Friday, 28 December 2007

Not Wholly Innocent

It's not entirely possible to believe that David Hicks is in any way innocent of those crimes for which he has been imprisoned for the last six years. What it is also not possible to believe is that he is other than a foolish young man who got caught up in fanciful romp, which had quite serious consequences.
The young often do that. The idealising of Osama Bin Laden, which he was obviously given to who to him was 'lovely', was obvously misguided. Though I for one acknowledge that I know nothing about bin Laden other than what the press, intent on demonising him to the nth degree, have told me.
Hicks looks to me like many foolish young men I have known. Jaded by the world which (in his eyes) has betrayed the hopes of his childhood; he set off to throw in his lot with something that looked way out, that outlandishness being sufficient attraction to give his life some sense of purpose. Then he found that he was running with the big boys where perhaps he was ill-equipped to go, but being young and a man he no doubt had difficulty admitting any sense of poor judgement!!
And so, the whole sorry saga. It is difficult to believe that he is other than just a foolish man.
He has been the pawn of political players who have cared little for his welfare, and much for the political advantage that could be got out of him.

So when he is released from gaol tomorrow, there will be fluttering and posturing. He will, one hopes, sink into anonymity and get on with trying to be a bit more sensible. All of us who have been foolish young men, must recognise that we are not wholly innocent (pun of the day) either. Nor must we be naive about Hicks, but strewth (as we say in Oz) let's forget about him now!


Anonymous said...

Innocent or not we will never know, military courts shouldnt be used to guarantee a guilty verdict yes we get the guilty but its the truley innocent that suffer.

It is not the man people are interested in but the process and the outcome.

stephen clark said...

I think the "process" betrays the sense of natural justice that we are inclined to think should buttress the legal systems whether military or criminal or civil.
When ever propaganda enters the fray then the presumption of innocence goes out the window and is replaced by who can win the propaganda war!