Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Having served in an Australian Army Regiment myself for nine years, there is one thing that I know that is inherent in the minds of all Australian soldiers, from combat veterans to weekend warriors, and that is that you must always look after your mate! This simple Aussie philosophy is why we have one of the most successful and respected Defence Forces in the world.

No doubt you have heard the story from the media: Commandos face court over civilian deaths in Afghanistan

And understandably, like most, you are probably fuming because you cannot stand the thought of Australian combat soldiers who are risking all for our and others greater good, being prosecuted for doing what 99.9 percent of us could only imagine doing.

War is hell and in that hell we can only imagine that there would be split second decisions needed to be made in order to not only get the job done successfully but to simply survive the battle. We are all human, including diggers and Generals and because of that we can make errors.

Was there an error made here and if so was there any other option but to fight to save your mates and yourself? Although I was not there and have no idea of exactly what happened and the circumstances leading to the TRAGEDY (only what I have read of course), the ins and outs of the tactical details and the minds of the soldiers under fire and the danger that made up this terrible event, I can count on this simple fact and that is there will always be casualties in a physical conflict such as this the war against the Taliban and Al-Al Quaida in Afghanistan and to the greatest regret of any Australian involved or not, there may well be civilian casualties.

These casualties are never an seen by decent human beings as an acceptable event or "collateral damage" and are not seen this way by our diggers (and I believe those concerned especially) or the ADF.

The one important thing that is being overlooked here, in my opinion, is that if wrong doing was done then it will be exposed by our military legal code and always justly dealt with. This cannot be said for this enemy, who take no pain in using children and woman as human shields (knowing that we are civilised soldiers and follow the civilised conventions of warfare) and it is the enemy that will always profit from any negative propaganda that can be stirred up by such western media attention.

I will stick my neck out and say here now that I believe the soldiers will be acquitted and that this will be seen for what I believe it is, a tragedy of war. I just hope that the issue does not stir up or give ammunition to the enemy without (the Taliban) and or the other front line and that is the enemy within: The usual "peacenik" activists and fools who cannot see that their way of life, including their right to be fools and side with the enemy's cause, is itself in jeopardy if we lose this war.

The effect that this will have and always has had on troops currently in the field is not only sobering for them but also just as concerning and destructive to the successful outcome of our military endeavours, This is a matter that needs to be dealt with "in house" and should not be a matter of such public debate until the facts are known and the the verdict is in. Even then, should it not be the right of a fighting army, fighting a war to win, to be able to keep that information to itself at least until the war is over? Or are newspaper sales just that much more important?


DaoDDBall said...

I am disturbed that these troops are being investigated publicly without important basic facts being known which exonerates them. It is war time, and I get it we live in a democracy, but the fact remains that it seems possible that these troops can be convicted because some politician is in office and unwilling to own up to making a mistake. I have no problem with the exercise of law, I just don't trust the ALP to be fair and even handed. They have a history of selling people down the river.
It is true the Taliban exploit such things, but it is tragically also the case that the ALP are also corrupt.

Andy Semple said...

Great Cartoon, Zeg. If only the issue wasn’t that serious.
War is war. It’s ugly and it’s deadly. There’s nothing nice about War.
But these SAS commando’s of ours were under fire by Taliban insurgents, who, fired at our commando’s from a house that also happened to have children living there. I’d like to see members of the left see how they handle being constantly under fire by an enemy who dress like every other civilian. These commando’s have strict rules of engagement and they were engaged so they did what their elite training taught them. Kill the enemy with overwhelming force. It’s just a pity there isn’t the same level of outcry from the left about the Taliban who often use children/women as human shields.
These diggers deserve the presumption of innocence also as they are fighting for that (&many other) freedoms on our behalf.

Anonymous said...

I have decided to leave the Army in protest at this outrage.