Material support

It’s probably been asked before, but would someone bring a charge against Bush and Cheney for “providing material support”? Their actions were much more useful in supporting Al Qaida than Hicks’ were. Anyone who read/listened to the transcript of the AFP interview with Hicks in 2001, as shown of 4 Corners last night, and thought that he was a terrorist because of it, must have failed basic reading comprehension lessons, and the Australian government officials who decided afterwards that he wasn’t worthy of being brought home are utter callous bastards.

Part of me admires his idealism and passion for direction action against injustice. Where was I when genocide was happening in the ’80s? Certainly not trying to get to the front line and protect women and children. David was actually training to fight to protect muslim populations against oppression, such as that happening in Bosnia. And where do you get such training? You can’t walk up to the Australian or US armies and ask to be trained.

Hi, I’m a civilian and don’t want to join the army, but I want you to train me in the art of war so that I can go and fight against injustice.

You’d be given very short shrift, so you get training where you can. An analogy for the situation may be British civilians going to Spain to fight for the communists against Franco, early last century. So many men and women just took off, took up arms and fought for a cause that they felt was right. Did that make them terrorists?

Of course David didn’t do any fighting. He was going back to Afghanistan to get his clothes and documents so that he could get the hell out of the sub-continent after 9/11, and was trapped. A gun was put in his hands and he was told, rightly, that the Northern Alliance would kill him if he let them. He had no intention of fighting Australian or US troops and rightly thought that these armies would stay out of the real action so that the Northern Alliance could do the dirty work and face the danger.

I hope that the disgust I feel at his treatment is shared by enough of the Australian population until after the federal election. Let’s punish John Howard, Alexander Downer and co. for their lack of any compassion for a young passionate Australian citizen trapped in horrific circumstances beyond his control.

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