Clearly the Chinese government has a poor grasp of history. Last time they tried to stop English dope peddlers we sent gunboats up the Yellow River and pounded their Mandarin asses until they agreed to be addicted to opium.
In those great days we were helped by the US, then Imperial apprentices, now big swinging dicks. This time we have stopped short of war. Instead, our very own Great Helmsman, Gordon Brown, recognising the media opportunity, interrupted his Yuletide wassailing to summon the Chinese Ambassador, twice, no less, to the Foreign Office for a stern telling-off. The insolent Chinamens’ excuse was that smuggling more than 50 mg of heroin was an offence punishable by death under their sovereign laws, and claimed that the perpetrator’s 5 kg stash was enough to maim or kill more than 27,000 people. This overlooked the fact that he was British, possibly (but not provenly) suffering from bipolar syndrome (aka manic depression) and was clearly (provenly) delusional – as evidenced by a terrible song which he believed would make him a pop star. Tragic, but hardly worth provoking an international incident.
British heroin smuggler Akmal Shaikh knew what he was doing and did it for money. Bipolar syndrome does not imply the inability to determine right from wrong. China, like all the other countries which endorse or carry out the death penalty – notably the US – should be urged to join the civilised world, but Gordon Brown and his hypocrite cronies are hardly the folk to make them change their point of view. China executes the most people in absolute terms, but is 14th when per capita judicial killing is taken into account, with the US close behind. The Bahamas, a British Commonwealth nation, is top. Singapore, held up as a paragon state by unconvicted mass murderer Tony Blair – is second. Kuwait, whose ‘democratic freedom’ we defended in the first Gulf War, is sixth. British trading partners Jordan, Oman and Saudi Arabia are all in the top 10.
None of these countries are daft enough to execute a British, much less a US citizen, though Singapore and our lovely Saudi friends have been known to administer the cat o’ nine tails to errant expats for boozing/fornicating, while Thailand and Malaysia have mostly commuted the death sentence for EU citizens caught smuggling drugs (usually out of the country). Afghanistan, of course, is the world’s top exporter of heroin grade opium, while the brother of its democratically-elected and UN endorsed President, the fragrant Hamid Karzai (Thus passim ad nauseam) is allegedly Capo di Tutti Capi of the smack barons. But he’s our man, as banana boy Miliband is wont to remind us.
I’m sad for the family of Akmal Shaikh, but this is not about the rights and wrongs of a tragic individual case. It’s about the rank, steaming hypocrisy of a country which scarcely raised a finger in protest when 1200 citizens of occupied Gaza, mostly women and children, were bombed out of existence precisely one year earlier, on December 27, 2oo8. Britain defended the ’sovereign right’ of Iraq’s corrupt whacko puppets to publicly hang Saddam Hussein after a laughable show trial. As the Chinese pointed out, a country which has played a lead role in the killing and maiming of at least 200,000 Iraqi citizens and displacement of up to 4 million others, killed and wounded thousands of Afghanis and a growing number of Pakistanis, is in no position to point any fingers whatsoever. The same government gave Chinese Premier Wen a regal welcome in 2008 and brutally suppressed protests from Free Tibet campaigners on his triumphal procession through London before the Beijing Olympics. China was executing/ murdering dissidents (as well as common criminals, for offences less than murder) then as now. We’ll continue to buy its tat, often produced in slave labour conditions. We even sold them our beloved car company, Rover (although this could rank as a subtly hostile act).
This week, 10 Afghan citizens, including 8 children, were executed/murdered by US ‘Special Forces’, according to Afghan investigators. The US claim they were militants/terrorists. Even if they were, does this justify execution without trial of these and several thousand others on other sovereign territories? Ask Brown and Miliband. You won’t get a straight answer.
Britain has lost the high, middle and low ground in international diplomacy, and our citizens will suffer commensurately, as surely as we will lose the phony ‘war on terror.’
However distasteful and repugnant, China’s judicial killing of a British citizen carries more legitimacy than the countless acts of extra-judicial killing perpetrated daily by the US under the banner of liberal intervention. Both are crimes against humanity, but to paraphrase Stalin, one death is a tragedy. 1000 is a statistic.