Australia should not ‘compound the dishonour’ to the ADF by stripping medals

Sky News host Peta Credlin says the photoshopped, gruesome tweet by the Chinese government is “reprehensible” but warned Australia needs to be careful it doesn’t “compound the dishonour“ to ADF personnel by stripping soldiers of their medals.

China has published to Twitter horrific and doctored propaganda images of an Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of a child, in an “extraordinary” attempt to seize on the release of ADF war crimes allegations.

The images – which has not been censored by Twitter despite being fake– was published by China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian who said he was “shocked by murder of Afghan civilians & prisoners by Australian soldiers”.

“For China to issue a tweet like this is reprehensible,” Ms Credlin said.

“After all, this is a government that has put more than a million of its own Muslim citizens into concentration camps; crushed democracy in Hong Kong; spied relentlessly on its own people; militarised the South China Sea; threatened Taiwan with invasion; bullied its other neighbours; and is now holding Australian exporters to ransom, with more than 70 coal ships bobbing off Chinese ports.”

Ms Credlin said an attack on Australia’s armed forces from the nation’s critics, such as was seen on Monday, was foreseeable from the moment the Brereton Report came out and the “prejudging” occurred.

“That was one of the reasons why I’ve continually questioned the way this report has been handled,” she said.

She said if the Australian government follows the recommendation of the defence chief and strips the unit citation of the 3000 plus soldiers who served in Afghanistan simply because 19 may have done wrong, it would have fallen “into the same trap” as China.

“We owe it to the dead to do this; by my count there are at least 20 dead veterans who would posthumously lose their citations. To do that not only dishonours them, but it dishonours all of us, given they fought under our flag, and in our nation’s uniform,” Ms Credlin said.

“As much as today is about the disrespect China has shown to our defence force, we need to be careful we don’t compound the dishonour ourselves.”

Ms Credlin invited viewers to sign a petition to prevent the stripping of unit citations at voiceofaveteran.org.

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