Sunday, May 31, 2009

Call for Australian general to be tried as war criminal

Of all the drippy and naive fools who ended up in the Australian Democrats, Lyn Allison was probably the drippiest and most naively foolish.
She produces an opinion piece in The Age that would embarrass a first year politics undergraduate.
As Andrew Bolt sets out below, she simply refuses to acknowledge what are now the known facts about Fallujah, especially the false claims about the use of white phosphorous.
It is now known that the Iraqi doctor who claimed to have pictures of people who had died of phosphorous burns was linked to Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party and that the pictures were of people in an advanced state of decomposition, not with phosphorous burns. This particular false claim was put to bed years ago, and yet this idiot still hasn't caught up!
But Allison is typical of so much of the so-called humanitarian and progressive Left. The truth will never be allowed to get in the way of hypocritical attention seeking moralising.
No wonder this spectacularly foolish woman lead the Democrats to their richly deserved political demise.
Lyn Allison, who led the Australian Democrats into oblivion, now wants to put on trial one of our most decorated and senior soldiers. She writes in The Age a piece that no al Qaida sympathiser could have put better:
But we cannot seriously ignore the horrors committed by coalition forces in Iraq.
It is beyond time we acknowledged the many victims of our aggressive war. The children of Fallujah whose bodies Western forces burned with white phosphorous in a hopeless attempt to flush out Sunni insurgents. The traders at two Baghdad marketplaces, and the Al-Jazeera and Reuters cameramen, whom Australia’s war partners callously shelled to death.
But just acknowledging them is not enough. The political and military leaders responsible for their loss and agony — those who authorised the illegal invasion and those who committed egregious crimes during the conflict — must be brought to justice…
The assault on Fallujah in late 2004 provides some of the most horrific examples of war crimes committed during the war to date…
Some 30,000 to 50,000 civilians remained in Fallujah throughout the coalition’s three-week-long bombardment. They were denied food, water and electricity in flagrant violation of the Geneva Conventions. When scenes of devastation at the local hospital hit the world’s media, soldiers stormed the building and ordered patients to lie on the floor before tying their hands behind their backs. Major-General Jim Molan, a decorated Australian war hero, was in charge of the operation. (He has since written a book giving his version of events.)
Where Australians were not directly responsible for committing certain crimes, they may nevertheless be tried on the grounds that they were participants in a joint criminal enterprise — namely, the illegal invasion of Iraq — of which war crimes were a foreseeable consequence.
I wonder of Allison could be sued for suggesting so lightly - and with such wilfull contempt for the facts - that Molan is a war criminal.
Allison’s claim that white phosphorus was used as an offensive weapon in a “hopeless” effort to drive terrorists from Fallujah already shows how little respect she has for facts or the truth. White phosphorus is actually a screening agent, and not banned by any international convention, and clearing terrorists from Fallujah was not “hopeless’’ but one of the turning points of this war. Nor could Allison provide a skerrick of proof for her suggestion that the US casually and knowingly killed reporters - a baseless claim that cost CNN’s head of news, Eason Jordan, his job.
Molan in his autobiography Running the War in Iraq adds even more important facts that Allison so irresponsibly omitted or ignored.
Fallujah was in fact a city that had been captured by thousands of Islamist terrorists and insurgents, including al Qaida, who had brutally cowed the inhabitants, and were using it as a base for terrorist operations throughout Iraq, killing many hundreds of civilians, Iraqi public servants, Iraqi police and Coalition soldiers. After its liberation, Coalition forces discovered 19 “factories” for making bombs, 229 ammunition and weapons caches, and eight houses for holding, torturing and executing hostages. Some 3000 insurgents died in the battle, as did 72 Coalition soldiers.
The decision to liberate Fallujah was made by the Iraqi Government, and only after a prolonged ceasefire had failed to bring peace.
Repeated and extensive efforts over many weeks were made to warn the civilians to leave the city, and the attacks only started after the Coalition headquarters, where Molan served as chief of operations (not, as Allison claims, head of the Fallujah operation), was convinced most had indeed left. Allison’s figure of up to 50,000 civilians is pure conjection, and almost certainly a gross exaggeration.  Molan also spends many pages in his book outlining the precautions the Coalition forces took to minimise civilian casualties, even when it meant exposing their own soldiers to greater risk.
The Coalition was so open to scrutiny that 90 reporters and cameramen were allowed to observe the operation.
The hospital Allison mentions had been used for months by the insurgents as a base and a propaganda station, with “doctors” unknown to any Iraqi medical organisation holding press conferences on Coalition “atrocities” like the “white phosphorus” beatup Allison unquestioningly adopts. Insurgents launched attacks from several medical centres in Fallujah, knowing the Coalition would think twice before firing on such buildings and would be condemned by a terrorist apologist such as Allison if they did. Molan says that of the three medical centres his troops were accused of damaging, two had been used by terrorists for offensive firing positions, and the third had not been used as a health clinic for years and was not one of the sites the Iraqi Government had listed as a protected medical facility. Among the patients found in the hospital were many injured men suspected of being insurgents and terrorists. Molan adds that 66 of the city’s 166 or so mosques were also used by the terrorists to store weapons or to shoot from - another insight into how prepared they were to use civilians and their sanctuaries as shields.
Anyone reading Molan’s detailed book would be in no doubt of the care taken by the Caolition to avoid harm to civilians, while clearing a city of some of the most barbaric terrorists in our time. Knowing him personally, I can vouch for his integrity and compassion. For Allison to so viciously smear Molan on such trumped up charges, and in such wilful ignorance, is the true crime.
And that The Age publishes it… Let them now pray that violent-minded men with a taste for vengeance not read this trash and believe it.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous


Anonymous said...

Here via Bolt.

The Democrats deserved what they got, all right, for electing the leaders they did (IMO Kernot plus everyone after Lees). Their demise came about when they forgot they were the party of the Centrist Compromise. Natasha Stott-Despoja should never have been in a position to challenge Meg Lees, let alone become leader of the party. That was the beginning of the end. Allison was merely the coup de grace.

Garth Godsman said...

Good points all.

I always thought the flak Lees got over the GST was unfair, irrespective of whether you thought it a good idea or not.

As you suggest, what else could be expected from a party of centrist compromise.