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Suicide Bombers Petition Court to Limit Their Suffering

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There are these guys who were convicted in 2003 of helping to plan and carry out the October, 2002 suicide bombings that targeted two busy nightclubs on Bali island, Indonesia. These guys didn’t die in the process, but 202 other people were killed. So much for the suicide part of the plan.

As if they were addressing Eddie Izzard’s Church of England, they want to have some say in how much pain — preferably none — is to be inflicted upon them as their death sentences are carried out. They would prefer to be beheaded rather than shot to death by firing squad.

Their reasons are twofold:

• They want to die “without pain.” (Insert world’s smallest violin playing, “My Heart Bleeds for You,” or the remix, “The Hearts of 202 People Already Bled for You.”) One of them intends to file a petition with the Constitutional Court, saying those who are shot by firing squads don’t always die right then and there, and that this causes “unnecessary suffering.” (Play it again, Sam.)

• They say being beheaded is more in keeping with Islamic teaching. I’m not sure this is a viable alternative since there are those instances when a dull blade, squeaky hardware, and even a novice beheader could potentially elongate the process, and thus the suffering – unnecessarily, of course.

Since death by bomb is also in keeping with Islamic teaching (apparently), these guys have inadvertently thrown a compromise right in the court’s lap: line ‘em up and blow ‘em up.

Blow Jobs Gone Bad

I’m sure they would have preferred to die in the suicide bombing itself, but they botched that already. The only thing worse than yelling out “Watch this!” is “Watch me fuck this up!”

It is now up to the court to finish what they started. As the terrorists themselves know, blowing someone up is a quick and relatively painless way of ending life without unnecessary suffering. There might be an initial sensation of pressure or a slight pinch, but I think we can all agree this is “necessary.”

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About Diana Hartman

Diana is a USMC (ret.) spouse, mother of three and a Wichita, Kansas native. She is back in the United States after 10 years in Germany. She is a contributing author to Holiday Writes. She hates liver & motivational speakers. She loves science & naps.
  • If they were true to their code, they would have all committed Hari Kari by now. They could all be comfortably ensconsed at Allah’s glorious feet, perhaps charged with clipping his nails or treating those pesky corns caused by chafing sandals and all that desert sand.

    But no.

    There they are, languishing, waiting for someone else to do the deed for them, and now expecting them to carry it out a specific way to prevent ‘undo’ suffering.

    Well, all I can say – and I think it safe to assume that I speak for most if not all of the 202 people they blew into a pink mist – is fuck em.


  • They could behead them by sawing their heads off with a handsaw. That sounds fair.


  • zingzing

    no, fair would be hurling nails and glass at them at high speed, followed by being trampled to death, but that’s not the point here, is it?

  • How about giving them a choice of the manner of execution? Compile a list of the various methods, and present the identical methods to them on the morning of execution in two columns, labeled “First Choice” and “If that doesn’t work, Second Choice.” Seems fair and generous to me.


  • Clavos

    Why should their petition/opinions/feelings even be considered?

  • Condor

    Perhaps they need a faster burning propellent. Let’s ensure that adequate supplies of C4 are shipped to all interested parties, along the proper detenators to ensure that death is quick and painless for the poor sappers.

  • Clav,

    I wasn’t attempting to be kind. It seems to me that having to select by which of several unpleasant means of execution to die would give them something about which to think (other than seventy-two virgins) during their last deservedly wretched hours. Firing squad, hanging, beheading, electrocution — which would you select knowing that it would happen, according to your choice, in just a few hours?


  • Clavos

    An interesting (and macabre) question, Señor.

    I suppose I would opt for the firing squad – it’s romantic to envision myself standing ramrod straight, cigarette nonchalantly drooping from my lips (I don’t smoke), as I contemptuously refuse the offer of a blindfold, fixing my steely gaze on the poor unfortunates chosen to shoot me.

    I wasn’t accusing you (or the other commenters) of attempting to be kind. Rather, it was a rhetorical question addressed to the British and their courts.

