'Remember David's death by pulling out the troops

October 19, 2007

The Socialist Alliance's anti-war campaign coordinator, Pip Hinman, has offered her condolences to the family of trooper David Pearce, recently killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan's Oruzgan province.

Hinman, the Socialist Alliance candidate for the inner-Sydney seat of Grayndler, added that his death "is a terrible waste, and it re-emphasises what a futile and criminal operation the Australian military intervention in Afghanistan is".

Hinman described as "totally deluded" the idea that the conflict in Afghanistan could be won by sending even more Australian troops.

"This dangerous fantasy, proposed by both the Coalition and the ALP, will only intensify the spiral of death, destruction and suffering", she said.

Hinman commented that Australia is supposedly there to help the "democratically elected" Karzai government against the attacks of the terrorist Taliban. "But Karzai's administration, overwhelmingly viewed in Afghanistan as a puppet regime of the West, is trying to reach a power-sharing agreement with these same Taliban."

"Afghan 'democracy' is a grisly farce", Hinmam said. "Earlier this year the parliament, well-stacked with warlords and drug barons, passed an amnesty for all those involved in the last 25 years of civil war, including Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

"Under Karzai, opium production has reached record levels, and he has appointed drug bosses and militia leaders as senior police commanders."

Hinman commented that there was no reason to believe that the latest foreign military intervention in Afghanistan would end any better than its predecessors.

"The NATO shells and bombs that massacre Afghan villagers continue the butchery of the 19th century British punitive expeditions", she said. "They will create the same intense hatred of foreign troops and increasingly rehabilitate the Taliban as patriots in the eyes of Afghans."

Hinman concluded: "The warmongering Howard government is already cynically exploiting Pearce's death to try to legitimise and increase the Australian army presence in Afghanistan. Let his loss inspire the anti-war movement to redouble its commitment to end Australian military interference in the country."

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