.2 million dying in purges, re-education camps and trying to flee.

Vietnam was a bloodbath on a huge scale. Subsequent wars simply pale in comparison. That is not to justify subsequent wars; I'm just trying offer a sense of proportion.

August 25, 2011 10:27 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

@AndrewM: If we're talking about the deaths attributable to the Vietnam war, let's not forget that this includes the deaths due to the US actions in Cambodia and Laos. It was all part of the same US military campaign.

In Iraq I count all of the deaths attributable to the the First Gulf War (ask me why), the 11 year UN sanctions period that followed (in which many died due to the blockade of medical supplies), and the Second Iraq war. I include in that all of the deaths attributable to the destruction of the regime, the infrastructure e.g. medical services, water, sanitation, etc, and the destruction of the social and economic fabric of Iraq.

But really, we've digressed.

My post was about our willingness to invade other countries and take part in the mass murders orchestrated by the US in its insane pursuit of its economic self-interest, and wondering how that fits with our own country's justice system and our abolition of the death penalty.

In other words, why are we, a country which has declared that no crime deserves the death penalty, then sending, what are in effect, killers and executioners, to other countries where those killed are not even afforded our most basic civil right of a fair trial.

Why do we kill people resisting a wrongful invasion?

Why do we say our troops fought for their country (Australia)?

Why do we call them "heroes"?

Why do we pin medals on them?

When will we stop bullshitting and obfuscating?

I don't blame the troops. They're brainwashed into committing those murders. In fact, they should be able to sue the government for what has been done to them.

I blame the politicians, the generals, and the public, in that order.

August 27, 2011 7:37 AM  

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