  • STM

    Dave: “They could behead them by sawing their heads off with a handsaw”.

    Slowly, and as long it’s blunt, is the concensus in this country, which has the biggest list of victims in that bombing. Some dubious claim to fame, though …

    As many of you guys know, I have a personal interest in this, beyond the 80-plus Australians killed in the main blast at the Sari club.

    The bombers didn’t extend any idea of limiting anyone’s suffering, particularly that of my friend, who lost his beautiful 15-year-old daughter in the blast after taking her up to Bali for a birthday treat. The night she died was her 16th birthday dinner.

    There’s been no limitation to his suffering, nor that of the other families of the Bali victims, nor the survivors living with horrific injuries and mental scars.

    On top of that, he’s had to see them sneering in court, and saying they wished they’d killed more.

    I don’t agree with the death penalty, but in this case, the best that be said is if you play with fire, you get burnt.

  • I’m fairly new to this site, having recently stumbled across it from its Indian & Indian diaspora sister Desicritics. So if my politics don’t quite fit the mould here, well, think of it as a breath of fresh air, or merely someone who walked into the wrong kinda bar in the dodgy part of town.

    Without commenting on the merits of the article itself, let me just say that if George W. Bush’s grand “War on Terror” was all about “not letting them win”, then the comments here have shown that by descending into hate-fuelled visions of painful death, it looks like the Western world has already lost the battle by killing off its own values in the nebulous war (the plot was lost a long time before this).

    So much for being paragons of freedom of the individual and the rights of man and woman. But then, maybe its a testament to the fact that underneath the veneer of civilisation, all humans are essentially violent and barbaric.

    Let justice take its course, by all means, and convict the culprits and sentence them. But at what point does a society’s right and sense of justice allow you to cause legalised pain and suffering to another? If a death penalty must be administered, then it should be administered painlessly; otherwise how is the world of today any better than that of five hundred years ago when women were burnt alive on stakes for witchcraft in pre-Renaissance Europe?

    I don’t know – I’m probably preaching to the not listening, but it would do well to keep in mind what Gandhi said: an eye for an eye will leave the world blind; but then maybe that’s why there has ever only been one Mahatma.

  • buddha smiled, nice theory…

    perhaps you do preach to those who wouldn’t listen…qualifying your stance with such a statement illustrates your misunderstanding of terms, specifically that you seem to think “listen” and “agree” are the same thing…

    there is no comparison to those burned at the stake for witchcraft…you can’t be guilty of that which doesn’t exist…the Bali terrorists did kill 202 people…they did not merely wish them dead – and they are not on trial for their thoughts…

    an eye-for-an-eye won’t leave the world blind…those who don’t poke out other’s eyes far outnumber those who do…too, those who equate murder and rape with theft and vandalism (in terms of punishment) are also outnumbered…it’s unlikely the most vocal and extreme eye-for-an-eye advocate would get his/her collective way…in turn, those who insist an eye-for-an-eye would blind the world are just as wrong, and for the same reason…

    it is human to want to exact revenge on those who have left us feeling tormented…we humans will always seek to end our own pain, even if we say nothing of it…those who do say, however, are not automatically evil themselves for having said…we know putting a murderer to death will not halt the pain, fill the emptiness or cushion the blow…putting a murderer to death does, however, insure the murderer will never murder again…

    while struggling to justify the murder of one to save another 202, there is also (is there not?) the struggle to justify saving one life, knowing that doing so puts another 202 people at risk…we know the guy is capable of murder because he murdered…we know he would do it again because he said he would do it again…

    the spiritually inclined proclaim concern for his soul, but is it not their position to leave these concerns to a higher power? thus, it’s out of their hands…yet, here they are, touching and grabbing right along with the rest of us, all the while denouncing the hands of others…

    those who are not spiritually inclined (or who have detached from their spirituality long enough to contradict it) are more concerned with the preventative measure of saving another 202 by putting one to death…

