Unfortunately for the Australian Defence Force, and the Australian Army in particular, the disastrous damage wrought by the Inspector General Australian Defence Force’s Afghanistan Inquiry Report released in November has not even begun to impact.
The worst is truly yet to come. We've only experienced the general's virtue signalling followed by the powerful running for cover. The ugly bit comes next.
While I'm finding it hard to completely absorb the totality with which Australia's third rate officer caste has absolved itself of all the sins of the war in Afghanistan and its preparation for industrial scale big budget lawyer led persecution of our already vulnerable veterans for the ugly reality of close combat operations, I'm also deeply concerned by a new and even more dangerous threat to our Anzac heritage that is emerging.
While the Prime Minister, to his credit and in response to widespread public outrage, seems to have overturned the revocation of the Special Operations Task Group's Meritorious Unit Citation (MUC), a group punishment levelled at all SOTG veterans even those wounded and fallen, the statements and claims of the Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds, Chief of Defence Force General Angus Campbell and Chief of Army Lt General Richard Burr and Maj General Brereton's IGADF untested findings have effectively legitimised an all out war on our serving military and our Afghanistan veterans in particular from sectors of the corrupted mainstream media and the vile extremist commentariat that rules social media.
The dizzy Reynolds and the medal heavy, close combat experience lacking Campbell and Burr have effectively, if not deliberately, licenced an all out social media assault on our Anzacs, one which has only just begun to gain momentum.
Gutless little nobodies hiding behind the anonymity of their keyboards are already hard at work spewing bucketfuls of bile at our Anzacs.
Confected outrage, the lifeblood of Twitter, Facebook et al is already gathering steam, directly targeting our Afghanistan veterans with streams of hysterical and ugly abuse, leveraging half truths and journalistic guesses into psycho-pathetic hatred toward the finest Australians I know.
This new war on our veterans will make the bureaucratic pogrom conducted by Maj General Brereton in his inquiry into Rumours of Possible Breaches of the Laws of Armed Conflict in Afghanistan look piss weak in comparison. Brereton only seeks to lynch 19 Aussie 21st Century Breaker Morants while covering his officer caste mates' arses. The social media mania seeks to cancel the Australian military entirely.
Brereton may be confident that he has protected his highly paid tribe with their red tabs, but the coming social media war on Anzac will take no prisoners and will show no respect for rank no matter how lofty the IGADF and his mates in the Top Brass may feel.
This new social media assault is still at the troll stage, that ugly everyday internet reality where small and cowardly vermin throw keyboard abuse at others, abuse which they would not dare to say to their victims' faces.
But these early low shots are as nothing to what will come over the next months and years as the professional ideological warriors of the extreme left, who now dominate almost all of Australia's federal and state institutions and whom completely control the mainstream media, commence their all out assault on the Australian Anzac Spirit itself.
Their aim will be to entirely delegitimise our Anzac defence of democracy and shatter the deep bond between ordinary Australians and our Anzac heritage.
All aided and abetted by Reynolds, Campbell, Burr and Brereton.
The first casualties of this new campaign of social media assassination are already being zipped into their metaphorical ADF service 'body bags', being forced to resign as ferocious and anonymous assaults made on social media and in turn rebroadcast in the mainstream media make their continuing service within the ADF untenable.
Predictably as the offensive ramps up, the supposed 'crimes' of the targeted Anzac devolve. On November 19 it was murder, on December 16 it is questionable taste. By mid 2021 who knows what benchmark will be applied?
An unremarkable pixilated image allegedly showing an SOTG NCO guzzling beer in the against the rules clandestine SOTG bar at MNB Tarin Kowt (that absolutely everyone from the Third Country National cleaning staff at the base upwards knew about) from an artificial limb, rumoured to have belonged to a Taliban commander killed in a Special Air Service Regiment leadership abrasion raid in 2009, has resulted in the scalp of the most senior Special Operations Command - Australia soldier.
In this new environment where a soldier is guilty without charge the simple act of publishing a pixilated image was enough to end a career.
Nobody really gives a damn about the EKIA Taliban, a man dedicated to wage war on the world to prevent women going to school and boys hearing music, or his prosthesis.
But that doesn't matter, the target is the Australian Army's reputation. Context, as in all things to do with the war against the Anzac Spirit is irrelevant to those who seek our national foundation legend's downfall.
