A step in the right direction

Australia’s special forces veterans who served in Afghanistan will retain their Meritorious Unit Citations unless convicted of war crimes or sacked for poor conduct.

The Australian.

Long over due decision. But it seems to me that Peter Dutton is conceding too much. Unlike his two immediate processors Dutton’s no-bullshit attitude will come as something of a shock to senior military types. Yet he has offered them an ‘out’.

Meritorious Unit Citations should only be stripped if individual members are  convicted of war crimes. None of this being sacked for ‘poor conduct’ nonsense.

The Australian Defence Force does not exist to provide employment opportunities for numpties, or to provide opportunities for social experiments, or for wokeness.

The purpose of the Australian Defence Force is to engage the enemy in decisive combat, and to permanently degrade their ability to wage war.

That means having on hand people who willing, able, and ready to kill foreigners who are a threat to our sovereignty and/or national interest.

I am simply not convinced that the senior levels of the ADF have that mind set.

Compare

and contrast

There is a further complication.

Australian war hero Ben Roberts-Smith has been accused by the media of being a war-criminal.

Former Special Air Service corporal and Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith is suing Nine Entertainment Co and two journalists, Nick McKenzie and Chris Masters, and a former journalist, David Wroe, in the Federal Court.

The allegations could hardly be more serious. Roberts-Smith alleges that the journalists implied that he is a war criminal.

Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t. I don’t know. But this, to my mind, is very problematic. The Australian military authorities have already formed a judgement on these matters.

The SASR’s 2 Squadron, which was linked to the majority of the alleged war crimes, was abolished earlier this year on the CDF’s orders. But Scott Morrison put General [Angus] Campbell’s revocation of the unit citation on hold after an outpouring of anger from veterans and their families.

Sounds like the military need reminding that they are under civilian control. But it get’s worse

The journalists involved are keeping a low profile in relation to the case. McKenzie said he had been advised not to speak publicly. Masters, who is relying on Nine to cover his legal costs, declined to comment. Wroe, who is now Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s press secretary, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Emphasis added.

Marise Payne – from the wet-wing of the Liberal Party – currently Australia Foreign Minister but formerly our Defence Minister, employs a person who has accused our greatest living war hero of being a war criminal.

Okay – so maybe he is right. But it seems to me that senior levels of the Morrison government have already made up their minds.

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67 Responses to A step in the right direction

  1. mh says:

    The purpose of the Australian Defence Force is to engage the enemy in decisive combat, and to permanently degrade their ability to wage war.

    That means having on hand people who willing, able, and ready to kill foreigners who are a threat to our sovereignty and/or national interest.

    Right now that means China.

  2. Sinclair Davidson says:

    Let’s not over react. China may or may not be a threat.

  3. C.L. says:

    Those Chinese soldier-ettes are pretty hot.

    —————–

    None of this being sacked for ‘poor conduct’ nonsense.

    Indeed. Dutton gave half the game away like this against Keneally re an inquiry into ‘right-wing extremism.’

    Sometimes I think he likes to be seen as a hard man more than he is willing to be one. Liberals have got to get the stupid notion out of their heads that they have to give their enemies something so they’ll be perceived more favourably. Give them nothing. Just win.

  4. Arky says:

    Sinclair Davidson says:
    April 19, 2021 at 12:05 am
    Let’s not over react. China may or may not be a threat.

    ..
    That’s a new one.
    You’re supposed to say they aren’t a threat, then the next breath say “It’s too late to do anything, they are already too strong”.
    Sort yourself out man, you’re doing it all wrong.

  5. Sinclair Davidson says:

    Sort yourself out man, you’re doing it all wrong.

    Arky, my boy, stop being a surrender-monkey. We are winning. Liberal Democracy has won already.

  6. Sinclair Davidson says:

    Those Chinese soldier-ettes are pretty hot.

    Aren’t they awesome? 🙂

  7. BrettW says:

    Dutton now needs to get tough and kick up a fuss about the leaking to 9 / Fairfax by the investigation team about phone conversations involving BRS. It is clearly a deliberate attempt to sabotage his case and ruin his relationship with Kerry Stokes.

  8. C.L. says:

    Yes.
    The AFP has attempted to pervert the course of justice.
    When TF did it become OK to leak intercepted phone taps to take out a citizen?

    But don’t hold your breath for Dutton to act. He’s an ex-cop who also loves spooks.

  9. Arky says:

    Arky, my boy, stop being a surrender-monkey. We are winning. Liberal Democracy has won already.

