Indonesia executed eight people accused of drug trafficking, including two Australians, as part of President Joko Widodo’s “war on drugs”. Australian officials had made personal appeals for clemency from Indonesia’s government, but it all came to naught yesterday, when a firing squad carried out the state’s sentence and shot the convicts dead.We don't pay a lot of attention to Indonesia, but we should. Back to Mead:
The official response from Australia was carefully measured outrage.
Australia knows that it needs good relations with its neighbor—for one thing, to help control what could otherwise be a tsunami of illegal immigration by desperate boat people—and Australian politicians of both of the major parties work hard to keep the relationship strong. But Australian public opinion sometimes chafes at what this means.Keep an eye on this one.
Far from fading away, these problems are likely in some ways to grow more serious. Indonesian Islam has traditionally taken a relaxed view on many social issues; that is beginning to change as more conservative strains of Islam gain ground. And the Indonesians, with the world’s fourth largest population and a rapidly growing economy, aren’t always averse to throwing their weight around on the diplomatic scene.