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Monday 19 January 2015

Is Hicks an 'Innocent' Jihadist ?

Of the many maxims handed down the ages arguably none have received more credence than "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". This adage has been used to justify many an endeavor from politics to warfare.

In warfare, for example, during WWII the 'allies' joined forces with arch-enemy Russia to defeat Nazism. A compromise on principle in order to attain a greater good.

While, in politics, most recently, our Labour party enlisted Peter Slipper, an outcast member of the Liberal Party, in order to change the numbers in the House of Reps and gain a political advantage. Again it was perceived that the benefits gained would counteract the moral compromise of electing a man of known dubious character to act as Speaker of the House.

However, as occurred with both of the above examples adhering to such a policy is fraught with risks.
At the very least your willingness to compromise on core principles leaves you tainted and often the perceived benefits are offset by unforeseen consequences. No situation illustrates this better than the support given to the jihadist David Hicks

A convert to Islam, Hicks is a self-confessed Jihadist and anti-semite. He volunteered and fought with both the Kosovo Liberation Army in Kosovo and Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan, to further the Jihadist cause. When he heard about the 9/11 attacks on the US he returned to Afghanistan and joined the Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces to fight against the United States and her allies, including Australia.. He was captured by the US and imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay as an enemy combatant. We don't know, but he may have killed innocents prior to his capture, in any of the wars in which he  participated. Of course after capture he has avoided such confessions. He served some six years in Guantanamo prior to a plea agreement which brought him to serve out a further few months in prison in Australia.

There has been considerable argument about the 'justice' of his six year sentence. In times past, "siding with the enemy" during a war had much more severe consequences. However given the questions as to the legality of the court which sentenced him, the prison which held him and his treatment while in prison, his role as an enemy combatant has largely been ignored.  Those fighting the legality of the US government's operation of Guantanamo Bay, saw in Hicks a victim of an immoral state. A clear case of 'an enemy of my enemy' is my friend.

As a result Hicks has become the 'poster boy', a veritable 'hero' of the critics of the US. He is invited to book launches, he is invited to functions held by the Human Rights Commission, he is interviewed as if he were some exemplar of proper behaviour. His actual acts and beliefs are whitewashed and indeed there is talk about declaring him 'innocent' of his crimes.

Remember this is happening to a person who joined the enemy voluntarily, who became a soldier of Jihad, willing to kill innocents for the cause, whether they be Americans or Australians.

It is indeed an odd world, when we have so many well-meaning, intelligent people willing to provide support for a person who was an in fact and deed an enemy of the state, a traitor.

And what is the justification for this support? Hicks was treated unfairly, he was found guilty unfairly, his sentence was too long, he was perhaps tortured in custody.  This may all be true and be rightly condemned, but it does not justify any claim as to his 'innocence' nor does it justify his elevation in proper society.

Indeed like all moral compromises it taints those who make such calls.

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