Election statement by Hamish Chitts, Revolutionary Socialist Party Candidate for Griffith
RSP’s one point plan for Afghanistan:
1. Troops out now!
The Netherlands began pulling its 2,000 troops out of Afghanistan on Sunday August 1 after overwhelming public opposition to the war forced a change in the Dutch government in June. While the majority of people in this country want Australian troops out of Afghanistan , the only thing that Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott can say (in unison) is, “We’ll keep troops in Afghanistan as long as they are needed.” It seems their plan is to leave the decision up to the US Government – a plan which reveals how little value they really place on soldiers’ lives.
Every time the subject of Afghanistan comes up Gillard and Abbott repeat two main lies; one, that Australia’s involvement in this occupation somehow makes things safer in Australia and two, that this war and occupation is being waged for democracy.
The lie that the war is about making the world safer is completely shattered in light of the fact that the Afghan and U.S. Governments are spending a lot of money in bribes and offers of government positions to the very groups Gillard and Abbott claim to making us safe from. On March 26 the Newsweek website reported on official efforts to court Al Qaeda allies Hezb-i-Islami. A June 21 U.S. Congressional report titled Warlord Inc., Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain revealed the U.S. military was paying tens of millions of dollars to warlords, corrupt officials and the Taliban to allow safe passage of its supply convoys.
This is not about democracy. Last year’s fraudulent elections in Afghanistan once again demonstrated that. If the people of Afghanistan were able to freely express there views, the majority would be in favour of the foreign troops leaving. They don’t get this chance so many are voting with their feet and joining the resistance. The corporate media and capitalist politicians vilify this resistance – but never put it in context. The fact is that right throughout history people all around the world have always taken up arms to fight against foreign occupation.
While the ALP and Coalition feign concern for democracy in other countries the ignore it in their own; 61% of people in this country want the troops brought home.
There is no way that Gillard or Abbott could not know these facts – which is why the only way the capitalist parties are able to justify Australia’s involvement in Afghanistan is by lies.
The only freedom being fought for in Afghanistan is the freedom for multi-national corporations to exploit Afghanistan’s previously nationalised oil, gas and minerals for the private profit of handful of people. Afghanistan is also important military real estate for the US to threaten other countries in the region like Iran who won’t allow free market access to their resources. No more troops should be exposed to death, injury or mental scarring for this. That is why the Revolutionary Socialist Party calls for the immediate withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan.
(Hamish Chitts is a former infantry soldier and veteran of East Timor and one of the founders of Stand Fast — a group of veterans and military service people against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.)
For more info contact Hamish 0401 586 923 or brisbane
Authorised by K Newnam 8 Gillingham St. Woolloongabba