The Corby media circus
Of course many people do not like the idea of moving on. They want to fight it out tooth and nail and use any and every possible avenue of getting Corby home, at all costs. I have said it before, and I will say it again, it is not our place to interfere with the laws, sentences or judicial procedure of another sovereign nation. The war is over, we lost. Yes there are appeals, and they should be used if Corby decides to risk a possible heavier sentence, and yes Australia should provide legal representation - but that is the only acceptable avenue left.
The demands from the Australian public and the huge media fiasco that has been calling for her release almost since day one have been disgraceful. Some have sought to circumvent the entire Indonesian legal system by calling for the Australian government to intervene to secure her acquittal by strong-arming the Indonesian courts and government. Some are demanding a treaty be signed, in an unprecedented and thoroughly unrealistic move, to allow her to serve her time in Australia. A few even think we should pull the plug on our aid programs or send in a SAS team to liberate the poor, innocent, white, Christian, attractive girl with huge tracts of open land. It's hysteria, unadulterated hysteria, that ignores the pragmatic realities of international relations and nation jurisdiction. The trial by media and its associated unsavoury affects on talkback radio, letters to the editor and everyday conversation about the warped state of affairs portrayed by the hype. Racism, xenophobia, blind patriotism, unfounded assumptions about our Muslim neighbours and state-sanctioned ignorance have come to the forefront and exposed a side of Australia that is detestable, and what's more destestable is that is glossed over as socially acceptable.
The Australian government cannot and should not push for an exception in Corby's case just because public opinion wills it to. When you are overseas you must and will obey their laws and submit to their justice system. It is your responsibility to know what you are going into and weigh up the risks - this includes a perceived dodgy legal system. You are essentially a de-facto citizen of that country while you stay at their pleasure. Australian must respect the jurisdiction of the Indonesian government and courts. We cannot send Downer off to chat with the Indonesian president and convince him to circumvent the courts and pardon Corby - that would be the ultimate farce. John Howard is dead right when he says "when Australians go abroad they are subject to the justice system of the countries they visit." That is the truth of the matter and we must acknowledge it.
The whole Corby saga has been a disgrace and it must stop.