"None of these men had to die" - Bloodied hands, souls washed in red - Stop the killing in Afghanistan

Gerry Georgatos
"None of these men had to die," said Andrew Wilkie. "To the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones to recent wars, Afghanistan and Iraq, I do extend my heartfelt sympthathies, and I grieve for your loss," Gerry Georgatos

The Tasmanian Independent Member of Parliament Andrew Wilkie is right when he said John Howard, Kevin Rudd and Prime Minister Julia Gillard have "blood on their hands" after the deaths of five Australian soldiers recently, however the bloodied mutilated souls of these three leaders of our nation are not limited in their culpability to the deaths of these five young soldiers, however to every death in Afghanistan and Iraq since colliding Australia into a manufactured war zone, now for more than a decade.
Related Swan Island Peace Convergence 2012

Andrew Wilkie, and as similarly argue the Australian Greens, has renewed the call for an immediate withdrawal from the war. Mr Wilkie quite rightly said, demonstrating moral leadership of the type that the Prime Minister and her predecessors are not capable of, that these Diggers had died unnecessarily in a war that is neither in the national interest, or in any person's interest.

He was condemned by cowardly and nescient rebukes from the frontbenches of the ALP and the Coalition with their shallow indignation reminiscent of the type of muddled-mindedness that allowed parliamentarians to justify, and remain party to and complicit, the White Australia Policy and the Stolen Generations, and contemporarily with the Emergency Response Action and Stronger Futures, and of course with the murderous invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan which have decimated these two nations.

Mr Wilkie is a former soldier and intelligence officer turned whistleblower after he exposed what many right-minded Australians and others around the world already suspected that there were no WMDs in Iraq and that our various agencies and those in our highest offices knew this. He exposed and informed the Australian consciousness as to the real reasons and urges to invade Iraq and hence unravelled the rampant abuse of our investiture of goodwill and trust in the highest offices and agencies in this nation.

In 2003 Andrew Wilkie resigned from his position in the Office of National Assessments, an Australian intelligence agency, over concerns that intelligence was being misrepresented and compromised for political purposes in manifesting and fabricating the case for Australia's involvement to and in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which has shattered Iraqi society, under the John Howard government.

I often argue that our ability to discover the truth is outstripped by our capacity to manifest deceit.

In 2004, Wilkie published 'Axis of Deceit', an account of the reasons for his ethical stance, resignation and subsequent decisions to speak out. He said that the various agencies and the Government were putting out claims for which reports they had provided no evidence for these claims.

"These five soliders who died in Afghanistan this week died unnecessarily and Howard, Rudd and Gillard all have blood on their hands," said Mr Wilkie.

In August 2007 the Coalition leaked a silly story about Kevin Rudd going into a strip club some years back and Australian Greens leader Bob Brown responded to it by signifying what should matter on the Australian political landscape, "Four years ago Kevin Rudd got drunk and took himself into a strip club. Four years ago John Howard, sober, took Australia into the Iraq war. I think the electorate can judge which one did the more harm."

As of 20 August 2012, there have been 2,998 deaths of from the Coalition forces since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. There are now more than 3,000 deaths.

The Project on Defense Alternatives estimated that in a 3-month period between October 7, 2001 and January 1, 2002, at least 1,000-1,300 civilians were directly killed by the U.S.-led aerial bombing campaign, and that by mid-January 2002, at least 3,200 more Afghans had died of "starvation, exposure, associated illnesses, or injury sustained while in flight from war zones", as a result of the U.S. war and airstrikes.

In the first half of 2011, the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan again brought yet higher numbers of civilian deaths as violence intensified and security spiralled downward. According to UNAMA/AIHRC figures, 1,462 Afghan civilians were killed in the first six months of 2011, another 15% jump over the same period in 2010. UNAMA/AIHRC attributed 1,167 of those deaths as having been caused by anti-government elements, up 28% from the same period in 2010 and representing 79.8% of the civilian deaths. UNAMA/AIHRC attributed 207 Afghan civilian deaths as having been caused by U.S.-led military forces, down 9% from the same period in 2010 and representing 14.2% of the civilian deaths. In 6% of the civilian deaths, UNAMA and AIHRC were unable to clearly attribute the cause to any one side.

For the whole year of 2011, the United Nations reported that the civilian death toll numbered 3,021, a record high. In addition, 4,507 Afghans were wounded. According to other sources the actual number of civilian casualties may be five times as large as the number that the UN gives.