    whether or not that death is to be painful is another question entirely…

    i’m inclined to believe it doesn’t matter…the perpetrator’s pain is for those left behind in the same way a funeral is for the living…i’m interested in the extermination…if everyone else wants to busy themselves arguing over the color of the guestbook cover, fine…

    of course humans are violent and barbaric…duh…every human, not some…while some of us would like to think we are part of an exclusive, non-barbaric club, this is not the case…those with membership have not had their weaknesses tested…how strong are we is an easy question…we just say we’re strong…how weak am i? aye, there’s a rub…those who haven’t had to answer that question wrongly assume this means they would act peacefully if their instincts were challenged…even budhhist monks have been known to swing a fist or two when push came to shove…

    if you want to know every human’s true nature, look no further than just about any African nation where children play in puddles alongside dead, bloated sheep…a good mother or father would not allow this, would they? the father was killed by the lawless, so he had no choice…the mother didn’t allow it so much as found it difficult to move after being raped by the lawless…

    they had no condo in which to hide, no car in which to escape, no government to protect the very basic fabric of society (friends and family)…what do we do when left with less than nothing? when not even our own bodies and the bodies of our children are safe?

    while I am not religious, I certainly see the worth of it…it’s no accident that the majority of the world is religious: without it, and thus left to their own true moral centers, those who don’t kill would kill…look at what happens to people when you strip them of what they know, or when a natural disaster does it…without electricity, shag carpeting, wood paneling, the local library, or a public park, they’re reduced to looting – and will even loot that which they don’t need or could even use…it is the human instinct to put things right (our version of normal) as soon as possible – even at the expense of others, and woe be unto him who gets in the way…for a child, loss is the law…they do grow up, you know; and there you have it: adults who rule from a moral center carved out by pain, loss and despair…try that on of a morning before your coffee and see how if you don’t get a wedgie so bad you don’t just want to kill someone…

    the affluent would fare no better, even for their education…take away their crystal, china and financial portfolio and – voila! the hunter just become the hunted…hyenas laugh no less for wearing a lion’s mane…

    the enlightened would fare no better…the heartiest among us still needs oxygen and sunlight…take it away and see what happens…if they’ve any energy at all, it will be expressed barbarically; don’t make the mistake of interpreting a lack of energy as an expression of restraint.…

    these are not situations faced by those in the non-barbaric club…the woman who was raped in front of her husband did fight, and she did incur some injury upon her perpetrators in the process…would you judge her attempt to exact an eye-for-an-eye? she could hardly exact vagina-for-a-vagina…her husband did fight, and he was killed as one might swat a fly…that is the nature of the beast: the human beast…

    you are not here as the result of one tribe or culture being smarter, friendlier, more diplomatic, or even wittier than another…might doesn’t make right; it wins – every single time and without exception…remember who writes history…

    we love to say “if that happened to me, i would—” because we think “that” will never happen to us…not even in the olympics will you witness the kind of speed one uses when change conviction because of a situation that forces one to finish “I would —” with something completely different than what was asserted in the safety of a hypothetical…

    it’s no coincidence that many of those most critical of capital punishment (especially by painful means) have not been raped or tortured, and do not have loved ones who have been murdered, raped, burned alive, or tortured…goody for you that this has not been your plight…your luck does not hold that you may then pass judgment on others and be taken seriously while wearing a nametag that says, “hello, i am inexperienced”…

    distancing oneself from hardship by using celibacy, anger, religion self-righteousness and/or even solitude is a convenient disassociation from the consequences of love, children, family and friends…if you (not necessarily you personally) have no vested interest in even one other human being, it’s much easier (read: psychologically safer) to judge others who do – and who are then motivated by that interest…

    when we make the feeble attempt to detach ourselves from any one our of elements (heart, mind, body), we come up short – even if emotional others perceive our detachment as level-headed…

    it is always best for humans to have councils and groups and whatnot – where two or more are gathered, if you will, because it is our collective experience that brings us all balance, a better overall footing…when only one person is the judge, only one person’s knowledge base is brought to the table – where, even if others are present, they are intellectually, emotionally and spiritually starved by the lack of bounty…

    were you (yes, you personally) at the head of that table, i should think your court would take issue with your distance and detachment…one might then wonder what it is you really have to offer…with so much space between heart, mind and soul, i should think very little…

  • Clavos

    Very eloquently (and cogently) put, Diana.

