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Once were warriors

Like everyone else on the political planet I am appalled when I hear of young people being abused but what I find amusing about the story about the ADF is the contrast between the way that News LTD and Fairfax have written about the just released report. first the report as published in the Courier Mail:

click for source

and this is how Fairfax report the same story:

click for source

Please take just a few minutes to read both articles I’ll still be here when you get back and then we can consider the difference together.

You’re back?


Now lets get down to tin tacks please consider the two pieces and ask yourself which one seems to have the most politicised agenda here. For me the answer is that Fairfax’s authors are pushing an argument that is antagonistic to the military in general and full of misandry with its provocative  headline. Frankly it seems to me that it is trying to suggest that all soldiers are rapists, Hmm where have I heard that sort of nonsense before? Ah yes its the sort of stuff you get from feminists who insist that there is a “rape culture”  and that every man is a rapist.  either by acts or thoughts.Worse still they primary allegation that inspires the headline goes back to 1951 which means that the alleged perpetrators would have long ago retried from the service.
By way of contrast the news piece concentrates upon a student guide to the unofficial slang and jargon of the academy. Frankly its not really a surprise to me that such a derisive lexicon exists and has currency in the ADF, every military since ancient times has had its own language and way of seeing both itself and the world. the question that this raises to me is just how seriously we should take such a thing and does it matter anyway?

On one hand I am as concerned as the next man about the way that women are treated  within the ADF but on the other hand I can’t help thinking that we expect our military to do some pretty brutal tasks (like kill the nations enemies in our name) so that requires a certain level of  mental toughness  that getting all PC and protective of new recruits is not going to engender. The aphorism about heat and kitchens comes to mind here. Is there a way of protecting the ladies who take the Queens shilling without making our military a bunch of wooses who are so frightened of causing offence that they are useless in their primary role of fighting for the country? That is the issue as far as I’m concerned. While I am all for and full of respect for any woman who is at heart a warrior and wants to do her bit to defend the wide brown land I am far less keen on the idea of women at the pointy end being protected and pampered to pander to feminist notions that gender is a construct and that traditionally male preserves like the military should be changed to make them more female friendly. If a woman wants in to the military boys club then it has to be on the same harsh and brutal terms as her male counterparts  or she just does not qualify to be a warrior for our nation.

Cheers Comrades


  1. Craigy says:

    It seems Julia and Iain agree on this…

    “What I can say, just as a human being, is that obviously it tears at your heart when you read about these kind of allegations,” she told Fairfax Radio in Brisbane.

    But Ms Gillard said she had met many ADF members who did remarkable work, and she would not want people thinking that the allegations in the DLA Piper report “tell us something” about the whole Defence Force.

    “In any big organisation [you] get differences in the people who are in it, differences in the culture and practices,” she said.

    Oh and that was in the Fairfax article Iain quotes from, that he claims is bias…..Well if that’s the case what about this from News ltd in the Hun?

    ” Abusers thrive in the military”
    “Sex predators find a safe home inside our armed forces”


    Bloody News ltd…..why do they hate our soldiers so much….what do you think Iain?

    LOL…..Got it wrong again……..Classic. Time to take the blinkers off…..

  2. Iain Hall says:

    Craigy its you who has the blinkers on, Do you think that the Fairfax headline is fair or balanced?

  3. deknarf says:

    Basically it’s time that there was a Royal Commission on this issue in the Armed Forces. The Defence Force is not capable of giving fair treatment to the allegations, especially if perpetrators are now in the higher ranks. I recall that the ‘squids’ stuff was mentioned well and truly a year ago. So are these stories on the same wavelength? Or is the Fairfax story reporting new stuff?
    Whatever, the mainstream media (with News leading the pack) is suspect in terms of balance and fair treatment. It has become a race in sensationalism, with the story mattering little.
    Sad to say Australian media has to be taken with a large grain of salt and validating information sought from other sources.

  4. Iain Hall says:

    While I agree that justice for anyone who has committed any crime is a laudable idea there does come a point when an allegation is essentially unprovable, all that we have in cases that are alleged to have occurred some time ago is conflicting testimonies, and no forensic or other corroborating evidence. The only people that are going to benefit from a Royal commission are members of the legal profession.
    Is that going to help anyone who may have suffered ill treatment?
    I think not to be honest.
    Lets try to prevent further bad behaviour by all means but I’d rather see the funds that will be spent on a Royal commission or “compensation” spent on giving our military up to date equipment or training.

  5. Craigy says:

    Iain, yes I do, considering that some of the alleged rapists are still working in the ADF according to reports in the NEWS LTD papers

    Is this headline any more bias than the Fairfax one Iain?

    “Sex predators find a safe home inside our armed forces”

  6. Iain Hall says:

    So Craigy are you suggesting that all that is needed to ruin a man’s career in the ADF is an accusation?
    Because that is what it sounds like to me.
    If those who are complaining now had complained and pursued the matters when they happened I would be right up there with you saying that they should be drummed out of the service but now twenty years or more after the event what chance is there that Justice can be done?

  7. deknarf says:

    Hmm? At the same time don’t believe that the alleged perpetrators should be permitted to go unpunished. And if these people are at senior levels in the armed services what chance that this type of behaviour would be weeded out? Could be another Catholic Church in khaki uniforms perhaps?

  8. Iain Hall says:

    Well Yes in many ways you are right Deknarf and delivering justice is just as problematic. The main difference that I perceive is that in the ADF it would be mostly peer on peer assaults rather than authority figure using their position of power to get sexual gratification.
    Its school bullying writ large as I see it.

  9. Craigy says:

    Iain, you need to go and read what has happened here….you seem to not know the details.

  10. Craigy says:

    new photo!

  11. Craigy says:

    dam didn’t work…

  12. Craigy says:

    Oh yes it did, just had to log back in…..sorry ’bout that

  13. GD says:

    Wow Craigy, looks like you’ve lost 10kg and gotten 10 years younger. Maybe there is something in this sustainable renewable Green stuff 🙂

  14. Iain Hall says:

    I want to add my voice to GD’s to tell you that the new picture is a great improvement on the old one !

  15. Craigy says:

    Yeah the old one was getting a bit old….It was on the old boat (RIP)….while I was still a beer drinker…..

  16. Iain Hall says:

    Well the new one makes you look trim taunt and terrific Craigy!

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