Our SAS fight against an enemy that wears no uniform and who can easily conceal weapons under the folds of their peasant garbs.
Telling friend from foe is nigh impossible and split second decisions are often needed to counter possible threats.
Many of our soldiers have already been murdered by traitorous Afghani soldiers and our SAS troopers also have to cope with frequent roadside bombs and IEDs.
They constantly operate under extreme stress, not likely to be appreciated by those who have not walked in their shoes. Under such extreme stress, poor decisions are sometimes made. Such is the nature of war.
Every Australian should nevertheless proudly recognise our SAS troopers for their skills, bravery, endurance and fortitude. Having served in Afghanistan and Iraq, too many of our valiant soldiers now suffer from PTSD on discharge.
Too many have also died in action and hundreds more now carry physical and mental wounds for the rest of their lives. Such is the price our servicemen have paid for serving our country.
Derek Gough (LT COL Ret), Queanbeyan, NSW
No morality in war
There is no morality in war. How many times have we heard those words? It appears Sue Wareham (Letters, November 15) and others who echo her comments are unaware of that statement.
She wrote: "Decisions to go to war are made by a handful of ministers and in practice in general by the Prime Minister".
That happens in a dictatorship, not a democracy such as Australia. As a veteran of 37 years in the intelligence community I have contributed, as have hundreds of other Australians, including members of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Treasury, Home Affairs, Industry and Infrastructure, Attorneys General, Home Affairs and Australian intelligence officials (plus Allied inputs) to the briefings of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
The decision to send our service personnel to war is not taken "by the Prime Minister and a tiny fraction of ministers".
Perhaps Wareham has in mind the photos of Hitler studying maps with his generals deciding which country to invade next. Or Stalin on the Kremlin balcony watching a parade of his armed forces. Similarly, Xi Jinping stood tall with his head cocked to one side and smiling as he rode past his horde of puppet solders backdropped by an array of tanks and armed vehicles. You don't see that in a Democracy.
So, what should our reaction be when our special forces soldiers commit war crimes against their enemies. We are not privileged to know the full results of the investigation. Nor are we privileged to pass judgement on their alleged crimes not knowing their state of mind at the time of the alleged offence.
Frank Bolton MBE, Page
He had lost the election, but instead he proclaimed it "a historic victory" and refused to concede, even going so far as to stage his own inauguration, on television, from inside the barricaded presidential palace.
But to no avail. As night closed in for the last time, and the angry crowds in the surrounding streets swelled as far as the eye could see, he and the first lady were airlifted into exile by a United States military helicopter. So ended the regime of Ferdinand Marcos, president of the Philippines, in February 1986. How will it end for Donald Trump?
Ray Edmondson, Kambah
Don't go to jail
Further to the article "An inmate told his mother he was locked in his cell for 23 hours a day after Tuesday's riot" (canberratimes.com.au, November 18) as a victim of crime, I have absolutely no sympathy for the inmates who believe they are being treated harshly.
Hopefully they are now experiencing a small taste of the suffering, devastation and trauma they have inflicted on their victims.
Instead of complaining and seeking sympathy for themselves, they should use the time confined to their cells to reflect on the lasting and irreversible impact their victims have suffered as a result of their own criminal acts.
Anne Laisk, Weston
The mother of a man held at Canberra's jail has described conditions inside since last week's riot as inhumane and appalling.
Allow me to suggest to those people that have been incarcerated for breaking the law and find life in jail appalling, that they try to set boundaries for their anti-social behaviour.
If you live your life within the law of the land you will not face a judge who has the power to place you in a government institution you might not like.
Your mother would be proud of you, your contributions to society would be rewarded and potential victims of crime will live their lives without fear.
Ray Heins, Reid
Barr under fire
Well said Robyn Coghlan ("Barr thinks he is the model of a modernising minister", canberratimes.com.au, November 11).
Obviously the "moderniser" views Canberra through his own, special rose-tinted spectacles and can't see the Big Picture because of concrete monstrosities.
The ACT Government was warned on several occasions, about siting 100 metre-plus needle-like Belconnen Town Centre Towers on small unstable footprints, differentially loading onto the near surface Deakin Fault Zone.
Who will take responsibility, down the track, for 'bumps' in the night and potential fault damage - when the "moderniser" is no longer our chief minister?
P. R. Temple, Macquarie
Minister for common sense?
Would Prime Minister Morrison please tell me who he has appointed as Minister for the Department of Common Sense?
Whoever that person is just isn't doing their job properly.
Whether it be taking action on climate change, managing our rivers, safe guarding ancient sacred sites and natural environments from the mining industry, purchasing over inflated real estate, protecting male mates who have over stepped parliamentary codes of conduct, this list seems infinite.
The absent minister for common sense should be given a gold watch and put out to pasture.
