11 July 2008
The Australian-based veterans group Stand Fast today rejected statements made by Federal opposition leader Brendan Nelson regarding the tragic death in Afghanistan of SAS Signaller Sean McCarthy.
Stand Fast spokesperson Hamish Chitts said the group, comprised of veterans and former military personnel who oppose the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, regards the rhetorical remarks of Dr Nelson as a vile attempt to turn public opinion to support the war in Afghanistan.
“This war is primarily about having easier access to the oilfields in Turkmenistan to the North of Afghanistan, including a possible pipeline from these oilfields through Western Afghanistan to lucrative markets in Pakistan and India. Soldiers are sacrificing their lives so that others can earn a profit from it,” he said.
“To bury this war under the cloak of democracy and a war on terror is ridiculous. As veterans and ex-service personnel, we reject this attempt to say that anyone in Afghanistan has died in our name. We think Dr Nelson is looking after the interests of big business and dressing it up to look like the people of Afghanistan have the capability and desire to invade Sydney,” Chitts said.
Chitts’ comments came after Brendan Nelson was quoted as saying; "Signaller McCarthy has given his life in our name, in the cause of fighting extremism and the Taliban in particular.”
“Stand Fast would like to ask Mr Nelson and Mr Rudd did the bride and 22 other members of her wedding party who were killed by U.S. bombs in Nangarhar province on Sunday (July 6) also give their lives in our name? Have the thousands of other civilians who have already died as part of the occupation of Afghanistan also given their lives in our name?” Chitts asked.
“Of course we don’t support the politics and religious fundamentalism of the Taliban. Initially the Taliban was easily defeated because they didn’t have the support of most Afghanis. Now their ranks are being swelled, not by people who have suddenly been won over to the Taliban’s view of the World but by people who oppose the puppet regime of thugs and opium barons whose rule our troops help enforce.” he said.
“These members of parliament, both Labor and Coalition vie with each other to be more ‘the diggers friend’ than the other. Most have never served in the Defence Force nor left the comforts of their parliamentary offices. The fact that these politicians use this death to sell their unpopular and unjustifiable war in Afghanistan is disgusting. As veterans our thoughts are with Sean’s family and all those still in harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan. No more blood should be shed for the profiteers, bring the troops home now,” Chitts said.
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