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Thursday, August 26, 2004

Since When Is Being a Soldier in a War a Crime?

David Hicks was a Taliban soldier in Afghanistan. When the war started between the US and the Taliban he did what every soldier is expected to do,- namely, he fought, trying his best to kill the enemy. And this is the reason why he is on trial now. Hicks is not an American; he is an Australian citizen, and thus by fighting with the Taliban he did not commit a treason by the US legal standard.

I am trying to address neither the legitimacy of the so-called "War on Terror" which is waged by the US despite the fact that it was never declared by Congress, nor that of the Military Commission (Tribunal) before which Hicks is to stand trial. I am merely asking, how can a soldier who merely tried to do his job be held responsible for just that,- trying to kill enemy soldiers? If the US military's data on Hicks is correct, he is certainly a POW. If he committed war crimes, he can be tried for that. But if he merely did what every soldier does in a war,- fight his enemy,- then he is just a soldier. And there is no need to de-legitimize the status of a soldier. The US military will hardly be pleased to find its soldiers on trial and facing a severe punishment somewhere in a foreign land for just doing their job.

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