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Category: Killing Anzac

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Blame the Diggers, cheat former Diggers and buy some votes.

In the tradition of the persecution of Harry Harbord "Breaker" Morant the new politically correct world is starting to place rules and terms of conduct on it's combat soldiers that have no basis in reality.

This is done by politicians who have to face an electorate that lives in a house that has hot and cold running water, 2 TV sets, a DVD, a computer, 2 vehicles, 3 credit cards and subsidised medicine within 4 kilometers.

It is also done by the voters in that electorate. The things that those two groups share is that they have never pulled on a pair of combat boots, have never gone for 14 days wearing the same  clothes without benefit of shower or bath,

 have never slept in a foxhole (half full of water) that they dug after a full days patrolling a dangerous piece of jungle, have never wondered whether the air strike the boss just called in will hit the enemy or their position, have never seen and heard their mate scream in agony as the pain from his landmine shattered leg and ankle bites through the morphine, have never had a ruthless enemy crawling towards them with knife, a rifle and a hand grenade, intent on killing.
  • And they haven't stood silently crying as Last Post is played over their brother in arms.
Another thing they share is the belief (badly misplaced) that war can be a clean and honourable affair, something like the clash between the Wallabies and the All Blacks. It isn't, it never was and it cannot ever be. Killing people is a dirty nasty business undertaken on YOUR behalf by young men with an average age of about 21. Pretty it ain't.

The other mistake that they make is believing that CNN, Fox News, ABC, Channel Nine et al tell the story of war. What those groups tell is the "headline" news from 1 side. They report our failures and our "misdeeds" but fail to mention the freedoms that our combat troops buy with their life blood.

As the world, particularly the Western world, gets more and more politically correct we find an increasing refusal from politicians to accept any responsibility or to take any stand. This takes many forms.

  • The easy way out 1: One way politicians use to "prove" they support the military is to issue new medals to people who, arguably, do not deserve them. The worst case of this is the 50th Anniversary of National Service Medal. This was issued to hundreds of thousands of voters (sorry, former National Servicemen) who completed 94 days training in bases in Australia.
    • Hundreds of thousands of Diggers served overseas for 3 plus years in WW1. They were entitled to 1 service medal and the Victory medal. I don't think that 94 days at Wacol, in peacetime, measures up as being equal.
    • Because the Nashos got a medal the regular servicemen who served 3 or 6 years in peacetime with no overseas service rightfully say "Hey, what about us?". The politicians answer is "OK, new medal please for these voters (sorry, Ex-servicemen)".
    • The Government recently approved the new "Australian Defence Medal" for  men and women who had served for 6 years in the ADF. Now, within weeks of that announcement, there is a push to make that medal available to service personnel who served for 3 years.
      • Why don't we give a medal to all the people who didn't serve so that they don't feel left out, or is that too cynical? 
My father served with 42nd Battalion AIF in WW1. He was overseas in a war zone for a total of 3 years and 37 days, wounded twice and awarded a bravery medal. He was entitled to 1 service medal and the Victory Medal (and his MM). I served with 1RAR, 1968/70. I spent 1 year and 48 days overseas (in peaceful Malaysia) and I am entitled to 1 service medal and the National Service Medal. Is that stupid or what?

I took my discharge in 1970. The service medal I am entitled to was instituted in 1995. The "Nasho" medal that I am entitled to was instituted in 2001. Is that stupid or what?

