The big pandemic of 2020 has done a good job of blocking any other news from hitting the headlines. However, just because the limited mental space of the Mainstream Media (MSM) is being occupied by a virus, does not mean that other things are not occurring. One very hot issue that is on the backburner of the public’s consciousness is the abuse and possible murder of Afghan civilians by Australian Special Forces. This is yet another round of shocking war crimes that creates a burst of public outrage but then quickly fades… until next time. Ever since cameras were able to show modern war to the public, society should not be so naive as to expect their side to be the good guys whose bullets only hit the right targets and yet this is still how things are. The Mainstream Media is able to skew everything including war crimes towards a false narrative and it is the job of the Alternative Media to try to hammer out the bend which at times it fails to do due to its own naivete.
The MSM puts responsibility onto soldiers, but never those who gave them the orders.
Perhaps it is simply the fact that most journalists see things from a personal perspective that whenever there is a possible war crime (that doesn’t serve their own political interests) their outrage and focus lies always on the soldiers themselves. The “bad apples” always take center stage.
Militaries depend on absolute and total obedience in order to work. There is no army on Earth that could fight a war while taking the time to discuss every issue and convince the men that leaving the trench is definitely worth it. Orders are to be executed without question. Having to clean all the toilets in the barracks odd numbered stalls first at 4:21am is no different than napalming an Asian village – they are both orders to be executed.
Obviously in a moral sense these are completely different things, but in a military sense they are not. Morality requires both thoughtfulness and free will neither of which work in the armed forces.
Soldiers, regardless of who they are as people are put into the role of automatons and their destiny is completely in the hands of who orders them. The MSM gives us a narrative that soldiers fight for causes or ideas, when in reality the only decision they actually make is to serve country X, other than that they have no say in what they do and judging by the stories of many vets living under bridges often their orders are in direct contrast to actually serving country X.
Soldiers follow orders, the Nuremberg trials were right, the real individuals who need to be punished for any actions taken by Australian in Afghanistan are the ones who put the soldiers there in the first place.
At times militaries do self-regulate and put certain vile individuals on trial… after the fact. Following orders is most important, if the orders happen to be insane or evil that is for the military itself to deal with at a later time and date, for now go forth and kill.
The cliché about war crimes that “war is a crime” is ultimately true.
The MSM seems to have convinced the public that drones always hit their targets, everyone in a terrorist compound is always a terrorist and that our guys (the good guys) can somehow make sure that they only kill the right people – combatant men aged 18-45. But this is never the case. Any war destabilizes the economy of the country it is in and causes massive suffering and death without any shells actually having to hit their targets.
The Alternative Media needs to make it clear that in all wars non-combatants suffer and die, full stop. There is no “good war” and no one should be surprised that some Australian men who trained to be elite killers on occasion kill someone they were probably not supposed to.
If you create mass poverty, don’t be surprised if people steal to survive, the same thing goes that if you go around creating war, don’t be surprised when war crimes start occurring. WWI brought in the age of Total War, there is no going back.
War and the military necessary evils.
Reading the above one may expect some sort of pacifist hippy solution, but war is a part of humanity and the military will always be necessary to maintain the state. Taking a position of pacifism is essentially volunteering for slavery as any non-pacifist nations out there will be happy to take your land and subjugate you if you are not going to fight back. Pacifism is the position of a delusional masochist.
The Alternative Media in this particular case is the “bad guy” as far too many good-hearted people believe that one day there will be some kind of eternal world peace and that if we just walk around with signs long enough armies and war will fade into history.
The better option for those who want peace is to shoot for is a Multipolar World where each pole is in parity with the others creating a global “Mexican Standoff”. Making war unviable is a lot more likely to happen then making it just magically disappear forever.
Pacifism is an unreasonable path to nowhere. Sometimes war is justified, and it seems to be a permanent part of the human experience, but it should not be portrayed as “cool” or “fun” but as a necessary evil. War is like dental surgery, it would be best to be avoided, but if it has to be done, then just try to get it over with quickly.
War cannot be waged without war crimes.
The MSM presents NATO soldiers as if they are office workers in camo who do their jobs under minimal stress and are completely in control of their faculties, when in reality many infantry are very tired from long tours and seeing their buddies die one-by-one. Furthermore, combat and home raids are very scary and after living for months or years in a constant state of survival one’s mind can start to erode. Considering how many soldiers get PTSD this is more than just online speculation.
We send mentally exhausted men to go out and fight a modern war where threats come from all sides and in many different forms, and expect them to never make mistakes or lose control. This is truly insane. As the Coronavirus just showed us, people who live lives of comfort in America are willing to get into fist fights over toilet paper so just imagine what can happen when your mind has been ground down after multiple tours in the Middle East.
Each one of us could do some very vile things if pushed far enough.
The MSM needs to stop being “shocked” by the actions of soldiers as if they are pizza delivery men in a small town.
If anyone in the Alternative Media advocates for war (which has its place) then you also advocate for the collateral costs of that war like what happened to the man in Afghanistan at the hands of the Australian SAS because there is no way to keep soldiers in a perfectly clear mental state to make flawless decisions under insane levels of stress and fear.
If you actually care about war crimes…
For those who are supposedly concerned about war crimes, trying to stop war or militarism will never happen, but shifting the Mainstream (and Alternative) Media to present the realities of warfare to the masses would certainly help.
No problem can be solved if you are working on it based on false assertions and the MSM view that soldiers are somehow heroes who choose to fight in country X is absurd. Automatons at the bottom of the food chain getting out of line with Afghani locals is not the problem it is them being ordered to be there, and the freedom/ability for those in authority to issue said orders.
By Tim Kirby
Source: Strategic Culture