Australia’s War Crimes and Culture of Impunity

Hits: 193

There is yet no reckoning for Australia’s SAS war crimes in Afghanistan, although details of horrendous atrocities are coming to light. A 2016 report detailing the extent of torture and extrajudicial killings by the Australian SAS forces in Afghanistan have been described as “fuelled by blood lust”, and compared on a scale to the infamous torture and murder practices at Abu Ghraib in Iraq.

The 2016 report which has recently been seen by two leading Australian news outlets, was compiled by sociologist Dr Samantha Crompvoets. Testimonies of war crimes, accompanied by the normalisation of such action and recurring impunity, have been characterised by a reliability in narration among different participants, pointing towards routine practices that escalated over time.

Notably, the report points towards an adulation of violence. The Australian special forces working alongside British and US counterparts held up the latter as the pinnacle of violence to emulate. However, the torture and killing of Afghan civilians by the Australian SAS is held on a par in terms of desensitisation and normalisation. A report earlier in March this year, which is based upon the witnessing of an execution of an Afghan man, states, “The visual image to me was, the guy had his hands up and then it was almost like target practice for that soldier.”

Human rights organisations in Australia and Afghanistan have called upon the Australian government to release the inquiry report into war crimes committed by the SAS, which commenced in 2016, in a manner which would hold the country accountable to upholding International Humanitarian Law. The open letter makes an important point that resonates even in relation to other countries subject to foreign intervention and impunity for the perpetrators. It states, “The Afghan people have remained trapped in an unbroken cycle of a 40 year long conflict which is profoundly rooted in a culture of impunity, with many actors operating in total disregard of local and international laws and norms in the firm belief that nobody will ever hold them accountable.”

Under the guise of foreign intervention and the democracy narrative which is used to sell war to the public, impunity for human rights violations is being cultivated. The lack of accountability is related to several processes, including policy, leadership failure, and dysfunctional communication between divisions; the latter amounting to secrecy that develops further possibilities for impunity.

One story featured in Australian media in March this year detailed the killing of an Afghan man who posed no threat to soldiers, and whose corpse was chewed upon by an assault dog. In another case captured on camera, another Afghan man, again posing no danger, is shot three times at point blank range – for no other reason than abuse of power, as indicated by the perpetrator.

Democracy and war crimes go hand in hand when it comes to foreign intervention and the bloody trail they leave behind. In an investigation by the Australian Defence Forces (ADF), the soldier who killed the Afghan man in a field was exonerated and is still serving in the Australian special forces; the narrative being that the victim had been seen with a radio, despite evidence to the contrary.

Such coverups are a regular occurrence which serve to perpetrate additional human rights violations. It is possible that the Australian government, as indicated by Defence Minister Linda Reynolds, will agree to publish parts of the report for “transparency” this month. The so-called War on Terror has unleashed a brand of state terror on targeted countries which so far has been met with an ingrained reticence from leaders to investigate accusations of war crimes. Between the bureaucratic delays of the International Criminal Court, and opposition to the institution by world leaders intent on saving the culture of impunity, there is little chance of implementing justice unless the international justice system is pressured to work against the globalisation of war.


Originally published on 2020-11-08

Author: Ramona Wadi

Source: Strategic Culture Foundation 

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics, and international relations.