Worse, the image is a sad reflection of the reality that our woke brass in their desperation to try and make themselves appear progressive, have ignited a war amongst our military personnel. A war where some sell out their mates and others respond by leaking evidence to show that the finger pointers might not have totally clean hands.
This is a bitch-fight in which nobody wins, but their is one major loser - the Australian Army's sense of mission focus and unity of purpose.
So much for Campbell and Burr's 'Team of Teams' bullshit PR lines.
I fear that it will take decades for Australian Digger's 120 year old bond of absolute faith and confidence in his mates, and absolute commitment to fight to win which we have inherited directly from our ancestors at Gallipoli, Pozieres, Broodseinde, Mont St Quentin, Tobruk, Kokoda, Tarakan, Kaypyong, Long Tan, Binh Ba, Kibeho and Shah Wali Kot, to be resurrected after the IGADF's "dob in ya' mates" dynamic has been institutionally adopted.
That part of me that was born a rural, poor and bush Aussie has real doubt that our legendary unquestionable solidarity can ever find its way into our soldiers' hearts again.
I fear that Reynolds, Brereton, Campbell, Burr ,and let's not forgot our old retired mate Sengelman (who bailed before facing the music he set playing) have achieved something that no enemy ever came close to. They have completely shattered the Aussie Digger's faith in his mates.
This is something that the Imperial German Heer, the vile SS Divisions of Hitler's apocalypse, the fanatical barbarians of the Japanese Imperial Army's thrust south in 41-45, the North Koreans and Chinese hoards in frozen Korea, the Viet Cong and the NVA in South Vietnam, crazy gunmen of the Somali clans, al Qa'ida in Iraq, the Taliban and even Islamic State failed to achieve.
The current crop of our overpaid, over decorated and over indulged Top Brass doesn't deserve all of the blame for the Australian Army's devolution from internationally feared and agile fighting force of 2013, to self loathing joke and international pariah of 2020.
Army has form in energetically pursuing media induced self harm since at least 2013, when the then Chief of Army Lt General David Morrison commenced the current war on our Diggers with his ugly 'Get Out' hate speech.
To the cheers of soldier haters everywhere, Morrison leveraged low level sexual activity and inappropriate internet postings by first year officer cadets at ADFA to delegitimise our veteran Army and abandon its tough as nails culture that won battles; in favour of an ideologically driven vision of an Army designed by feminist academics Samantha Crompvoets and Elizabeth Broderick.
Looking back it was so moronic it makes me feel stupid just typing it. But it actually happened, and from seemingly little things big things flow. Morrison's speech was actually the 'year zero' in this war on our Diggers that has culminated in Campbell's jihad on the Special Air Service Regiment after the release of the IGADF's Afghanistan Inquiry Report in November.
From that moment on, all military rationality was abandoned and progressive ideological virtue signalling became the primary ladder for promotion in the ADF.
The result, an ADF led by political appointees who encourage our fighting forces to wear fingernail polish and abandon all of the previously high standards to focus on an evolving ideologically based cultural reform program currently referred to as diversity - an unexplained or quantified concept that has never been justified in military terms because it is an ideological construct that will never withstand the strenuous pressures of combat.
In the end, there will be no winners from the Australian Army officer caste's war on its own soldiers. No justice will be done, and no rainbows will be found at the end of this nightmare.
Only the lawyers will benefit, grabbing truckloads of taxpayer gold for lynching a few good men for the sins of war. And the vile trolls who spew hatred and threats on twitter will have a field day.
Worse, all of our veterans will be punished - I should note by lesser men who have never known battle - no matter what they did or didn't do in Afghanistan or any other shithole the Australian people deployed them to.
Sadly, I'm losing faith. I suspect something that made this country great has been corrupted by those who lurk in the backrooms of our institutions. Men with chests full of medals but have never known the stink of fear under fire and highly paid public servants always preaching virtue and sensitivity but displaying none now rule our destiny.
It is all like a bad dream that wont stop. The Chinese wolf is at the door and yet we are waging all out war on ourselves without regard for the consequences.
I keep coming back to that Shakespearian line, "It was a tale told by idiot....".
Poor fella my country.
John Hunter Farrell