Australian special forces involved in murder of 39 Afghan civilians - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15138322
These are the armed forces of a Western democracy committing war crimes. What about the moral high ground Westerners claim? I'm sure this sort of thing happens all the time. It's just by chance that it is revealed. Why haven't Blair, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld been put in front of an international war crimes tribunal? They are ultimately to blame for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Australian special forces involved in murder of 39 Afghan civilians

Brereton report finds prisoners were executed to ‘blood’ junior soldiers and unlawful killings were deliberately covered up

Australian special forces were allegedly involved in the murder of 39 Afghan civilians, in some cases executing prisoners to “blood” junior soldiers before inventing cover stories and planting weapons on corpses, a major report has found.

For more than four years, the Maj Gen Justice Paul Brereton has investigated allegations that a small group within the elite Special Air Services and commandos regiments killed and brutalised Afghan civilians, in some cases allegedly slitting throats, gloating about their actions, keeping kill counts, and photographing bodies with planted phones and weapons to justify their actions.

The findings of Brereton’s report, released on Thursday, are confronting and damning.

Brereton describes the special forces’ actions as “disgraceful and a profound betrayal” of the Australian Defence Force.

The report found:

Special forces were responsible for dozens of unlawful killings, the vast majority of which involved prisoners, and were deliberately covered up.

Thirty-nine Afghans were unlawfully killed in 23 incidents, either by special forces or at the instruction of special forces.

None of the killings took place in the heat of battle, and they all occurred in circumstances which, if accepted by a jury, would constitute the war crime of murder.

All the victims were either non-combatants or were no longer combatants.

A total of 25 perpetrators have been identified either as principals or accessories. Some are still serving in the ADF.

In all cases, the report finds it “was or should have been plain that the person killed was a non-combatant”. The vast majority of victims had been captured and were under control, giving them the protection under international law.

Patricia Gossman, senior researcher in Afghanistan for Human Rights Watch, urged nations whose militaries have served as part of the US-led coalition in Afghanistan — including America and Britain — to follow Australia’s example and probe their own soldiers’ conduct. “It was part of a sick culture that essentially treated Afghans living in these contested areas as if they were all dangerous criminals — even the children — or simply as not human,” she said.

Some of the incidents described in the report are deeply troubling. Evidence suggests junior soldiers were instructed by their superiors to execute prisoners in cold blood as part of a “blooding” process to give them their first kill.

“Typically, the patrol commander would take a person under control and the junior member … would then be directed to kill the person under control,” the report found. “‘Throwdowns’ would be placed with the body and a ‘cover story’ was created for the purposes of operational reporting and to deflect scrutiny.”

The chief of the ADF, General Angus Campbell, promised to act on the Brereton report’s “shameful”, “deeply disturbing” and “appalling” findings about the conduct of Australian special forces.

Campbell said he accepted all 143 recommendations, including referring individuals to the office of the special investigator to consider potential criminal cases, because it was his duty “to set things right”.

He also foreshadowed changes to the army’s organisational structure and a review into honours and awards. In the meantime, the meritorious unit citation awarded to Special Operations Task Group rotations serving in Afghanistan between 2007 and 2013 will be revoked.

“To the people of Afghanistan, on behalf of the Australian Defence Force, I sincerely and unreservedly apologise for any wrongdoing by Australian soldiers,” Campbell said during a press conference in Canberra on Thursday.

“And to the people of Australia, I am sincerely sorry for any wrongdoing by members of the Australian Defence Force,” he said, adding that the majority of special forces “did not choose to take this unlawful path”.

The Brereton report, to a large degree, absolves senior command of having any knowledge that war crimes were being committed.

Instead, it says the criminality was committed and covered up by patrol commanders, usually lower-ranking sergeants or corporals, and involved a “small number of patrol commanders and their protegees”.

“While it would have been much easier to report that it was poor command and leadership that was primarily to blame for the events disclosed in this report, that would be a gross distortion,” the report said.

