Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is apparently incensed about Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian’s posting of an image of an Australian soldier slitting the throat of a young Afghan boy.
The ‘constructed’ image that Zhao Lijian used was based on an Australian government report into Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan, which found ‘credible information of 23 incidents of unlawful killing of 39 people “by or at the direction of members of the Special Operations Task Group in circumstances which, if accepted by a jury, would be the war crime of murder. None of these are incidents of disputable decisions made under pressure in the heat of battle, found the inquiry.” Those 39 prisoners and civilians were unlawfully killed and two treated so cruelly, the soldiers’ conduct amounted to a war crime.
This new report follows on from previous allegations of misconduct by New Zealand troops in Afghanistan, by journalists Jon Stephenson and Nicky Hager where New Zealand “Defence” Force personnel breached rules of engagement in an SAS-led raid in Afghanistan in 2010 and covered up the resulting civilian deaths.
Why such a report about murders and abuse should be a surprise to anyone, is a mystery. Western countries have prided themselves on their superiority to the ‘less than pink’ skinned races of the world in their centuries’ old thrust to control the world’s resources for their exclusive benefit. Such superiority extends to a war culture that dehumanises the ‘enemy’ as ‘gooks’, ‘rag-heads’ and the ‘yellow peril’, among many other perjorative names..
Australia and the Western media at large depict their country as an innocent victim of ‘Chinese bullying’, ‘coercion’ and ‘aggression’, through China’s use of tarriffs, border controls and monitoring of import goods’ quality, to press its argument that Australia needs to learn which side its bread is buttered on.
China is particularly annoyed with Australia foolishly following the Trump propaganda line that COVID19 is a Chinese communist government threat to the world. Startling, when it is China who has done most to show the world how to limit infection spread…
Australia’s former finance minister, Joe Hockey, labeled China’s President Xi’s actions “economic coercion.” As Hockey told Bloomberg in a Nov. 3 interview: “That’s not the China that I knew when I was treasurer” for two years until September 2015. This “immature action,” Hockey says, is “not the behavior of a great power.”.
One might be forgiven for laughing at Joe Hockey’s ‘belief’ that Western ‘great powers’ never use extortion, threat and violence to get their economic way. The creation of economic sanctions and wars of aggression on countries the West does not like, is a time honoured tradition- not the sole prerogative of Donald Trump!
We are now subjected to the shameful behaviour of both the Australian and New Zealand prime ministers whitewashing these current war crimes by claiming that the images posted by Zhao Lijian were ‘fake news’. Clearly the images posted were indeed not taken in the heat of Australians killing Afghan children for fun; they were intended as representations of real events. Apparently, ‘an obscure artist in China made an art about the tragedy which was widely circulated in Chinese social media, and which Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Li JianZhao tweeted.’
Human Right Watch notes that: The former military lawyer and whistleblower David McBride, who was deployed to Afghanistan with the special operations task group, was charged with a number of offenses in 2017 after he spoke to reporters about the alleged abuses, and his trial is ongoing. He is the only person who was charged, and the charges are unrelated to his conduct in Afghanistan.
One should therefore not be surprised by a Chinese (and North Korean, Vietnamese, Syrian, Iraqi, Libyan etc etc ) call in the future to demand reparations for all those countries Australia and the other Five Eyes and Fourteen Eyes countries ( In addition to the Anglo-Saxon countries, the group includes Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Sweden and Norway), that have ‘bullied’ with war and sanctions over the past 60 years- the genocidal wars in Korea and Vietnam come to mind; let alone Iraq, Libya or Syria…..and recently American sponsored atrocities have come to light….
That Australia and New Zealand continue to defend their positions as ex-colonial powers allied to racist and war-mongering Western European states and the U.S., is no surprise; but it does give an indication of the intelligence and humanity of their political and ‘intelligence’ communities, and their capacity to grasp where the future lies.