Belmont Club

From Beyond the Grave

The Guardian says the West must now be prepared to face Muslim outrage after the execution of the Bali bombers, who killed 202 persons on the resort island.

In recent months, the men publicly expressed hope their executions would trigger revenge attacks in the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Police responded by stepping up security at foreign embassies, oil depots and at tourist resorts. The fate of the men has become a source of controversy, with some relatives of the victims insisting that the death penalty was ‘anomalous’ with what they believed.

Last night relatives of the victims of the bombings said they did not believe justice had been achieved. Among them was Susanna Miller, of the Bali Bombing Victims Group, who on the eve of the reported executions told BBC Radio 4 that their deaths could provide a propaganda boost to jihadists in the south-east Asian state.

Their nonexecution of the bombers in the face of pressure to commute their sentences would have been a propaganda boost as well. How do you win? You don’t. But the game goes like this: you can’t win and you’re not supposed to. The very question makes people upset. The real crisis facing the West is the absolutely nonnegotiable public demand for comfort without the price of guilt or responsibility in any form; which in its extremity amounts to a rejection of life. We don’t want the earth with its intemperate seasons and gritty soil; with its unrequited love or shattered hopes. We want it just so. And we want it from government, our new god.

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