More photos of captured prisoners cause outcry

An Israeli girl takes some happy pics and there is an outcry. Here’s an outcry from me. What on earth are you on about! Israeli Soldiers with POW Oh my God, the shame of it. Fancy taking photos of prisoners captured in battle. Just for those warm and fuzzy souls here’s a photo from my time in Vietnam. My old mate Steve Smith from NSW interrogating chatting with prisoners captured near Fire Support Base Anne during operations against the enemy ideologically challenged in South Vietnam. The soldier covering them with an SLR is just to the left of the picture. Now I can just sit back and wait for the outcry Tossers!


  • Yeah, it’s a disgrace. I’ve said before that the Left (in politics and in the media) have never been able to accept the concept that war is all about killing the enemy and winning by force. They seem to be unable to accept that a soldiers job, in war, is to actually kill the bad guys and save the day.

    The Left’s mantra is;

    War should be fought nicely and soldiers should be trained in catering so that they can bake scones and make pots of tea for the enemy in the hopes that a healthy middle ground can be reached and that everyone can sit around the camp fire and sing Kumbya…

    I’ll stop with the rant now, I’m all fired up as a result of having to deal with a couple of Leftists today. They can be quite annoying!

    • Amazing when you consider the deaths attributable to the forces of the left, ie communists. Deaths caused in war and enforcing the ideology within the boundaries of countries blessed with this ideology, are fairly numerous according to history. The use of force is only criticised (by the left) to push political agendas and affect the perceptions of the voting public of democratic societies.

      I find it amusing that the photos being decried are no better or worse than the media’s constant representation of persons arrested, and being conveyed to courts by prison vans and Police vehicles, in manacles and with self applied head coverings or with faces pixelated out of recognition.

      I can assure you that Kev’s memorabilia is pretty tame.

  • This can be viewed in the context of the beat-up about the “mosque” in Manhattan. The right-wing blogosphere portrays it as militant Islam rubbing American noses in 9/11.

    Photographing bound and blindfolded prisoners can be seen in exactly the same way. This is why Abu Ghraib did so much damage American prestige. The IDF called it – and they were right.

    You can’t have it both ways. You either respect individuals or you don’t. This respect for the individual is seen as a core value of the Israeli (and American) nation.

    In the same vein, On the whole, VC prisoners in Vietnam were treated with respect by the ADF. In conversations I’ve had with Vietnamese they remember this, and contrast it with episodes like My Lai.

    • 1735099…..are you telling me that Australians in Vietnam did not blindfold, and tie the hands of captives? Are you saying that photographs were not taken of both prisoners and also battle casualties? If you are saying that, then you live a Utopian lifestyle where you only acknowledge the “good” and forget the “bad” side of things….ie if it makes us look good then shout it from the rooftops….if it doesn’t show us in a good light…rewrite history.

      Come to think of it that is a tried and tested method.

  • “1735099…..are you telling me that Australians in Vietnam did not blindfold, and tie the hands of captives? Are you saying that photographs were not taken of both prisoners and also battle casualties?”
    Sure – prisioners were blindfolded and photos were taken. It’s how those photos were used that’s the issue here. They weren’t passed from hand to hand and giggled or gloated over – the 2010 equivalent is posting on facebook or U-Tube.
    We treated prisioners with respect in my experience. War suspends a lot of things, but not human decency.
    Photos of prisioners or casualities weren’t passed around and objectivised in my unit.
    Australians are better than that.

    • Surely you jest. I am beginning to think you were a Kool smoker young fellow. Australians are better than that? Human decency is a casualty of war. The removal of human decency is on the list of characteristics to remove from young people about to be engaged in warfare. How do you kill the enemy with impunity without dehumanising his existence and at the same time maintain your own moral outlook. Your ability to function in the part you played in Vietnam required you to forget about decency and focus on survival. If you actually believe that said photographs weren’t bandied about amongst the troops of your unit then you have a perfect case of selective memory loss. The other option is that you stretch the truth in an endeavour to make your own involvement less heinous.

  • Bob; I suspect you have never been a soldier.

    Thee is NO head-spinning contradiction between double-tapping some bloke pointing a weapon at you, and offering aid to a wounded or enemy.

    Though you may find it unbelievable, Australian soldiers working in operational areas are rigorously trained regarding prisoner handling. Abusing prisoners is regarded as being counter-productive as regards both intelligence gathering and long term prisoner “management”. Firmness and asserting physical and psychological authority is a different matter and is nothing like you apparently imagine.

    Taking a “happy-snap” of a prisoner who is “bagged and tagged” and waiting to be withdrawn for processing is, if anything, more in poor taste than being the worst thing that ever happened on a battlefield.

  • Come on Brucey,
    Read the content and don’t extrapolate.
    We’re discussing poor taste photos that do no one any harm. Kev has even given a sample, there is another on the Porky Seven site.
    I have full knowledge of the requirements both military and civilian for the treatment of prisoners, but what in Robert’s God’s name brought on the lecture about prisoner treatment and SOPs?
    Your terminology makes you sound like a current serving member involving in a training cadre. Most Vets I know have lost most of the military vernacular, some of it intentionally so that people did not guess what they were doing in the 60s and 70s.
    Either that or you work in the security industry as a firearms training officer.
    Stick to the subject. As far as I can make out neither 1735099 or I mentioned anything that would cause that flair up. I hope I haven’t given rise to anything that may have upset you.

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