Because of reciprocal citizenship resonsibilities every Australian needs to think first, and deeply, before advancing arguments in public or private that might assist the enemy we send our troops to fight on our behalf. Intentional or reckless disregard for these responsibilities can be treacherous.
Letter to The Canberra Times
Wednesday, 19 September 2012
C.J. Johnston (letters, September 17) poses several commonplace false arguments.
First, the Australia Defence Association has not accused anyone of treason.
Blindly repeating this straw-man fib does not make it true.
Second, he ignores that for over ten years the ADA has cautioned that counter-insurgency wars, such as Afghanistan, have to be won by political reform and national development means as well as military ones - and that periodic negotiations with all or some of the insurgents are often involved.
Third, we have continually noted that this is Australia’s war, not one just involving our defence force, and that all wars are ultimately contests of will and end when one side (sometimes both) gives up.
Every Australian therefore has a responsibility to apply objectivity to arguments that we should simply quit our UN-endorsed mission in Afghanistan.
Particularly regarding factually incorrect, simplistic, emotive or ideological claims that blindly regurgitate enemy propaganda themes.
Numerous High Court rulings have consistently reinforced the distinctions in wartime between responsible dissent and treacherous, defeatist or otherwise irresponsible behaviour.
Fourth, “overthrow” necessarily involves forcible (and unconstitutional) change.
Changing Australia to a republic by constitutional means would not, by definition, be treason.Back to Letters: 2012