Patrol commanders, the report found, were viewed by troopers as “demigods”, which made it impossible to speak out about their actions.

“They are hero-worshipped and unstoppable,” one anonymous soldier explained.

The Brereton report canvasses failures in oversight, the problems of a “warrior culture”, and the use of a small pool of SAS soldiers in repeated deployments over a prolonged period.

The SAS were above question, particularly by outsiders, and a culture of secrecy within each patrol kept their actions from others. A separate review conducted by the inspector general of the Australian Defence Force (IGADF) describes a kind of “organisational blindness” to the special forces’ actions.

The collective sacrifices of the special forces in some way “justified certain excesses”, the review said, and more minor deviances from expected behaviour, like drinking heavily on base, were tolerated.

Complaints from locals and human rights groups were dismissed as “Taliban propaganda” or attempts to obtain compensation, the report said.

“It is clear that there were warning signs out there, but nothing happened,” David Wetham, the assistant IGADF wrote.

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, called his counterpart in Afghanistan, President Ashraf Ghani, to apologise before the report’s release on Thursday.

Ghani’s office said, via Twitter, that Morrison had “expressed his deepest sorrow over the misconduct by some Australian troops in Afghanistan and assured the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan of the investigations and to ensuring justice”.

The foreign affairs minister, Marise Payne, separately wrote to Ghani to apologise and assured him that the Australian government was examining the inquiry’s findings and would “make public statements subsequently”.

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd, in office for at least two years of the relevant period, issued a statement saying he was “utterly disgusted” and calling for the perpetrators to be “brought to justice”.

Australia’s governor-general David Hurley, a former defence force chief during the period, offered condolences to the Afghan victims’ families and described the allegations as “unforgivable atrocities” that were committed by “a small number of individuals and deliberately concealed from immediate chains of command”.

“As chief of defence force between July 2011 and June 2014, I am deeply disappointed that the ADF inquiry and investigative processes I commissioned into civilian casualties did not reveal the existence of the alleged offences, a large number of which were hidden as combat casualties in operational reports,” he said.

Brereton has been investigating shocking allegations against elite Australian troops since 2016, when he was tasked with examining dozens of incidents in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016.

His work involved reviewing 20,000 documents and 25,000 images. His team interviewed 423 witnesses.

“We embarked on this inquiry with the hope that we would be able to report that the rumours of war crimes were without substance. None of us desired the outcome to which we have come,” he said. “We are all diminished by it.”

The inquiry was triggered by work by military sociologist Samantha Crompvoets, who was tasked with examining special forces culture and began to hear disturbing allegations of war crimes.

One soldier told her: “Guys just had this blood lust. Psychos. Absolute psychos. And we bred them.”

She heard one alleged incident in which two 14-year-old boys were stopped by SAS, who decided they might be Taliban sympathisers. Their throats were slit.

“The rest of the troop then had to ‘clean up the mess’ by finding others to help dispose of the bodies,” Crompvoets reported. “In the end, the bodies were bagged and thrown in a nearby river.”

Crompvoets told the Guardian she expected the findings of the Brereton report would force a fundamental rethink of special forces culture.

“They have no choice but to learn from this and to make sure that the reasons it manifested in the first place never occur again,” she said.

Much of the evidence had already been canvassed publicly, through extensive media reporting. The ABC has revealed footage of one SAS member standing over an unarmed civilian, asking his superior “you want me to drop this cunt”, before executing the man as he cowered in a wheat field.

A US marine who worked with Australian troops also alleged a civilian was shot dead because there was not enough room for him on a helicopter.

In a separate alleged incident, an Afghan man was used as “target practice” after running from an SAS patrol, throwing a phone away and then putting his hands up. A signals intelligence officer accompanying the patrol, Braden Chapman, told the ABC he was then shot in cold blood.

“He put his hands up just like that,” Chapman said earlier this year. “And then just stood there. As we got closer to him the soldier then just fired, and hit him twice in the chest and then shot him through the head as he walked past him. And then from there he just moved on.

