Tuesday, August 12, 2003

They still don't get it

NZPundit is puzzled by the allegation that John Howard is inconsistent:

Howard does nothing about an Indonesian citizen convicted in an Indonesian court, but does do something about an Australian citizen facing US justice.

And because of that he's somehow hypocritical or inconsistent?

Yes. Why? Because Howard has gone on record as saying that it would be wrong for a state to kill someone. He has also gone on record saying that it is perfectly acceptable for a state to kill someone. The inconsistency is not exactly difficult to notice.

Various commenters have attempted to draw a distinction based on the which state it is or the nationality of the victim, but these are simply not morally relevant facts - any more than they are morally relevant to the question of whether states should torture people, suppress their freedom of speech, or tax them.

The other attempt at a distinction - that countries should keep their noses out of each other's business - is simply a tarted-up moral relativism - and not taken too seriously by its proponents, I might add. But its abundantly clear that those approving of Howard's stance wouldn't recognise an inconsistency if it hit them in the face - unless it was committed by one of their enemies, of course.