 
READ MORE!
The US Military Project for the World
In May 2017, Thierry Meyssan appeared on Russia Today and explained where the South American elites were going wrong in their fight against US imperialism. He insisted that there has been a sea-change in the way the US now wages armed conflicts and we now need to radically rethink how we should defend our homeland. The operation to destabilize Venezuela continues. The first phase: violent gangs demonstrating against the government killed passers by, as if citizenship created no bonds between them. The second phase: the major food suppliers organized food shortages in the supermarkets. Then some members of the forces ...
READ MORE
Five Facts About Kosovo the Fakenews Media is Lying to You About
1. Kosovo is not ancient Albanian land Its very name comes from the Serbian word "kos," meaning blackbird. Its Albanian name, "Kosova," means nothing whatsoever. Kosovo was the heartland of medieval Serbian state and the site of the 1389 battle in which both the Serbian prince and the Ottoman sultan died, checking the Turkish expansion into the Balkans for almost 70 years. Ethnic Albanians were settled there by the Ottomans over the intervening centuries, and became a majority due to pogroms and persecution of Serbs - which began under Ottoman rule but continued under Austro-Hungarian occupation in WWI and German/Italian occupation in ...
READ MORE
Zionism and Israel
ZionismThe term Zionism is derived from the word Zion that in the Hebrew language and cultural-historical tradition of the Jews refers to the citadel (acropolis) of the city of Jerusalem but as well as to the Kingdom of Heaven. From the matter of politics, Zionism refers to the political-national movement of the European Jews in the very late 19th century for the very purpose to re-create a Jewish homeland in the form of a nation-state in the Middle East – Israel.[i]This Zionist movement was to the great extent expressed as a consequence of the European (mostly West European) anti-Semitic (better ...
READ MORE
If NATO Wants Peace and Stability it Should Stay Home
A curious op-ed appeared in The National Interest, penned by Hans Binnendijk and David Gompert, adjunct senior fellows at the RAND Corporation. Titled, “NATO’s Role in post-Caliphate Stability Operations,” it attempts to make a case for NATO involvement everywhere from Libya to Syria and Iraq in fostering stability in the wake of a yet-to-be defeated Islamic State. The authors propose that NATO step in to fill what it calls an impending “vacuum left as the caliphate collapses,” heading off alternatives including “chaos or Iran, backed by Russia, filling the void, with great harm to U.S. and allied interests in either case.” The op-ed never explains why ...
READ MORE
These are all the Countries where the US has a Military Presence (in 2015)
On Mar. 24, US president Barack Obama announced that all 9,800 US troops currently stationed in Afghanistan will remain until the end of 2015. This generated a fair amount of criticism: it was, after all, Obama’s promise that the last American troop would leave the country in 2014.How have Obama’s plans for pulling out of Afghanistan fared so far?Those expecting the US to leave Afghanistan, however, should take a minute to consider this: the US still hasn’t left Germany. In fact, there are quite a few places the US hasn’t left, and while certainly most of them don’t pose a threat to American soldiers, ...
READ MORE
Kosovo: The Hidden Growth of Islamic Extremism
The recent arrest of 40 alleged Islamic radicals in Kosovo together with the arrest of one of the Kosovo Imams suspected of being an inspirer of jihad in the region brought serious questions about the radicalisation of Islam and terrorism in Kosovo, in the Balkans and in Europe. Even though the issue of Kosovo Albanian volunteers or mercenaries fighting alongside the anti-Bashar forces in Syria and supporting the radical leadership of the Islamic State (earlier the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has been present in the public debate in Kosovo for at least a year, the debate itself was ...
READ MORE
The Collapse of the European Union: Return to National Sovereignty and to Happy Europeans?
Imagine – the European Union were to collapse tomorrow – or any day soon for that matter. Europeans would dance in the streets. The EU has become a sheer pothole of fear and terror: Economic sanctions – punishment, mounting militarization, the abolition of civil rights for most Europeans. A group of unelected technocrats, representing 28 countries, many of them unfit to serve in their own countries’ political system, but connected well enough to get a plum job in Brussels – are deciding the future of Europe. In small groups and often in secret chambers they decide the future of Europe.Take ...
READ MORE
The Geopolitics of Targeting Russia