At least 132,000 civilians have died from 10 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a new study by Brown university. And that is a conservative estimate.

No one can say with certainty how many civilians have died in these wars but it is without question that however many more or less far too many have died needless deaths when it could have been otherwise and society unfold its changes, peaceful discourse rather than violence, and especially en masse violence which is like wild fires.


The Americans learned one lesson from Vietnam: don't count the civilian dead. As a result, no one knows how many Iraqis have been killed in the five years since the invasion. Estimates put the toll at between 100,000 and one million, and now a bitter war of numbers is raging. Jonathan Steele and Suzanne Goldenberg reported: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/mar/19/iraq

The ethical compass, the unfolding human rights and social justice languageS, bona fide commonsense call out for the withdrawal of military forces from Iraq, and for the Australian Government to stand as an example to other nations, example being our only immortality, and demonstrate impeccable moral leadership, and withdraw military forces and to stop flexing muscle, and rather to just put out ones hand, and without any gun.

We will only advance the cause of any myriad bright social justice vocabulary by a coalescing of humanity, not by vendetta, rapacious self interest and exploitation, not by military might, not my imposts and rather and not unwisely by kindness, patience, duty to one another. We can work through conflicts with friendly relationships, and by walking alongside the other and not all over the other.

Australia is wrong to be part of any invasionary force in Afganistan, Iraq, anywhere - First Do No Harm.

The New York Times - March 11, 2012 - US Sergeant murders 16 civilians - The killings on Sunday took place in the Panjwai district.

PANJWAI, Afghanistan — Stalking from home to home, a United States Army sergeant methodically killed at least 16 civilians, 9 of them children, in a rural stretch of southern Afghanistan early on Sunday, igniting fears of a new wave of anti-American hostility, Afghan and American officials said.

Residents of three villages in the Panjwai district of Kandahar Province described a terrifying string of attacks in which the soldier, who had walked more than a mile from his base, tried door after door, eventually breaking in to kill within three separate houses. The man gathered 11 bodies, including those of 4 girls younger than 6, and set fire to them, villagers said.

SWAN ISLAND PEACE CONVERGENCE 2012 - "Bring all the troops home"


Iraq had no WMDs: the final verdict


President Bush says there were no WMDs


President Bush admits no WMDs in Iraq


CIA's final report: No WMDs in Iraq


Iraq and Afghanistan wars have killed 132,000 reports says


It has got worse in Afghanistan - civilian casualties rise


What is the real death count in Iraq?


Andrew Wilkie challenges government on Whistleblower Bill


Iraqi children amputees without wheelchairs


We need to help, not maim and kill


Some try to remedy what others do but the gap is widening


Riyadh sends 327 childrens wheelchairs to Iraq


Uruknet: Victims of war - Iraqi children and families - Depleted uranium and trauma



"Most children amputees in non-OECD ( Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ) countries are victims of wars - evil scourges flourished by bullets, explosives, bombs, land mines and missiles. During this last decade the Provinces of Basra and Al Muthanna in Iraq challenged Angola for the highest proportion to total population of child amputees. Basra and Al Muthanna have unheralded levels of cancer since Chernobyl due to many radioactive sites from depleted uranium after the war.

Riyadh described to me much of the devastation of Basra and its effects on its humanity. I do not forget

Riyadh’s description of a little Iraqi child dragging himself across a street in their hometown. The withered deadened-like stump of his right leg creating a painful trail in the dusty street. The child’s parents could not afford a wheelchair even if they were available.

Riyadh and I teamed up through "Students without Borders" to send as many wheelchairs as we could to the

Iraqi towns of Najaf, Samawa and Ramadi. During 2008 we had planned on getting 200 wheelchairs however Riyadh secured 327 new children’s wheelchairs generously donated by Wangara manufacturer "Wheelchairs for Kids". However there began a long saga. No shipping country would transport the wheelchairs to the Basra port. It was deemed too dangerous. Woodside donated funds for the transport and Senator Chris Evans assisted by approaching the Australian Defence Forces. The volunteers at Wheelchairs for Kids gave of their time on a Saturday and packed the wheelchairs for transport.

The wheelchairs were divided up between the three towns. Riyadh’s home town Najaf and Samawa are predominately Shi’ite and the town of Ramadi is majorly Sunni. Riyadh wanted this gesture to bring the two peoples together as had been his world prior to the war. Riyadh once said to me " Till this war was started on us in Iraq, no one ever asked me whether I am Sunni or Shi’ite. Never."

