I hope Messrs Howard, Ruddock and Downer enjoyed their breakfast
yesterday (31/1). I didn’t enjoy mine much, thanks to the artist’s
image of David Hicks’ predicament and the accompanying report from
his Australian legal team. Breakfast in my experience at least is not
easily enjoyed when you feel like weeping with compassion for the
suffering of a fellow human, especially when inflicted by other
humans who could choose to end it. Still, at least I wasn’t chained
to the floor. And there was plenty of natural light courtesy of our
large windows, and after breakfast … well the toilet has a door.
To my own shame I have complacently allowed this inhumanity to
persist in my name, as an Australian. Yes, I’ve signed online
petitions; yes, I’ve shaken my head righteously while listening to
Ruddock and Downer’s professed commitment to due process. But my
protest has ended there. Is it because there are too many who protest
as little as I, that our political masters get away with such
spineless obfuscation ? Hicks may well be guilty of some or all of
what he is charged with. But I’m beyond caring about that. If we’ve
let him languish under the unjustice of this unspeakable mistreatment
then we, just like the Bush administration, have lost all moral right
to judge his actions further.
So let it end now, so long after it should have. No more obsequious
deferring to the Americans, no more mouthed platitudes by gutless
politicians, no more unverifiable assurances that Hicks is hale and
hearty, no more glib legal disclaimers. We’ve had enough! Any
credibility these utterances may once have had has long since
evaporated. This is a national shame. Bring him home, Mr Howard.
Bring him home now!