Afghanistan: The Fevered Imaginations of the REMFs

Afghanistan: The Fevered Imaginations of the REMFs*. By David Archibald.

Let’s start at the beginning. On 12th February, 2009, two Australian commandos on a night operation were fired upon by an Afghan in the doorway of his mud hut. Not wanting to be killed by an Afghan with an AK-47, the commandos threw grenades through the door of the mud hut to kill the insurgent. The grenades also killed half a dozen members of the insurgent’s family. A year later the Director of Military Prosecutions, a Brigadier Lyn McDade, brought charges against the commandos for defending themselves. The charges were dismissed by more senior military staff with a better grip on reality. The episode revealed Brigadier McDade to be a self-absorbed, useless person.

In early 2016, the then head of Australian special operations suspended operations and invited everyone under his command to write to him personally, and advise him of any unacceptable behaviour they had witnessed or conducted. He received 209 letters that contained no evidence of criminal behaviour.

Then things deteriorated. In March, 2016 the then head of the army, now chief of defence General Angus Campbell, commissioned a secret report on SAS culture from a Canberra sociologist, Dr Samantha Crompvoets.

Dr Samantha Crompvoets (from “Does the ACT have Australia’s most parent-friendly company?”)

Members of the SAS, past and present, were encouraged to contact Dr Crompvoets anonymously and tell tales of what went on in the regiment. Some of the lurid tales were included in her report as fact. For example:

The inquiry has found that there is credible information that junior soldiers were required by the patrol commanders to shoot a prisoner, in order to achieve that solider’s first kill, in a practice that was known as ‘blooding’. ‘Throwdowns would be placed with the body, and a ‘cover story’ was created for the purposes of operational reporting and to deflect scrutiny. This was reinforced with a code of silence.’

As several thousand Australian troops have rotated through Afghanistan, you would expect at least several hundred of those to have undergone the ‘blooding’ initiation. But strangely the just-released Brereton report doesn’t cite a single, individual case. …

The soldiers Dr Crompvoets was interviewing knew what she was about. They gave her what she wanted to hear, like Margaret Mead in Samoa. Old army lags can be quite entertaining and would have competed with each other to make up the most far-fetched stories for her report.

The fact that General Campbell swallowed the Crompvoets tales and Major General Brereton repeated them as fact in his report tells us that both these men are complete idiots. Normally that would be enough to dismiss the Brereton report as useless garbage, but it does give us an insight into the preoccupations of Australia’s high command. …

The senior officers of the ADF are jealous of the SAS because the SAS get most of the medals for gallantry. The person they hate most is Ben Roberts-Smith, because he earned both the Victoria Cross and the Medal for Gallantry by conspicuous acts of bravery. Relations between the Army and Mr Roberts-Smith started deteriorating years ago.

Roberts-Smith in 2015

Neither General Campbell or his pet fantasist Major General Brereton have seen combat, while Mr Roberts-Smith has wiped out multiple enemy machine gun positions in an afternoon. I know who I would believe.

Read it all. Classic woke versus western civilization.

* Term from the Vietnam era: Rear Echelon Mother Fuckers