    I would love to see an article in that vein.

    Well done!

  • Jet

    For some reason I suddenly got a picture in my head of Diana wearing a strap-on………..bomb

  • Jet

    …as Doc gags from the coffee he just inhaled…

  • I can’t say that Diana is wrong. I essentially stated above that no consideration should be given to the convicted bombers. They should have no say whatsoever as regards the means of their execution.

    That being said, I am generally NOT a proponent of the death penalty. I don’t believe it serves as an effective deterent, nor do I believe that it elevates a society which utilizes it.

    I understand the emotions involved. It is likely that if someone close to me was murdered, my gut response would be to exact revenge in kind. But that is why we have our justice system. It is designed to be dispassionate. Guilt or innocence is determined via testimony and evidence produced in court guiding the judge or jury to a proper verdict based on that evidence and other revealed facts, not on emotion. All of the participants are ideally disinterested parties – having no personal connection to the case or any principles involved. Likewise, if found guilty, penalties should be enacted that are established “dispassionately” by the appropriate governing body or bodies.

    I know the above describes more of an abstract ideal than reality. It is never that cut and dried. Yet, that is what we strive for.

    I do believe that there are some individuals for which any kind of rehabilitation is impossible. There are crimes for which nothing short of execution seems just. However, as a society we must be careful. We can easily become little better than those we put to death in our thirst for their blood. Just look at Texas. They love to execute people. They have turnstiles at the doors to the injection rooms. Relatively speaking, Texas has become an execution mill. Since 1976 the State of Texas has executed 409 individuals. Virginia comes in at a poor second with 134. The total of the top 11 states performing executions come in at 904. ALL of these are southern tier states. The highest number of executions by a northern tier state is Ohio with 26. These numbers were last updated on July 25th of this year.

    But Texas holds the prize. No other state holds a candle to them. Is Texas such a crime ridden cesspool that they must keep injecting the dastardly scum just to keep beds open in their prisons?

    Back to Bali.

    These bombers see themselves as heros, on the verge of becoming martyrs. They are, I presume, happy to be holding tickets on the paradise express. That they are now hedging regarding the means of their executions perhaps speaks of a crack in their faith. I would think they would be thrilled to experience pain for Allah.

    Being an atheist, I whole heartedly believe that there will be nothing for these would-be martyrs at the end of their pain. Nothing. Just nothing. To me, that makes their crimes and the loss of their own lives even more tragic. Beyond death, there is no reward, nor punishment for them or anyone. This life is all we get. To waste their own lives, to cut short the lives of so many; to leave their own friends and loved ones and those of all the people killed and wounded to grieve and live the remainder of their lives with the pain of that loss is hideous. I will not mourn their execution be it painful or not.

    So, what I have demonstrated here is a mixed bag of thoughts, beliefs and emotions. Emotionally, I want the bastards dead. Nor would I flinch at the killing of Osama Bin Laden and his cohorts.

    But I am not consistent in my feelings about capital punishment. It is possible for me to be dispassionate about it. I do believe that in some way, we diminish ourselves every time we inject, hang, shoot, electrocute or gas someone in the name of the state. It is a conundrum.


  • STM

    They are going to be shot, and soon, as the Indo government is currently scouting suitable execution sites. The best form of torture for these guys would be life in an Indonesian jail, life meaning life, with no possibility of early release. Anyone who knows anything about Indo jails will understand why that would be a far worse punishment than being shot at dawn on a beautiful beach, under a swaying palm tree – which is how they do it in Bali.

    However, I think most (not all support the executions) of the families of the victims won’t have any closure until these guys are six-foot under.

