Veterans group calls for troops out of Afghanistan in lead up to ANZAC Day

Stand Fast Press release 22 April 2011 Australian based veterans group Stand Fast is calling on people to reject blind flag waving this ANZAC Day and to seriously question Australian support for the war in Afghanistan. The group stands against this war due to the impact on people living in Afghanistan, the price being paid by other foreign forces (especially the US) and the physical and psychological harm being done to Australian military personnel who people claim to be honouring on 25 April.

Stand Fast spokesperson and East Timor veteran Hamish Chitts said those who truly cared about the troops should join the call for their immediate withdrawal back to Australia.

“Are we supposed to seriously believe that the thousands of unarmed civilians being slaughtered in this occupation, that the Australian Government supports, have the capability or even the desire to attack countries like Australia,” Mr Chitts said.

The Karzai government in Kabul, with Washington’s knowledge and approval, provides government positions, business deals and cash to the same people who are supposed to pose a terrorist threat to ordinary Australians. The US has set up and funded an Afghan government department to offer sweeteners to people like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who is on Washington’s “most wanted” terrorist list.

“This isn't about democracy either. The widely reported fraudulent elections in Afghanistan have shown that. If the people of Afghanistan were able to freely express there views, the majority would be in favour of the foreign troops leaving,” Mr Chitts said.

Unable to express these views more and more people are taking up arms against their occupation.

Along with civilians, soldiers are paying for these wars for economic and military global domination. Prior to 2001, the suicide rate in the US military was lower than that of the general US population; now, it is nearly double the national average and four times the average for veterans who have left the military. The Department of Veteran Affairs in Australia doesn't release statistics on these problems but increasing reports appear in the media about individual Australian soldiers damaged by these wars.

"This not only effects veterans but those around them, including their children and further down the track even their grandchildren," Mr Chitts said.

While the Australian Government pours millions into this war that does not make us safer the same government says it needs to cut funding to health and education and thousands remain devastated by natural disasters across the country. Cutting services poses a real threat to people pulling troops out of Afghanistan does not.

This ANZAC Day think seriously about the troops in Afghanistan. Support them by demanding that the government bring them home immediately.

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Luke 3:14
And the soldiers also demanded of him, saying, and what
shall we do ?
And He said to them - "Do violence to no man" nor accuse anyone falsely and be content with your wages.

I have a grandad who was in the war and he told me he could not understand why the Australian Government were even a presence in the American-Afghanistan war as its been done before, several times, and it didn't work and wont work this time either.
He is a sparky character and with high intellect who says "We should not be in Afghanistan".
Knowing his temperament and his attitudes to some things I find uneasy to tolerate, on this one I agree wholeheartedly.
Here's a vet who knows cause hes "Been There".
The Australian government need to stop speaking about all and sundry and start listening to the people of Australia. This is called democracy and somehow the delusional pollys have gone astray and forgotten or possibly they cant help but bow whenever America's far right says bow.
Wjatever some people's beliefs for our Australian troops being in Afghanistan the vets don't like it and who would know better than them on this war.
(The government never have to participate so how would they ever really know).
Give my grandad some peace of mind and end some of his nightmares