“I was only five to 10 metres behind him at the time. And at the time I was just like, OK, the visual image to me was the guy had his hands up and then it was almost like target practice for that soldier.”

Prior leaks of internal reviews have suggested that special forces were, prior to 2015 operating with a sense of entitlement, arrogance and elitism, governed only through a weak command culture.

A briefing in 2016 on the culture of special forces found soldiers were motivated by “blood lust” during the torture and execution of Afghan prisoners, according to the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age.

Defence has only released a redacted version of Brereton’s findings, blacking out some sections and suppressing names and identities.

The government has, however, committed to criminal investigations. It is establishing an office of the special investigator, staffed by the Australian federal police and state and territory police forces, which will build briefs of evidence and make referrals to the commonwealth director of public prosecutions.

Brereton has recommended referring 36 matters to the AFP for criminal investigation, which involve 19 individuals.
#15138367


Previously, Australia did everything to hush it up by raiding media headquarters, including ABC News which launched its own investigation into this case. The government investigated three Aussie journalists accused of receiving classified information to produce reports on alleged troop misconduct in Afghanistan. They were eventually cleared of charges but these Aussie journalists were clearly intimidated by the government, which raised concerns about media freedom. The murder of 39 Afghan civilians may be the minimal number produced by the official report, which attempts to belittle what actually happened in Afghanistan. During the Vietnam War, South Korean troops committed war crimes against Vietnamese people, killing more than 1,200 innocent civilians.

A Four Corners investigation has uncovered new allegations that unarmed civilians were unlawfully killed by Australian special forces in Afghanistan. In an investigation months in the making, drawing upon sources in Australia and Afghanistan, our program will expose a culture of impunity and cover-up among members of Australia's special forces who served in Australia's longest war.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-16/ ... n/12028448
Last edited by ThirdTerm on 20 Nov 2020 23:37, edited 1 time in total.
#15138371
Atlantis wrote:These are the armed forces of a Western democracy committing war crimes. What about the moral high ground Westerners claim? I'm sure this sort of thing happens all the time. It's just by chance that it is revealed. Why haven't Blair, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld been put in front of an international war crimes tribunal? They are ultimately to blame for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Australian special forces involved in murder of 39 Afghan civilians


It is hard to send somebody to a tribunal when they didn't give the orders.
#15138521
A few things -

These revelations are awful and probably never meant for public consumption.

How long had ‘blooding’ been a cultural thing in the ADF? I sincerely doubt those in leadership positions were the first to engage in that practice. So, how far back are they going to go; or are they just going to make an example of this lot for the greater good?

Without wanting to sound too much like Jack Nicholson, it does come down to that whole thing of expecting to live in our safe and civil society without really wanting to know (or accept) the kinds of brutes that protect us. It’s a very naive mindset...especially when you have people being churned out that don’t mind the odd decapitation in said civil society.

So, I dunno. It’s all fucked. War is fucked, needing an army is fucked but doing it all woke is fucked too.

Like I said. It’s fucked.
Last edited by ness31 on 21 Nov 2020 15:02, edited 1 time in total.
#15138555
@ness31, @JohnRawls, it's what will invariably happen when people go to war. There is no nice war. There is no just war either.

The only solution is to create an architecture of countries like the EU, in which countries agree to solve conflicts by peaceful means.

Imperial aggression, no matter under what pretext, will always lead to suffering and injustice.
#15138557
Atlantis wrote:The only solution is to create an architecture of countries like the EU, in which countries agree to solve conflicts by peaceful means.


Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia every single country that attempted to pivot to the EU has been invaded and destroyed for even considering the option, without the EU blinking an eye. EU territory itself has been under an ongoing Turkish invasion for the past few months and the EU is not doing anything about it. The first time one can excuse it as mistaken diplomacy, perhaps the second time too, the third and the fourth a clear pattern emerges.