  • Ruvy

    Hell, here I had this badass answer for “The Buddha Smiled”, and Diana beat me to it and did a better job to boot….

    I should be pissed off, jealous, annoyed at feeling deprived of the opportunity to show off my erudition – but, you know what?

    Truth is, I’m dog tired. I couldn’t sleep last night for the few hours I really needed it, and wound up pulling an all-nighter. My mind can barely remember all those eloquent lines I had in mind a few hours ago. My brain don’t work as well at 57 like it used to at 21…..

    Diana, kol hakavód lakh! all honbor to you. You did a better job than I would have done….

    I’m fairly new to this site, having recently stumbled across it from its Indian & Indian diaspora sister Desicritics. So if my politics don’t quite fit the mould here, well, think of it as a breath of fresh air, or merely someone who walked into the wrong kinda bar in the dodgy part of town.

    Hell, it ain’t that your politics don’t fit the mold here. It’s just that you came into a bar, and ordered a round of buttermilk for a bunch that would prefer Maker’s Mark….

  • Buttermilk!?

    Have you ever drank that stuff? I am an inveterate milk drinker, but buttermilk I can’t handle.

    And to harken back to the words of a great Jewish comedian, Shelley Berman – delightfully still with us and still working. Berman, on I believe his “Inside Shelley Berman” album relates his reason for not liking buttermilk. He says (paraphrasing, I’m sure) “It’s not the buttermilk that bothers me. It’s the way the glass looks when you’re through drinking it. That ugly white matt in the bottom of the glass…”

    Buttermilk? Sheesh!

    Anyhow, I don’t disagree with Buddha either. The arguments work from both sides. Which is the higher mountain to climb?


  • diversion:

    i love shelley berman! my parents had us sit around listen to his LPs (and tom lehrer, genius)…the buttermilk thing was soo gross the way he described it because it was spot on…my favorite was “we don’t have time for coffee, tea or milk; we are doomed!”…

    we now return you to our regularly scheduled broadcasting…

  • thank you everyone for your comments….

    ruvy, mr b 😉

    always a pleasure…

  • Hello all (and special handwave out to Ruvy who’s kept us entertained over at DC for so many months)

    Several folks, Diana included, have taken the time and effort to post responses to my comments, so let me return the favour. Apologies if this is a little delayed, but occasionally I do have to work as well!

    (As an aside – I think that rather than ordering buttermilk I probably asked for a Caol Ila or Dalwhinney; don’t expect me to drink that godawful thing they call bourbon whiskey down in hicktown…gag)

    Diana – your comment #11 is quite extensive, but you seem to make a few leaps of faith (or emotion). For starters, I am not conflating the meanings of the words “listen” vs. “agree”. I guess you never told your kids to “listen” to you when you told them to not do drugs, vs. “agreeing” with you that it was generally a bad idea. So thanks, but please spare me the free English lessons – I think I can communicate well enough, thanks.

    Now, in the spirit of intellectual debate, let me try to exactly spell out my issues with both your article and the comments that preceded mine in #10, since we seem to be talking at tangents.

    Your article works off the premise that for the perpetrators of the Bali bombings to request a painless form of death that is also in line with their religious beliefs is something that no court of law should endorse. The comments that follow then add to that, and take it further by claiming that not only should the individuals be given the death penalty, but should also be subjected to pain while being executed. My issue with the entire debate here is that when we have several significant international powers waging war and killing thousands of civilians around the world in the name of waging a war on terror, when we have entire countries being laid to waste in the name of upholding a certain set of “values”, “morals”, and “ideals”, to then take perpetrators of bombings and subject them to the sort of painful methods of execution that have been suggested above only goes to negate those very ideals which are purportedly being upheld. But then, hey, most Western democracies have used the past seven years since 9/11 as excuses to curtail civil liberties that would never have been touched in different times (remember Guantanamo anyone?) so maybe its not that surprising that the veneer of idealism slips and what we are left with is a totally different motivation for the war on terror.

