I WOULD like to throw my support and praise out there for the hero SAS soldiers who have served for this great country. It's pathetic that the do-gooders of this country want to bring down and tarnish all SAS servicemen because of a few alleged bad apples ('Day of shame', Newcastle Herald 20/11).
Put yourself in their shoes for a day and see how you would go. The do-gooders and the textbook professionals of this country are in my opinion the greater evil in this world, telling everyone how we should act telling us what we can and can't say. They are so quick to judge and form opinions when they have never and will never walk in a SAS soldier's shoes.
My grandfather, a World War II veteran, and my father, a Vietnam veteran, would be turning in their graves with the way that this elite organisation is being treated. What happened to innocent until proven guilty in this country? Thumbs up and cheers to the good SAS soldiers out there. You deserve more from this country you help protect.
Sean Moore, Thornton
Shameful episode is no bombshell
IT is alleged that a small number of SAS soldiers murdered a number of Afghan civilians. If true, and the evidence seems strong, this is a shameful episode for the SAS, the Australian Army and for Australia. If true, their actions in killing civilians were outside the "rules of war". But perhaps their actions were illustrative, not gratuitous; an attempt to send the message don't mess with us, or this is what will happen to you.
On 6 August 1945 an American B29 bomber dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, immediately killing an estimated 80,000 Japanese civilians. Three days later another American bomber dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, killing an estimated 40,000 Japanese civilians. Tens of thousands more in both cities subsequently died from their wounds or radiation poisoning. The decision to bomb these two cities was made by US President Truman against the advice of his Secretary of War, senior generals and scientists to force a Japanese surrender and thus avoid American troop casualties if Japan was invaded.
Interesting irony, isn't it?
John Ure, Mount Hutton
Breach before boots hit ground
THE media concentration on the horrendous war crimes allegedly committed in Afghanistan and the inquiry into these horror stories should not be allowed to overshadow the fact that the war on Afghanistan was a war crime in itself.
It was not sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council. It was an illegal war. John Howard's government, supported by the Opposition, sent our troops into Afghanistan based on falsities. Mr Howard claimed the deployment was justified by the ANZUS Alliance. This Alliance applies only to the Pacific arena and neither Afghanistan or New York (the site of the September 11 attacks) border the Pacific.
In any case, Afghanistan had not attacked Australia, NZ or the United States. The alleged perpetrators of September 11 were Saudi Arabians, not Afghans. The Australian Defence Force perpetrators of war crimes, if found guilty, must face the consequences of the law and any culture of brutality and disregard for human rights must be expunged from the forces. As well, I believe the inquiry should be expanded to try the political perpetrators of the war on Afghanistan and they, if found guilty, must also face the consequences of their actions.
Bevan Ramsden, Lambton
A sense of dredge for Swansea
THE way that the supposed dredging operation is going there will be no need to bridge Swansea Channel. Just chuck in a couple of pipes and let the silt take care of the rest. It is obvious that the powers that be are completely out of their depth or they just haven't got a clue, with the new island stretching from the bridge to the start of Coon Island.
It is pathetic that government-owned craft have to escort large boats in and out or be left with the drama of towing them off the sand. It is no wonder that boats are bypassing the lake due to the risks.
Years ago very large sailing boats and steam-powered vessels could access the lake unhindered, but authorities in their obvious lack of knowledge or concern allowed the dumping of sand at the drop over, creating a blocking island that now will cost millions to remove. This has to happen because if it doesn't, we can wave goodbye to the prettiest waterway in Australia. Sorry, but you stuffed it so now fix it.
Dennis Crampton, Swansea
Origin of blues was before series
IN support of Renata Pepper (Short Takes, 24/11), this has been a sustained theme over the 2020 season and therefore does not appear to be an accident. In my opinion the grand final appeared to be managed and then each State of Origin game appeared to be managed to achieve the desired result. Hollow victories indeed.