In all cases the EU has stood still at the behest of Germany because otherwise it would disrupt Germany's trade and energy agreements with the aggressors, Russia(Nordstream), Turkey(Military purchases, Turkish votes in Germany, etcetera) & Azerbaijan(TAP).

So no, the EU architecture is there to promote the interests of Germany first and foremost, all other considerations are tertiary at best.
#15138563
noemon wrote:Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia every single country that attempted to pivot to the EU has been invaded and destroyed for even considering the option, without the EU blinking an eye. EU territory itself has been under an ongoing Turkish invasion for the past few months and the EU is not doing anything about it. The first time one can excuse it as mistaken diplomacy, perhaps the second time too, the third and the fourth a clear pattern emerges.

In all cases the EU has stood still at the behest of Germany because otherwise it would disrupt Germany's trade and energy agreements with the aggressors, Russia(Nordstream), Turkey(Military purchases, Turkish votes in Germany, etcetera) & Azerbaijan(TAP).

So no, the EU architecture is there to promote the interests of Germany first and foremost, all other considerations are tertiary at best.

This is precisely the problem faced by the UK and by the (former) USSR - all of these unions of nations are technically unions of equal nations. But in practice, as everyone knows, England dominates the UK, Russia dominated the USSR and Germany dominates the EU. The respective unions were run and are being run by, and in the interests of, their most dominant member state. How can it be otherwise?
#15138565
Potemkin wrote:This is precisely the problem faced by the UK and by the (former) USSR - all of these unions of nations are technically unions of equal nations. But in practice, as everyone knows, England dominates the UK, Russia dominated the USSR and Germany dominates the EU. The respective unions were run and are being run by, and in the interests of, their most dominant member state. How can it be otherwise?


Sure and the US is dominated by California and New York and so on and forth. In the case of the EU however the extent to which Germany is willing to throw other EU countries under the bus is un-paralleled. You do not see the US willing to sacrifice Texas for the sake of Mexican trade or the UK willing to sacrifice Scotland for Icelandic whaling or the USSR sacrificing east Germany for Scotch whisky. You do see however Germany willing to sacrifice her own EU sovereign East-Med territory as well as her own dignity for the sake of Turkish votes and some arms sales, more than willing to sacrifice the Ukraine & Georgia for Nordstream and more than willing to sacrifice Armenians and Kurds for the TAP pipeline, seemingly utterly oblivious or just totally uninterested to the destruction of her own credibility as well as the EU's.
#15138704
@noemon, neither Ukraine, nor Georgia nor Armenia are part of the EU. They don't adhere to EU principles, they don't even fulfill minimum membership criteria. Thus, the EU is not responsible for the wars these countries may get involved in as a legacy of the imperial powers. Adhering to EU principles needs to be voluntary. If the EU were to impose its will on others by force of arms like the imperial powers, the EU would cease to exist.

There would be no EU without Germany, but Germany does not control the EU. Germany can't even make others accept an equal distribution of the refugees Greece is so kind as the flood Europe with, even if it agrees to shoulder the biggest share of the burden.

Everybody can take a leading role in the EU provided they make a contribution to the Union. It goes without saying that those who are only in it to suck at its tits and for the rest busy themselves with backstabbing disqualify themselves from taking a leading role.

If you are serious about your attacks on Turkey, why not just cut TAP on Greek territory? I'm sure that would be an appropriate sanction. Only 1.5% of German exports go to Turkey. With nearly 6%, Greece has a lot more to lose. Spain, Italy and France have most to lose if Turkey were to go belly up since their banks are most exposed to Turkish loans. I'm against the Russian sanctions, but it was Merkel who held the EU together for the sanctions against Greece. Thus, your rant is completely baseless. The fact is that you don't know the first thing about Germany. You are just constructing your hate fantasies.

@Potemkin, small EU members actually have more voting rights than big EU members. That's very different from the UK, which has always been dominated by London. That's why Ireland is happy in the EU but not in the UK, and that's also why the UK cannot be in the EU since the UK cannot accept that it is just one of 28 members. The Empire has spoiled you for generations to come.

