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End the insanity in Afghanistan: troops out now

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Sydney Stop the War Coalition is proud to host Malalai Joya at a meeting organised in a question and answer format

Stop the War Coalition, March 29, 2012

Malalai Joya news in Stop the War Coalition

The murderous rampage by a US army sergeant in Afghanistan on March 11, killing 16 civilians (mainly women and children) signifies the death throes of the US occupation.

Whether mental illness can be blamed or not, army veterans only act like this when they have lost all confidence in their command and regard the military mission as hopeless.

This latest horrendous event continues the history of the US occupation – a history of massacres described as “mistakes”, “friendly fire” or “bad information” in which no one knows exactly how many Afghans, have been killed because the US army does not keep such statistics.

The fact remains that after 11 years of war Afghans do not want the US-NATO occupation forces in their country. They have made that clear – in many protests and whenever a poll is taken. In February, around 20 members of the Afghan parliament read out an angry statement condemning the Qur’an burning and declaring “jihad against Americans is an obligation”.

The US-NATO command know its military strategy is in trouble when Afghan trainees shoot their US-NATO-Australian trainers – the so-called “Green on Blue” attacks.

US President Barack Obama says the “mission” in Afghanistan remains on track and US troops will start to leave in 2012. In fact, the US-NATO command is deeply worried – and with good reason. Tens of billions of dollars are being wasted in a war for which there is no military solution.

The Taliban are now stronger than ever and as Afghan casualties continue to rise, the angrier people are becoming with US policy – both in Afghanistan and across Europe and the US.

The Australian government – which has uncritically followed the US-NATO command in Afghanistan – must now take a stand for human rights and peace.

It must pull out the Australian troops – and send a clear message to the US that only a political solution – driven by Afghans themselves – will have a chance of bringing peace with justice.

Getting the troops out of Afghanistan will also allow democratic Afghans – such as Malalai Joya – to play a role in working out the political solution. Her office was recently attacked by fundamentalists – and two of her body guards seriously injured. But she remains adamant that all foreign troops should leave Afghanistan.

The West’s push for a deal between the puppet Hamid Karzai government and the reactionary and hated Taliban will not help create the democratic space that’s needed to find such a political solution.

Troops out now.

Sydney Stop the War Coalition is proud to host Malalai Joya at a meeting organised in a question and answer format and chaired by the lawyer and human rights advocate Kellie Tranter on April 11 at the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts.

It will be Malalai Joya’s one public meeting in Sydney and a chance to ask her questions.