Unintended problem of new medals. Most former servicemen feel required to keep their medal rack up to date to accurately reflect their service. Some (many?) feel that the newer medals have little value but as they are awarded they need to have their full medal set remounted each time it happens. As that costs $100 to $250 per time it gets to be a burden. One contributor says that he has been awarded more medals since discharge than he was awarded during his 21 years of service.
  • The easy way out 2: Another way politicians "prove" that they honour and respect the sacrifice of the Diggers is to gather a large group, climb on a Qantas and fly to France to lay a wreath. Of course in France there are wonderful hotels, great wine, limousines, flunkies, marvelous food and air conditioning.
    • I am still waiting, patiently, for any of the same politicians to gather a large group, climb on a Qantas and lay a wreath at Kokoda, Buna, Sanananda, Shaggy Ridge or any of the other places in PNG where the Diggers saved Australia from invasion but that lack the wine, the air-conditioning, the great food, the marvelous hotels. Perhaps sometime in the future? Yeah, right.
  • The easy way out 3: Another way politicians "prove" that they love the military is to spend huge sums of money on "big boy's toys". Unfortunately they often forget bread & butter matters.
    • Example 1. In the 1960s we committed to spend $23 million buying some F111 planes. They are wonderful planes. We still have them. They have never flown a combat flight, from then to now. At the same time we sent 3 battalions of infantry to Vietnam with third rate (some say next to useless) radio equipment that could have been totally replaced at a cost of less than $1 million.
    • We recently had our politicians spend $6 BILLION on some submarines. Wow. No identified possible enemy has a navy so we won't need them, they don't work properly, they will never be used in combat but some infantry soldiers on Active Service in East Timor had to privately purchase their own boots as the official channels could not provide them in the required sizes.
  • The lying way out: If all else fails, lie by telling the truth. The then Minister for Veterans Affairs, Danna Vale MP, stood up in Federal Parliament and defended the decision of the Federal Government to under-pay former soldiers who were classified as "Totally and Permanently Incapacitated" (TPI) by quoting the figures payable to such a person who had an unemployed wife and 3 dependent children.
    • What she did not say, and this equates with lying by telling the truth, is that there are almost no TPI claimants who are married to a partner who does not have paid employment AND has 3 dependent children.
      • Let's be clear: she told the truth. No lies. BUT the result was the same to most of the audience who were led to believe that the TPIs were on a good wicket. They are not, and she knew it at the time.
      • Minister Vale was dropped from the Ministry as soon as the PM had a reasonable opportunity, so there is a faint glimmer of hope.
  • The expensive way out: This, to me is the clincher. The big bazooka. The PROOF. 
    • An Australian SAS soldier (an senior NCO) was involved in a clash with a group of rebels or Indonesian backed "terrorists" in the UN backed effort to free East Timor. After the clash there was a body on the ground. The NCO is alleged to have kicked it. (Remember that a few minutes ago this corpse was a live and dangerous enemy. Remember also that no one it yet sure that he is dead).
    • For some unknown and inexplicable reason the NCO was later charged and prosecuted. Seems it is OK to kill someone but for God's sake don't kick them. It became one of the longest and most convoluted Courts Martial in our history. The NCO was finally found to be not guilty simply because the NZ SAS soldiers who were called to help hang this poor bloody soldier refused to give evidence. (Thanks Kiwis).
    • The total cost to the taxpayer for this politically motivated charade was in excess of $10 million.
  • April 25, 1915 (the original Anzac Day). C E W Bean reports, without comment, that as Lieutenant Loutit's party was heading for 400 Plateau it chased a group of Turkish coastal sentries. "As the Australians got in amongst them, the Turks threw down their rifles; but they were too many to capture, and they were consequently shot." When, later in the day the Turks began to reclaim ground lost in the first few hours, they did the same. Groups of Australians on Baby 700 to the north and Pine Ridge to the south were cut off and never seen again. 
    • These days some snotty nosed western TV reporter would record the action of the Australians, but not the enemy, accuse them of "murder" and, what is worse, most of the politicians and a large slice of the community (8,000 miles away from the mud and the blood) would help hang them.
  • In WW1 Albert Jacka VC had 5 Germans surrender to him. He immediately killed all 5 as he could not trust them to not take up their arms again. He made no secret of the facts. He gave a full report. He was awarded the Military Cross for the action of which this was a part. 
    • These days some snotty nosed TV reporter would shove a camera in his face, accuse him of "murder" and, what is worse, most of the politicians and a large slice of the community (12,000 miles away from the mud and the blood) would help hang him.

But we bequeath a parting tip 
of sound advice for such men 
Who come across in transport ships 
To polish off the Dutchmen. 

If you encounter any Boers 
You really must not loot 'em, 
And, if you wish to leave these shores, 
For pity's sake, don't shoot 'em.