Like the HRE, the EU cannot become an expansionist empire as GB or the US because of its decentralized decision-making organs. Even after 800 years of occupation, the arrogance and greed of the perfidious Albion prevented a union with Ireland.
#15138770
Atlantis wrote:@noemon, neither Ukraine, nor Georgia nor Armenia are part of the EU. They don't adhere to EU principles, they don't even fulfill minimum membership criteria. Thus, the EU is not responsible for the wars these countries may get involved in as a legacy of the imperial powers. Adhering to EU principles needs to be voluntary. If the EU were to impose its will on others by force of arms like the imperial powers, the EU would cease to exist.

There would be no EU without Germany, but Germany does not control the EU. Germany can't even make others accept an equal distribution of the refugees Greece is so kind as the flood Europe with, even if it agrees to shoulder the biggest share of the burden.

Everybody can take a leading role in the EU provided they make a contribution to the Union. It goes without saying that those who are only in it to suck at its tits and for the rest busy themselves with backstabbing disqualify themselves from taking a leading role.

If you are serious about your attacks on Turkey, why not just cut TAP on Greek territory? I'm sure that would be an appropriate sanction. Only 1.5% of German exports go to Turkey. With nearly 6%, Greece has a lot more to lose. Spain, Italy and France have most to lose if Turkey were to go belly up since their banks are most exposed to Turkish loans. I'm against the Russian sanctions, but it was Merkel who held the EU together for the sanctions against Greece. Thus, your rant is completely baseless. The fact is that you don't know the first thing about Germany. You are just constructing your hate fantasies.

@Potemkin, small EU members actually have more voting rights than big EU members. That's very different from the UK, which has always been dominated by London. That's why Ireland is happy in the EU but not in the UK, and that's also why the UK cannot be in the EU since the UK cannot accept that it is just one of 28 members. The Empire has spoiled you for generations to come.

Like the HRE, the EU cannot become an expansionist empire as GB or the US because of its decentralized decision-making organs. Even after 800 years of occupation, the arrogance and greed of the perfidious Albion prevented a union with Ireland.


This is absolutely incredible. It is a confirmation of how Germany throws under the bus, not just the states that attempted to develop a closer relationship with Europe but also its own member states Greece & France whom she emptied both several times for being attacked by Erdogan.

How can you claim that the EU cares about international law, human rights, liberal values and ideals when even the most essential principle of national sovereignty is under threat even inside the EU violating its own treaties and constitution! Not even Trump took such regressive measures against these most basic principles on this level. The fact that you 're trying to justify it cause Greece is "poor & the aggressor" is eye-popping. :eek:

Well I guess thank you for the post.
#15138840
noemon wrote:This is absolutely incredible. It is a confirmation of how Germany throws under the bus, not just the states that attempted to develop a closer relationship with Europe but also its own member states Greece & France whom she emptied both several times for being attacked by Erdogan.

How can you claim that the EU cares about international law, human rights, liberal values and ideals when even the most essential principle of national sovereignty is under threat even inside the EU violating its own treaties and constitution! Not even Trump took such regressive measures against these most basic principles on this level. The fact that you 're trying to justify it cause Greece is "poor & the aggressor" is eye-popping. :eek:

Well I guess thank you for the post.


I really don't understand why Germany pampers you like it does. From the debt crisis to the refugee crisis Greece has been a danger to Europe. In fact, you are to Europe what Israel is to the ME, a constant pain in the A.

Now you are trying to recruit the EU to pursue your jingoistic hate campaigns. And when that doesn't work, you turn your hate against Europe. You are the living proof for why there is no place for you in Europe. Return to the Ottoman empire or join the Arab League to become another Middle Eastern shit hole. You sound as if Farage had hacked your account.