    ..
    I hope you are being factious.
    They sure as hell have nothing to fear from what’s left of our industries.
    The change in diplomatic stance is very telling. It tells you they no longer consider us to be better than them or to have anything they want that they can’t get elsewhere or just take.
    Chinese people don’t show contempt unless they consider you beneath them.
    If you aren’t relevant they ignore you. If you are a boss or parent they defer to you (filial piety).
    So you might not be sure if they are a threat or not, but they sure as hell have decided they are.
    Take it from someone whose family are all ethnically Chinese and who spends most of his time with Chinese.
    We’re in the shit.

  10. Petros says:

    Does the CCP use women in frontline combat roles?

  11. PB says:

    “That means having on hand people who willing, able, and ready to kill foreigners who are a threat to our sovereignty and/or national interest.”

    We could keep them busy right now without them ever leaving our shores.

  12. a happy little debunker says:

    My only question…

    Has Angus Campbell handed back his ‘Distinguished Service Cross’ for Operation Slipper?

  13. Jo says:

    Second that PB.

  14. Entropy says:

    Women in uniform sometimes they look so cold
    Women in uniform but ooh they feel so warm
    Women in uniform Women in uniform
    Women in uniform Women in uniform

  15. Entropy says:

    The journalists involved are keeping a low profile in relation to the case. McKenzie said he had been advised not to speak publicly. Masters, who is relying on Nine to cover his legal costs, declined to comment. Wroe, who is now Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s press secretary, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

    I don’t think it is the Chinese who are our biggest threat. I would be checking out the liberal front bench.

  16. The FIRST Principle of War is the Selection and Maintenance of the AIM.

    The government’s first priority is The Defence of Australia.

    After sacking the uniformed and uninformed drips in the defence dept, may Mr Dutton go on to sort out the PM’s Office from the inside!!!

  17. Des Deskperson says:

    ‘Does the CCP use women in frontline combat roles?’

    No.

    BTW, the percentage of women in the PLA is 4.5%

    The percentage of women in the Australian Army is around 15%.

  18. Mother Lode says:

    I know what Cats think about it all, but what do ordinary people think (according to what they know) about the BRS matter. The government will ultimately (and flaccidly) flop finally to what ever position they think will win them votes. Usually they take Twatter and the MSM to be the voice of the people, but here the MSM is part of the equation.

    Instead of being the eye that sees all but remains itself unseen during the process the MSM is currently seen as an interested party.

  19. Albatross says:

    China may or may not be a threat.

    Huh!?

  20. Albatross says:

    Liberal Democracy has won already.

    Is this a joke?

  21. Amadeus says:

    Unless I’m mistaken, the DoD needs a thorough clean out starting with Angus Campbell. The military needs balls – Payne, Reynolds and Campbell confused that with knitting groups.

  22. Mother Lode says:

    Further to the above, we have a war hero from Australia’s most revered units, the SASR, who has won the highest award for courage, the Victoria Cross.

    On the other side we have j’ismists, one of the least trusted professions in the nation who have won over politicians, one of the other lease trusted professions.

    Does Morro and his mob think they are on a winner siding primarily with the press?

    The only reason the MSM gets away with it is because, even though people know not to trust j’ismists, when they see news the forget altogether they are seeing a product but think they are seeing something real.

    Look into BRS conduct by all means, but with an open mind and with an awareness of the circumstances under which decisions are made. Parliament cannot even keep their own staffers behaving themselves, insisting that SAS troops conduct themselves as if at a vicar’s tea party is ridiculous.

  23. mh says:

    I don’t think those dancers ‘twerk’, which is a descriptor the MSM used.

    They remind me more of Toto Coelo – I Eat Cannibals

  24. win says:

    Marise Payne , seeds to be a submerged log under the Liberal parties water just waiting to do a Turnbull.

  25. Crossie says:

    Indeed. Dutton gave half the game away like this against Keneally re an inquiry into ‘right-wing extremism.’

    Sometimes I think he likes to be seen as a hard man more than he is willing to be one. Liberals have got to get the stupid notion out of their heads that they have to give their enemies something so they’ll be perceived more favourably. Give them nothing. Just win.

    Everybody in the LNP is a disappointment and that means Hastie as well. We need a government that is serious about looking after our national interests rather than their standing with the media.

