Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Distinguished Australian Army officer to be dismissed over truth telling

Criticising Islam, gays sets army major up for a fall

Major Bernie Gaynor jnr has served three tours of duty in Iraq but he is going to be thrown out of the army this week, or next, or very soon. And he is not going quietly.

In his blog, Gaynor describes himself as "a conservative Catholic who writes what normal men dare not speak out loud". I put it to him that his commentary online and on Twitter had evolved into a provocation to the army.

"Absolutely," he replied.

Everyone listening to his speech in Melbourne quickly understood why, and I quote: "It is my unpleasant duty to inform you that the Australian Defence Force has a fundamentally broken approach to religion, an approach shaped partly by the triumph of bureaucratic administration over battlefield considerations but mostly by plain old political correctness.

"Political correctness has cost lives on the battlefield and resulted in completely flawed campaign strategies …

"Just look at Iraq. I was one of the last Australians to serve there. All the politicians and military hierarchy were saying the withdrawal of Western military force was based on success. And yet al-Qaeda today controls more of Iraq than it ever did while Western forces were in the country, or while Saddam Hussein was in power.

"The Iraq war was a failure because no one can say why we were there, who the enemy was or what the mission was … This has cost lives and wasted a decade and a half of war. In a strategic sense, Iraq and Afghanistan are no better for the blood shed by Australian soldiers.

"In Afghanistan, the government has a constitution based on Islamic law and teaching, just as the Taliban's regime was. So the efforts of the last decade to remove the threat in Afghanistan from Islamic groups has directly led to the creation of an Islamic state."

While this is fire and brimstone, what got him into career-ending trouble in the army was his run-in with the gay community within the military. In early last year, Gaynor criticised a law that would prevent Christian schools from barring gay teachers. He lodged a formal complaint about ADF personnel being allowed to take part in uniform in the Sydney Mardi Gras. He cited the military's ban on engaging in political activity while in uniform.

He quoted references to political activism in the constitution of the Mardi Gras. He referred to a tradition of "religious and political vilification" at the Mardi Gras, especially of the Catholic Church. He pointed out that Catholics made up almost 40 per cent of Australian military personnel.

Although internal investigations dismissed the complaints and charges against him, largely because he was expressing personal views while serving in the reserves, the army has moved, in the absence of his resignation, to terminate his commission.



Anonymous said...

To those of you who served in Iraq, welcome to my war, Vietnam. In 1973, Richard Nixon declared victory and we left. In 1975, the North Vietnamese Army rolled though the South. The 50,000 plus who died and all those who were wounded were sacrificed for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Such is the tragic pointlessness of most US foreign military ventures. I guess they didn't learn the lesson of history re so many other previous world powers' military hubris.
The two World Wars were perhaps the only justification for the US military going beyond their legitimate borders or to counter direct attacks.
Even NATO's occupation of Afghanistan to set up a puppet government, was bound to back-fire. No need to mention the folly of invading Iraq, as if Vietnam wasn't lesson enough!

Anonymous said...

It is very hard or impossible to distinguish political activity from religious or social activity as the boundaries are bound to merge.

Anonymous said...

The gays in the military are too high up and too close to the political masters to overturn. This military was never given an opportunity to question the wisdom of the political masters who decreed openly that gays in the military were sacrosanct although they did risk open revolt in the form of mass resignation from the lower ranks of a volunteer army. Fortunately too many were committed to supporting their families to leave suddenly.

Anonymous said...

It'll fix itself when they lose the next military engagement. When their soldiers are more interested in buggery than defense, it'll happen sooner rather than later. Although more self denial about the cause of the loss and the slaughter of their soldiers will probably occur.

Anonymous said...

There has always been "buggery" in the military and navies of all countries, and likewise in other all-male communities (eg. prisons, and even the Vatican!).