Andrew Hastie, 38-year-old SAS officer turned member of parliament, has weighed in on the alleged findings of the Brereton inquiry into the alleged killing of innocent civilians by the Australian SAS in Afghanistan.
Hastie, who’s backing the report, said he was ‘grieved and troubled’ by it.
Reflecting on his own service in Afghanistan, he offered five reflections on why such breaches of the ADF’s high code of conduct may have occurred, writing, ‘we’ve forgotten basic truths about human nature that previous generations of Australians better understood.’
He added, ‘we live in a bent world. We all carry man’s smudge: people do bad things. Christians call it sin in a fallen world. Enlightenment thinkers like Immanuel Kant called it the ‘crooked timber’ of humanity. Whatever name we give our condition, we should always guard against the reality of people doing bad things when they are left unaccountable.’
Hastie then spoke of complacent, sanitized bureaucratic perceptions of war, the need to fix broken parliamentary scrutiny of Defence, and the neo-pagan god-like ‘warrior culture’ that’s replacing the Biblical Christian theory of restrained violence, known as Just War.
Hastie also lamented how, the public record will never know about (let alone remember) ‘the good deeds of the many, the way it will the battlefield criminality of a few.’
A chronological outline provided by the Australian Parliament acknowledges that the majority of claims against the SAS come from ‘reports published in the Australian media since 2006.’
These sit alongside ADF operational reports which provide, in debrief form, a summary of combat action received, and combat action taken.
Reported allegations of atrocities involved Reuters, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, Herald Sun, and the ABC. With the ABC being the loudest.
The four-year Brereton inquiry, was headed by NSW Court of Appeal Justice, Paul Brereton.
The purpose was to confirm the legitimacy of those allegations. Concluding that ‘there was credible evidence of 23 incidents [involving 39 alleged murders] in which one or more non-combatants – or individuals who had been captured or injured – were unlawfully killed by special forces soldiers, or at least at their direction.’ (The Age)
If the allegations prove true, it’ll be a bitter pill to swallow. Not just for the ADF community, but for most Australians. Many who, being estranged from the faith of the ANZACs, now put their faith in the ANZACs.
Criminal convictions of our decorated protectors in the ADF will strike at the heart of pagan ancestral worship that’s being slowly adopted by Australians.
Largely because of an expert class ejecting Jesus Christ, and Biblical Christian objective morality from the center of the cenotaph, Australian life, society, and Government.
For instance, during ANZAC services I’ve heard people yell “this is about the ANZACs, not God.” I’ve also seen public school teachers encourage their students to drown out the memorial message with slow, monotonous claps.
Another real moral issue here is the low integrity of the free press legacy media, who seem to be drooling with glee, leaping before they look, in order to sell more disaster porn; not caring about who they destroy in the process.
The focal point for them has been the media’s “guilty-until-proven-innocent,” Cardinal George Pell like, witch hunt of Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith.
Like Pell, Roberts-Smith has repeatedly denied the allegations, but found himself being tried by a largely leftist media, who seem to have no patience or affection for the basic civil right of due process.
In a statement, denying the allegations, brought to light by 60 Minutes, Roberts-Smith was right to be ‘concerned that [the program airing] the story, and the previous publications by the SMH/Age are an attempt to improperly influence the outcome of the (Inspector-General of the Defence Force) inquiry.”
If Andrew Hastie’s reflection is to be believed, Roberts-Smith is no saint, but that doesn’t mean he’s guilty of war crimes.
Should Roberts-Smith be summons to defend himself, let him have his day in court without interference from an activist media, and the self-righteous, Leftist expert class.
As David, an army veteran, wrote,
‘I feel that the Australian community and the media have turned against veterans. I have received a dozen messages from upset veterans already today. All we have are allegations, nothing more. Australia needs to calm down. Due process needs to be followed.’
In addition, ADF chief, Angus Campbell’s decision to revoke meritorious recognition ‘for all special forces task groups who served in Afghanistan between 2007 and 2013’, is as bizarre, and as reckless, as Julia Gillard’s 2011, blanket ban of beef exports, which shut down an entire industry, affecting lives, and livelihoods, all based on media coverage, and outrage online.
Stripping the ’99.3% [of medals] for the actions of the 0.7%’ is to commit an injustice that will further demoralize our valuable veterans. A large portion of them suffer in silence, because of the ignorance of an indifferent public, a hostile media, and now, self-centered public “servants” looking for a quick P.R. fix, without concern for who they’re throwing under the bus.
Liberal member for Hughes, Craig Kelly’s response to the ADF’s decision – which will punish the brave actions of the many for the sins of a few – hit a home run, saying,
‘Oh, no they won’t. But if we do, then we’ve set a precedent, so next is that we must also strip away every award and retirement benefit from every politician due to [the corrupt] conduct of [politicians] the likes of Orkopoulos* Obeid & Maguire?’
Prime Minister, Scott Morrison in acknowledging the seriousness of the claims, has also publicly backed the ADF, stating
“I wouldn’t want any Defence Force member, serving men or women, or veterans to feel that anyone is looking at them differently, I’m certainly not … we’re incredibly proud of them.” (Sky News)
If the Prime Minister is sincere about this, he needs to advise the Governor-General against stripping good soldiers of their medals, under the callus justification of ‘collective guilt.’
Aussie soldiers being hunted by radical leftist jihadists today, means open season on the people those soldiers step up to protect and serve.
For example, the largely Leftist, Australian Broadcasting Commission, giddy-at-the-prospect of having soldiers in their sights, provided detailed analysis on a guilty until proven innocent basis.
Not one to miss out on celebrating the demonization of Western Civilization, and its Biblical Christian foundations, Victoria’s Socialist Alliance, despite COVID-19 rules, has even organized an anti-ADF protest.
I agree with Hastie. We need reform and accountability. We also need to recognize why war crimes occur. All this should involve improving how we as a society look after, show appreciation for, and serve our military, and its veterans.
This process shouldn’t involve hurting our veterans in order to help them.
Of course, high and lowbrow contempt for Diggers, with the poor going to die for the smug elite, and entitled intellectuals, isn’t new.
It’s a societal fact immortalized by Rudyard Kipling,
“For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please; An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!”
You can show your support for Australian soldiers by visiting Voiceofaveteran.org and signing the petition to help stop this persecution of the majority who served with honour.
To rephrase Hastie:
The battlefield criminality of a few, does not justify stripping meritorious recognition earned by the good deeds of ‘the many.’
First published on Caldron Pool, 27th November, 2020
©Rod Lampard, 2020.