Wednesday, 31 January 2007

The Hicks' Riddle

The continuing saga of Australian prisoner David Hicks grows more convoluted from day to day (here).

But for the life of me I find it difficult to fathom. That it is allowed to go on and on seems amazing and should be brough to some resolution one way or the other

There would seem to be only a limited number of possibilities about what is happening here.
  1. Hicks could be guiltier than most people seem to suggest, and this is known to American and Australian authorities who are therefore reluctant to do anything to see him released. This seems unlikely since throughout the whole debate he has only ever been touted as an insignificant player deluded by a warped sense of purpose which few of us can share.
  2. Despite the fact that we are touted in the coterie of America's closest allies we actually have no influence at all with regard to the way Australian public opinion is respected by the Bush regime. We have not been able to do, for example, what the British and other "allies" have done, and that is have their citizens repatriated to be dealt with at home. This does not really surprise us. We are a very small country, and although Bush has been happy to trumpet John Howard as an ally; and Howard has been happy to receive that accolade we seem remarkably powerless when it comes to bringing that influence to bear where it really matters. Our farmers, for example would testify to the fact that marketrs are closed and unfair barriers remain in place which prevent any sense of level-playing-field. This Hicks' case is just another example of that impotence.
  3. The Australian government doesn't have the slightest interest in the welfare of David Hicks and just keeps hoping it will all go away.This certainly seems to be the net effect of what is happening even if it is not the deliberate policy. It nevertheless says to me that we are not a country where justice for all is prized, and where due process is regarded as being a key principle in the exercise of democratic freedoms. There seems indeed one law for some and another law for others.....
That this goes on and on seems a source of great sadness.

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