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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Give common sense a go

John Howard is noted for his doggedness. The USA since 9/11 has become noted for bloody-minded vengeance. Trying to penetrate these dingo traps with thoughts of mercy and a fair go - well, it would be easier to climb Everest without oxygen.

Danna Vale, the Federal Member for Hughes, has called for David Hicks to be brought home from Guatanamo Bay. Vale says:
Let's get real. The case of David Hicks clearly fails the commonsense test. It fails the commonsense test not only in the educated minds of the legal profession, but in the gut feelings of ordinary Australians who believe in a fair go, and who believe that truth and justice and that old hand-me-down from the Magna Carta that says men are innocent until proven guilty, still deserve some currency in our world.

A few things to remember:
  1. The Brits stood up for their citizens and wouldn't allow the Yanks to try them.
  2. Howard & Co have not had the same gumption to defend their own as the Brits and have left Hicks to rot in the hands of a foreign government.
  3. The goal posts keep getting shifted for Hicks and, once again, the kangaroo court being organised by the Yanks is being postponed to an unknown date.
  4. Hicks has already served four years - longer than many serve after the death of a person in this country.
  5. Hicks has served four years in cruel and inhumane circumstances shameful to all Americans.
  6. Australians can and have been and will be found anywhere in the world. They served with the international brigades in Spain in the 30s. The Howard Government would not have agreed with that either because they were communists or left-leaning. Hicks, as a convert to Islam, was serving as a matter of principle at a time, at least when he first went to Aghanistan, when Australians were not involved there.

Australians in the future will undoubtedly be found in similar circumstances - making unpopular political stands in other countries for causes their government does not agree with. Their cases need to be treated in a transparent manner with the speed and openness that justice requires. Common sense and common humanity demands that the Australian Government bring Hicks home.