Alexander Downer took time off from grand prix practice to express his dismay at Friday’s lenient sentence to Bali bomb mastermind Abu Bakar Bashir, and demand Jakarta appeals against this sentence.
Not to be outdone, Kim Beazley has cried “me too” and upped the ante, demanding the government exerts pressure on Jakarta to overturn the decision. Bomber wants Jakarta to throw away the keys and lock up Bakar for life.
Does either politician comprehend that it has been this perceived interfering attitude that has got us a bad name in the region? Like it or not, the Indonesian legal system had made the decison. Surely Australia’s politicians don’t want the Indonesians to interfere with our legal system?
Compare the more measured approach of AFP commissioner Mick Keelty, who the SMHreports was pleased with the successful prosecution, and warnings from international terror experts. Furthermore, ramping up the issue and engaging in political grandstanding gives the terrorist leader what he so desperately needs – the oxygen of publicity.
JI recruitment levels have been relatively low recently. A political stoush between Australia and Indonesia that will allow the fundamentalists to paint us as arrogant westerners is sure to ramp up terrorist recruitment.