    Thanks for trotting out the dying masses in multiple African nations – they come in so handy to buttress intellectual posturings at cocktail parties, and can be safely forgotten the next morning when we go about our lives supporting trade mechanisms that keep them in the sort of poverty and desperation that causes complete social breakdown.

    However, the issue is NOT how individual humans in circumstances of extreme duress respond with violence to violence; violence and brutality occur when there is a BREAKDOWN of civil society. A specific act of violence that takes place beyond paradigms of civil interaction, such as terrorist attacks, represent fragmentations in the fabric of civic and societal interaction; and in case you disagree that war can be a form of societal interaction, I would merely point you towards the many instances through history of how war and the waging thereof have been (often with religious sanction) codified. International Relations has an entire area of specialisation into the theories of war, where concepts of war being “jus in bellum” vs “jus ad bellum” are studied at length. Today we even have academics analysing how terrorism and non-state actors impact traditional IR theory.

    Therefore, comment #11, where you aver that it is only human to want to exact revenge, that somehow, it is a form of “justice” to provide a painful death to the perpetrators of violence because that is human nature, falls short of the civilisational argument. Yes, we are part of the animal kingdom, and yes, we come from a bloody and barbaric history. However, the point is NOT that we are prisoners of the past, or of our emotions. The entire point of civilisation is that we are supposed to be moving forwards, not ending up trapped in endless cycles of violence and barbarity. I am realistic enough to realise that this is usually not the case, but it would be sort of atavistic to stop trying, wouldn’t it?

    Let me be Socratic and try to demonstrate the speciousness of your “its an emotional response and therefore somehow legitimate” argument by applying it to another situation. Why on earth are paedophiles not allowed to indulge their emotions and act on their urges? It’s because even though its a part of who they are, as members of a social structure there are paradigms of behaviour and considerations of what is considered acceptable or not. So by the same yardstick (or metre-stick, depending on which side of the pond you’re on) human society does not function because each and every individual is free to act on their emotions. Baying for blood may be an emotional response, but not necessarily the appropriate one.

    I love how you try to dismiss my argument against painful capital punishment (which, by the way, you misinterpreted as being against all capital punishment) by saying, “you’ve never been raped / tortured / had any loved one raped / tortured / murdered”. By somehow trying to imply that as someone who has never experienced loss or pain (which by the way is an assumption that you have no grounds to make since you know nothing about me or my life) you try to discount the validity of my “theory” and therefore not worry about what the contrarian voice is saying. But again, let me take your argument and apply it to another situation; none of us here are terrorists (I’d hope) and none of us here have “experienced” the supposed grievances of people who choose to go blow themselves up along with other people. Is our opinion or reaction to their act disqualified by our not having shared that experience? Is the only one who can stand in judgement on that act someone with a similar shared background? In other words, by your standards, we have no grounds to judge the terrorist because we are not terrorists ourselves. If that is indeed what you are implying then that is moral relativism of the most convenient (but disgusting) kind.

    Baritone – its good to see a voice of introspection; they’re so rare these days I wonder if it they exist anymore at all.

    Peace all,

  • Buddha,

    As is plain by my comments, I am conflicted as regards capital punishment, among other things.

    I suppose the difference is that I rarely see things in black and white. I am always aware of the grays. Is that the essence of introspection? It certainly does not make life easier.

    Diana made a fine argument as have you. I think its obvious that there is no clear cut all encompassing answer. While many people who commit heinous crimes deserve nothing more than an eye for an eye, the effect on the larger society of exacting the ultimate penalty on these people should be considered. As with the discussion regarding the right to keep and bear arms, it becomes easier to pull the trigger on the death penalty the more we use it.


  • Baronius

    Buddha – You’re likely to find that most BC people oppose the death penalty. At least that’s what I’ve found in previous discussions. I didn’t jump into this particular debate for my own reasons, but I’m glad to see that the anti-suffering side got a spokesman. And don’t worry if you don’t blend in at first around here. I think the biggest misperception of Americans is that we all agree. We don’t.

