Australian war crimes and racist fantasies in Afghanistan
Last week the distressing details of a four-year inquiry into the Australian Defence Force’s war crimes in Afghanistan were finally released to the public. The country grappled with the scale of the violence: at least 23 deadly incidents; 39 Afghan civilians, including children, killed; at least 25 Australian soldiers of the Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) involved.
The report described a savage practice of “blooding”, where young special forces soldiers were instructed by senior commanders to make their “first kill” and a “culture of secrecy”, where witnesses remained silent and murderers covered up their crimes by planting weapons and radios on dead bodies.
While the details of the crimes have been widely reported on, there has been a curious reluctance in Australia to explain the violence and trace its racist origins. The local media coverage of the revelations had a defensive tone.
Military, academic and mental health experts appeared on Australian TV screens to buffer the allegations by speaking of the integrity of the military and concerns over the impact on the image and morale of the defence forces. Australian officials and commentators tried to present the war crimes as an act of a few “bad apples” just as their American counterparts did with the uncovered torture and murder at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
Even when the horror of the war crimes was on full display and the sheer scale of the war crimes and depraved practices undeniable, white innocence was still desperately gasping for redemption.
But what struck me the most as an Afghan living in Australia watching this fiasco unravel was how the coverage of the inquiry on Australian TV ended with the promotion of a mental health helpline for members of the military and their families. This, in a year of protests against uniformed men terrorising civilian populations and basking in impunity taking place around the world.
The tone deafness was incredible and the narcissism – diabolical. Absent in the media coverage was any concern for the victims and the feelings of Afghans and Afghan Australians. Many of us carry the scars of war and many were certainly retraumatised by these findings.
Army Chief Angus Campbell did offer an apology to Afghans on the day of the report’s release. But he also curiously repeated the report’s conclusion that these crimes did not occur in the “heat of battle”. That is, we have 39 illegal murders and an untold number of others which must be “legal”, as they occurred in what the Australian army decided was the “heat of battle”.
This is how the spellbinding fog of the so-called “war on terror” transforms civilians into “collateral damage” or suspect terrorists, monsters into heroes, freedom fighters into terrorists and terrorists into Muslims. The racial economy of the “war on terror” has made Black and brown lives cheap, disposable, not worth acknowledging or grieving. More than half a million people have been killed in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq in the “heat of battle”, but the gruesome details of their murders will not make it into any report.
This normalisation of violence by the West in certain parts of the world creates spaces where practices like “blooding” – the merciless murder of civilians and detainees as a rite of passage – flourish. It is where the slaughter of defenceless people as a bonding ritual to make white men into warriors is deemed acceptable. It is where white men, drunk on their own saviour fantasy, come to see themselves as all-powerful, as untouchable.
But why “blooding”? There is something primal about the word. It has a dehumanising effect, reducing locals to animals to be sacrificed for a higher purpose – a manifest destiny – in a coming-of-age ritual. “Blooding”, “warrior culture” and “Zulu” – the name some SAS units adopted – are steeped in histories of colonial violence.
Australians should be intimately familiar with these themes. After all, this nation has a prolific history of “blooding” rituals, dispossession and naked violence against native populations.
Today the white men return to the former imperial frontier to pursue boyhood ideals of adventure, discovery and unbridled aggressions. Afghanistan is not a graveyard of empires as the mythology insists, it is where the imperial imagination is set free to act out its darkest fantasies with no legal or moral restraint.
And just like in colonial times, when white men went after trophies, including human ones, today they collect body parts of dead Afghan civilians and their prosthetics to use as drinking vessels.
The desire for possession of body parts, even plastic ones, is a dark pathology, especially when they are snatched from a land covered with landmines and inhabited by so many broken bodies, where prosthetic parts are inaccessible to many. I wonder about the Australians who witnessed the theft of a dead Afghan man’s prosthetic leg or knew where it came from, but nevertheless, relished drinking beer from it.
I think about the mutilated face of Aisha Mohammedzai, the Afghan girl who appeared on the front cover of Time magazine in 2010, who was then flown to the US and offered a plastic nose. Plastic body parts are powerful commodities in Afghanistan: white men can give them as a gift and can take them away as punishment.
Perhaps the even more insidious part of this story is how the white men can kill at will, mutilate corpses, steal body parts and still come away feeling like heroes.
Indeed, despite the reports of war crimes piling up and murder of civilians spiking, the overarching Western narrative of the Afghan war has continued to present Western armies as saviours.
The war in Afghanistan has been considered the “good war”, unlike the invasion of Iraq which some eventually denounced as the “bad war”, the one built on lies. One has to wonder, however, how the anti-war movement came to believe that the same people who lied to us about Iraq somehow had the best of intentions in Afghanistan.
