Soldiers to be charged over raid

AN OFFICER in line for a medal is among a group of Australian soldiers who will face manslaughter and negligence charges over the deaths of five Afghan children in a bungled raid last year.
The soldiers, mostly from the 1st Commando Regiment, are facing an unprecedented court martial over the raid, codenamed Operation Pakula, near the village of Surkh Morghab in February 2009.
Well, thats it then. Soldiers can no longer go into battle for their country without worrying about legal charges. It could force them to be reluctant to return fire when they are in contact. That could add to our casualty count.
The soldiers were targeting an insurgent leader who was not found at an initial compound. A crucial part of the prosecution argument will rest on the decision to move to a second compound, and whether the intelligence was sufficient for it to be approached with the same level of stealth and tactics.
In the field, particularly in Afghanistan with no clear and recognisable enemy, all places needed to be approached with […]stealth and tactics. The interpretation of Intelligence in the field is often at odds with the opinions of staff officers in safe rear echelon compounds – particularly when you are being fired on. It goes like this: I’m being fired on from a second compound…f**k intelligence ….return fire…still being fired on…throw grenade….still being fired on…throw another grenade…thank God! Not being fired on anymore! Yes, it’s terrible that civilians died but the Taliban do that. They fire on Coalition soldiers from within a group of civilians and then use the resultant civilian casualties to wind up left wing armchair warriors. What are the Coalition soldiers to do in these circumstances? Take casualties, maybe die, because there might be civilians in the compound? The report suggests the Commando weren’t fully trained. Well, if true, that’s another problem but that can’t be sheeted home to the soldiers themselves. I have to back the Diggers on this one.

Beneath the Southern Cross…..

Got this link from the SASR network. Maybe some old mortarman, or a young one for that matter, could explain the maths. I seem to recall being in command of an ambush on Christmas eve 1970 at the base of the Lang Hais and the Artillery put up flares that popped in the shape of a Christmas tree. This was followed by a Cessna 180 broadcasting Christmas carols through it’s boom box. The flares made me feel exposed, the carols stopped me hearing any movement out front and overall I didn’t feel any goodwill to my fellow man. In fact if I had seen any, I would have shot and killed them. It’s a weird world.

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!

Mixed week

What a week! Tuesday I went down to Sydney to hand out swags to the homeless at Homeless Connect as part of my duties as a Director on the Street Swags board. If you don’t know about them you should – go visit their website My lasting impression of the homeless I met at the Sydney Town Hall is that they were mostly mentally impaired. Years ago, they lived in institutions called Mental Asylums but that term become politically incorrect. As a result they were mostly closed and the inmates transferred to hospitals. The bean counters who run hospitals said, in unison, “these people aren’t sick, we can’t help them and they are taking up too many beds. We can rotate paying physically sick people through at a far greater rate giving us a far greater income, so they need to to go”. And they kicked them out. From mental patients to the worlds condemnation of Israel isn’t too far a stretch. Those who always condemn Israel no matter what she does, claims the blockade is illegal. More reasoned commentators argue that Israel has a point. Whatever the case, from my perspective, if I was head honcho in Tel Aviv and had endured thousands of rockets fired at my citizens I would reserve the right to blockade supplies to minimize weapons entering Gaza no matter what the world said. Western media are still referring to the people in the convoy as peace activists and ignoring all evidence to the contrary. Abraham Rabinovich from Jerusalem files a report in today’s Australian indicating how the Turkish PM was involved in the planning of the operation and how the Terrorists aboard the IHH vessel Mavi Marmara had a clear mission “to expose Israel’s true face to the world”.
The mission given the group, according to Malam, was to prevent the Israelis from seizing control of the ship before it reached Gaza. The militants used small, hand-held saws to cut metal bars from the ship’s railings and to shape knives. They also gathered knives from the ship’s cafeterias and armed themselves with fire axes.
We know IHH has terrorist links and we know how terrorist act. Israel was sucker punched but it was surely reasonable to think it was a peaceful protest and that their troops weren’t in danger. After all, everyone said that was the case. It could be said that a man named Abraham Rabinovich has a conflict of interest when commenting on the matter but when the only opposite point of view has a base premise of denying Israel’s right to exist, let alone defend herself, then he should be heard. For another view that accepts Israel’s right to exist go here Back home, by the end of the week, Kevin Rudd was having a bad time of it as he negotiated with the Mining mob. Well, Kevin says negotiating but the mining mob reported Kevin’s idea of negotiating was “If you want to change the tax you will have to change the government” Bad call Kevin because a lot of people are now thinking “Yep! thats a good idea” Maybe a case exists for Mining to pay more tax but one of those reasons shouldn’t be to simply get the ALP out of a fiscal hole. Can the tax be fixed? asks Dennis Shanahan; Cabinet cracks emerge on tax says Matthew Franklin; Gerry Harvey says Rudd couldn’t sell a fridge let alone a mining tax, and John Singleton says I’ll sell anything but Kevin Rudd My week started bad with having to move my lazy arse to Sydney and actually do something worthwhile and then the loss of two diggers always hurts. However it finished on a high note with plenty of signs that the punters are starting to get Rudd’s measure and it’s very small indeed. ‘Av’ a good weekend and I for one, look forward to the Weekend Australian’s continuing litany of ALP stuff ups.

