PM supports soldiers in Iraq

Auld-Yin

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#1
But not the British PM - the Aussie one:

http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=1380512006

Australian PM Howard plays down Iraq troops video

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian troops under investigation for culturally insensitive video images, made while serving in Iraq and shown on the Internet, were just letting off steam, Prime Minister John Howard said on Monday.

Australian defence chiefs have criticised the 14 images, which include one showing a soldier pointing his gun at the head of a man thought to be a fellow soldier dressed in Arab-style clothing, and others showing troops mishandling weapons.

The videos were shot between 2003 and 2005. None shows abuse of Iraqis.

Defence chiefs quickly ordered an inquiry into the potentially embarrassing images and raised the possibility that those responsible could be sacked, but Howard said the soldiers were working in extremely stressful and dangerous environments.

"Through the ages soldiers have let off a bit of steam, haven't they, in private and the difference is that we now have videos and Internets, we didn't 50 or 100 years ago," Howard told Sydney's 2GB radio.

"I'm not condoning it, but I'm just saying we shouldn't overreact and we ought to leave it to the military to sort it out and to stop calling on the military to do this, that or the other," he said.

Pictures of U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners in Baghdad's infamous Abu Ghraib prison in 2004 sparked international outrage and undermined Washington's efforts in Iraq after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.

Eight soldiers were convicted of abuses, with two jailed for more than eight years.

Earlier this year a British newspaper released a video that appeared to show British soldiers beating Iraqi teenagers in the southern city of Basra in 2004.

The emergence of the Australian images came as an investigation into the death in April of 25-year-old Private Jake Kovco in Baghdad drew to a close.

Kovco, the first Australian soldier to die on active duty in Iraq, was killed by a shot to the head from his own pistol in his barracks.

The inquiry heard last month that Kovco had joked around with his pistol in a manner similar to that seen in the latest Internet video and images.

A lawyer assisting the inquiry said he wanted to see the latest images of Australian troops to determine whether there was any relevance to the inquiry into Kovco's death in regard to the inappropriate use of weapons.
That first paragraph shows the world of difference between our so called political leaders and those of Australia. Well said Howard. :lol: The Oz brass seem to be operating on the same wavelength as ours though. :cry:
 
#4
Silly me. When I saw the subject title, I actually thought Tony "You'll never see me visiting the wounded" Blair had done the right thing ............
 
#6
eveyuk said:
Common sense is still in abundance "down under", Australia reminds me of the UK 30 years ago.
Britain in 1976? If I were Australian I'd be on my way round to your gaff to give you a kick up the arrse! The cheek...
 

BuggerAll

LE
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#7
Australia has got to be the destination of choice.
 
#8
Cuddles said:
eveyuk said:
Common sense is still in abundance "down under", Australia reminds me of the UK 30 years ago.
Britain in 1976? If I were Australian I'd be on my way round to your gaff to give you a kick up the arrse! The cheek...
In their MKI escort? Hehe

It was a compliment
 
#9
Well, If Australia is to be the destination of choice, I shall be able to send sitreps from Down Under in weeks few! (And am I glad they have a decent PM down under!)
 

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