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War crimes

category indonesia / philippines / australia | imperialism / war | opinion / analysis author Montag Januar 04, 2021 16:55author by Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group - Anarkismoauthor email macg1984 at yahoo dot com dot au Report this post to the editors

In these circumstances, the military effort in Afghanistan quickly became an occupation. All Afghan civilians were the enemy, unless they were known tools of the occupiers. And so the fighting age males were deemed fair game. Imperialist war cannot be waged justly, so the political decisions of John Howard, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and other Prime Ministers made the crimes of the soldiers on the ground inevitable. The soldiers named in the secret version of the report deserve to be in the dock, but so do their political masters.
Australian troops in Afghanistan. Credit: LS Paul Berry via The Guardian
Australian troops in Afghanistan. Credit: LS Paul Berry via The Guardian

War crimes

The Brereton report about allegations of war crimes against Afghan civilians by Australian troops, mainly the Special Air Service Regiment, was met in November with gasps of shock by the capitalist media and the appointment of a special prosecutor to bring criminal charges. The prosecutor’s appointment, however, was also the signal for the issue to drop out of the media and normal service to resume in the area of propaganda glorifying the military. When trials eventually occur, it will be years after the report, when the military have fabricated a story to exonerate the institution, whatever the fate of the individuals mentioned.

Australia’s imperialist military and the governments that sent it to Afghanistan shouldn’t get away with it so easily. The 39 murders named in the report are only the ones for which whistleblowers could be found. There are rumours of many more. This is inherently plausible because of the nature of the practices the report itself describes:

* Execution of prisoners was done as “blooding” new team members with their first kill.

* Units carried “throwdown” weapons to plant on civilians they killed.

* All fighting age males found in combat zones, whether armed or not, were considered Taliban.

These features indicate that the murders discussed in the report are just the tip of the iceberg. The last point, indeed, is actual official US policy in waging the “War on Terror”, so the rotten apple defence rings particularly hollow.

Having admitted that many war crimes had been committed, the Brereton report goes on to pin as much blame on sergeants and corporals as possible. Commissioned officers were found to be “bewildered” by evidence of crimes, while exhibiting “abandoned curiosity”. These officers were not just incompetent or lazy. At best, they were wilfully ignorant. More likely, they were complicit through verbal arrangements about what they needed to know and what they didn’t. There were credible accusations of war crimes already, dating at least to 2009, so the entire SAS command structure would have known whether their supervision was sufficient to detect such events if they occurred.

Beneath all this, however, is the guilt of Australia’s military high command and the governments, both Coalition and Labor, that decided to send Australian troops to Afghanistan and keep them there. Australia’s Afghan War was never about Afghanistan, but about the US alliance. It was about supporting a US-dominated world order in which Australia has the South Pacific franchise. This requires supporting US military action in Asia and contributing enough military forces to be seen as a valuable ally deserving its own sphere of influence.

In these circumstances, the military effort in Afghanistan quickly became an occupation. All Afghan civilians were the enemy, unless they were known tools of the occupiers. And so the fighting age males were deemed fair game. Imperialist war cannot be waged justly, so the political decisions of John Howard, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and other Prime Ministers made the crimes of the soldiers on the ground inevitable. The soldiers named in the secret version of the report deserve to be in the dock, but so do their political masters.

The Brereton report revealed what could no longer be concealed. But the cover-up, both of further crimes and the guilty parties all the way from Lieutenants to Prime Ministers, has begun. Our best response is to demand that Australia get out of Afghanistan.

END AUSTRALIAN IMPERIALISM

*Article in the latest issue of “The Anvil”, newsletter of Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group (MACG).

It can be found on our blog at the following page:
https://melbacg.wordpress.com/the-anvil/

It can also be found directly at the following address:
https://melbacg.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/the-anvil-vol-9-no-6.pdf

This page can be viewed in
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Indonesia / Philippines / Australia | Imperialism / War | en

Mo 18 Jan, 06:33

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images.jpg imageThe useful dead 21:25 Fr 27 Apr by Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group 0 comments

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da_cov.jpg imageEnd War: End Capitalism 07:58 Di 25 Apr by Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group 0 comments

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imageEndless war Apr 25 1 of Anarkismo Editorial Group 0 comments

The US-dominated world order can only be maintained by endless war. Australia, a junior partner, has signed up to this to maintain its domination of the South Pacific and Timor L’Este. The situation would not be improved by allying with China or any other would-be hegemon, because that wouldn’t change the system. The working class needs to unite internationally and abolish capitalism. Only this can build the basis for a world of liberty, equality and solidarity, where war is no more and the nation state has been abolished. We can have a new world of libertarian communism

imageThe useful dead Apr 27 Anarkismo 0 comments

The Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group opposes Australian imperialism and militarism and therefore opposes all celebrations of it. We look forward to a workers' revolution which will usher in a world community of freedom and equality for all – and where war will be seen in museums, not the news.

imageEnd War: End Capitalism Apr 25 Anarkismo 0 comments

War is integral to imperialism. We can't end war without ending imperialism and we can't end imperialism without ending capitalism, because imperialism is not merely a policy, but the set of international relationships in capitalism for over 100 years now. We don't have to send young men and women overseas to kill brown people and we don't have to allow a US base at Pine Gap to guide both nuclear missiles and drones. To change direction, though, means eliminating the capitalist system that brings us these horrors. The working class needs to unite internationally and make a revolution to abolish it. We need to replace capitalism with the only possible alternative – libertarian communism.

imageFor Peace Apr 25 1 of Anarkismo Editorial Group 0 comments

If we want peace, we must follow the example of the workers and worker-soldiers who ended WWI. We must build a working class movement which spans across frontiers and cuts the ground out from under the capitalist governments that have no solution for international problems but war. We must make a workers' revolution and overthrow capitalism. And only then will we be able to build a world of liberty, equality and solidarity – a world at peace.

imageMACG withdraws from Australians for Kurdistan Dez 12 Anarkismo 0 comments

This statement was prepared for the public meeting on “Beyond Kobanê – Behind the revolution in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan)”, which was held at Victorian Trades Hall on Wednesday 3 December by Australians for Kurdistan. Most of it was read at the meeting, but due to time constraints, the latter part was curtailed. The parts in italics were not able to be read. There has been minor editing for publication.

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