  26. Crossie says:

    BrettW says:
    April 19, 2021 at 12:34 am
    Dutton now needs to get tough and kick up a fuss about the leaking to 9 / Fairfax by the investigation team about phone conversations involving BRS. It is clearly a deliberate attempt to sabotage his case and ruin his relationship with Kerry Stokes.

    That is unforgivable and would have been so even under a Labor government but less surprising. These traitors need to be uprooted from the government immediately if not sooner. Why should anyone join our defence forces when these lowlifes are waiting for them?

  27. Crossie says:

    Petros says:
    April 19, 2021 at 5:04 am
    Does the CCP use women in frontline combat roles?

    Does it matter when image is everything. The CCP soldierettes don’t look like they would easily become .”comfort women” of the enemy.

  28. Woolfe says:

    BTW, the percentage of women in the PLA is 4.5%

    The percentage of women in the Australian Army is around 15%.

    That 4.5% would be more numerically than our whole defense force, though our women would out weigh them

  29. Dinky says:

    Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t.

    I have a problem with statements like this. Until his accusers can prove beyond reasonable doubt that he is then as far as I’m concern he isn’t.

    It’s the same with Porter. The line that “maybe he did or maybe he didn’t” but he’s owed due process is a complete cop out that gives the Left some succour. He didn’t until his accusers can conclusively prove otherwise.

  30. Dinky says:

    our women would out weigh them

    Are you fat shaming?

  31. IainC says:

    Is the ADF going to demand more racial and gender diversity in our enemies in the near future?

  32. bollux says:

    “Those Chinese soldier-ettes are pretty hot.’
    They all look the same.

  33. Tel says:

    I don’t think those dancers ‘twerk’, which is a descriptor the MSM used.

    Seems roughly based on a haka … I would like to see Aussie journalists calling NZ rugby team a bunch of twerkers.

  34. Woolfe says:

    I’m sure its well muscled midgets Dinky.

  35. T29E says:

    Crossie rightly says: Everybody in the LNP is a disappointment and that means Hastie as well. We need a government that is serious about looking after our national interests rather than their standing with the media.

    YES!

    They seem to only be interested in keeping their job$ and not caring two seconds about our UNPREPAREDNESS for WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan or the looming communist Chinese threats.

    In “Stealth War”, Brigadier Robert Spalding reveals China’s motives and secret attacks on us. Detailing how our leaders failed to protect us over decades, the brigadier exposes China’s sly ploys, including communist infiltration of our politics, commerce and education establishments.

    Spalding warned in 2019 that the USA (and Australia) had ONLY THREE years to redress that situation, e.g., by 2022.

    It seems that no one in our Foreign Affairs and Defence departments have read it, let alone “Silent Invasion”, China’s influence in Australia by Aussie Clive Hamilton nor his book “Hidden Hand”, exposing how The Chinese Communist Party Is Reshaping The World.

    Or maybe , , ,

    But reading many infantile comments above, subscribers here don’t care about obvious threats to our security either.

  36. Roger says:

    Liberal Democracy has won already.Least worst system and all that, but liberal democracy is in serious trouble, not least in its willingness to defend itself from its ideological enemies.

  37. jupes says:

    Peter Dutton, in his first major public decision in the Defence portfolio, will officially overrule Chief of the Defence Force Angus Campbell’s decision to strip the citations from more than 3000 special forces soldiers as a “collective punishment” for the alleged crimes uncovered by the Brereton inquiry.

    Meanwhile his government continues to ruin the lives of 19 veterans by employing 70 odd lawyers and such to work full time to put them in jail. They will continue to do this for many years to come.

    Oh, and the craven and token decision to disband 2 SQN remains. An utterly pointless gesture in many ways, not least of which, in all likelihood none of those 19 soldiers still served there.

  38. Texas Jack says:

    The “wet wing of the Liberal Party”

    You mean “of the Liberal Party”

    Show me some that ain’t wet?

  39. Kneel says:

    “China may or may not be a threat.”

    In military terms, they are a threat.
    What matters is capabilities, not intentions.
    The former changes slowly, the latter can change overnight.

  40. Mango Man says:

    “Greatest living war hero” is something of a stretch. Keith Payne VC is one of a few remarkable Australians awarded for bravery in Vietnam. Four VCs, including that of Roberts-Smith, were awarded for gallantry in Afghanistan, one posthumous.
    I’d also argue that penalising soldiers for poor conduct such as breaches of the rules of engagement is entirely appropriate.