You will alternately suck up to the Chinese, Yanks or Russians just to piss at Europe. You are so fickle that you lowered yourself to parroting the outdated anti-EU rants of the Brexitters. Now you even praise the Austrians because their populist leader had an anti-Islam outburst even though the Austrians have always advocated the staunchest anti-Greece policy in the EU. If it were up to them, you would no be longer a member. How deluded can you be? The hate is f*cking with your head. Don't delude yourself, outside of Germany there is very little tolerance for your antics.
#15138846
Atlantis wrote:I really don't understand why Germany pampers you like it does. From the debt crisis to the refugee crisis Greece has been a danger to Europe. In fact, you are to Europe what Israel is to the ME, a constant pain in the A.

Now you are trying to recruit the EU to pursue your jingoistic hate campaigns. And when that doesn't work, you turn your hate against Europe. You are the living proof for why there is no place for you in Europe. Return to the Ottoman empire or join the Arab League to become another Middle Eastern shit hole. You sound as if Farage had hacked your account.

You will alternately suck up to the Chinese, Yanks or Russians just to piss at Europe. You are so fickle that you lowered yourself to parroting the outdated anti-EU rants of the Brexitters. Now you even praise the Austrians because their populist leader had an anti-Islam outburst even though the Austrians have always advocated the staunchest anti-Greece policy in the EU. If it were up to them, you would no be longer a member. How deluded can you be? The hate is f*cking with your head. Don't delude yourself, outside of Germany there is very little tolerance for your antics.


Please carry on confirming Germany's and your own hatred for Greece & France & Austria as it appears and the excuses you make to justify your support towards Turkish terrorism, extremism, revisionism & military aggression. How you spit in the face of both Greece and France so that you can make some extra weapon sales to Erdogan and so that your pathetic politicians who have destroyed the credibility of the EU get his endorsement to get re-elected.

As Istanbuller told you: Germany will throw Greece under the bus, you called him "deluded" and now you are throwing Greece under the bus, because you rationalise that "Greek people are just bothersome, almost as bad as ze Jews" you said. :lol: Goes to show how principled you are.

Please tell us more.

22/10/2020 wrote:Germany refuses Greek request to end weapon exports to Turkey despite threats of war

Germany has responded to a Greek request that it suspends the export of military equipment to Turkey because of Ankara’s aggressive policies in the region, with the country’s Foreign Ministry saying that the federal government follows “a restrictive and responsible weapons exports policy.”

The German Foreign Ministry reportedly said that licenses for arms sales to Turkey are granted “after careful consideration and through the prism of foreign and security policy parameters.”

The ministry added that the number of licenses for exports of arms to Turkey is “very low.”

According to a 2019 German government report, weapons bound for Turkey are exclusively “maritime goods.”

Specifically, Germany through ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) is assisting Turkey in building six class 214 submarines.

Germany’s weapon sales to Turkey, particularly the class 214 submarines, comes at a time when their Turkish allies are threatening to invade Greek islands and continue to violate the maritime sovereign rights of Greece.

In the first third of 2019, Germany sold their Turkish allies a total of €184.1 million worth of armaments, while in 2018 Germany made up almost one-third of all weapon exports to Turkey with €242.8 million.

Greece had asked fellow European Union countries to halt military exports to Turkey, the country’s foreign minister said Tuesday, amid a deepening dispute between the two neighbors over maritime boundaries in the eastern Mediterranean.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias also said has written to EU Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi to complain that Turkey is violating its customs union with the bloc

Germany remains one of the very few countries in the EU that continues to block sanctions against Turkey for its violations of the sovereign rights of Greece and Cyprus, both EU member states.
#15138948
@noemon, I'm not "Germany." In fact, I made it clear that I didn't approve of German policy towards Greece. Turning the other cheek only invites more offense from the likes of you. You have consistently undermined the EU and then turn around and want to suck at her tits. Could there be a more striking example of what it means to "bite the hand that feeds you"? After nearly 50 years in the EU, you still depend on EU subsidies. The Czech Republic has overtaken you after merely 15 years in the EU and so will all of Central and Eastern Europe. Despite a virtual bankruptcy you can borrow in hard currency at zero interests because of the German triple A rating. I know it's hard to admit that you have a dysfunctional state, but reality is going to catch up with you sooner or later.