The local Sunni hospital in Ramadi distributed 100 wheelchairs and the community did view Riyadh’s gesture as one of goodwill and every reason for reconciliation.

Riyadh has said "Wheelchairs must be provided to every child that needs one in Iraq irrespective of their religion and ethnicity".



Osama is dead why we still there


Depleted Uranium (DU) weaponry has been used against Iraq for the first time in the history of recent wars. The magnitude of the complications and damage related to the use of such radioactive and toxic weapons on the environment and the human population mostly results from the intended concealment, denial and misleading information released by the Pentagon about the quantities, characteristics and the area’s in Iraq, in which these weapons have been used.


Doctors and residents blame US weapons for catastrophic levels of birth defects in Fallujah's newborns.


Depleted uranium war crimes in Iraq


Blood for oil? Documents reveal talks between Government and oil giants BEFORE invasion of Iraq


Liberal backbencher Mal Washer sided with federal independent MP Andrew Wilkie who said politicians have blood on their hands for allowing Australian troops to remain in Afghanistan.

Dr Washer believes Australia is only involved in the conflict "to appease the Americans".

"Andrew says we might have blood on our hands," he told ABC Radio.

"Certainly, I feel like that it's on my hands and that's why I speak out against this. This is utter stupidity."

The Swan Island Peace Convergence aims to put nonviolently put a cog in the spokes of the Australian War machine. It also aims to build a community that shares ideas of peace and resistance that can carry on after this action.

Sunday 23rd September – “Community Engagement”

Join us as we establish our community and reach out to the Queenscliff Community to explain our actions.

Monday 24th September – “Nonviolent Direct Action Training and Afghanistan War update”

The theory and practice of non-violent direct action and civil disobedience will be explored through workshops. For those people new to direct action the praticalities of dealing with police, arrests and courts will be covered.

An update on the Afghanistan War will also be explored including what is Australia’s role in the War. The war will be put in the context of the broader goals of U.S. imperialism, Australia’s our other contributions to the U.S. alliance and the rising military tensions in the Asia Pacific region between the U.S. and China.

Tuesday 25th September – “Disrupt the War Machine – Blockade the Base!”

Take part in a day of creative, peaceful action to blockade Swan Island Military base. If you don’t want to get arrested there are plenty of people needed for support roles and the inevitable court solidarity.

Wednesday 26th Septemebr “Blockade the Base! We are not disturbing the Peace – we are the disturbing the war!

Day two or our efforts to put a cog in the machine at the home of the SAS. Once again the day will involve both direct action and court solidarity for those arrested.

Thursday 27th September – “Pack up and debrief”

The present war in Afghanistan is worsening the lives of ordinary Afghans, and not advancing the country towards democracy. On the contrary, evidence shows the NATO-led occupation forces are contributing to civilian casualties and war crimes.

Here are some reasons why we should end this war

1. Life is worse for Afghans. Life expectancy is 44 years. Adult literacy is just 24%. 50% of children are malnourished. Child mortality has become the worst in the world, with one in five children dying under 5 years.

2. The war is becoming more lethal. There are now over 3,000 coalition force casualties recorded, half in the last three years. Its estimated that nearly 40,000 civilians have died due to this war. The UN has documented 11,864 civilian casualties over just the last four years, with 2011 the most deadly year for civilians so far. 32 Australian Defence Force personnel lives have been taken, and another 920 have been wounded or injured (including 287 with mental trauma).

3. The war has cost us billions over the past 10 years. The Labor government budgeted the Afghanistan war to cost $1.6 billion in 2010-11. In the USA the war in Afghanistan has been estimated to cost $400 billion! If this continues for another 4 years, this will be the exact amount the World Bank estimates could have met all the Millennium Development Goals.

4. The war has not liberated women. Only 6% of girls are in high school and violence against women is common. In a bid for fundamentalist support, the Karzai government passed a law allowing rape in marriage. Between half and 95% of women in jail are there for ‘moral’ crimes. 70 to 80 percent of women face forced marriages in Afghanistan.

5. The Afghanistan government is corrupt & undemocratic. The 2010 elections were deeply corrupt with 3,460 fraud complaints lodged. Subsequently 21 ‘elected’ Parliamentarians were forced to step down; and 1.3 million votes were made void. Afghanistan was rated 176th out of 178 countries for perceived public sector corruption. The UN estimates that USD$2.5 billion was paid in bribes in 2009.