  41. Cynic of A says:

    I’m a bit blase about the definition of “War Crime.”
    We, being a civilised animal, decided to have rules when we kill each other. Said rules are ambiguous and ill defined.
    I haven’t actually read the rules, (who has?) but with a bit of research, personal weapons – rifles MGs must only use ball ammunition, not AP, or explosive etc. Inhumane, doncha know!
    However, it’s OK to strafe troops from an aircraft, loaded with this very ammunition, plus a free incendiaries and tracers thrown in. You can also shoot directly at a soldier with explosive munitions, like a grenade or rocket. Is one a War crime and the the other isn’t? Circumstances, doncha know!
    As far as I’m concerned, if the Australian government decides, purely for political purposes to send our people into a war, then there are two priorities:
    1. Kill as many enemy as possible in as short a time as possible;
    2. Don’t get killed yourself.
    The two are perfectly interchangeable at times.
    Based on our general values, and the general values of the enemy in Afghanistan, I really don’t give a shit about the manner our people carry out the two priorities.
    The sad fact is that many civilians get caught up in war, and are killed or maimed. On the reverse side, there are many instances of soldiers helping enemy civilians in any way they can, but I don’t believe they should commit suicide to do so.
    I’ll start getting interested in War Crimes when the enemy does the same.

  42. Mango Man says:

    Cynic: so the German murder of the Polish officer corps was entirely fine by you?

  43. John Comnenus says:

    I don’t understand why Brereton, who is a judge, continued his inquiry when he found evidence of serious criminality. Why did he not turn the investigation of individual alleged offences over to the AFP to investigate as he came across these cases? Something is not right here. Brereton must have known his inquiry, which compelled people to cooperate, would not produce any evidence that is admissible in Court.

    So why did Brereton put together a block buster volume that is a free kick to our enemies but didn’t result in a single person being charged? It also forced the AFP to start their actual criminal investigations from scratch over a decade after the worst alleged events occurred. There is something amiss here that no one seems to have asked Brereton or his masters. Why conduct a highly damaging investigation, that makes sensational criminal allegations yet is unable to refer a single case for prosecution? It makes no sense.

    Did the CDF’s, who presumably approved funding for Brereton, get any external legal advice on what Brereton was doing? Do the various Ministers? Why was he allowed to carry on to do such damage, but not refer a single person for prosecution?

  44. Rex Anger says:

    @ John-

    Could it be that some political scalps were desired, but there was nothing actually done wrong?

    After all, I remember saying repeatedly that when all this blew up, ADFIS and every investigative apparatus available would have been all over even the slightest sniffle from a soldier in Iraq or Afghan. It would have been front page news for years if it were real.

    The Americans and Brits alike prosecuted their own on hearsay. Repeatedly. And the accused were denied every semblance of due process and fair hearing as far as they could. The Obama Administration and its compliant media went to extreme efforts to keep this quiet. The latest holdovers of this era tried to ruin the career of a SEAL Chief Petty Officer under Trump’s administration. He pardoned the Chief, and the US Navy’s JAG service was exposed for the pack of political manipulators it had become.

    A good read is Dog Company, 2 US Army officers persecuted by their own legal system because of a toxic combination of impossible ROE, virtue-signalling stooges and a Commander so desperate to bring his troops home alive, that he sidestepped all process by firing his pistol into the ground to scare an Afghan informant into talking. And was court-martialled for execution.

  45. Albatross says:

    John Comnenus says:
    April 19, 2021 at 2:30 pm
    I don’t understand why Brereton

    Just doing his bit for our elites. Our Judiciary and Queens Counsel have been debased this way for a while now.

  46. John Comnenus says:

    I would like to think Brereton did what he did for a good reason, but it looks like a deliberate effort to torpedo any actual prosecutions, whilst concurrently being able to say that the ADF is not ignoring the issues whilst also claiming, almost unbelievably (as in 99.995% unbelievable) that no senior officers knew anything. That is the only explanation that makes sense to me, but I have no evidence of any of that, I just can’t find any explanation of why Brereton did what he did. I hope there is a simple and plausible explanation and I wish Brereton or Defence would say what it was.

  47. Rex Anger says:

    I would like to think Brereton did what he did for a good reason, but it looks like a deliberate effort to torpedo any actual prosecutions, whilst concurrently being able to say that the ADF is not ignoring the issues whilst also claiming, almost unbelievably (as in 99.995% unbelievable) that no senior officers knew anything.

    In other words, politicised bugmen vs. warriors.

