You Can't Compare Chan and Sukumaran to Australian Soldiers

02 May 2015
I've seen a couple of remarks from people upset that, following the execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in Indonesia last week, the media have been referring to the repatriation of their bodies as "bringing our boys home". One poster who was very upset - you could tell from the lots and lots of exclamation marks - that this is the same term used to describe Australian troops returning from Iraq. They were very disgusted at the comparison, and they are right. You really can't compare them.

Because unlike the people who would have used the heroin Chan and Sukumaran would have imported, the people of Iraq got no say whatsoever at being put at risk of death.

Because unlike Chan and Sukumaran, I haven't heard too many Australian soldiers who've returned from Iraq admit that the invasion was a grave mistake. That it was based on a lie, that Iraq never posed any threat to Australia, that hundreds of thousands of innocent people were killed, that the subsequent chaos gave birth to ISIL - which may now be a threat to us all. I haven't heard returned soldiers beg for forgiveness, beg kids not to be as stupid as they were in blindly following the wrong orders. I haven't seen a whole lot of atonement.

Because I haven't seen any opponents of the war who would be graceless, heartless, just plain rude enough to say of a deceased soldier whose grieving family have not yet even had a chance to bury him, "well, they went overseas on a mission they knew could end in death, what did they expect".

You really can't compare them.


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