Monday, December 31, 2007

Both sides now

Supporters of David Hicks are squabbling over the money he's to receive from the media.

Hicks's family is already bickering over the spoils of his notoriety, delaying a longed-for reunion with his children. Backers of the newly freed terrorism supporter yesterday lashed out at his former wife, Jodie Sparrow, for trying to cash in with her own media deal covering Hicks's contact with his two teenage children, Bonnie and Terry. ...

In a paid deal with the Nine Network, Ms Sparrow made the children available to 60 Minutes in May ahead of their first visit to the jail to see their father. Hicks, 32, had just been returned to Australia from the US military's controversial detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Ms Sparrow's father, Dennis Sparrow, has previously said he did not want his grandchildren to see their father. The squabble erupted as Hicks's father, Terry, fended off criticism of his son's failure to offer a public apology for undergoing terrorist training before his capture in Afghanistan by allied forces in 2001.

In a statement made on his behalf by Mr McLeod on Saturday, Hicks said he was sorry for not being strong enough to face the media himself, but he failed to express contrition for his involvement with terrorists.

Federal Opposition justice spokesman Christopher Pyne said there could be no closure until Hicks apologised. "I think it's an insult, particularly to the families of the soldiers who have died fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, that David Hicks would think it was not appropriate for him to apologise to those relatives," Mr Pyne said.

David Hicks plans to live on welfare after his release and may even receive "crisis payments" to help him get over the trauma of detention. Some Australian taxpayers have reacted negatively to news he will be on the dole. Hicks is, by all accounts, a person whose personality problems preceded his stint with the Taliban, and one might, on a human level, feel some pity for him without excusing his behavior. But the human rights/media industry have no such excuses; they are functional enough to laugh all the way to the bank, and they've really exploited the situation to promote their own institutional interests.


Blogger Peter Grynch said...

Michael Scroccaro observes:

Today, almost half of Americans blame our own President for the attacks of 9/11, while the self-confessed architect of those attacks is characterized in the American media as "thoughtful about his cause and craft" and "folksy." Gay activists protest those who protect gay rights (America, Israel), while championing Palestinians, who outlaw and execute homosexuals. Environmentalists focus their rage on America, even though China has eclipsed the US as the world's #1 emitter of greenhouse gases. And Amnesty International, priests, rabbis, Jimmy Carter and activist groups on five continents have somehow found themselves on the same side of an issue as Osama bin Laden and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

What is the common thread? Reflexive opposition to power and automatic support for the underdog -- even when those underdogs fly planes into buildings, bury homosexuals up to their necks and stone them to death, open an average of one new coal-fired plant each week and use child suicide bombers to kill innocent civilians.

"A falling camel attracts many knives."
- Ancient Arab proverb

All's the terrorists have to do is convince people that the West is week and the supply of potential terrorists becomes inexhaustable. Those who recommend dialogue with them or who claim that terrorists have legitamate grievances are feeding the terrorists propaganda mills.

12/31/2007 04:49:00 AM  
Blogger tckurd said...

This Hicks and his family sound like a real class act. Glad he's already spawned and a few actually survived. Good news for everyone in the gene pool.

12/31/2007 05:03:00 AM  
Blogger F said...

Peter Grynch:

Your quote of the Arab proverb about the falling camel is interesting: I would have thought it should refer to Osama bin Laden and others (including David Hicks) -- they're the "falling camels" who should attract the many knives. Alas, it is just the opposite, not because the US is the falling camel, but because it's easy (and perhaps shows a little bravado?) to criticize the US.

We have our own David Hicks of sorts in John Walker Lindh, the "Marin County Taliban," whose father is beginning to speak out about what he considers an overly harsh sentence (20 years) for his son.

I was in Peru when an American "tourist revolutionary" was captured fighting with some bad apples there. In all cases, I'm kind of surprised that the foreigners find it so easy to be accepted by the terrorists. I don't think they'd accept me if I walked up to their camp fire and said I wanted to join up to fight the infidels. It makes me think they must all have devoted a lot more effort to being accepted into the band than their family now describes. ("Oh my son was intrigued by their devotion to a cause, so he just took a taxi to their headquarters and asked to go along on a raid or two." Not.)