    Baritone and I don’t agree on much. He sees no black and white; I see no gray. But I think we see eye to eye on capital punishment. It’s acceptable when it’s necessary, but it shouldn’t be for revenge. It should never inflict pain. That being said, when Dave suggested that the bombers be decapitated with handsaws, my first thought was that we should make them do it themselves. See how far they can get before they die. Obviously, I’m not proud of that thought. Diana’s right; this isn’t a subject that brings out the finest in people.

    We all recognize that the legal system is necessary. It’s got to give every reasonable advantage to the suspect/defendant. What makes this case so revolting is that the bombers completely abdicated the rule of law, and now seem to be twisting the system for their benefit. Suicide bombers are scum, but at least they have the courage of their conviction. These guys don’t seem to even have that.

  • You’re likely to find that most BC people oppose the death penalty. At least that’s what I’ve found in previous discussions.

    Really? That’s not the impression I get. At best, it’s probably about 50/50.

    Let’s see: based on past comments, where might the regulars in the Politics section stand? This is quite presumptuous of me, so any of you lot please feel free to correct me where I’m wrong…

    Mark Manning
    Nancy (where’s she gone, BTW?)


    This is based on a brief look through the comments threads of past articles on the subject. These are just my impressions of people’s general positions. What I also noticed was that a lot of regulars seem reluctant to comment much when it comes to this topic – which seems to indicate that there may be quite a bit of ambivalence on the issue amongst the folks.

  • Baronius

    I stand corrected, Dread. Nice research. A couple of those names surprise me. (Although, to be fair, Ruvy thinks that everyone should be killed.)

    At least one of my points still stands, though. I’ve noticed a lot of non-Americans on these boards think that America speaks with one voice. I’ve found the opposite, that Americans tend to be loud in our disagreements, intensely interested in other cultures and viewpoints, and kind of embarrassed about our own culture.

  • Jordan Richardson

    *sniffles and shuffles away*

  • Baronius

    Jordan, don’t feel bad that Dread didn’t count you among the “regulars”. Some of us have been avoiding personal commitments and life improvements for years. You’re still kind of new at it.

  • Jordan Richardson

    You’ve all given me so much to aspire to! 🙂

  • Bar,

    “Although, to be fair, Ruvy thinks that everyone should be killed.”

    LOL 🙂


  • Jordan, please don’t take offense. My census was of the Politics regulars, whereas you’re something of a social gadfly! 😉

    Although, to be fair, Ruvy thinks that everyone should be killed.

    Ruvy may have a point…! But it’s the Sabbath. I’m sure, if he were allowed to comment right now, that he’d vehemently argue that no-one at all should be killed until Saturday dinnertime.

  • Ooh, dinner AND a show…why it’s like being in the borscht belt!


  • Jet

    I’m against capital punishment Doc…

  • I stand corrected, Jet.

    [walks to scaffold, refuses hood]

  • Jet

    Well I’m not a fanatic about it, I mean if someone cuts up in line in front of me at Wal-Mart, or someone scratches my car…

    I mean I’m willing to be reasonable…

  • Doc,

    I plead guilty as charged.

    The death penalty seems, to me, to be entirely appropriate in cases such as the one with which the article deals. There is no question but that the Bali bombers were guilty of murdering, intentionally, two hundred and two people who had done absolutely nothing to warrant it, aside from being in a popular tourist place at the wrong time. Many of those who were wantonly murdered most likely experienced substantial discomfort as they died.

    There is no suggestion that the Bali bombers felt even a faint tinge of remorse. To the contrary, according to Comment #9, they were “sneering in court, and saying they wished they’d killed more.”

    Societal vengeance is necessary on occasion, and this strikes me as one of those rare occasions. Civilized societies do not lynch people without a fair trial, and Bali is not doing so here. Such societies should, however, exact extreme vengeance in extreme cases. This is one of them.

