The price for Western crimes always ignored

I concur with leading Australia international relations expert Scott Burchill:

Wissam Mahmoud Fattal, one of the men charged this week [in Australia] with preparing a terrorist act, told the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday he was not a terrorist and accused Australian troops of killing innocent people overseas. “You call me a terrorist but I’ve never killed anyone in my life,” Fattal told magistrate Peter Reardon. “You send troops to Iraq to kill innocent people.”

He’s right, in part. Australian troops do not intentionally kill innocent people, but the result is almost exactly the same. So are the effects. The CIA calls it “blowback” – the unintended consequences of our interventions in other peoples’ countries. Until Australians understand how our military’s behaviour, previously in Iraq (eg Fallujah) and currently in Afghanistan, is perceived by others these threats will continue. We don’t know how many innocent civilians Western troops have killed in either country because (at least officially) the occupying powers don’t count them – a further humiliation. And yet we still express surprise when those who empathise with our victims attempt to respond in kind. We exhibit a stubborn refusal to learn from the impact of our previous crimes. Strange, dangerous and foolish.

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

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