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.
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
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?
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?
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
- 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?
- 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
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).
- 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
"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.
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
of sound advice for such men
Who come across in transport ships
To polish off the Dutchmen.
If you encounter
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"
- A list of "rules for
soldiers" printed in the newspapers in April of 1915 said,
- 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".
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
- 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.
|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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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
- 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
- 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
bullets....so 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.
sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men
stand ready to do violence on their behalf"