6. The drug trade is booming in Afghanistan. It’s estimated that Afghan opium generated US$4 billion income in 2007, 93% of the world’s supply and equivalent to over half the official Afghan economy. Afghanistan supplied only 11% before the war.

7. The majority of the world wants the troops to leave. A recent Roy Morgan Poll found 72% of Australians think we should withdraw our troops. In the USA 63% oppose the war; and a majority of citizens in nearly every country polled wants the war to end.

8. War makes progress more difficult. Malalai Joya, an Afghan democracy activist has said that “people are squashed today between two enemies: an internal and an external enemy … if the troops withdraw, then it is an easier fight with one enemy”.


About a year ago a small group of young people in the Bamiyan Province of Afghanistan began sharing their call for understanding in order that they could experience peace someday in their country. The Youth Peace Volunteers of Afghanistan have framed their message well so we direct you to their site: http://ourjourneytosmile.com.

These young Afghans
- are living in a war-torn country
- they, like Gandhi, are not pointing at anyone saying "you are wrong"
- they ask us all to stop & talk with each other


"These terrible losses will only steel the resolve of those who continue this important work."

"So far this year, 45 western troops have been killed in so-called 'green on blue' attacks. This is a big increase from 2011 when 35 ISAF troops died in the same manner. The Taliban is often quick to claim credit for the attacks. But studies by the US military indicate many of the shootings are motivated by personal grievances. It's a major concern for ISAF as it prepares to hand over to the Afghan army ahead of the 2014 withdrawal."

Hamid Karzai anger at Australian troops

September 02, 20121:20AM

AFGHANISTAN President Hamid Karzai has condemned what he called a "unilateral operation" by Australian troops in southern Oruzgan province.

Karzai was responding to an apparent Australian operation yesterday in which a tribal elder, Raz Mohammad Khan, 70, and his son Abdul Jalil, 30, were killed. Karzai said the operation breached an agreement with NATO.

“Raz Mohammad ... had no relationship with the government or the militants. He and his son were the victims of wrong reports received by Australian troops regarding (their) relations with the Taliban,” said Abdullah Hemmat, the provincial spokesman.

Nine detained civilians were released today after the Oruzgan governor spoke to the Australians, Hemmat said.

Meanwhile, in other developments, 12 Afghans died and 59 were wounded in twin suicide attacks today in central Afghanistan, and NATO said two US soldiers died “following an insurgent attack in Ghazni province”.

Security forces arrested a senior Taliban commander in northern Kunduz province, police said.

Qari Neyaz Mohammad was in charge of the provinces of Baghlan, Kunduz, Takhar and Badakhshan, said Samiullah Qatrah, the Kunduz police chief.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings near a military base in Wardak province.

Provincial spokesman Shahedullah Shahed said one of the assailants blew up his explosives-laden vest at the gate of the Sayedabad district building, while another detonated his truck.

Eight civilians and four police were killed, while 47 civilians, seven police officers, three intelligence officers and two soldiers from the NATO-led coalition were wounded, Shahed said.


U.S. Sergeant Is Said to Kill 16 Civilians in Afghanistan

It has to stop altogether


Nearly two dozen Afghan civilians have been wounded when two grenades exploded inside a mosque compound and a bicycle bomb blew up in a city market, officials say.

The violence came a day after bomb blasts around Afghanistan killed at least 50 people in the deadliest day for civilians this year, as Taliban insurgents and other militants ramp up violence across the country.

Nearly two dozen Afghan civilians have been wounded when two grenades exploded inside a mosque compound and a bicycle bomb blew up in a city market, officials say.

The violence came a day after bomb blasts around Afghanistan killed at least 50 people in the deadliest day for civilians this year, as Taliban insurgents and other militants ramp up violence across the country.


Yes Gerry you are correct that none of these men are correct and again correct that much propaganda took foreign armies into Iraq and Afghanistan and has caused all this devastation, at least you are on the ball and are saying it as it should be said

Andrew Wilkie was monumentally brave - his example, in blowing the whistle, really led me to grasp that soldiers learn more than just how to end life, but also how to live honourably - that is pretty old school stuff, phew, stoic.
I cannot imagine how difficult and frightening it must have been to go against the forces of Howard, Blair and Bush.
Let's hope that he takes on a more pivotal role in the Parliament some day.