Hicks has carried the travesty to a new level, however, with his life on the dole. And taking "crisis payments" -- not because of the hardships of life with the Taliban, or mental anguish of "fighting for the enemy" -- is particularly quaint. In Chicago, such a fellow would end up taking a swim with cement water wings if he played such games with the mob. Where is our sense of frontier justice? F

12/31/2007 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Jrod said...

I wonder how young Bonnie and Terry felt when they introduced their father (in absentee) at school on "Career Day"?

You are correct, the full court press for a presidential pardon of Mr. Lindh is just beginning it seems. I recently heard an NPR fluff-piece that was enough evidence for me anyhow. They hit all the notes--just a regular kid, nice middle class upbringing, interviews with mom, dad, neighbors etc. His father even compared JWL's sentence to Mr. Hicks and implied how unfair it all was. I guess we need an International Court or something so we can finally treat all misunderstood individuals that were in the wrong place at the wrong time with the same leniency.

12/31/2007 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger Zenster said...

Hicks and Lindh are both sterling examples of why we should shoot on sight any combatants-not-in-uniform. Capture them for interrogation if desired but those who are definitely complicit should not survive to talk about it.

And Amnesty International, priests, rabbis, Jimmy Carter and activist groups on five continents have somehow found themselves on the same side of an issue as Osama bin Laden and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The operational status of organizations like Amnesty International and others should be made dependent upon them immediately declaring shari'a law a massive violation of human rights. Any refusal to do so should result in the withdrawal of all government funding, a legal bar upon any fundraising within American borders and revocation of their non-profit status.

The farce of these so-called humaintarian organizations whingeing about our treatment of Gitmo prisoners while remaining totally mute regarding Islam's ongoing crimes against humanity has worn paper thin.

12/31/2007 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

Mr. Hicks bring to mind the challenge presented by a rabid dog.

You don't shoot the dog because you're angry. You don't shoot the dog out of revenge for its other victims. You don't shoot the dog because it has insulted your God who is infinitely merciful. You don't shoot the dog because it is ugly, stinky, confused of its gender, or politically unsound.

You shoot the dog to ensure that the deadly disease infecting it will not infect any other creature.

Still, there are idiots who do not acknowledge that rabies is a problem.

12/31/2007 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Perhaps they're not idiots but sufferers of a low-lying form of rabies themselves. So to them, the activities of Lindh, Hicks, et al, are normal and not to be condemned because that's how they secretly see the world, too. They just haven't actually started foaming at the mouth yet to alert the rest of us.

12/31/2007 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

The treatment of Hicks and Lindh are luxuries of a people who don't feel real threats. When survival mode kicks in there will be a terrible settling of accounts.

There always is.

And the allies of Osama will not find it to their liking.

But that's the ugly truth. People will do things unthinkable before just to survive.

12/31/2007 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Peter Gyrnch: Thoughts on “automatic support for the underdog” were the subject of an excellent John W. Campbell editorial published somewhere around 40 years ago, entitled “HyperInfraCaniPhilia” (now break that word down for some fun). You may be able to find his work in a public library.

12/31/2007 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Is that the same Campbell as who used to edit SF anthologies?

12/31/2007 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Nahncee: Yep, the same one,John W. Campbell. He was editor of Analog Magazine (Which used to be called Astounding Magazine back in the 50's and earlier) from the late 30's to his death around 1972. His editorials in the magazine were just dynamite. In the Internet era he would have been world famous in the same way as Styen, Kristol, Coulter, etc.are today.

SF anthologies of the stories in Analog used to come out every year. I just wish someone would publish all his editorials. Of course, for all I know, they have.

12/31/2007 05:31:00 PM  
Blogger watimebeing said...

Frontier Justice is one thing, there are or were mechanisms to try and if found guilty, execute sentence, in the field.
Intelligence value may have been the thing that saved these creatures of low lying rabid infection from a quick and relatively pain-free end to their miserable existence. It is possibly a longing for kind death that drove these nutters to Osama in the first place. The mechanism to allow for quick and lawful execution of such low forms should prove to be just the spoon full of sugar supplemented pharmaceutical to cure others similarly infected.

1/01/2008 04:58:00 AM  

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