Sink or swim? 28/2/2006
At last, Howard has come out and repeated unequivocally what rationalists have been tossing up to hysterics for years:
JOHN Howard says the refugees he falsely accused of throwing their children in the sea deserve no personal apology because they did the next worst thing – “they irresponsibly sank the damn boat, which put their children in the water”.
I’ve put this point several times to newspaper letters columns in clear, dispassionate terms for nil response. That it was so baldly ignored led me to doubt whether I indeed had all the facts.
The rejection of an alternative view surprised given that a day hardly passes without a broadsheet letters page carrying seething Howard-hating rhetoric on “kids overboard”.
In contrast today’s letters column in The Australian contains two replies to Howard’s claim, reported yesterday, both endorsing his claims. The conspiciously compassionate are for once absent. One letter says refugee ship sinking occurred a number of times and is referred to in Paul Sheehan’s The Electronic Whorehouse (Another must-get).
The other letter sets out to dispel the myth that the Government’s “kids overboard” since-discredited announcement was a stunt pulled on the eve of the election. As the writer says, it blew up a month earlier and is used only now by the left as an excuse for losing yet another election.
The compassionate elites miss the major point about why the misinformation that was the the “kids thrown overboard” scandal didn’t resonate with the average voter. Those average joes and josephines who care about such things also knew about the ships getting sunk beneath the kids and like anyone with a grain of common sense, couldn’t see a lot of difference between either action.
However, a news column in The Australian today tries to fog Howard’s entirely plausible assertion. Itreports a response from “sources” who said it was impossible to be certain about the cause of the sinking of the vessel. So there’s doubt now, uncertainty.
What is known from testimony to a senate investigation is that the ship was in poor condition, taking water and some on board had damaged the vessel.
Australian Navy personnel had noted that the steering and engine had been damaged and planking had been removed from the forward part of the hull. The vessel sunk within hours.
So, come on Howard-haters — what’s the moral difference between throwing kids overboard or sinking the ship from under them?
In fact with my limited knowledge of such matters, I’d think the kids would be safer to be thrown clear of the vessel, rather than be at risk of getting sucked down as it sinks.
Illegals’ kids were in this position
because adults on board had successfully attempted to sink the boat they were on.
I repeat, what is the moral difference between this and throwing them overboard from the sinking boat?
From a socialist’s web site:
Under control of the Adelaide’s crew, SIEV 4 was steered back into international waters and warned not to re-enter Australia’s contiguous zone. After the boarding party left, the boat’s engine was apparently disabled by passengers in a final, desperate attempt to pressure the Adelaide into picking them up. In line with its obligations under the International Law of the Sea, the Adelaide responded to SIEV 4’s distress signal and took the boat in tow. When SIEV 4 sank the next day, October 8, the Adelaide’s crew jumped into the water and rescued all the passengers.