Afghanistan: Bring the troops home now

June 10, 2011

Ten years of Western military occupation and war in Afghanistan has killed hundreds of thousands of people (mostly Afghan civilians), created millions of refugees and paid billions of dollars of “aid” into the hands of brutal warlords who serve as a puppet regime for the occupiers.

In October 2010, Australian academic Dr Gideon Polya estimated the human cost of the occupation of Afghanistan to include 4.9 million “violent deaths or non-violent avoidable deaths from occupier-imposed deprivation”.

He said this is on a similar scale to the Nazi Holocaust against Jewish people in WWII.

Nothing good has come out of this war, which was an unjustifiable act of revenge for the 9/11 bombings in the US. It has been a monstrous, dragged out imposition of collective punishment on people who were not the perpetrators of 9/11.

Indeed, a recent survey found most young Afghan men had never even heard of 9/11.

We associate the collective punishment of innocent civilians with barbaric regimes such as those of Hitler or Stalin. But in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries invaded or bombed by the West in the 9/11 decade, the world has witnessed the governments of the so-called democratic West carry out an extended collective punishment of innocents.

These fine-suited, smooth talking and smiling leaders of our governments are war criminals. Real international justice would mean they would be on trial along with the murderers of Srebrenica and Rwanda.

Australia’s Labor government refuses to obey the will of the majority of Australians, who want our troops to be withdrawn from Afghanistan.

A Galaxy poll conducted over June 1-2, said 62% of Australians want all Australian soldiers home within six months.

So far, 27 Australian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan.

A June 8 article by the Sydney Morning Herald’s Tim Dick said even talkback radio, a bastion of conservative opinion, has turned against the war: “An analysis by Media Monitors found 69% of calls to talkback radio about Afghanistan were against Australian troops remaining in the war.

“Callers to the commercial stations 2GB and 2UE in Sydney did not want it, nor did those to the less conservative stations ABC 774 and 3AW in Melbourne, nor those to 4BC in Brisbane.”

Australian soldiers have begun to speak out against the intervention, the article said.

For the past decade, Green Left Weekly has been a consistent opponent of the imperialist war in Afghanistan and has provided a valuable platform for anti-war activists. Now the tide has turned in our favour. But we won’t stop fighting on this until the last soldier in the army of occupation is withdrawn.

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Revenge? really, you think that the USA is waging a revenge trip? all the debt, human loss, and trouble, and unpopularity of lack of progress for the gov officials, all for revenge? Concept of that occupation is this: "Attack us and you cannot hide anywhere, we'll get to you." That is not revenge, that's simple defense policy, of like any nation on the planet with the means. If they had sat back and done nothing, Al Qaeda would have been able to focus more on foreign targets than on defending itself from the NATO troops. hence the complete lack of successful attacks on US soil since the invasion, and few in other areas. essentially fight them in their backyard rather than yours. Obviously there are innocent people there. no one ever denied that, nor were they happy about it. As for HOW the war is waged is a different story... what could have been done to prevent civilian casualties and so forth. the why is not in question. I would ask, what would you have done instead of invading? keeping in mind the Taliban controlled Afghanistan at the time, ruling out any cooperative moves against Al Qaeda.

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