The escalation of tensions between the United States, Britain and France, on the one hand, and Russia, on the other, should not surprise anyone. In the last few years, the US leadership and mainstream British media have presented Russia as a major threat to global peace and the international order. Russian president Vladimir Putin in particular has been demonised as a ‘war-monger,’ an ‘aggressor,’ an ‘unscrupulous politician’ hell-bent on restoring Russia’s past glory’ at whatever cost.This projection of Russia as a threat to world peace has intensified in recent days partly because of Putin’s unveiling of Russia’s cutting edge military ...
READ MORE
Stepan Bandera's monument in Buchach, Ukraine with the flag (right) of a neo-Nazi Ukrainian political organization
The ongoing crisis in Ukraine and unseemly role of Poland in its instigation and development makes us take another look at the historical context of the Polish-Ukrainian relations. We will focus on dramatic repressions of the Ukrainian minorities in Eastern Poland in 1921-1939 at the territories annexed by Jozef Piłsudski’s government from the Soviet Russia according to Peace of Riga 1921, which eventually triggered ultra-Nationalist Ukrainian terror against the Poles during the WWII (culminating in massacres in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia in 1943-1944).Poland, which used to be a part of the Russian Empire, emerged at the European political map in November ...
READ MORE
The Problem is Washington, not North Korea
Washington has never made any effort to conceal its contempt for North Korea. In the 64 years since the war ended, the US has done everything in its power to punish, humiliate and inflict pain on the Communist country. Washington has subjected the DPRK to starvation,  prevented its government from accessing foreign capital and markets, strangled its economy with crippling economic sanctions, and installed lethal missile systems and military bases on their doorstep. Negotiations aren’t possible because Washington refuses to sit down with a country which it sees as its inferior.  Instead, the US has strong-armed China to do its bidding by using their diplomats as interlocutors who are expected to convey Washington’s ultimatums as threateningly as possible.  The ...
READ MORE
Ukraine’s NATO Referendum is a Vote for War
The massive artillery bombardment of the peoples of the Donbass, that has been raining down shells and fire on them since Christmas, is a war crime of horrific proportions designed to terrorise the people and bring their refusal to be subject to the NATO-installed regime in Kiev to an end. It is also becoming clear that it has a political purpose, which is to increase anti-Russian, pro-NATO propaganda among the Ukrainian people to influence them to vote to join NATO in a referendum, the consequences of which will be dramatic because a vote for NATO will be a vote for ...
READ MORE
Jasenovac? What Jasenovac?
Chris Deliso of Balkanalysis points out the latest travesty of the Western media: 59,000 stories on Auschwitz, three on Jasenovac. As if the third-largest death camp in Nazi-occupied Europe simply never existed. Franjo Tudjman certainly thought so, and it appears the current Croatian leadership shares his "historical" perspective.Contemporary German estimates of Serbs murdered by the Ustasha (in Jasenovac and elsewhere) ranged as high as 750,000. Wiesenthal center uses the number of 600,000. Serbian researchers have spoken of up to 700,000 victims. Modern revisionists, Croat and otherwise, talk of 30-100,000, at most. Among them is the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, which ...
READ MORE
Bipartisan Neocons Infesting Washington: What Prospects for America?
US duopoly power replaced the eras of Jefferson, Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. No JFKs exist, President Kennedy as we recall was a peacemaker assassinated for opposing war, urging nuclear disarmament and the normalization of relations  with the Soviet Union.   New Deal, Fair Deal and Great Society programs are heading for history’s dust bin. Bipartisan neocons infesting Washington want social justice ended, neoliberal enslavement replacing it, fascist police state harshness enforcing it.America is a gangster state, criminals running it – beginning in the 1990s under Bill Clinton, hardened under George W. Bush, institutionalized under Obama, certain to worsen no matter who succeeds him.US ...
READ MORE
America’s Top Scientists Confirm: U.S. Goal Now is to Conquer Russia
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists published a study, on 1 March 2017, which opened as follows: “The US nuclear forces modernization program has been portrayed to the public as an effort to ensure the reliability and safety of warheads in the US nuclear arsenal, rather than to enhance their military capabilities. In reality, however, that program has implemented revolutionary new technologies that will vastly increase the targeting capability of the US ballistic missile arsenal. This increase in capability is astonishing — boosting the overall killing power of existing US ballistic missile forces by a factor of roughly three — and ...
READ MORE
Luring Trump into Mideast Wars
