David Calling

The David Pryce-Jones blog.

With Whose Rights Are Western Governments Concerned?


Abu Qatada and Ali Musa Daqduq are two prominent figures in the worldwide Islamist jihad against the West. They are united in their determination to do everything in their power to advance that jihad, which of course means violence and terror. Abu Qatada, a Jordanian, came to Britain to raise funds for bin Laden’s al-Qaeda. He was in contact with terrorists; he recruited through preaching. In Jordan he is wanted on a murder charge. Ten years ago, he was arrested in London and ever since he has used every twist of the law to avoid deportation to his own country. Judge Mitting, presiding over a Special Immigration Appeals Commission, has just decided that Abu Qatada cannot be deported but instead could be released on bail. Prime Minister Cameron told parliament that he is “completely fed up” with this failure to deport Abu Qatada.

Ali Musa Daqduq is Lebanese, and a member of Hezbollah, the Shia terrorist group, who traveled to Iraq. In 2007 he and others kidnapped five American soldiers in Karbala, and tortured and killed them. Captured, he admitted to his crimes. When President Obama pulled American forces out of Iraq, they did not take Daqduq with them but handed him over to the Iraqi authorities. An Iraqi court now orders his release.

What it comes to is that Britain and America are less concerned with the safety of their citizens than with the well-being of enemies willing to murder them. The rights of nationals are secondary to the rights of those who would destroy those nationals. Games-playing with the law has protected wrongdoing and crime, and denied the course of natural justice.  We shall lose to the jihadis until such time as we recognize them as the terrorists that they are, and deal with them accordingly.

The same unrealistic and pettifogging view of human behaviour is evident in the hoo-ha about General David Petraeus and General John Allen. Their private relations have no bearing on their military capacities. Remember Harriet Wilson. She threatened to expose her affair with the Duke of Wellington, only to be told, “Publish and be damned.” They did things differently once.


Subscribe to National Review