It is pointless to reply to your rants since you don't respond to arguments. Put your money where your mouth is and cut TAP. You won't of course because you are a bunch of hypocrites. It doesn't matter what you say. Your poison will not destroy the EU.

As much as I despise Erdogan, compared to you he is a paragon of reason and moderation. In fact, you don't even seem to realize just how much you resemble the Turks in your jingoism. You are what you hate.

The EU's strength comes from the unity you are working hard to destroy. Like Farage, you know that the only way of destroying the EU is by sapping German support for European integration. Thus, you have turned into a willing tool of Anglo-Imperialism to divide and destroy the EU. Imperialist lackeys always get screwed in the end.
#15138952
Atlantis wrote:As much as I despise Erdogan, compared to you he is a paragon of reason and moderation. In fact, you don't even seem to realize just how much you resemble the Turks in your jingoism. You are what you hate.

The EU's strength comes from the unity you are working hard to destroy.


This is pure black. You 're on another level mate. What does any sane person say to this?

Germany has thrown under the bus both Greece & France, she is enabling Turkish aggression and terrorism by constantly blocking sanctions and selling the weapons Erdogan is pointing at us but Greece is disrupting EU unity for literally being attacked by Erdogan.

You 're also telling us that we should blow up the TAP in our territory and calling us "extreme nationalists" for not doing so. :eek:
#15139594
Atlantis wrote:@ness31, @JohnRawls, it's what will invariably happen when people go to war. There is no nice war. There is no just war either.

The only solution is to create an architecture of countries like the EU, in which countries agree to solve conflicts by peaceful means.

Imperial aggression, no matter under what pretext, will always lead to suffering and injustice.
Soveignty is a political myth and barrier to the rule of law. The UN exists and was created to maintain peace. Article 109 allows for a review of the Charter but has never been implemented. The veto needs to end, its undemocratic. The security Council needs to be totally reformed.
#15139607
Herefordrob wrote:The security Council needs to be totally reformed.


That's easier said than done. We have to live in the world we have and not in the world we wished we had. That means the power politics of the big powers does matter and the only way for the smaller countries to survive is to unite to defend against the predatory instincts of the big guys.

The UN is too big, too diverse and permanently blocked by the opposing interests of the veto powers to allow for any meaningful cooperation. That's where organizations like the EU can achieve a lot more because they are more homogeneous and have common values such as the rule of law and democracy. These restrictions mean that not all countries can comply with membership criteria, but it's not a matter of installing a new ready-made world organization from the drawing board. That never happens in the real world. It's a matter of gradual organic growth.
#15139609
Yes, these are war crimes, and they are wrong. I am glad that there are investigations and everyone involved should be held fully responsible for these actions. Of course, justice must be pursued to the full extent possible, with loads of money invested in bringing forward the truth, a blank check given to those representing the interests of both the Afghani people and the defenders of the Australian soldiers.

There needs to be full transparency about these things.

And while I do not know exactly what the Australian government is doing, I know that there is interest among all Western societies in pursuing these things. Sometimes the soldiers have been pardoned early in travesties of justice, which I recognize Pres. Trump did. But, generally speaking, Western countries tend to be very good at seeking justice for these atrocities.

Not perfect, but I do not think they have a bad scorecard compared to other countries.

This is what liberalism is good at -- trying to ensure justice when there is an imbalance of power in favor of the offender, and this is something that we should encourage them in doing.
#15139622
Igor Antunov wrote:Imagine following your master into a useless and now lost foreign war you have zero interest in like the loyal lapdog then brutalizing (many more than this, tip of the iceberg) civilians.


What is particularly galling is that the US forced its allies into a pointless and unwinnable war in Afghanistan with Nato's mutual assistance clause and now leaves the same allies in the lurk by its premature troop withdrawal.

No, that is not a country one wants to be in an alliance with.

China would be a much better leader.


:lol:

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