Let our Diggers kill at will beause we say they’re noble

So Australian troops in Afghanistan kill civilians and are now facing charges. It’s called accountability, something sorely lacking in Western societies at war for decades.

Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, a top quality Murdoch quality that regularly writes about refugees stealing our jobs, women and sand, thinks it’s bloody outrageous in an editorial today:

In the early days of the campaign in Afghanistan, we were introduced to a new phrase: “asymmetrical warfare” – the relative imbalance between the methods and tactics used by the Taliban and other murdering fundamentalists and the tactics used by coalition forces, including Australian troops, who are constrained by various laws and conventions. In short, we conduct war by the rules. The Taliban do not.

The dangers of this imbalance exist not only for the women and children used as shields by Taliban insurgents, or for the Afghan civilians targeted by fundamentalist suicide bombers. Dangers also exist for Australian soldiers who are caught in gun battles with Taliban operatives using civilians as cover.

And the danger extends beyond the immediate threat of death and injury.

Our soldiers also face the danger of legal action arising from the unique and distressing circumstances that arise when fighting an utterly amoral opponent.

Three soldiers have been charged following the deaths of five Afghan children in 2009. Those deaths remain a tragedy.

That charges have been laid by our own military against the soldiers is obscene.

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As two of the soldiers said in a statement: “It should not be forgotten that the casualties were ultimately caused by the callous and reckless act of an insurgent who chose to repeatedly fire upon us at extreme close range from within a room he knew contained women and children.”

That’s the reality of combat in Afghanistan. By charging the three soldiers, the military is giving strength to the vicious and inhuman tactics of our enemy.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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