    The warriors won the skirmishes and pulled their fangs, but the bugmen (thru disbanding 2 SQN SASR, the ongoing trial-by-media against Ben Roberts-Smith BC, etc.) won this latest round in the war…

  48. Woolfe says:

    Rules Of Engagement? I wonder what they were and who wrote them?

    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
    An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.

  49. Boambee John says:

    Mango Man says:
    April 19, 2021 at 1:40 pm
    Cynic: so the German murder of the Polish officer corps was entirely fine by you?

    That crime was carried out by the Soviet NKVD. Gorbachev eventually apologised to the Poles, and gave them the original file in atonement.

    I hope your depth of knowledge on other subjects you comment on is more impressive.

  50. gary says:

    In 2002 Australia was a leader in hypersonic missiles (scram jets). Then they linked up with the US and now Australia doesn’t have hypersonic missiles but the US does.

    If we have 2000 hypersonic missiles (at a cost of one weeks printing for the RBA) China could send 10 aircraft carriers against us and they would all be sunk. Where are our hypersonic missiles?

    Stop concentrating on trivia and get the defense of the country under control. At this critical point (with Russia threatening Ukraine and China threatening India, Taiwan, Phillipines, everyone) who is coordinating the disruption of the Defense Department with trivial issues, and why are the media colluding with the enemy by producing yellow journalism that creates hysteria over these issues.

  51. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha says:

    That crime was carried out by the Soviet NKVD

    The Soviets were disposing of anyone who might pose a threat in Post war Poland. Those officers included reservists, who were businessmen, judges, lawyers, schoolteachers……

  52. Mango Man says:

    OK, so it was the Russians. My point is: rules of engagement are important and soldiers who murder people not engaged in warfare should be disciplined and certainly should not obtain merit awards.
    I am getting the impression the only principle of some people is that their “side” (highly variable is entitled to do anything.

  53. jupes says:

    I just can’t find any explanation of why Brereton did what he did.

    Simple timeline: SOCAUST (Sengelman) hired a feminist to review SF culture. She delivered a fantasy report which spooked Sengelman and CA (Campbell) to employ Brereton to destroy SASR.

    Brereton delivered.

  54. jupes says:

    rules of engagement are important

    What if the rules of engagement are immoral?

  55. Vicki says:

    My point is: rules of engagement are important and soldiers who murder people not engaged in warfare should be disciplined and certainly should not obtain merit awards.

    This may be the contemporary rule established in the modern era, but it certainly did not apply in the wars in which our fathers & grandfathers fought in the 20th century. The Allies wiped out countless civilians in the cities of Europe – not to speak of Hiroshima & Nagasaki.

  56. gowest says:

    Mr Fixit (Dutton) seems to be the only liberal with a brain left. Alan Jones made mince meat of Morrison over this issue and it will cost the libs dearly. Really enjoyed how Dutton squashed the KKK photo op in CI. Wonder which Canberra wonk organized that bit of theatrical Labor posturing? As far as the vets are concerned its another attack on WA. Canberra’s spending money is generated in WA so naturally they destroy the fast reaction team we have on hand to fight / deter the theft of our resources. – no wonder McGowan won in a landslide – he is a Dutton copycat. Canberra seems to have gone full Biden copycat with its Extreme right terrorists scare lie – meanwhile Getup gets a free pass – A few ex SAS would have helped there… oh wait they just alienated the whole group.. Maneuvered by Labor into stupidity again, just like Colgate.

  57. Vicki says:

    I don’t understand why Brereton, who is a judge, continued his inquiry when he found evidence of serious criminality. Why did he not turn the investigation of individual alleged offences over to the AFP to investigate as he came across these cases? Something is not right here.

    Right on, John. It has had political implications writ large on it from the beginning.

    Complicating matters, is something that has been raised previously on this blog. That is the internal rivalry between units during service in Afghanistan. This very likely led to the initial release of info to the media (Chris Masters/ABC & others).

    Ben Roberts-Smith also appears to have attracted some personal displeasure from contemporaries in the field.

    All of these factors have assisted those amongst the Left, who loathe military culture, in targeting those who served this country in a war without an end.

  58. Paul says:

    How soon before our ADF leadership tell our troops is racist to shoot at the enemy and jihadists?

  59. Sinclair:

    Let’s not over react. China may or may not be a threat.

    Are you joking, Sinclair?
    Really?

  60. Beertruk says:

    Those Chinese soldier-ettes are pretty hot.

    I like the Russian soldier-ettes.

    Also in Russia.