Diggers killed in Afghanistan

Sapper Darren Smith and Herbie were both killed by an improvised bomb.

TWO young Australian combat engineers on their first deployment in Afghanistan have been killed by a bomb in the army’s worst combat loss in a single day since the Vietnam War. A bomb detonated during a patrol on Monday morning, killing Sapper Jacob Moerland, 21, and Sapper Darren Smith, 26, both from the Brisbane-based 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment. As a sad coincidence, to the best of my knowledge, the last time the ADF lost two troops on one day in action was in Vietnam on 1 Feb 1971 when Ray ‘General’ Patten and Alan Talbot, both of Recce Platoon 7RAR, were killed by a mine blast. I have written up that incident here.

Hang in there Israel!

From the Jerusalem Post.
According to the defense officials, the IDF has identified about 50 passengers on the ship who could have terrorist connections with global jihad-affiliated groups The group of over 50 passengers with possible terror connections have refused to identify themselves and were not carrying passports. Many of them were carrying envelopes packed with thousands of dollars in cash.
Amongst the Humanitarian aid found on the Mavi Marmara was a cache of bulletproof vests and night-vision goggles, as well as gas masks. From Melanie Phillips in the UK.
…. Obama is now throwing his weight behind the frenzied attempt by the world’s tyrannies to wipe Israel off the map. And as the noose tightens round Israel, what is the response of the British government? Far from rethinking Foreign Secretary William Hague’s reproach to Israel for ‘lack of restraint’ (in not allowing its marine commandoes to be lynched, you understand) the Prime Minister David Cameron has joined in the onslaught, deploring the ‘heavy loss of life’ and telling Israel to lift the blockade of Gaza – which, let us remind ourselves once again, allows into Gaza tens of thousands of tons of aid per week and only stops weapons from being smuggled in that would be used to kill Israelis. Thus as the world starts to resemble a global pogrom in the making, Cameron has lined up Britain too on the side of the forces of darkness against their victims.
Meanwhile, back in the antipodes, our PM gets it right when he says;
“However, as I have seen them, let me say this very clearly, the Australian government condemns any use of violence under the sorts of circumstances that we have seen.”
Hang on, he’s actually talking about the Israelis being violent. For a moment there I thought he was the only western leader to get to the bottom of the fracas and was rightly condemning the Jihadists for attacking the Israelis as they landed on the deck. Silly me! Rudd demands the Israelis hold a comprehensive independent inquiry into the incident and forward the results to the UN Security Council. Why would they do that? The UN Security Council has already condemned the Israeli commandos for lashing out to save their own lives so what would it achieve. With the Arabs running the show at the UN, condemnation of anything Israel does is guaranteed first response. Still, Rudd’s predictable reaction follows his “I want a seat at the UN” form. And just in case you are curious as to how much I care about the Australians on board the convoy, let me make it clear.…zilch. If they want to actively support terrorists then let them wear the consequences. Greg Sheridan at the Oz puts in his two bobs worth
The Jewish state was sucker-punched by demonstrators determined to provoke an ugly Israeli reaction and international PR disaster. By beating Israeli sailors nearly to death as soon as they landed, the protesters made a violent reaction inevitable. You cannot attempt to kill armed soldiers without suffering casualties.
Here is some good shots of the peace activists delivering “humanitarian aid‘ to the Israelis. Hang in there, Israel.