There is nothing that makes Westerners feel more powerful than the official rationale for the invasion of Afghanistan: going to war for the sake of Muslim women, to protect them from Muslim men.
But people forget that the original justification was not the protection of Afghan women. The US and its allies initially declared they were invading as an act of self-defence because Afghanistan was harbouring al-Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden, who was accused of ordering the 9/11 attacks.
But none of the conditions for self-defence were sufficiently met to secure legal approval. There was no ongoing armed threat against the US by the time of the invasion, the Security Council did not meet in time to sanction it, Afghanistan was not an aggressor nation, harbouring bin Laden did not warrant a military intervention and the Taliban was actually open to negotiate.
Once the war began, America and its allies were in murky legal territory and they knew it. The motives for the war quickly shifted from self-defence to defending Afghan women and removing the Taliban. The new paradigm of militant humanitarianism (responsibility to protect) became the cover-up narrative for the illegal origins of the war.
This humanitarian pretence has disarmed Afghans of the right to self-defence and self-determination. The idea of the “good war” has been so tenuously guarded that the plight of Afghan women has become dogma and Afghan political will that does not align with the humanitarian paradigm and its vision for the future of the country has been automatically labelled a threat.
As evidence of horrendous war crimes mounts, Westerners, including Australians, continue to hold on to the racist fantasy that they are fighting a “good war” in Afghanistan, that they have the moral right to demarcate the boundaries of the battleground, that they can decide who is a civilian and who is Taliban.
In “the heart of darkness”, these delineations do not really mean anything, they are mere cloaks for monsters and the nations that birth them. For many Afghans, this is the real revelation of the Australian inquiry.
Follow us on twitter (ajuede.com) or on Instagram (ajuedeman) for details of the global situation presently.
Like our page on facebook @ Info4everybody Last Wednesday, we published the success story from Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, a board-certified family practitioner in New York, after he successfully treated 350 coronavirus patients with 100 percent success using a cocktail of drugs: hydroxychloroquine, in combination with azithromycin (Z-Pak), an antibiotic to treat secondary infections, and zinc sulfate. Dr. Zelenko said he saw the symptom of shortness of breath resolved within four to six hours after treatment. Do you know that the ancient Egypt were civilized by architects from the (500,000 - 4000 BC) Nsukka Civiliation? Now, Dr. Zelenko provides updates on the treatment after he successfully treated 699 COVID-19 patients in New York. In an exclusive interview with former New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, Dr. Vladmir Zelenko shares the results of his latest study, which showed that out of his 699 patients treated, zero patients died, zero patients intubated, and four ho
THE AKAN Copied from the book, Reality as Myth by Onyeji Nnaji . The influence of the Akan on their content nations lies on their population and commonwealth of their brother nations. The Akan are one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa. Their population is scattered across West Africa and beyond. Among this huge population of the Akan, the Ghanaians are more popular, perhaps because of the political influence of the Ashanti Empire in the area. Not much is heard or known about other Akan settlements like the Akwamu, the Akyem , the Akuapem, the Denkyira, the Abron, the Aowin, the Ahanta, the Anyi, the Baoule, the Chokosi, the Fante, the Kwahu, the Sefwi, the Ahafo, the Assin, the Evalue, the Wassa the Adjukru, the Akye, the Alladian, the Attie,the M'Bato, the Abidji, the Avikam,the Avatime the Ebrie,
Copied from the Book; " Reality as Myth " by Onyeji Nnaji The beauty of the discovering of the Radar Rivers and their channels is that it disproves the western hegemonic claim of the Euphrates valley being the position of the birth of the great river, all the points that opposed their claims notwithstanding. Even God himself was very perfect in His creation by placing them in their positions, hierarchically, according to their birth. The first river that flowed located the Havilah land where there are good quality gold, bdellium and fine onyx stones. Pison was the oldest of the rivers and it flowed through the land of the southern Africa. The second river flowed northward to Ethiopia. It was when Africa had been overtaken by virtue of her proximity to the Great Water that other parts of the world began to encounter the remaining river; remarkable with Hiddekel. Subscribe to ajuede.com to be updated on our posts on dailies. The major problem tow
Strictly for Couples T he biggest risk every marriage faces is what I call the retiring time. There is actually no retiring time for marriage as the union directly speaks of itself. But many marriages normally do have certain time in their history when the couples begin to ware away from the other like a baked clod-and-pebble. By this time the parties find it difficult to retrace the path that once brought them together. You may have heard “I don’t think I sought your hands in marriage with clear eyes”. Next, they may say that the other used means on them. It is not always so, even when some people believe that someone could use means as a wooing instrument. Some of the causes of such situations have been discussed in the series 1 through 3. But when someone does not have any of these problems discussed in the series, then it is simply that such a wife needs to make herself look relatively younger that her age to enforce attraction on her husband. To do this one need
