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Culture warriors are wrong to make soldier allegations their latest battleground

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14.06.2018

The revelations published by Fairfax Media of alleged war crimes by a rogue element within Australia’s Special Operations Command are too important to be subsumed into the domestic culture wars. The revelations raise serious questions about the development of a culture of impunity among our elite ground forces.

To paraphrase an old saying, war is too important to be left to the keyboard warriors. Already the usual suspects are running around hysterically because a feminist academic was involved in the examination of culture within the special forces. It is far easier to dust off grandpa’s slouch hat and rant about unpatriotic feminists obsessed with "toxic masculinity" than to deal with the substance of the allegations.

Members of Australia's Special Operations Command move through the Garmab Valley, in Oruzgan Province.

After all, the real crisis in our military culture is the feminisation of our combat forces isn’t it? Due to political correctness no men are allowed to serve in the infantry any more. Is it any wonder that some of the lads reached back deep into the majesty of Western civilisation to the example of the Spartans to draw solace, since the Anzac tradition has been undermined by the left?

Director of the Australian War Memorial Brendan Nelson leapt into the fray, declaring: “I stand with the special forces.” Well so do I. Though I would prefer to stand with those who have had the moral courage to risk social ostracism from their tight circle of mates by collaborating with investigations into conduct ranging from premeditated murder of detainees to drug abuse.

And therein lies the insurmountable problem for the bathtub admirals, and keyboard warriors. The allegations cannot be brushed........

© The Age