Remember David Hicks?

I just read an interesting article today about David Hicks.Remember him, the convicted Aussie terrorism supporter? Well we all knew a book would come out once the time limit passed and here it is. With the full support of another Aussie “Dick Smith” lover of all things Australian. Why in hell is he in love with a wannabe terrorist who was training to kill innocent people like you and I, I have no idea. But read on, very interesting.I plan to read the dribble myself, but certainly will not be supporting him by buying it. I will get it from the library in due course… Robbo


Dick Smith, Lover of everything Australian?

DICK Smith lost credibility when he aligned himself with convicted terrorism supporter David Hicks, and now he’s at it again.

In a bid to publicise Hicks’ new autobiography, there was the boyish voice of Australia’s richest grey nomad on ABC radio Sunday morning, calling Macca’s Australia All Over program from outside Port Augusta.

He’d just saved a few bucks on Hicks’ book by buying it at Big W, he said. “It’s a great read.”

Man’s inhumanity against man and all that. I didn’t catch it all, exactly, as I was busy throwing up.

The Electronic Dick is Australia’s biggest apologist for Hicks, aka Mohammed Dawood, the 35-year-old one-time Muslim convert, the AK47-toting, anti-Semitic, terrorist-trained enemy traitor, the al-Qaida “golden boy” whose reaction to the 9/11 attacks was to hotfoot it back to Afghanistan to take up arms to fight the US and its allies. Which included Australia.

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Hicks roamed between Kandahar airport and Kabul with a group of fighters who were “engaged in combat against coalition forces”, according to US prosecutors.

That’s the official version, and the one Hicks admitted to in 2007 when he pleaded guilty to the charge of providing material support to a terrorist organisation.


David Hicks in training

His book, Guantanamo: My Journey, only makes more puzzling the mystery of why Hicks became such a cause celebre, since his story is so implausible, his excuses so pathetic, his whingeing so reflexive.

Nothing is ever his fault. He is either forced to do things or things accidentally happened to him.

He opens with the first of many half-truths and crucial omissions: “This is the first time I have had the opportunity to tell my story.”

Er, no. There’s not a media outlet in Australia that wouldn’t have given him ample opportunity.

He claims he became a Muslim because he had questions about Islam and so looked up the nearest mosque in the Yellow Pages. When he arrived, to his great surprise, he found himself declaring, “I want to be Muslim”. A part-time imam told him to “recite a few words” and, hey presto, he was a Muslim.

Then he just happened to go to Pakistan. A new mosque mate happened to give him some addresses. One thing led to another and he ended up in Peshawar on the Afghan border where he just “came upon” members of the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

He met Osama bin Laden, a wealthy man, and it was all a boy’s own adventure.

Hicks skips over his extensive LeT training in a couple of pages, mentioning only that he did “lots of walks”, befriended a goat and that the training was mostly “sport-oriented”.

Pull the other one.

The paragraph that most perfectly captures his attempt to suspend reality has him firing on Kashmir.

“I participated in this exchange (of gunfire) under the orders and supervision of Captain Ali. We did not fire upon Indian soldiers or any other people. We only participated in the symbolic exchange of fire.”

The consequences of this “symbolic exchange of fire”? Two dead children.

Perhaps Hicks’ book is a symbolic telling of the truth.

Our accidental terrorist next finds himself on the wrong bus, and happens to arrive in Kandahar where he mingles with the Taliban.

Somehow he decided to do an eight-week “mountain warfare” course. Then he applied for the “urban warfare” course.

Then, in August, 2001, he took a mysterious course in Kabul. All he says about that is, “Kabul was an interesting and intriguing place”.

He is at pains to draw a distinction between himself and “actual terrorists”, who were trained at “very small and highly secretive” camps.

Hicks, by contrast, says he was at “big, very public mainstream camps” receiving “very casual basic military training”. He had no choice. “I reluctantly signed up.”

Only Silly Dick would believe any of that.

He complains a lot about Guantanamo Bay, and about a soldier who records his movements in a green book making him feel “like an animal sprawled upon a dissection table”.

Does it occur to Hicks why the soldier was observing him? Because the good guys, those Hicks was fighting against, were trying to find out when the next terrorist attack would come.

They were protecting defenceless children, mothers, fathers, beloved people in Manhattan office towers or Melbourne football stadiums or Bali nightspots or Mumbai restaurants, or London buses, from a suicide bomber exploding a vest full of hydrogen peroxide or igniting his underpants on a plane or grabbing a rifle out of a backpack and firing into a crowd of living flesh.

That is what David Hicks was. One of those young men who trained for al-Qaida in LeT terrorist camps. One of the lost, lonely misfits who answered the call of Islamist extremists.

LeT is the terrorist group that pops up disturbingly often in foiled terrorist plots on Australian soil, from the conviction of Willie Brigitte in 2007, to the unspecified plot for which five men were convicted this year in the NSW Supreme Court.

The Mumbai terrorists, who killed more than 170 people, including two Australians, in 2008, were trained, like Hicks, by LeT. In some ways, they were figures of pity, if you can divorce yourself from their atrocities, which you can’t easily.

But that is all that separates Hicks from those robotic young men; the fact he didn’t come home and put his training to use.

If events had transpired slightly differently, if he had not been captured by the Northern Alliance, would he have been a sleeper agent inside Australia, available on call to carry out a Mumbai-style massacre? We only have his word he wouldn’t.


David Hicks walks free

There is no remorse, no apology, just justification piled on evasion piled on self-pity.

It doesn’t mean Hicks might not be worthy of pity or redemption some day. But it doesn’t mean his capture and incarceration as an enemy combatant was wrong. And it doesn’t mean he has the right to rewrite history.

In case it’s not clear, Hicks was armed, wearing a uniform, working for the enemy for two months, while our troops were in Afghanistan, at the start of a war that so far has cost the lives of 21 Australian soldiers.

And, while people such as Apologist Dick are feting Hicks and lining his pocket with book contracts, three soldiers who fought on our side, the good guys are facing a court-martial for an accident of war. The irony is stomach-turning.

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