Traitors fighting overseas cannot usually be captured for trial in Australia and no diggers should be risked to do so. If such traitors choose to serve with an Islamist terrorist group and are killed on the battlefield as a result, justice is just as well served. As well as our laws deterring and punishing treachery as a crime, all Australians need to acknowledge their abhorrence of treachery because it involves a fundamental rejection of the reciprocal citizenship obligations we all share - including to fellow citizens serving in our defence force and deployed to fight such traitors. We owe similar legal and ethical obligations to all our allies in these UN-endorsed operations, and to all the victims of the Islamist terrorism some Australians support in clear breach of their citizenship responsibilities and international humanitarian law generally.
Letter to The Australian
Friday, 06 May 2016
(published Saturday, 07 May 2016)
The unlamented death of Neil Prakash and other Islamist terrorists in Iraq and Syria again highlights logical and ethical inconsistencies in those still quibbling about the necessary stripping of citizenship from traitors who go overseas and take up arms against Australia.
Particularly when they agree with the majority of Australians who note that such battlefield deaths are a direct, and indeed proper, consequence of the treachery involved.
Double standards about enforcing the reciprocal citizenship responsibilities every Australian shares are especially unfair to those fellow citizens in our defence force that we lawfully deploy to such conflicts on our behalf.
Why should our diggers and our allies ever have to fight such traitors with the traitor still wrongly able to claim the privileges of Australian citizenship after choosing to reject and betray them.
Strong and consistent measures are always necessary to mark both our national abhorrence of treachery and to deter and punish such a serious crime.
Especially when the traitor cannot be captured for trial in Australia - and no digger’s life should be unduly risked to do so when killing them still delivers the appropriate deterrence and punishment.