No need, no gain, no glory

Only nine years late, we are to have a Par­lia­men­tary debate about our involve­ment in the Afghan con­flict! What has bought our lead­ers to con­sid­er, at last, own­ing up to their duty to explain their poli­cies which have so far killed almost twen­ty Aus­tralians? They felt no such need dur­ing the elec­tion, so it can only be the con­found­ing elec­tion results that have bought about this attack of transparency.

I agree with Bren­dan O’Neill: it real­ly appears that both major polit­i­cal par­ties con­tin­ue to endorse Aus­trali­a’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the bloody Afghan war to save face.

The war is wide­ly con­sid­ered un-winnable includ­ing by expe­ri­enced mil­i­tary lead­ers; it is unnec­es­sary for our secu­ri­ty, and; far from ‘fight­ing ter­ror­ism’, the for­mer head of the UK secu­ri­ty agency MI‑5 believes that it is con­sol­i­dat­ing islam­ic dis­af­fec­tion and radicalism.

Does­n’t every­one know (I’m sure Abbott and Gillard must know), after half a cen­tu­ry of U.S.-led region­al con­flicts against ill-defined and even imag­i­nary ene­mies, that just two or three years after we have with­drawn the only lega­cies of this war will be death, dis­abil­i­ty and the phys­i­cal dev­as­ta­tion of one of the poor­est coun­tries on earth?

It is intol­er­a­ble that we should con­tin­ue to send young Aus­tralians to be killed in such a point­less, ill-con­sid­ered venture. 

Let Gillard and Abbott in their state­ments to Par­lia­ment describe the bet­ter world that we and the the Afghans will enjoy after we limp from the field. Let them tell us why a prob­a­ble tri­umph for the jihadism sus­tained by our inva­sion is a vic­to­ry for peace and sta­bil­i­ty in Afghanistan or Aus­tralia. Let them explain why we should believe that, after rais­ing the hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars (at least) need­ed to fund their gueril­la on the back of bit­ter islam­ic resent­ment at the US/NATO/Australian attacks, the ‘insur­gency’ will dis­solve qui­et­ly, leav­ing us more secure. 

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