Initially, he was after adventure and the experience of travelling the Silk Road.
But events would set him on a different path. He would be deemed a terrorist, one of George W Bush’s ‘worst of the worst’. He would be incarcerated in the world’s most notorious prison, G
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What an amazing book. David Hicks was snatched from a taxi in Afghanistan by an Afghani in the mad days after the 9/11 attacks and was sold to the US for $5000. He ended up spending 5 1/2 years in Guantanamo prison as a result. In this memoir he tells his life story beginning in a small town near Adelaide in South Australia and ending with his completion of this book, a couple of years after he was released from Cuba.
This book is a cautionary tale if ever there was one. Wrong place, wrong time a
Many people say of David Hicks, ‘Well what was he doing in Afghanistan?’ implying that he deserved his imprisonment. You only have to read the introduction to this book to understand that that’s not the point — it was the conditions of his imprisonment, which nobody deserves.
After the intro, the book’s early chapters deal with his childhood and young manhood. They’re very readable. It becomes perfectly clear that he was just a young bloke in search of travel and adventure, not a terrorist by any
Just spent the weekend reading this. Couldn’t put it down. So simply told, and not just about what was done to David himself, but what is happening to all of us in subtle and multiple ways. Bit by bit we realise that a previously unknown desire within us just has to step out and bee explored. Bit by bit we discover what we thought we knew of the world is not what we previously knew. And every step of the way there is someone else interested in our journey, even if we feel totally alone and cut o
On so many levels I related to David’s story. Not just for myself but for many people I have dealt with who have felt somehow cut off from the society around them for various reasons.
I think what makes so many people afraid of reading David’s story is having to face their own vulnerability and their own fear. It is not just what may happen to us if someone else finds out. It is mostly about what we do to ourselves by what we dare and do not dare to do. And therefore what we allow others to do to us because we have already started the assault.
It seems to me that what is perpetrated against individuals in political situations – whether they are declared wars, or less obvious disputes – is what gets done to all of us in some insidious way. If one person can get away with bullying it is because every witness to that treatment fails to say: “that is NOT okay”. Instead we worry that the attention and activity will shift to us and we will become the victim. Thus we make ourselves a silent victim.
There are so many levels of this process. I am very thankful to David for sharing his insights about it. I had thought about writing a novel called “Unwritten Diary of a Torturer” before these issues came out in the news but found the artistic demand too difficult to fully process. Reading David’s story I now understand more about why. I don’t really want to add to such suffering. But something in me still questions how I am actually responsible for it surfacing even in others.
I will process this some more over coming days I am sure. And follow through with some of David’s references to understand even more.