The federal government is hell bent on boosting its powers to call out the troops at a moment’s notice anywhere in Australia, and even in anticipation of a problem occurring. The new law, now being considered by a parliamentary committee, would be perfect for using the Army, Navy and Air Force to protect President Trump when he visits, or to stop protestors at Adani mine or port sites, where fracking is about to get under way or any environmental protest is likely. The power to call out the troops should be very tightly constrained, which is the opposite of how this draft bill is written, says CLA CEO Bill Rowlings.
Fury was the initial response on social media among Defence personnel to allegations against special forces soldiers. But as new details emerge almost daily, there’s recognition that leaders at many levels within the Australian Defence Force may have as many questions to answer as the troops. If accountability failures extend throughout the organisation, Army wife Kay Danes writes, an open and transparent Senate inquiry would be the least mechanism needed to get to the bottom of the allegedly widespread management problems in the ADF.
Lest we forget we will all chant, as we have all chanted for a century now. And yet it is as if all that chanting only ensures we remember nothing. If we remembered would we 100 years later still allow our young men to be sent off to kill or be killed in distant conflicts defending yet again not our country, but another distant empire, as we have in Iraq and Afghanistan?
As the debate about Australia’s war history continues, it’s important to take note of diverse views…including from the views of those who believe the main lessons are being ignored. 19 May 2015
Did special forces or other soldiers violently strip, cover with hoods, and threaten with anal rape when apprehending non-violent protesters in Australia. We’re keen to know answers. 4 Nov 2014
Diverse interests, from Muslim groups to CLA, have combined to ask the government to delay its latest tranche of terror laws to allow more consideration and consultation. 16 Oct 2014
Are soldiers robots, doing their masters’ bidding without sentient thought, or are they ’employees’ in the sense of having individual and workplace rights? The question is not just academic, lecturer Dr Ned Dobos says, because the answer could have sign…
Heroes and heroines emerge in war and in peace. Few stand out in both, but a forgotten Aussie hero, brave on the front line at ANZAC Cove in April 1915 and resolute in framing the world’s human rights 30 years later, has left a personal legacy which eve…
Professor Marilyn Lake. Co-author with Henry Reynolds, Mark McKenna and Joy Damousi of What’s Wrong with Anzac? The Militarization of Australian History, UNSW Press, 2010.
What did our Diggers Fight For? Marilyn Lake
Any answer to this question…