Blockade runners successful

The Armada, organized by the Turkish organisation for Human Rights, Liberties, and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), itself under investigation by the Turkish government for supporting Al-Qaida and Jihad generally, has succeded beyond their wildest dreams. The activists had iron bars, concussion grenades, tear gas and a host of other items of “humanitarian aid” on board the ship in preparation for the Israeli boarding parties they knew would come. There is mention of pistols as well but let’s wait for the full story to come out. Had the role of the Armada been to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza they would have accepted Israelis offer of delivering it through the port of Ashdod. But no, that wasn’t their plan. They wanted confrontation and exposure on CNN and world media generally,and they got it. In spades. From the Jerusalem Post
The outnumbered, under-equipped and incorrectly prepared commandos found themselves not grappling with unruly peace activists or demonstrators, to whom they had been ordered to show “restraint,” but being viciously attacked before they had barely set foot on deck. The clips showed clusters of people swarming around each of the commandos, and beating them over and over with clubs and bars in scenes sickeningly reminiscent of the lynching of IDF reservists in the Ramallah police station 10 years ago.
And from
The lead organisation involved in organising a flotilla of aid ships bound for the Palestinian Authority has itself been investigated by Turkish authorities for its involvement in terrorism, including the purchasing of weapons and financing of terror attacks.
Now back to the violence;
There was footage of one of the “activists” stabbing a soldier, of a petrol bomb being thrown at the troops, a stun grenade. And the troops themselves reported being sprayed with tear gas, attacked with iron bars, knives and sticks, and of efforts, reportedly successful in at least one case, to grab the pistols some were also carrying. There were reports of gunfire directed at the troops, and of soldiers jumping into the sea to escape attack. Soldiers were fighting for their lives, said the IDF spokesman, Avi Benayahu (in Hebrew). “It was a lynch. It was an ambush.
As per standard procedures for any incident where Israel defends itself, the world will condemn them. The UN and most of Europe will take the activists side, all Arabs will go beserk with hatred and very few anywhere will believe anything Israel says. No change there…

Confusing tactics

THE Taliban is moving fighters into Kandahar, planting bombs and plotting attacks as NATO and Afghan forces prepare for a summer showdown with insurgents, according to a Taliban commander with close ties to senior insurgent leaders. THE supreme leader of the Taliban, Mullah Mohammed Omar, has indicated he and his followers may be willing to hold peace talks with Western politicians.
Two of the movement’s senior Islamic scholars have relayed a message from the Quetta shura, the Taliban’s ruling council, that Mullah Omar no longer aims to rule Afghanistan.
Is this a case of HQ not talking to the troops or is it just sloppy reporting?

Go, you good thing!

THE British government stepped up diplomatic pressure on Israel last night, calling in the Israeli ambassador to discuss the use of six faked British passports in the assassination of a senior Hamas official in Dubai. I can sympathise with the Brits but hey, I admire the Israelis for topping the bastard. He’s a terrorist, a member of Hamas that is recognized as a terrorist organization by most civilized countries, and he was the logistics manager. He organized shipments of rockets etc from Iran to bombard Israeli civilians. While the rest of the western civilizations actually listens to lawyers who advocate terrorists be read their rights and treated as ordinary criminals Israel knows she is at war and acts accordingly. Go for it but look for a better solution than using friendly power fake passports.
1 3 4 5 6 7 29