In Whose Name?

PHIL JOHNSON/STUFF CIRCUIT Harmeet Sooden

I count myself extremely fortunate to live in a country where it is not against the law to be an annoying idiot.

Perhaps the current level of liberty I myself hold would be somewhat compromised if this was not the case.

As a benefactor of the English Common Law, this nation enjoys a level of quiet moderation of jurisprudence that ensures a much more robust and transparent system of governance that few other countries possess. This is unfortunate but nevertheless a reality.

The evolutionary nature of our laws are measured against the balance of precedence which is not only better able to adapt to changing circumstance, but also far less reliant on a central power base deciding on how legislation is to be interpreted.

But with any system, there are always pros and cons and none are entirely perfect.

One such drawback I believe is the unfortunate magnetic quality such a system as ours has in attracting the most annoying self-righteous attention seekers God has ever put breath into. I mean, there are few places in the world where one can espouse an opinion however unpopular or controversial. My own presence on this Blog is a testament to that.

Harmeet Sooden is perhaps another. Born in Zambia on the of 23 March 1973 to parents of Sikh Kashmiri ancestry, these days Mr Sooden enjoys dual citizenship by holding passports from both Canada and New Zealand.

Mr Sooden’s professional background is in Computer Engineering and it was working in this industry where he first became concerned about the activities Western Powers adopt in their war on the type of savagery and ideological brutality which have long been characteristics of movements of people who wish to implement religious systems of law over others.

Mr Sooden spent some time in Iraq where, as a volunteer with the Christian Peacemaker Teams, he was kidnapped alongside three other colleagues and held captive for some four months by the Swords of Righteousness Brigade during which time one hostage, Tom Fox, was executed.

The remaining hostages were freed as a result of a military operation taking place on the 23rd of March, 2006 which was carried out by the S.A.S.

After Mr Sooden’s return to New Zealand, he was asked by the then Prime Minister Helen Clark to please refrain from returning to any region where his safety could not be guaranteed.

Undeterred Mr Sooden continued his work with international humanitarian movements and participated in the Freedom Flotilla’s attempts to smuggle undocumented material into the Gaza Strip.

I’ve only touched on a few of Mr Sooden’s activities which I believe give a fairly accurate picture regarding his personal allegiances which are not always entirely in line with the political stance of his adopted nations.

As someone with such little loyalty or allegiance to anything other than his own views, it is I believe a true measure of our own tolerance and humility that he receives the level of protection and attention his status as a citizen demands.

I believe that war is the single most Evil thing that humans are capable of producing. War is nothing but destruction and the idea of attempting to mitigate it with rules of engagement, while perhaps a mark of our own civility, is akin to giving out speeding tickets at the Formula One. In fact, I would argue that anyone attempting to justify war in itself or the methods of waging it, is complicit in its very existence and continuation.

When our troops are sent to war we must assume that they will be exposed to the worst excesses of depravity and in turn be so affected. The controversy which was created last year by Nicky Hager’s book, for example, was something that left me a little bit befuddled. I would be very surprised if our troops had NOT been involved in the killing of innocent civilians as this is something that is almost impossible to avoid, irrespective of the amount of care and planning involved.

This is why war is something to be avoided at all costs if at all possible and certainly not something to enter into lightly.

Any New Zealand citizen that assumes that our troops are guiltless of excesses of war is a fool.

This is part of the reason why I have never purposely exposed myself to a war zone and why, if I can help it, never intend to either.

The recent story in the MSM this week about the change of duties for our troops in Iraq again left me a little bit confused as to its relevance and also the motivations behind those who believe to the contrary.

How is this in any way significant and why do we even need to know?

I’m quite sure our Armed Services are more than capable of carrying out their duties without the level of public scrutiny and oversight that people like Mr Sooden believe necessary.

I’m also left wondering if Mr Sooden would have preferred this level of public involvement when planning and carrying out his own rescue in Iraq? Or does he possess a sliding scale of hypocrisy when it comes to matters which directly affect the level of protection he enjoys, while at the same time questioning the very manner in which it is provided?

 


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ORANGE

  • A large round juicy citrus fruit with a tough bright reddish-yellow rind.

AMBER

  • Hard translucent fossilized resin originating from extinct coniferous trees of the Tertiary period, typically yellowish in colour. It has been used in jewellery since antiquity.

ORINJAMBA

  • Fifth generation Kiwi, social-political writer who left the Left sometime back and turned right. Heavily reliant on spell check with hopefully the intelligence to admit when he’s wrong and the humility to see the truth, irrespective of where it’s found.
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