John Sandilands, Garran
Don't be Goofy
I remember a great 1950s Disney cartoon called Goofy Motor Mania that featured loveable Goofy, a model citizen who transforms personality when he gets behind the wheel of his motor car.
He becomes a demon behind the wheel.
Psychologists may have an explanation for it as we appear to be witness to this phenomenon on a daily basis around Canberra and the region.
Normal everyday people driving like idiots. Some of it could possibly be put down to stupidity but my theory is that we've seen an increase in this behaviour on our roads during the pandemic. People may feel that they are not in control of their lives all of a sudden and their driving is one thing they can take control of and no one is going to get in their way.
Reality is that control is only a veneer anyway and we can lose it at any second of our lives. Most people believe themselves good drivers, most people are wrong. Stop being a Goofy.
John Panneman, Jerrabomberra NSW
A mellower Trump?
Trump is disillusioned and defiant to the very end.
I had thought perhaps our Donald may have mellowed a little when seeing him address the world for the first time since his self-imposed lockdown, now realising COVID-19 won't just go away, and a vaccine was required.
It may have been a trick of the light - apologies to Louise Penny - but even his crowning glory, that ridiculous golden hair piece had now dimmed to an acceptable shade of grey.
But no, he still maintains he won the election.
Tony May, Pearce
The Trumps exposed
I read Mary L. Trump's "expose" of the family that created the person Donald Trump has become. I don't think Trump apples fall far from the tree, so take her pretty transparent motivations with the required grain of salt.
Donald Trump's incompetence, vindictiveness, divisiveness, narcissism, and absence of any humanitarianism have been self evident over the last four years. Mary Trump simply helps complete the bleak picture of how Donald "evolved". The most terrifying thing to me is not what is in the book or what we witnessed. It is that the political system, the media, the advisors, the judiciary and a substantial part of the USA's population chose, kowtowed to and nurtured this appalling man's ego as their leader.
God help us all as we witness how the world's power bases are currently reshaping themselves.
John Meyer, Nicholls
TO THE POINT
WHERE'S MY CHEQUE?
I enjoyed my first run to Flynn to dispose of our household waste. I am a little perplexed though as the pleasant staff guarding the skips did not wish to record my name and address . How then is the ACT government going to put a credit on my rates notice for doing a job I pay them to do?
Paul O'Connor, Hawker
Dr Mark Hearn ("Morrison govt is facing character test" November 18, p36) refers to Julia Gillard's 2012 "misogyny " speech as reflecting "true strength of character". Hardly. Compared to Margaret Thatcher's stoicism in completely ignoring insulting nicknames and other criticisms Julia's speech comes across as a self-pitying whine.
Bill Deane, Chapman
No one can deny that Trump is tactless. George W. Bush was far less tactless than the flailing sook. Both have disgraceful track records but at least Trump is sincere in his insincerity. Tactless people are usually honest ones.
G Gillespie, Scullin
ACT OF SPITE
The Trump administration next Tuesday will ask oil and gas companies which areas of the Alaskan Arctic National Wildlife Refuge they would like to drill. It is a disgraceful act and one from which this planet may never recover. Such is the spiteful arrogance of Trump.
Rex Williams, Springwood, NSW
TRUMP A TRAITOR
Trump's refusal to let Biden's coronavirus team liaise with the White House coronavirus taskforce - a critical component of the transfer of power - shows disrespect and a lack of regard for the American people. It proves Trump has never been fit to hold the office of President.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
Our outdated flag and exclusive national anthem continue to trouble many.
Perhaps replacing the Union Jack in the corner with the Aboriginal flag, and changing "young" to "one" in the National Anthem could appease the clamouring "opionionistas".
Our independence would be reflected in our flag and our anthem would acknowledge our heritage and unity. Simples.
Chas Adams, Yarralumla
Why does David McBride rarely get a mention by journalists when writing about the possible war crimes in Afghanistan?
If it were not for him, we might not have heard about them at all.
The then minister for Robodebt and now Attorney-General Porter, should discontinue the prosecution of him immediately.
If not he could be in jail with the perpetrators. Strange justice system we have.
Kathryn Kelly, Chifley
STOP AND LIVE
Boom gates at tram crossings might be the answer to prevent these illegal U turns in path of these trams.
Barry Maher, Richardson
I support Ray Peck's comments (Letters, November19) and wonder what our PM's, and our, response would be to the Japanese Prime Minister wearing a mask featuring the Rising Sun.
John Cairns, Ngunnawal
Email: email@example.com. Send from the message field, not as an attachment. Fax: 6280 2282. Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Canberra Times, PO Box 7155, Canberra Mail Centre, ACT 2610.
Keep your letter to 250 or fewer words. References to The Canberra Times reports should include date and page number. Letters may be edited. Provide phone number and full home address (suburb only published).