The following is a transcript of the speech given in Sydney by Gerry Binder at a rally on 9 May 2009 against the Rudd government's decision to send 500 more troops to Afghanistan.
Last Monday, over 100 Afghani civilians, including a Red Cross worker, were killed by American bombs, according to reports by Afghani police.
If you want to radicalise people and make them want to join the Taliban insurgency, or al Qeida for that matter, that is how you do it... By trashing the country's infrastructure. By destroying people's homes on a massive scale. By killing huge numbers of civilians. And by explaining it all away as "collateral damage".
This military madness is called the War on Terror. It will not defeat the insurgency, it will help it grow.Let me quickly review how we got into this insane state of affairs:
It started in the Middle East: Two world wars and fifty years of Israel's murderous behaviour in the region (with vast amounts of US weaponry and aid), have extremely traumatised and radicalised the middle eastern Islamic community.
Next, we need to look at Afghanistan in the 80's: The CIA, via the Pakistani intelligence service, exploited the growing Islamic extremism,
and encouraged it, and trained it, and armed it, and then set it loose in Afghanistan to fight the Russians who were there at the invitatation of the Afgan government to stop a take over by Islamist extremists. These Islamist extremists, whom Ronald Reagan praised as "freedom fighters" subsequently defeated the Russians. Some of Reagan's "freedom fighters" later became known as the Taliban. Others formed a terrorist group called al Qeida.
Now, back to the Middle East, 1990: Another monstrosity of America's making, Saddam Hussein, was given a deliberately misleading thumbs-up from the US ambassador to invade Kuwait, thereby giving George Bush Snr the excuse he was looking for to take down a major regional power and establish a huge and permanent US military presence smack bang in the middle of Islam's geographic centre, which just happened to also be right in the middle of the world's biggest oil deposits. Too bad that this US presence was utterly unacceptable and culturally insulting to the Islamic community. The US, having deluded itself into believing that it was now The Ruler Of The World, could not care less, and arrogantly ignored the ominous rumblings coming from the Muslim world.
And then, 2001... al Qaeda responded, and shock, horror, 9/11 happened.
America retaliated with its biggest-ever strategic blunder - the invasion of, first Afghanistan, and then Iraq. Apart from contravening international law, all this achieved was to create a tidal wave of new recruits for the Iraqi insurgency, the Taliban insurgency, and al Qeida. It did not eliminate Islamist extremists, it created more of them, it enabled them, and it entrenched them.
Calling this The War on Terrorism was a complete delusion because it tried to deny the fact that war _is_ terrorism, and that it breeds _more_ terrorism in response to it. Just as it had in Vietnam. Their defeat in Vietnam had taught the US nothing. The US now had TWO Vietnams on its hands, AND al Qeida had regrouped and was bigger and more wide spread than ever.
But in looking at America's role in the radicalisation of Islam, we could easily overlook another important issue - that of the positive role of Socialist influences in both these nations prior to American intervention. Saddam's Ba'ath Party was a socialist party. Afghanistan had a Communist government before it invited the Russians to assist them to resist the US-backed Islamist extremists threatening to overthrow it. Both countries enjoyed good public services, like hospitals, water, electricity, as well as schools and universities which girls and women were encouraged to attend. Secularism was alive and well and women's rights were enshrined in law, and protected. And now the US says it's trying to introduce all of these things, as if they were not already there before their murderous meddling destroyed them.
So, this is the black hole into which Australian troops have been recklessly thrust by George W. Bush's lap dog, John Howard.. ..and kept there by Kevin Rudd, the first Australian Prime Minister to publicly salute an American president in full view of the world's media.
Kevin Rudd, who now wants to send 500 more troops into a war which a swag of military experts is trying to tell him cannot be won - a war in which Australia does not belong.
Australia needs to step away from supporting America's insane and illegal military interventions.
Australia needs to join with the growing number of countries calling for non-military solutions to the problems in the Middle East and Afghanistan.
We need to send a strong message to Kevin Rudd. And that message is... Instead of sending MORE troops, bring them ALL home NOW !!!