Donald Trump entered military terra incognita on Thursday by launching an illegal Tomahawk missile strike on an air base in eastern Syria. Beyond the clear violation of international law, the practical results are likely to be disastrous, drawing the U.S. deeper into the Syrian quagmire. But it would be a mistake to focus all the criticism on Trump. Not only are Democrats also at fault, but a good argument could be made that they bear even greater responsibility. For years, near-total unanimity has reigned on Capitol Hill concerning America’s latest villains du jour, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Congressmen, senators, ...
READ MORE
The UN Security Council Resolution on Kosovo
June 10 is a sad date in the history of the UN, the institution originally meant to play the key role in ensuring peace, security, and the primacy of law in the world. The decade since the passing of the June 10, 1999 UN Security Council Resolution 1244 addressing the Kosovo problem – the document totally ignored throughout the period – has shown that the UN is no longer playing the role prescribed to it by the post-World War II system of the international law. The Resolution the tenth anniversary of which nobody seems willing to celebrate in the UN ...
READ MORE
Serbian Patriarchate of Peć in the Ottoman Empire: The First Phase (1557−1594)
IntroductionThe goals of this article are: 1) to investigate the role of the revived Patriarchate of Peć in Serbian and Balkan history?; and 2) to explore and present the results of investigation of the problems with respect to: a) the role of the Serbian Church during the first decades of the Ottoman occupation of Serbian lands in the process of the creation of a Serbian national identity; b) Serbian-Turkish relations in the second half of the 16th century; and c) the reasons for Serbian disloyalty towards the Ottoman government at the turn of the 17th century.The article addresses the reasons ...
READ MORE
The Fall of the Unipower
Dear Readers and Friends:The distinguished and knowledgeable international commentator William Engdahl, in a superb statement, has expressed the view I gave you that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech on September 28 at the 70th anniversary of the United Nations changed the balance of power in the world. Until Putin’s speech the world was intimidated by the Washington Bully. Resistance to Washington brought swift retribution. In the Middle East and Africa it brought economic sanctions and military invasions that destroyed entire countries. In France and other US vassal states it brought multi-billion dollar confiscations of bank net worth as the price ...
READ MORE
Civilian Casualties of NATO’s War on Yugoslavia
From the onset of NATO’s aggression from March 24 to June 11, 1999, the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) flew over 35,000 combat missions over the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Over 1,000 warplanes (among others F-15, F-16, F-117) and 206 helicopters were used in the air strikes. More than 20,000 laser or satellite-guided weapons were launched and over 79,000 tons of explosives were dropped, including 152 containers with 35,450 cluster bombs, thermo-visual and graphite bombs, which are prohibited under international conventions.1The NATO forces justified the bombing of civilian targets as either “mistakes” or essential to the destruction of Milosevic and ...
READ MORE
The “Kaunas Garage Massacre” in 1941: The Lithuanians are Clubbing Lithuania’s Jewish (Litvakai) to Death (Photos)
In June and July 1941, detachments of German Einsatzgruppen, together with Lithuanian auxiliaries, began murdering the Jews of Lithuania. Groups of partisans, civil units of nationalist-rightist anti-Soviet affiliation, initiated contact with the Germans as soon as they entered the Lithuanian territories. A rogue unit of insurgents headed by Algirdas Klimaitis and encouraged by Germans from the Sicherheitspolizei and Sicherheitsdienst, started anti-Jewish pogroms in Kaunas (Polish: Kovno) on the night of 25–27 June 1941. Over a thousand Jews perished over the next few days in what was the first pogrom in Nazi-occupied Lithuania. The most infamous incident occurred in what was ...
READ MORE
The US Military Project for the World
Five Facts About Kosovo the Fakenews Media is Lying to You About
Zionism and Israel
If NATO Wants Peace and Stability it Should Stay Home
These are all the Countries where the US has a Military Presence (in 2015)
Kosovo: The Hidden Growth of Islamic Extremism
The Collapse of the European Union: Return to National Sovereignty and to Happy Europeans?
The Geopolitics of Targeting Russia
Poland and Ukraine: History of Break-Downs
The Problem is Washington, not North Korea
Ukraine’s NATO Referendum is a Vote for War
Jasenovac? What Jasenovac?
Bipartisan Neocons Infesting Washington: What Prospects for America?
America’s Top Scientists Confirm: U.S. Goal Now is to Conquer Russia
Luring Trump into Mideast Wars
The UN Security Council Resolution on Kosovo
Serbian Patriarchate of Peć in the Ottoman Empire: The First Phase (1557−1594)
The Fall of the Unipower
Civilian Casualties of NATO’s War on Yugoslavia
The “Kaunas Garage Massacre” in 1941: The Lithuanians are Clubbing Lithuania’s Jewish (Litvakai) to Death (Photos)
FOLLOW US ON OUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS
Share