AN IMMEDIATE investigation has been launched into shocking racist Facebook posts by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.
And soldiers have been warned they could face military tribunal, censure, discharge or even jail.
Soldiers have described Afghans as “ragheads”, “dune coons”, “sand niggaz” and “smelly locals” on the social networking site.
In videos, photos and comments posted on the social networking site, troops also allegedly mock those they have been sent to help.
A video has been posted showing the bombing of a bridge in Afghanistan, which was aired on Seven News.
When an Afghan bystander is frightened by the bomb, someone can be heard to say “scared the f… out of that muftee” and “f——‘ boom”.
Several soldiers list their employer as ‘F—— Ranga’, some under their listing for Australian Defence Force.
Acting Chief of Army Major General Paul Symon said an immediate investigation had been launched.
“I struggle to understand, with all the training that we do and with the quality of soldiers that we have, that that sort of language has been posted,” Major General Symon told Seven News.
He said thousands would be disgusted by the revelations.
“When you put words in the public domain you will be held responsible.
“What is happening here will cause deep offence to a lot of people.”
The inappropriate comments have allegedly been made by soldiers currently or previously serving in Afghanistan.
One man says he’s just done an interview with the army and was waiting for a spot in cavalry.
A soldier replies: “I’m in Afghan … now. running over c—. yeeha.” He later comments: “dune coons, sand niggaz. f… em all.”
A soldier has also ticked “like” to a comment on a photo he has posted of an Afghani street, in which locals are described as fags and ninjas.
“Last but not least the poof riding the girls bike mate should have stuck a stick in his spokes then butt stroked him. He didnt do anything he just pisses me off. Happy shooting …..”
It is believed the person who wrote the comment was also a soldier.
Phil Lynch, director of the Human Rights Law Resource Council, said the Facebook posts were antithetical to Australia’s mission in Afghanistan to promote and protect human rights.
“It undermines Australia’s mission, it potentially places at risk the safety of other soldiers and it does nothing to promote peace, justice and harmony in the region,” Mr Lynch said.
“It’s very concerning that Australians acting in an official capacity conduct themselves in this way.
“I would hope that the ADF (Australian Defence Force) has in place good mechanisms to ensure that this kind of conduct if not repeated, that people are held accountable and the importance of being exemplars of human rights is reinforced as being fundamental.
“This is not conduct which reflects the ADF generally and Australians attitudes generally.”
Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia chair Pino Migliorino said it was important that the soldiers’ comments not be demonised but be shown to be inappropriate.
“I think what’s really important is we expect behaviours of our armed service people which are beyond this,” Mr Migliorino said.