Drug-dealing Diggers would shame us all
SOLDIERS smuggling goods back to their home countries after overseas deployments is not new but it is amazing to think it still goes on. In the 15th century, Spanish and Portuguese sailors were smuggling valuable spices back home in the hope they could sell them on the black market for prohibitive sums. In the Korean conflict in the early 1950s, US Marines bought gold cheaply in Korea and smuggled it home to sell at huge profits. During the Vietnam War, US soldiers – and CIA operatives – were accused of bringing back highquality heroin to sell. In 2010, British soldiers were accused of smuggling heroin from Afghanistan poppy fields and then in December the Australian Navy was rocked by accusations up to 50 sailors were smuggling drugs on warships. Now it’s the Australian Army’s turn with defence force investigators probing a whistleblower’s claim Townsville Diggers are coming home from Afghanistan with much more than leftover ‘‘ rat packs’’ and interesting stories. Many Aussies recognise our nation’s proud military history and we revere those who offer – and who have offered – their lives in the name of their country and its people. If the drug smuggling allegations are true, it must be dealt with in the harshest way. For not only would the offenders have broken the law, they would have committed a great betrayal to our Diggers’ international reputation as men of honour, courage and unquestionable loyalty. The drug scourge has cost countless lives and ruined many more. But civilians should have faith that our soldiers are fighting the good fight and they will not let the actions of a few sully their good names.
A night to remember
AROUND 270 people packed the Jupiters Grand Ballroom on Saturday night to make the Cyclone Yasi Charity Dinner and Auction a huge success. Figures quoted on the night estimate more than $ 30,000 was raised for the Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal which is huge from a regional centre. The entertainment, the food, the auctions and the partying definitely made it a night to remember. Thank you to the guests, the sponsors, the entertainers and Jupiters for an outstanding event.
There’s a Storm coming
DON’T forget, the Cowboys will be banking on a vocal home crowd tonight when they host Melbourne in a crunch game. After two cyclones and more floods than Matty Bowen’s line breaks this year, surely we’re not worried about a little breeze from the south calling themselves a Storm . . .