Bloody Afghan war and Australian media hysteria

This video is called Australian Soldiers Kill Afghan Children (Part 1).

Part 2 is here.

By James Cogan in Australia:

Charging of Australian soldiers for Afghan crimes provokes frenzied reaction

14 October 2010

An unprecedented controversy has erupted in Australia over the charging of three special forces’ commandos on September 29 for the killing of five children in Afghanistan in early 2009. Just weeks after an election, in which the conflict barely rated a mention, blanket justifications for the Afghan war, and civilian deaths at the hands of Australian troops, have been thrust to the centre of political life.

The three soldiers are being prosecuted after an almost year-long investigation by the Director of Military Prosecutions (DMP), a legal arm of the armed forces that is formally independent of the government of the day. The details of the case have further fuelled the popular opposition to a war that is repeatedly being exposed as a murderous and brutal neo-colonial occupation.

On Tuesday, conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott lashed out and publicly labelled the charges as “soldiers being stabbed in the back by their own government”. In statements deeply prejudicial to the conduct of a military court martial that has not yet begun—and which have been promoted throughout the mass media—Abbott declared that the soldiers had been doing “the right thing by Australians” and were being “thrown to the wolves” by the Labor Party-led minority government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

While Abbott’s statements on the case were unexpected and somewhat unhinged, they were made as the entire political establishment is pre-occupied with demonstrating its commitment to the US-led war in Afghanistan.

Gillard’s first overseas trip as prime minister was to Afghanistan on October 3. Abbott made his own visit on October 10. Both were briefed by US and Australian commanders to the effect that while the 1,550 Australian troops currently deployed were adequate, the efforts to crush the Taliban-led insurgency were at a critical stage and more might be needed.

Full detail is yet to emerge, but there are ample indications that dissatisfaction in Washington with Australia’s Afghanistan policy was one of the factors in the conspiratorial and anti-democratic political coup that removed Kevin Rudd as prime minister on June 23-24. Under Rudd, Labor had ruled out sending more Australian troops and, on the same day as the coup began, had announced they would be withdrawn within two to four years.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s Labor government has bowed, once again, to the dictates of Australia’s mining giants by indicating its acceptance of an industry-dominated advisory group report that demands further sweeping concessions on the proposed Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT). According to the Australian Financial Review, the “big three” mining companies—BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata—now expect to pay little or no MRRT: here.

6 thoughts on “Bloody Afghan war and Australian media hysteria

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