  • This is from a poem written by Harry Harbord "Breaker" Morant after having been charged with murder after following orders to "take no prisoners" in the 2nd Anglo-Boer War (Boer War). He and Peter Handcock were executed after a Court Martial found them guilty of "murder". Details
  • The ordered way out. No soldier is allowed to ignore a legal, and legally delivered, order. If a soldier chooses to disobey such an order he is liable to prosecution. One order that was often legally delivered was "take no prisoners". Think about that for a moment. It means that any enemy soldier that you come upon must be killed. If they have laid down their arms and you kill them it is "murder". If you don't you either leave an armed enemy behind you as you advance or you take a prisoner and get prosecuted. Nice choice, just ask Breaker Morant how it works. Of course the Officer class is always protected, they gave "legal" orders.
    • A list of "rules for soldiers" printed in the newspapers in April of 1915 said, in part, 
      • Don't kill a man who has thrown his arms down as a sign that he has ceased to resist but don't be heartbroken if you kill such a one by mistake; it is his fault for having resisted up till too late.
        • I don't claim that these "rules" were official but they must have had some official sanction otherwise they would not have been printed.
  • Perhaps the new rule should be, "make sure that the camera man is busy elsewhere while you go about the business of saving your life or those of your comrades".
From about 1951 to about 1957 I lived with a Great-Uncle, a WW1 veteran who was TPI as a result of being gassed in France. He was no more blood thirsty or aggressive than your average bloke. He vividly remembered (and related to me) the horror of coming across a wounded German during an advance. The man was capable of re-arming and the order "Take no prisoners" had been given. My G/Uncle killed him with a rifle-butt blow to the head. That was 1917. In 1956 he claimed he could still "hear" the sound of the bones breaking.
  • The new way out. The new way is probably the most reprehensible. Enlist the men ( women are not yet in combat), teach them 27 different ways to kill people, arm them to the teeth, send them to "undeclared" wars against people, including terrorists, who don't wear uniforms or badges and who for 10,000 years have never understood or obeyed the European rules of warfare as laid down in the Geneva Conventions. Have the enemy commit any and all forms of atrocity with very little by way of official condemnation, but, God forbid, should some poor bloody soldier in the fog, mud and blood of war commit some act that the chardonnay sippers might find distasteful at their Sunday morning brunch overlooking Sydney Harbour, "hang the bastard".
    • Here is one of the many stupidities of the Geneva Conventions. Shot-guns are illegal. Yes, you can use nuclear bombs, napalm, mines that blow the legs off any one who trips them (including kids, 10 years after your war), machine guns, barbed wire, "smart" bombs, "dumb" bombs, artillery, flame throwers, hand grenades, rocket propelled grenades, bazookas, tanks, Molotov cocktails,  booby traps and garrotes, BUT shot guns are illegal because they might inflict "too much damage". 
    • No wonder Osama bin Larden considers us "weak and stupid". He has his mates fly commercial airliners into tall buildings filled with civilians of a country at peace without much worry about "too much damage".
  • Recent example of political correctness stupidity. USA Lieutenant of Marines in Iraq shoots 2 armed insurgents running towards him. A disgruntled trooper in his own unit accused him of murder. A senior Officer was soon dispatched to investigate. He found that the Lieutenant was correct in killing the insurgents and no action should be taken on the "murder" charge but the Lieutenant should be admonished for USING TOO MANY BULLETS IN THE KILLING. See, it is OK to kill the enemy, it is OK for us to give you an automatic weapon capable of firing 600 rounds per minute, BUT DON'T USE IT, that's "naughty".
  • Afghanistan, SAS patrol gets "sprung" by an armed villager who attacks them. They kill him. The noise of the fire-fight starts 1 village attacking another. 26 more people die in the melee. The SAS are investigated and cleared of wrong-doing EXCEPT that 1 soldier returned to the body and took the weapon and a turban. Tracey Grimshaw of the TODAY Show made a big song and dance about how souveniring was "WRONG". ("souveniring a dead mans turban and gun is alarming" were her exact words as part of the conversation.
    • Taking a weapon off a dead enemy is not wrong, it is not souveniring and used to be standard practice. It makes sense to deprive the enemy of a weapon where possible.
    • Taking the turban was souveniring. Was it wrong? Well if it is we had better close the Australian War Memorial because it is full of souvenired items. In WW2 we had "Military History" teams from the AWM (but dressed as soldiers and under Army command) specifically sent to battlefields to bring back souvenirs. 
      • Go back to your chardonnay, Tracey, and your horses, and enjoy all the benefits of the freedom that rough men paid for with their life blood and/or months/years of hard campaigning. 

