Five Australian soldiers killed in southern Afghanistan – Three soldiers were shot dead in southern Uruzgan province by an Afghan army soldier who turned his gun on them as they were relaxing at their base late on Wednesday evening. Last year, four Australian soldiers died at the hands of their allies, although the majority of casualties have come from the US. Australia makes the largest contribution to the Afghan mission of any nation outside the Nato alliance, with 1,550 troops on the ground. It has lost 38 soldiers in Afghanistan. The Australian Stop the war coalation: After 11 long and devastating years of war, NATO must get out now and allow the Afghans to determine their own future. They could hardly do worse than under NATO’s rule. Another 12 months or more of war and occupation will only further devastate the country and its people. Australian troops must be withdrawn immediately and the military funding promised by the Gillard government be re-allocated to grassroots Afghan-controlled health services, educational materials and teacher training. This could make some difference to the lives of ordinary Afghans.”I believe this is the most losses in combat since the days of the Vietnam war and the battle on Long Tan,” said Prime Minister Julia Gillard. In that 1966 battle, 18 Australians were killed.

Five Australian soldiers killed in southern Afghanistan

Prime Minister Julia Gillard says deaths are Australia’s worst combat losses in nearly half a century

Australian prime minister Julia Gillard

Australian prime minister Julia Gillard addresses the media from the Cook Islands before preparing to fly home in wake of soldiers’ deaths. Photograph: Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images

Five Australian soldiers have died in southern Afghanistan over the last 24 hours, a toll Australia‘s prime minister described as the country’s worst combat losses in nearly half a century.

Three soldiers were shot dead in southern Uruzgan province by an Afghan army soldier who turned his gun on them as they were relaxing at their base late on Wednesday evening. Two others died in a helicopter crash in neighbouring Helmand province in the early hours of Thursday morning.

“I believe this is the most losses in combat since the days of the Vietnam war and the battle on Long Tan,” said Prime Minister Julia Gillard. In that 1966 battle, 18 Australians were killed.

“This is news so truly shocking that it’s going to feel for many Australians like a physical blow,” she said.

Gillard said she would be heading home early from a conference of Pacific nation leaders she was attending in the Cook Islands, the Australian Associated Press reported.

The Afghan soldier who turned on his Australian comrades-in-arms shot them at close range with an automatic weapon, killing three and wounding two, said Air Marshal Mark Binskin, vice-chief of the Australian Defence Force.

Troops on the scene returned fire, but the shooter managed to scale a fence and escape from the base, Binskin said. Australian and Afghan soldiers were hunting for him.

It was the latest in a growing number of insider attacks by Afghan police and soldiers on the foreign troops training them or fighting beside them; 45 people have been killed this year to date, compared to 35 in the whole of 2011.

Afghan and Nato commanders are struggling to find ways to prevent the attacks, which are undermining the training mission at the heart of the international vision for long-term support of Afghanistan.

Last year, four Australian soldiers died at the hands of their allies, although the majority of casualties have come from the US.

Australia makes the largest contribution to the Afghan mission of any nation outside the Nato alliance, with 1,550 troops on the ground. It has lost 38 soldiers in Afghanistan.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/30/australia-afghanistan-soldier-deaths

Australian peace coalation:

http://stopwarcoalition.org

Stop the War Coalition, Sydney

NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan is a decade too late

 

US vets handing back their medals

Stop the War Coalition, May 24, 2012

The NATO announcement that it will be “withdrawing” in the summer of 2013  is an admission of defeat.

But there are no victors in this war. The country is no closer to peace and security today than when the Taliban were forced out in 2001.

Despite Obama’s massive increase of US forces there is no prospect of  “winning” as Colonel Daniel Davis reported to Congress.

Stop the War Coalition would welcome the end of the foreign occupation of Afghanistan – if it were actually true.

How  real is “withdrawal” when the US has committed military forces to remain until 2024 and intends to maintain its many huge military bases?

How else can we interpret PM Julia Gillard’s commitment to funding for another three years the corrupt Hamid Karzai government and Australian Special Forces’ ongoing work with the US forces?

Their function has been and remains that of death squads to support the same corrupt drug dealers and warlords who have dominated Afghanistan under Karzai.

Over the past five years, the Western occupiers have been many announcements that the “security” situation was improving and that NATO troops will be able to “hand back” the country to the Afghan national army.

All have proved illusory.

Extraordinarily large funds have been provided as ”aid”, yet the ordinary Afghans remain mired in poverty, with short life expectancy, low levels of literacy, horrific mortality among women in childbirth and violence against women unacceptably high and widespread.

Opium poppy is still the most lucrative crop with no alternative crops or livelihoods available to most poor farmers.

After 11 long and devastating years of war, NATO must get out now and allow the Afghans to determine their own future. They could hardly do worse than under NATO’s rule. Another 12 months or more of war and occupation will only further devastate the country and its people.

Australian troops must be withdrawn immediately and the military funding promised by the Gillard government be re-allocated to grassroots Afghan-controlled health services, educational materials and teacher training. This could make some difference to the lives of ordinary Afghans.

Leaving the Australian Special Forces to carry out extra-judicial killings, as the Australian government intends, continues the worst aspects of the foreign occupation.

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About ottwf

The capitalistic and imperialistic system and its systematic aims: profit and power over others, still dominates our world and not the aims of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as 1948 agreed! After the world-economic-crisis after 1929 and the following World-War the world hat decided with agreeing the Universal Declaration of Human rights, to create a new world order; conflicts should be solved with peaceful means, not nations and their power, but the dignity of human beings around the world should be the aim of the policies and the economy, of every state and the community of states. But soon after the end of the war, when the victims and destruction were forgotten, all continued as before, with all risks, we had seen before. The split in rich an poor is getting bigger and bigger. We also overuse our global environment already, even if the big majority of mankind still lives in poverty! We are not victims, this world is men-made and be changed from men and women! It will be possible, if those, who do not want or serve (because of system-pressure) profits first, but want for themselves and everybody a life in human dignity unite and develop in a global base-democratic movement a common vision for our world, and learn, how to make this vision real. We need for it a big empowerment of many, many common men and women and their activities. Our chances are because of new communication technologies, of common languages, of the level of education and the mixture of people from different backgrounds better then ever. The occupy-movement is a good start for such a global movement. We support it and try to contribute to its success! We choose news and make comments and so try to unite people for an Occupy-Think-Tank: Its tasks: creating a news-network, self-education, working on global-reform programs and learning to organize projects for those, who are suffering. Join us, so that we can build teams for these aims for all subjects and countries as a base for the unification. We have Wan(n)Fried(en) in our name, because it means When peace and it is a modification of the name of the town our base is, in Wanfried, a small town in the middle of Germany, where we can use a former factory for our activities. Our telefon: 0049-5655-924981, mobil: 0171-9132149, email: occupy-think-tank@gmx.de
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