Prime Minister Tony Abbot paid a surprise visit to Australian troops, under high security, at the Tarin Kot military base in Afghanistan yesterday to mark the ‘ending’ of Australia’s mission in Afghanistan. He announced that the ADF mission in Uruzgan will be complete by year-end and the majority of Australian troops will return home, with around 300 to remain in Kandahar and Kabul in non-combative roles. Addressing the troops he said, “Australia’s longest war is ending, not with victory, not with defeat, but with, we hope, an Afghanistan that is better for our presence here.”
In this regard, Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia, emphasises the following points:
1. This war was not Australia’s war as described by the Prime Minister. It was America’s war fought for American political and economic interests in the region. Australia was only used by America for its imperial designs as it has been used in the past by imperial powers.
2. The war has been a resounding failure.
Notwithstanding twelve long years, 20,000 soldiers used, 40 dead, 260 wounded, and close to $8 billion spent, the war has failed. It is common expectation that post-occupation Afghanistan will see the Taliban return to dominate power.
As for the security situation, US-installed President Hamid Karzai strongly criticised the NATO effort just three weeks ago, saying that, “On the security front the entire Nato exercise was one caused Afghanistan a lot of suffering, a lot of loss of life, and no gains because the country is not secure.” The failure on the security front is also highlighted by the fact that even after twelve years the Prime Minster has to make surprise visits with heavy security.
Neither is the world, both east and west, any safer after this invasion. On the contrary, it has fermented more anger and grievance in an entirely new generation, the consequences of which can be expected to become manifest in years to come.
3. Claiming the mission is coming to an end whilst 300 troops will remain is disingenuous. The war does not end until every invading western troop leaves Afghanistan. Australian involvement does not end until every Australian troop leaves.
4. Tony Abbott spoke emotionally about the forty Australian soldiers who died in the war. As for the tens of thousands of Afghans who died because of the western invasion, they were not deemed worthy of mention because, as reflected in the actions of western policymakers more strongly than in their words, the people of ‘third-world’ countries are not of equal worth.
5. Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia consistently warned against the consequences of this war from day one, condemned it in unequivocal terms, exposed its reality as an American war and demanded the withdrawal of Australian troops. This very position attracted only attacks and thoughtless censure from politicians and media. Yet here is Tony Abbott now, after afflicting untold misery on an entire population, affirming, in practice if not in words, the correctness of our position.
Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia
29 October 2013
Contact: Uthman Badar, Media Representative, on email@example.com or 0438 000 465.