Mar 24, 2011 admin
Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s most important task is to get us out of Afghanistan before any more of our best soldiers are killed. I speak particularly of our SAS operators who have borne the brunt of the fighting.
I have had a privileged insight into the work of our Special Forces over the past two years, first as I co-authored the bestseller, SAS Sniper with the regiment’s outstanding marksman, Rob Maylor; and presently as I work with another operator to tell his story.
Both men spent a lot of time in Afghanistan. Both came under withering fire. Both were highly effective and completed their tasks with honour. However, they know that even if our initial commitment of forces in the wake of 9/11 was justified, that time is now long past. We – that is, the West led and dominated by the Americans – should not be there. We are not wanted. We are only making the situation worse. And we are putting Australian lives in jeopardy.
A new book, The Operators by Michael Hastings (Orion, 2012) the Rolling Stone journalist who told the inside story of the clash between U.S. commander General Stanley McChrystal and President Obama (and which got McChrystal fired) absolutely confirms the scandalous posturing and criminal futility of the intervention. It is a devastating account, a ‘must read’ by anyone who currently supports the war.
You’ll recall that we went in to fight Al Qaeda. Well, that’s done and dusted. There are now less than 50 AQs in the entire country. Most of the survivors of the American offensive have retreated to Pakistan. Indeed, if we’re having a war against AQ we should be in Islamabad and Yemen and the Sudan and even in Germany where they planned and organised their terrorist attacks.
Instead, we’re now fighting within some surreal civil war mix of the Taliban (a religious grouping) and the warlords, many of whom hold identical, archaic cultural/religious views. It’s one thing for America’s Christian military/industrial complex to wage their crusade against such people. But it’s no place for secular, multi-cultural Australia.
The fiction that somehow it’s connected with the Bali bombing – as leaders on both sides of the Parliament insist – is an insult to our intelligence and to the casualties of that fanatical outrage. You don’t make Australians safer from terrorism in Bali by shooting people in Afghanistan.
Bob Carr knows this. He also knows that a good friend to America would tell them (as he says he would have told them in Vietnam) that they are in error. He has said that he’s prepared to spurn any involvement in their bellicose adventurism towards China, and thank goodness for that. But to stop the Afghan idiocy he would have to talk tough to his Prime Minister who wants us to stay there until 2020!
Is that a bridge too far for our Mr Carr?