This article by Ai Jun – Source: Global Times – Published: 2020/12/1 22:15:22 contains a cartoon with the terse inscription “-apologize!!-“, absolutely brilliantly put together, by whom I do not know, which with amazing alacrity and insight manages to capture the true pathos of the moment – see image below. The focus is, and can only be, to the right hand one third of the image. That man, right there, gesturing with pointed finger. All that is missing from the scene is the large mirror, leaned up against the backs of the photographers and facing backwards out of shot.
A much better effort than the prior image which created the current furore.
That in itself would have been sufficient justification for me to use this GT article illustratively but I then found that references were made in the article – read it for yourself – pointing to the actual official ADF report, which clearly shows that the sort of atrocities pictured in that original image – which so incensed the Australian PM – actually took place and, more than that, became, and I quote:
“ ‘deeply concerning norms’ within Australian Special Forces, including: the shift from ‘unacceptable behaviour’ to war crimes; the glorifying of these crimes as being a ‘good’ soldier; ‘competition killing’ and ‘blood lust’; the inhumane and unnecessary treatment of prisoners; and cover-ups of unlawful killings and other atrocities.”
That, and the matters to which I refer below, all are described on page 120 of the ADF report, exactly as referenced in the GT article. So, I ask the question now – Who is lying? Or who has been misled? Who didn’t read the facts before shooting off his mouth? Not the Chinese government official. Not the Chinese reporter. Not the young Chinese graphic artist. That only leaves one major ‘other’ to consider.
I feel I have to make mention – with quotes – to specific matters referred to in the ADF report. The condemnation could not be clearer.
I will not provide a link to the ADF report on war crimes. If I do, it may increase the likelihood of it being taken down. But I have a copy and I’m sure numerous other people also do. Taken down or not, this will not go away. May I suggest that you do an internet search for exactly the words italicised above.
The types of atrocities listed in the report are – and these are all direct quotes, all emphasis being mine:
a. Body count competitions and the use of the Joint Priority Effects List (JPEL) … described … as a ‘sanctioned kill list’ … names of people killed were added to the JPEL after they were killed.
b. Direct participation in hostilities … another tool used by Australian Special Forces to commit ‘just about any atrocity that took their fancy’ … when a force was inserted by helicopter … Special Forces would open fire, killing many men (and sometimes women and children) as they ran away … These were … ‘sanctioned massacres’.
c. Clearance Operations … Special Forces would then cordon off a whole village, taking men and boys to guesthouses, which are typically on the edge of a village. There they would be tied up and tortured by Special Forces, sometimes for days. When the Special Forces left, the men and boys would be found dead: shot in the head or blindfolded and with throats slit.
d. Cover-ups. A specific incident … where members from the ‘SASR’ were driving along a road and saw two 14-year-old boys whom they decided might be Taliban sympathisers. They stopped, searched the boys and slit their throats. The rest of the Troop then had to ‘clean up the mess’, which involved bagging the bodies and throwing them into a nearby river … this was not an isolated incident …. Special Forces soldiers were committing unsanctioned killing in order to ‘get a name for themselves’ and to join the ‘in’ group.
Now, I ask you, is this the behaviour of Australian soldiers that PM Morrison so vehemently demands an apology from China for bringing to light for all the world to see? He could not have chosen a better, more effective way to ensure that global attention is exactly what happens. I hope that you will do your part also in ensuring that happens, by either sharing this post or that from the Global Times.
I also ask once again: Who is lying here? Or who has been deceived? Or perhaps who has failed to acquaint themselves with the facts? Or who is failing in a deliberate attempt to divert attention from heinous acts for which his government is ultimately responsible?