Soft-hearted liberals who try
to find excuses for accused criminals are often accused of “blaming the
victim.” But if you want to see a real case of that, have a read of
Florence Chong’s piece on Singapore in this morning’s Australian:

“Australia’s campaign to save convicted drug trafficker
Nguyen Tuong Van from the hangman’s noose has created an increasingly
dangerous undercurrent in an otherwise stable bilateral relationship.”

other words, Singapore’s proposed murder of an Australian isn’t the
problem, but the fact that we object to it is. No doubt rapes and
muggings are also only problematic because the victims resist: “just do
what I say and nobody will get hurt.”

And it gets worse: “One of
the most regrettable things is the planned execution will encourage
Australians to resort to the old negative stereotype impression of
Singapore as an inflexible, stubborn state,” says an Australian
businessman in Singapore. “It is disturbing that this proposed
execution will revive such accusations of the country.”

What’s disturbing is that the stereotype is being shown to be true. But
that’s the blame-the-victim mentality for you: bad behaviour isn’t the
issue, criticising it is.

Chong quotes another businessman
saying that “The debate boils down to whether you agree or disagree
with capital punishment.” But that’s not true either: executing
murderers is one thing, but if drug dealing is the equivalent of murder
then every hotel-keeper and tobacconist in the country will be in peril
of their life.