Archives For Just War Agaist Terror

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.’

#istandwiththeADF


First published on Caldron Pool, 27th November, 2020

©Rod Lampard, 2020.

Aussie flag at half mast Getty ImagesToday, two innocent civilians lost their lives because of the actions of an Islamic terrorist on Australian soil. Others were wounded.

It begs belief then that a good portion of the focus in the past 48hrs has been on the social media hashtag “movement” #illridewithyou.

What should we expect though?

Seeming to be doing and doing what feels-good has become the measure of right response today.

Such armchair activism is a gloomy sign of the flimsy ethics and shallow sentiment that afflicts our post-Christian society.

“illridewithyou” is a nice gesture. But. Outside raising an often short lived awareness of issues, sentimental hashtag movements are historically noted for achieving very little.

Who remembers the ‘hashtag diplomacy’[i] of #bringbackourgirls, #kony2012 or has heard of any genuine change brought about by it?

Call me callous. Throw all the passive aggressive rants on Facebook and 140 bit tantrums on twitter that you like.

It doesn’t change the facts.

In this case it’s tantamount to having a few drunken mates tell you, over and over again, in words devoid of any real meaning how much you mean to them.

Do our Muslim neighbours (moderate or radical) want such attention or even need such protection?

Would, for example, a Muslim man consider it appropriate if his wife did actually end up riding with a non-Muslim for the sake of that non-Muslim proving that they are not anti-Muslim? … {insert a ton of other practical reasons}

One could draw on the argument that often comes from our well-meaning-left-leaning brothers and sisters, who sometimes point out, rather loudly, that it is racist and intolerant to impose anything on anyone.

Ergo, employing this logic #illridewithyou becomes yet another example of “Western (white) moralist superiority and imperialism”.(Granted this is overly simplified. It is so, for the sake of brevity)

The danger of hashtag movements should be clear to all of us.

It is the one that “illridewithyou” highlights well, evidenced by the overbearing suspicion that somehow you’re racist if you don’t agree or publically brandish such a hashtag via retweet, share, comment or post.

You would be right to wonder if any ‘chasm existed between perception, reality, right interpretation, intention and action.[ii]’ Here appearances override substance and perception distracts us from reality.

Engage, by all means! But we need to acknowledge that wisdom and sensitivity must dictate our approach. Acting on rash sentiment tends to only cause division and resentment, rather than create unity.

Critiquing the #illridewithyou hashtag raises questions about fear, ignorance and a lack of respect for Islamic history and culture that might actually lie hidden behind such sentimentalism. Even if the intentions are innocent enough. Ironically, #illridewithyou might actually be Islamophobic in and of itself.

Today, as in all terrorist attacks on civilian targets the innocent suffer.

We should mourn their loss deeply and then ask ourselves seriously, why was it that our first point of solidarity was with our Muslim neighbours and their perceived trauma, and not with the twelve victims, their families and the actual trauma?

Folks, we cannot make peace, or reach heaven through a hashtag. We cannot convince those ‘committed to violence without limits’[iii] to change.

As Jean Bethke Elshtain observed:

‘Whatever sins and shortcomings that exist in the West, Islamist fundamentalism requires none of these to turn people into ideological fundamentalists with whom dialogue is impossible—as a matter of principle, not merely prudence—and who are not content to “live and let live.[iv]

Certainly, a just war against terror isn’t simple, but it is real.

It is one we share with our moderate Muslim and Jewish neighbours who cherish the same rights as Christians and atheists do; friends who deserve our careful thought and responsible action, not just potentially empty sentiments; the bane of all mutually beneficial relationships and effective diplomacy.

 


Sources:

[i] Bauer, G. Hashtag diplomacy won’t save lives, 7th August 2014 sourced: 16th December 2014

[ii] Jennings, W.J. 2010 The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (Loc. 426). Yale University Press. Kindle Edition.

[iii] Ibid, p. 23.

[iv] Elshtain, J. 2008 Just War Against Terror: The Burden Of American Power In A Violent World Basic Books. Kindle Ed. (p. 45).