“Free, free Afghanistan”?

They lost their lives at Mirabad last night
Jamie died, despite first aid, 
unable to be saved
Gunshot wounds killed Sapper Larcombe
Air Vice Marshall Houston sighed
'Only 21 years old and his interpreter 
Buried according to local custom'.
               - Ian Curr, Last Train to Mirabad 2011

Curiously on Sunday’s march (22 August ’21) in Meanjin (Brisbane) the people kept chanting: “Free, Free Afghanistan!“.

This was a strange chant given that, finally, the people of Afghanistan have defeated the United States as the Vietnamese people did in 1975. After 20 years of struggle, the United States, Australia, UK, Germany, Holland, Belgium have fled the occupation and terror by the US-led forces; the people of Afghanistan have thrown off the shackles of United States imperialism. Yet the only winners in that war were the arms dealers.

If the people are saying Free Afghani women from the Taliban then, yes. But the US and Australian forces were not in Afghanistan to free women, that was a lie put out by successive governments. You do not free women by bombing them, killing their children, by forming an alliance with the Taliban as Jim Dowling’s article Afghanistan – the war : what was it good for! points out!

If the people are saying free the refugees, well, yes again. But the refugees coming to Australia have not been free. They have been detained for up to nine and ten years. And when they are released only some have work rights. What jobs are left for them and their children? Many have chosen to flee to other, more sympathetic countries.

Local Brisbane City councillor, Jonathan Sri, had this to say about the rally & march:

Big turnout in Brisbane in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan…Key demands of the rally include Australia immediately accepting at least 20 000 refugees from Afghanistan and providing permanent refuge to the thousands of Afghani people who are already here in Australia on temporary visas, living in fear that the Australian government could send them back to Afghanistan.”

We recommend that people read Jim Dowling’s article who says:

I wrote Afghanistan – the war : what was it good for! to share my perspective on our country’s role in the Middle East Wars, especially Afghanistan. My son Joseph asked me to write something.

Here is the video of the march through Meanjin (thanks to Jonno Sri):

Ian Curr
WBT editor,
25 August 2021

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