Stand Fast Press release: 4th February 2011
"The death of 22 year old Corporal Richard Atkinson in Afghanistan saddens and angers me", said Hamish Chitts, veteran of East Timor and spokesperson for Stand Fast, an Australian-based group of veterans and former military personnel."He and the 21 Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan have died defending a regime as a corrupt and fraudulent as that of Hosni Mubarak in Eygpt."
"While Karzai claims to have a personal wealth of only US$10,000, the combined wealth of the Karzais runs into many millions of dollars, built mostly since Hamid Karzai took over as president in 2001. He has presided over fraudulent elections in 2004, 2009 and 2010 and Wikileaks has revealed that civilians protesting against the Karzai government or any of its policies are violently repressed by Afghan police and military while international forces look on.
"As former soldiers we do not question the courage and commitment of the Australian troops in Afghanistan, what we do question and what we want more people to question is the callous use of these soldiers by the Federal Government.
It is not about the Taliban or terrorism, it is about the majority of Afghanistan's people wanting the foreign troops to leave.
It's about the people of Afghanistan who have risked their lives fighting for real freedom and democracy against the Taliban now having to fight against the Karzai dictatorship and foreign troops as well as the Taliban.
"Too many allied troops and civilians have been killed, maimed and mentally scarred in Afghanistan to help the US maintain another puppet dictatorship in the Middle East.
We demand that the Federal Government immediately withdraws all Australian troops from Afghanistan."
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