China's tweet about Australia's war crime in Afghanistan further reveals hypocrisy of Australian politicians

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By Zhong Sheng

When both the Australian society and the rest of the international community aresending strong condemnation to Australian soldiers who allegedly committed warcrimes in Afghanistan, some Australian politicians, on pins and needles, accusedChina after Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian tweeted a satiricalcartoon featuring an Australian soldier murdering an Afghan child on Monday. According to a recent report released by the Australian military, some Australiansoldiers were allegedly involved in murder of innocent civilians and prisoners duringtheir mission to Afghanistan. The severe crimes committed by these Australian soldiers in Afghanistan areirrefutably evident and undeniable. The report, released by the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) on Nov. 19, said a total of 25 current or former Australian special forces soldiers hadtaken part in unlawful killings across 23 separate incidents and covered up what theydid. The findings of the report were based on a four-year inquiry into the misconduct ofAustralian forces in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2016. In total, 39 Afghan civilians andprisoners were killed and another two were cruelly treated, said the report. What the report revealed is astonishing and appalling. In some cases, elite Australiantroops shot adult men and boys in groups, blindfolded them and slit their throats, andforced new recruits to shoot prisoners for "practice." Such cruel acts seriously violated international conventions and betrayed humanconscience. They have sparked strong condemnation in Australia and the rest of theworld. Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia, said in a statement that those whoare responsible for these crimes, and any efforts to conceal them, must be brought tojustice. The families of those victims must be compensated for their unjust loss, headded. Australian newspaper The Australian called the cruel acts "the most shameful page inAustralian military history." Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova described the report as trulyshocking, saying the unlawful killing by Australian soldiers has underminedAustralia's international standing. There were also voices made to support China's stand after Australia made groundlessaccusations against China to divert attention. Some internet users pointed out thatZhao's tweet was an accurate expression based on the Australian report and the warcrimes committed against the Afghan civilians by Australian soldiers. What the Australian government should do now is to reflect on its misconducts andhold the perpetrators accountable, make a former apology for the Afghan people, andmake a solemn promise to never commit such horrible crimes again. However, out of utter discomfiture, some Australian officials only shifted the blame toChina, which fully revealed their hypocrisy. It seems like they believe those whokilled innocent Afghan civilians and prisoners are guiltless, while it is wrong tocondemn the crime. Some Australian politicians have always posed as so-called human rights defenders, but what they worship is only double standards. They should reflect on themselvesand think more about what measures shall be taken to stop their country fromviolating human rights and justice, from interfering in other countries' internal affairsin the name of human rights issues, and from engaging in political manipulation. The lives of the Afghan people deserve to be respected. Australia owes an explanationto them and the world. It's hoped that Australia can face the problem, rather thantrying to divert attention or play the blame game. (Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People's Daily to express its views onforeign policy.)

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