Carl Cleve, Byron Bay
Thoughts regarding the Afghani war crimes committed by members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
1. If you train people to kill, and rob them of their individual moral decision making, it is no surprise that you end up with killers.
2. If you put the enlisted men on trial you should put the higher command before the courts. If the Afghans knew what the SAS was doing, how come the higher command of the ADF did not know, unless they wilfully turned a blind eye?
3. The Australian Defence Force is a misnomer when our politicians have, since WWII, used our enlisted men and women as mercenaries to serve in the foreign adventures of a violent world power with the largest killing machine in the world. That world power is also the major exporter of arms – all under the banner ‘In God we trust’ – while it does not look after the wellbeing of its own citizens. If you put the enlisted soldiers on trial, then [you must also] put the political armchair warriors on trial that have sent them to fight these foreign wars under the false excuse that they are defending us.
4. Everyone who has been in a war knows that war brutalises and dehumanises people and makes them do horrible things. So, if you build war memorials remember that their prime purpose is, besides honouring the dead, to be a warning that war is evil and should be only a very last resort. If you put the military men on trial, then put the politicians in the dock that have sent them into these immoral wars, while they blast us with jingoistic, patriotic self-serving speeches. There is more to this affair than ‘a few rotten apples’.