Have you been following the story percolating about how Brigadier Lyn McDade, a senior Australian army officer with the title of Director of Military Prosecutions, has decided to prosecute 3 Australian commandos over a raid when 6 Afghans were killed, including 5 children? In this weekends Fairfax Press, we read how the prosecutor has been vilified.
Back on August 30, The Age, that great defender of human rights when it comes to Israel, ran an editorial entitled Putting troops in double jeopardy – where they begin as follows
“The report that the Director of Military Prosecutions, Brigadier Lyn McDade, favours bringing criminal charges against Australian Defence Force commandos over the deaths of five children in Afghanistan last year is deeply disturbing. Military historians suggest such prosecutions, arising out of a tragedy that occurred in the heat and confusion of a combat operation, would probably be unprecedented in Australian history. Some senior officers understandably fear that the trials would further erode public support for the Afghanistan commitment and undermine the confidence and effectiveness of soldiers facing increasingly perilous missions and mounting casualties. Obviously, the ethical issues here are complex. Soldiers in war zones operate in extraordinary conditions – their lives and those of their mates at risk, having to make instant decisions under terrible pressure, knowing that a mistake can be fatal, for them or bystanders.”
A perfunctory nod at morality occurs, then some banal discussion of the counterproductive PR aspects of killing civilians, before their pious comment that “Yet we believe the Director of Military Prosecutions should think again about the wisdom of proceeding, particularly at this time.” .. and after all regarding Australian soldiers “It is enough for them to know they are risking life and limb, without having to worry that they are putting their careers and reputations at legal hazard.”
Can ANYONE in the Age (or their sister Sydney Morning Herald) see the double standards in what their approach would have been to an equivalent event involving Israel?? … Hypocrisy lies deep in the Fairfax heartlands…sort of reminiscent of the Harper Valley PTA