While on the subject of refereeing, water boys (aka trainers) should not be allowed on the field unless there is a stoppage in play. They do affect the spatial awareness of players, negatively impacting on elements of play. The play-the-ball needs cleaning up too. Neither player nor marker should touch or lean on the other, as the rules describe. Referees often get this wrong, awarding penalties to the incorrect team.
Marvyn Smith, Heddon Greta
Iceland's example is worth a look
REGARDING Tuesday's front page ('Centre of attention', Herald 24/11), it's hardly a new idea. In a 2014 letter I proposed that a convention centre be built on the harbour, similar to the Harpa Convention Centre in Reykjavik, a city of similar size to Newcastle. This would have provided a facility with the potential to be used seven days a week for conferences and other events.
With proceeds from the sale of the Port, it would have been quite affordable. Instead, the government chose to fritter away the money by replacing a perfectly good rail transport artery and re-building sports stadiums that are rarely used more than once a week. Do yourselves a favour and go for a Google walk along the Reykjavik waterfront.
Eric Gibbons, New Lambton
Dynamic destinations are nimble
WHILE Newcastle's draft 2021-2025 Destination Management Plan is a worthwhile place to start, what we actually need is an up-to-date dynamic regional resource that showcases current and future destination opportunities and partnerships across the whole of the Greater Newcastle region.
It's the diverse collection of recreational, cultural, educational, environmental and tourism opportunities across the region that makes us an attractive, multi-visit destination within NSW.
Destinations also evolve and change, sometimes quite rapidly. Short, medium and longer-term planning timeframes are useful, but they can also discourage community engagement, ownership and initiatives - which should be at the heart of destination development and promotion. Having dynamic resources, documents and processes, rather than static plans, is worth considering.
Terry Lewin, Black Hill
DOUG Hoepper (Letters, 24/110) I'd like you to give some stats on your comment "COVID still with us" for I can't find anything to support that in our area. As for kids passing on the virus, according to NSW Health, the evidence suggests there is "limited spread among children and from children to adults". If you are concerned about all of this you have the right to stay home.
Shane Tull, Dudley
WE keep being told by interested parties that tax breaks will create jobs. The wishful thinking is that the public can be dudded and maybe the big end of town will increase the numbers of taxpayers. Of course the CEOs have bonuses and dividends to consider first. Instead of tax breaks, a tax increase for businesses which do not hire and lift wages would be more effective. The economy needs more people with more money in their pockets, not rewards for corporate thieves.
Peter Ronne, Woodberry
GEOFF Black, (Letters, 23/11), any law reducing First Nations Peoples' territory, of the sovereign people of Australia, is powerless. A trait of sovereignty is custodianship. Unless all the future generations can be joined with the present, for agreement, then all territory remains with the First Nations Peoples. Basic sovereignty principle.
Graeme Tychsen, Rankin Park
I'M afraid Michael Hinchey's (Letters, 24/11) incessant woke, leftist ideology could be setting him up for major disappointment if his green utopian energy vision doesn't eventuate as quickly as he would like. Similarly, his breathless gloating at the demise of everything Trump could have the same effect if Joe Biden continues to have the same insipid impact on the American people as he has had for the last 47 years. His hero may have to be Kamala Harris, the next and most politically correct president in history. Don't write off the Trump name though, he still has 75 million supporters, not deplorables, and three children waiting for a chance.
Greg Hunt, Newcastle West
DAVE McTaggart, you are right. We will never see a placard at a school climate strike saying 'ban Christmas presents' or 'Santa is burning the planet'. Greta said adults are stealing her future because all we care about is economic growth. Well in my opinion the young ones who fawn at this truant's feet are the generation who consume more useless junk than any generation in the history of human existence, spend more money and create more rubbish than any other generation. Their entitled lives are what are destroying the planet.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
WHAT is our council hiding ('Denial', Herald 21/11)? Tell us how much your luxury office cost. It's our money, not yours.