    As to expiring without pain, that is a luxury which many if not most of us won’t have. I can think of no valid reason why these miscreants should be granted the sort of painless euthanasia denied to many guilty of no crime at all but whom society nevertheless condemns, for allegedly religious reasons, to a prolonged and quite painful death.


  • My outrage with this case is not that the death penalty is being used so much as that the defendants seem to think they should somehow, on the grounds of their faith (in a Muslim country, mark you!), be exempt from the legally prescribed punishment for their crimes.

    BTW, everyone, unless a fix can be found you’re not likely to hear from me again until Monday due to Akismet blocking any comment I try to make from home.

    [cue wild street parties]

    However, I am still able to edit comments in my capacity as Mr Rose’s assistant, so you’d all better watch it!

    [picnic tables are folded, beer kegs are rolled sullenly back into garages]

    Have a great weekend, y’all.

  • Doc,

    Just as a point of minor interest, Bali is not predominately Muslim; it is predominately Hindu. True, it is a part of Indonesia, which is predominately Muslim and the laws of Indonesia almost certainly apply.

    My wife arranged for us to go there for a vacation on the day after I retired back in 1996, as a way for me to chill out. We spent ten days. It was a delightful, tranquil place where tolerance seemed ubiquitous. Every morning, in Ubud, the “cultural center” of the country, flower offerings were placed on the sidewalks. My wife accidentally stepped in one, and twisted her ankle. We hobbled across the street to a small restaurant, where the waitress brought her ice and insisted on taking her (on the back of the restaurant owner’s motorbike) to her blind uncle, who massaged her ankle and did a lot of good. Then she (the waitress) took her back to our hotel — a cottage on what had been the grounds of a royal palace ($20.00 per night, as I recall, including an excellent breakfast). The waitress and her uncle refused payment.

    We had many other very pleasant experiences there, and no bad experiences. One day, we hired a taxi to take us to the other side of the island to a black sandy beach the next day. He was at the appointed place at the appointed time, but apologized that he had to go to his house to retrieve his drivers license. Actually, what he wanted to do was to show off his family compound (he was of the royal family, third class, or something like that). His wife fed us cakes after he had shown us his orchid plants, of which he was very proud. Then, a nephew took us to our destination.

    The few Muslims, the Hindus and a fair number of Buddhists seemed to live in wonderful peace and harmony.

    These and many other pleasant experiences doubtless color my views on what should happen to miscreants who try to upgefuck such a wonderful place.


  • Ruvy

    I see someone tried to pigeonhole my views. As a rule, I’m against the death penalty. I believe in punishment that forces the convicted offender to repay society or his victims in some way. In addition, there is always the possibility of an innocent being executed by error. Being turned into a corpse will not repay society or bring any sense of retribution unless the crime has been a particularly heinous one.

    Here we come to the Bali case, and terror incidents of its ilk.

    Indonesian law prescribes death by firing squad for this crime, if convicted. And this crime was a case of mass murder, done with malice aforethought. There is no mitigating circumstance involved here. Period.

    Those victimized by these criminals may seek their own vengeance in having done to these killers a death penalty that prolongs their pain and terror in facing death. I can think of a number of ways this could be accomplished even within the constraints of using only the firing squad, but I’ll abstain from posting details here. The point is this: deliberately prolonging the pain of the killers in facing their death sentence is the sign of a society that is cutting loose from its legal moorings and which is respecting the person more than the law. This is a bad sign for all involved.

    My opinion on this case is simply this: the killers deserve all the special consideration in their own deaths as they gave to the 202 victims they murdered. No less and no more.

    So, whatever pain they must suffer from a multitude of bullets piercing them, with certain death as the result, let them suffer. It is the least the families of the victims of this heinous crime deserve. But there should be no additional cruelty – and certainly no mercy should be shown the merciless.

    He who is kind to the cruel will ultimately be cruel to the kind.
    [from the Talmud]

    shavua tov have a good week,
    Blessings from the mountains of Liberated Samaria,