Thanks to the septic media for Ku Klux Klan Krap.

The picture that caused the row: Australian soldiers at Townsville's Lavarack barracks dressed as members of the Ku Klux Klan.

On Remembrance Day 2004 this photo turned up on the front page of a NSW newspaper. It alleged racism in the military because the "Ku Klux Klan" members were supposedly "threatening" the dark skinned soldiers. All were from 1RAR (my old Unit). Shock...Horror. The politicians got their little knickers in a knot and senior officers huffed and puffed, threatening disaster for those involved.
Prime Minister Howard said the photograph, taken just before the soldiers went to East Timor, was offensive. "I'm fairly broadminded and reasonable about pranks and so forth in the military," he said. "But anything that touches upon somebody's race and particularly involving such an abhorrent organisation as the Ku Klux Klan is not a joke."

I say "Lighten up Prime Minister. It was a joke. You know, when people grin or even perhaps laugh. Something mildly amusing to ALL concerned. No, perhaps you don't understand. You are a very serious fellow and you have never pulled on a pair of combat boots. Taking the mickey out of the KKK is as good a way as any to ensure it never takes hold here".

  • What the septic reporter and his sick paper didn't bother to mention were these facts:
    • The photo was 4 years old. That's right. 4 years old. Taken September 2,000.
    • The Army had already held an enquiry, over 12 months ago, and found that the whole thing was only a distasteful joke.
  • Let's get real. If distasteful jokes are to be banned from the military we can get rid of 90% of the men and women we have and start recruiting at nunneries and monasteries. How those fine folk will be at the art of killing people is yet to be determined.
    • Please don't whinge to me, my Grandfather was as black as the Ace of Spades and I often went to costume parties as a Ku Klux Klansmen when I was with 1RAR in Singapore. In the services EVERYONE gets razzed about something. 
      • One of the reasons that the Ku Klux Klan "uniform" is a popular costume party dress is it's simplicity. 1 sheet & 1 pillow case is all you need. Only the Roman toga is easier.
Townsville photographer Richard Fraley, who took the picture, said it was done as a joke and was not racist. Platoons competed to see who could come up with the best "fun photo", he said. "These guys ran off, grabbed these (laundry bags) and came back for the Ku Klux Klan stuff. That's all it was. There was no ceremonies, and the whole thing took two to three minutes. "I have been with the army taking their photos since Vietnam. I have never, ever, seen any racism."
  • To accompany the "news report" some slimy lawyer alleged that he was considering 50 claims of "brutal treatment" from ex-servicemen. The one that made me grin was (quote) a case where a soldier suffered pneumonia and frostbite after being forced to stand under a cold shower (end quote).
    • Do me a favour.....frostbite, in Queensland, from having a shower. Horse feathers. If the poor bastard gets frostbite in Queensland from taking a cold shower I hope he never serves any time at Singleton in the tin sheds in winter. 
      • Sorry Tasmania we can't protect you anymore, Private Smith does not like cold weather. Sorry NT and North Queensland, some of our troops don't like hot weather so you are on your own.
      • ( I would like to take that lawyer out on a 21 day jungle patrol and show him around a little).
    • Hey, the Army is not for everyone. The faint-hearted, the mummies boys, the un-coordinated, the 'don't fits', the lazy and the authority haters need not apply. Only the best are good enough to wear "Skippy", the hat badge of the Royal Australian Regiment. The men who say, and mean, "Duty First".
      • They work hard, they play hard, they drink too much, their jokes  are often in poor taste and very few of them are altar boys. But they are trained killers and when push comes to shove they take the you don't have to.
        • 688 soldiers of the RAR have died overseas. I think that they have paid for the rights to a few tasteless jokes so long as they don't hurt anyone.

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf"


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