  61. Cynic of A says:

    Boambee John
    MangoMan
    Cynic: so the German murder of the Polish officer corps was entirely fine by you?
    Neither of you can read, as my post suggested no such thing. However, I’ll go with you for the moment.
    What’s your point? You’ve picked out one item among hundreds. What you entirely miss is that the Germans didn’t see it as a War Crime. They saw it as killing their enemy.
    The Allies (and you) saw it differently. Winners make the rules.
    Going along with you…
    So, Dresden was OK?
    Hiroshima was OK?
    Dresden achieved nothing. Hiroshima ended the Pacific War. Both incurred the murder (your words) of thousands of civilians, and no doubt a substantial number of military.
    I’m looking forward to your in depth comparison of the three events. One by Germany, one by Britain, and one by the U.S. I’m sure the dead will be interested as well.

  62. Boambee John says:

    Cynic of A

    I was responding to the incorrect assertion by Mango Man that the Germans did the crime, not to your comment. One reason that the Germans did not see Katyn Forest as (their) war crime was that it wasn’t. They did, however, use it against the Soviets as a propaganda exercise, involving the Swiss in the investigation.

  63. Beertruk says:

    So, Dresden was OK?

    Dresden was OK. Dresden was being used as a staging area for German troops on their way to the eastern and western front.

  64. PeterW says:

    Rules of War and Rules of Engagement are two different, but related, things.

    Rules of engagement are the Rules that you give your troops which determine the circumstances under which they may fire on the enemy. Our Peacekeepers have often been given very restrictive ROE, such as only firing upon an enemy who is acting in a way that presents an *immediate* threat.
    He is hold a grenade and shouting threats – not an immediate threat.
    He is throwing the grenade – this is an immediate threat.
    He is ducking after throwing the grenade – no longer an “immediate threat”, despite the grenade still being on its way to your position.
    Later, in Afghanistan, the ROE were that a person could be fired on if they showed three indications of being a hostile enemy.
    Armed? – (all the men are armed), check.
    Paying abnormal attention to Allied troops? – Yep, he’s rubbernecking, check.
    Communicating? – Chatting away on Icom radio. Farmers don’t use them, check.

    Rules of War are general principles agreed on under international law. The theory of Just War goes back, I think, to Augustine of Hippo.
    -Military actions taken must be justified by military necessity. You can kill civilians if that is what it takes to win the war, but not just because you don’t like them or want to steal their stuff. Dresden was a military target, bombed by a nation facing an existential threat to its own existence and possessing limited means with which to strike back. The whole German nation had been made a part of the German war effort. Regrettable, but not a war crime.
    – The cost of military actions taken must be proportional to the penalty of not taking action. The estimated cost of invading the Japanese home islands was 600,000 Allied casualties and several million Japanese lives. The far smaller death toll from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings represent a far better outcome, by comparison. Regrettable, but not a war crime.

    In contrast, the War Crimes of the Wehrmacht and the Imperial Japanese included the mass-murder of prisoners and civilians who were already defeated and under control. There was neither a pressing military necessity, nor a comparable harm being prevented.

  65. PeterW says:

    Incidentally….
    In failing to clearly distinguish themselves from the non-combatant population.
    In using methods of making war that do not discriminate between armed enemies and non-combatants.
    In not representing a legitimate National Government or opposing a clear and grievous wrong….

    The Taliban is clearly in breach of the accepted rules of war. They are War Criminals.

  66. Lee says:

    – The cost of military actions taken must be proportional to the penalty of not taking action. The estimated cost of invading the Japanese home islands was 600,000 Allied casualties and several million Japanese lives. The far smaller death toll from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings represent a far better outcome, by comparison. Regrettable, but not a war crime.

    Further to that, every day that the war continued, many thousands died (not even including combatants), most of them Chinese and south-east Asians.
    Also, standing orders were that all Allied P.O.W.s everywhere were to be executed the moment the first Allied soldier set foot on Japan.

  67. PeterW says:

    Lee….

    Yes.
    Nor is there any indication that Japan was on the verge of surrender. By that stage we were able to read all of the Japanese Diplomatic code. Full transcripts have been released and there was no instructions to the relevant embassy – that in Switzerland – to accept the Allies terms or offer counter-terms that were reasonably close.

    Those who criticise the use of atomic weapons from this distance have no family or friends in Japanese-Occupied territory, POW camps or in the military units that were planning the invasion.

    They have no idea of how tired and hurting the Allied nations were from up to 6 years of war.

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