STRICTLY FOR COUPLES … You will know that the man is the head while you are his neck. As such, you direct his focus and make him fixative Our series include the following : * Show him what he looks out for from other women * Teach him like he knows nothing * Learn to play naked games with your husband * Learn to package yourself * Learn to work on your husband M y neighbour had v owed never to let any girl survive as a salesgirl in my shop. This thing has happened for over three times. Each time we brought a new salesgirl, the girl would stay for two or three months; and suddenly she would end her contract with us. In all these, my husband did not know. So, being that the girls usually stole money and other items, the reason for their departure became genuine, thus: they ran away to avoid being punished for their actions. But behind this, the underlying truth is that the girls had been embarrassed by my neighbour who would warn them to leave her loosed husband. Re
Copied from the book, Reality as Myths by Onyeji Nnaji T he world of the Bantu travellers shows the walls of the migration that recorded the highest population among the African settlement. Originating from the largest population among the four races that settled in the east before time, all Bantu travellers were pygmies; for that was the nature of the Umudiala, the generation that gave birth to them. Bantu migration was rated the third earliest migration of the Negro race from the east. In this regard, all their movement had involved great population of people compared to the number of people involved in the two earlier populations that gave birth to Ethiopia, Nubia and Egypt: the Walker Traveller, and the Race of Anu. Bantu population as we have identified in the third chapter above outweighs the rest of the population of the ancient fathers that founded many of the nations of antiquity mentioned earlier. Discussing them in beat will pose a little challenge since
T he name Nkalaha is a coinage which stands for a people occupying a geographical land and regional setting in the eastern part of Nigeria. It is a coinage which attempts to explain the direction of movement and adventure of the men who founded the community in the 15th century AD. According to oral sources and some documentation about this community, some of these men were believed to have traveled from Ida, old Benue state of Nigeria to inhabit the land. These men had traveled on different days to locate the place. Onojah who originally founded the land was said to have been in a deep search for a place of safety as he was besieged by a fate that appeared to make him somewhat incompatible with his own people. Nkalaha is one of the communities that make up Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. Nkalaha occupied the northern part of Ishielu Local Government Area. She is located through the zip 135.031.000. The community sits on 923.768km 2 . She shares boundaries
The Mystery of Number, “Five” in the Igbo Cosmology. From: Aspects of the Ancient African Metaphysics; Chapter: Seven; Topic: Igbo Geometries and the Metaphysics of Numbers. Author: Onyeji Nnaji. I n the Igbo cosmology, the word Isee is a definite symbolic word as revealed through the Igbo language and culture. A human being has five fingers, five toes. The hands and feet are fundamentals to the survival in life as they are necessary in ensuring that man moves to places where he gets food and grapples on the food to sustain his life. To this view, the rhetoric that binds vocatives in the form of incantation (anchoring on the heart-lock: four ) and the concomitant reprisal in the manner of affirmation that holds the human life bind to his original spiritual person, therefore defining existence and essences are unified by the corresponding echo: Isee!!!!! Therefore it stands that anytime a prayer is said in the Igbo land, the attendants who would want the fulfillment of the
INTRODUCTION One thing that made Udi remarkable is the indubitable legacy adopted in commemoration of the legendry fighter, Uto at Nsude. It was one of the greatest contributions of the descendants of Agbaja to the survival of Nsukka civilization of memory. Uto held from Oshie. Uto dies of small pox after a mercenary battle he was hired to fight in the ancient Benin. His body was buried in the evil forest as the tradition demanded. Although he lived no longer, the stepped pyramids above were adopted to commemorate the lasting peace he brought to the entire Oshie and Udi nation of people. Another remarkable thing about Udi is the fertility of the land. This has contributed widely in sustaining the inhabitants and provided a name for the inhabitants in the manner of Abakaliki, Umudike, Ogbaru, Igboariam, Ohaji, Uzouwani, etc., especially in Amofia-Agu, Affa. Udi is a land of great rivers and springs: Adaada, Ajali, Oji, Aria, Nvenu, Ngene Evu, Iyi Ububo, etc. as was the situ
There are four generations…, and the fourth generation, which is the most exalted, is kingless and perfect. These people will enter the holy place of their Father and they will reside in rest … They are kings. They are the immortal within the mortal ( The Nag Hammadi, 219 ) Also read Nsukka Civilization: The Peopling of Ancient Nsukka One of the African homes that colonialism has completely deformed beyond certain level of recognition is Nsukka. Colonialism apart, the most affecting factor to the survival of the meaning which the rich cultural enclave, Nsukka, carries will best be blamed on postcolonial political structure. The biggest harm all these have against Nsukka as a people is that they rubbed her of the meaning of her name; their place of origin; how their fathers managed to come into their present abodes and who their ancestors were. A profound understanding of the excerpt above will open the door towards deciphering the meaning and origin of the people call