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Failure in Afghanistan should prompt urgent reassessment of Australia’s war powers

Australians for War Powers Reform: Media Release

The tragic situation unfolding in Afghanistan should lead to a complete overhaul of how Australia goes to war.

That’s according to former diplomat and acting President of Australians for War Powers Reform (AWPR), Dr Alison Broinowski.

“Hundreds of thousands of people in Afghanistan are now facing imminent danger following the complete mismanagement of the withdrawal of troops, in a war that was never properly and transparently scrutinised in Australia. There was a serious lack of oversight and accountability on both joining the war and how it was conducted.”

“In 2001 troops were sent off amid the shock of terrorist attacks on the US, but many key elements of a decision for war, including an exit strategy, were nowhere to be seen. Now the Afghan people are paying the price, as the Australian government has failed to protect those who worked with Australian forces.”

“For several months, numerous experts and NGOs have been pleading with the Morrison government to urgently offer visas to these staff and we have seen delay after delay.”

At present the power to take us to war is concentrated in the hands of the Prime Minister, and the Parliament has no say whatsoever.

“We need legislation to ensure that our elected representatives have a vote before any Australian forces are sent overseas,” Dr Broinowski said.

“We also need rules in place that require Parliamentary oversight as any war proceeds. Transparency and accountability to Parliament are critical. Australian governments have repeatedly lied to the Australian people about the progress of the war in Afghanistan.”

“There is currently legislation sitting in the Senate to address war powers but both the major parties are refusing to debate the bill. They have done this repeatedly since 1985. This must change,” Dr Broinowski concluded.

 

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18 comments

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  1. Win Jeavons

    Given the calibre of our current PM , l would expect any decision he made would be the worst possible. His team are equally not to be trusted with any life and death decisions . If Howard had not criminally engaged us in Iraq, this slow bleed of a war might have been finished satisfactorilly much sooner. Wherever someone seeks to profit, financially or politically, from conflict , that person or organization should be barred from the decision.
    Since the public pay for the war, with money and with lives, only the full public has the right to such decisions, based on truth, not lies!

  2. RomeoCharlie29

    This is yet another debacle down to Howard, compounded by Morrison’s incompetence. Labor can take little comfort because its two PM’s continued a war we should never have been involved in. The return of a benighted bunch of radical religious knuckledraggers is sad for Afghanistan, and particularly for women and girls, but it is now up to them to take up the fight for those few freedoms they have recently enjoyed. What a waste of lives and money. It must surely be time for Australia to cut itself adrift from US foreign policies.

  3. BB

    War, Boom, Bust. Throw religion into the mix, and it’s little wonder mankind soon forgets about peace and getting along. The world, overrun by narrow egos, nasty selfish greedy madmen, only interested in mega profits from weapons of war. Not a shred of love for one’s fellow man. Empathy, compassion are ignored in favour of austerity, brutality, oppression, power. And meanwhile the planet can burn, the fossil fuel corporate pirates are addicted with an insatiable lust for coal, oil and gas. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-08/scott-morrison-holds-a-lump-of-coal-in-parliament/11091818?nw=0 At the next Australian Federal elections wake up folks, put the Lieberal and Notional Party LAST on your ballot paper.

  4. Kathryn

    Whilst President Ashraf Ghani relinquished power to the Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Barader and fled the country – excusing his cowardly betrayal of Afghani people in a statement that only served to save his own skin: “In order to avoid the bloodshed, I thought it was best to get out!” WOW! Ghani’s abandonment of his people was then closely followed by the abysmal and catastrophic decision by the USA and Australia to suddenly pull out of Afghanistan! This will, no doubt, result in the mass massacre, and genocidal slaughter of countless thousands of innocent Afghanis! Add to this, the inevitability of the callous misogynistic enslavement and total disempowerment of so many progressive, well-educated Afghani women whose basic rights (and education) will, no doubt, be stolen from them by the primitive, uneducated, cave-dwelling, women-hating Neanderthals in the Taliban, it is shaping up to be a global disaster of massive proportions!

    Shame on the LNP and shame on the Democratic Joe Biden government in America for their abandonment of Afghanis at this time! Such a sad, short-sighted, selfish act by the Americans and the Morrison government who are prepared to sacrifice the lives of so many people and render the sacrifice so many American and Australian soldiers made, obsolete! Because Australia and the USA STARTED this conflict, BECAUSE Australia and the USA invaded Afghanistan (and ILLEGALLY invaded neighbouring Iraq), we had a MORAL OBLIGATION to leave a peace-keeping force of soldiers there to maintain and protect Afghani citizens!

    Departing Afghanistan at this time will preclude any attempt at peace and initiate genocide by the Taliban in order to satisfy their notorious thirst for vengeance and the long-held venomous hatred the provincial and tribal Taliban have against more moderate Sunni Muslims and other minorities – such as the Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Aimaq, Turkmen, Baloch, Pashai, Nuristani, Gujjar, Arab, Brahui, Qizilbash, Pamiri, Kyrgyz, Sadat – who were, up until now, allowed to freely practise their faith in Afghanistan. The Taliban are NOTORIOUSLY, even murderously, intolerant and will not allow ANY other religion (even other forms of Islam) to be practised outside their own stone-aged, patriarchal ideology. As such – and despite their hollow promises – the primitive Taliban will do what they do best, ie PURGE the country of all other religious doctrines but their own, tear young girls out of schools, and confine women in chattel slavery for the rest of their lives!

    The epic failure of our useless, war mongering LNP government to safeguard so many nations they destroyed after they, along with the equally unconscionable Americans, decided to INVADE them, is absolutely appalling and inhumane! Right-wing-extremist regimes around the world, including the disreputable Republicans and their salivating, obsequious lapdogs, the LNP in Australia continue to TRY to divert political attention away from their OWN ineptitude, callousness and corruption, by using fear, hate and WAR as a diversion. Such right-wing-initiated involvement in global conflicts that are NONE OF OUR BUSINESS and staged, not coincidentally, right before a federal election, include our unpopular involvement in wars such as: Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and the infamous and protracted Iraqi war! These politically-motivated and diversionary wars took the lives of countless THOUSANDS of American and Australian soldiers – not to mention millions of lives of innocent Koreans, Vietnamese, Afghanis and Iraqis; senseless, politically focused wars, cost involved nations countless BILLIONS of dollars and are STILL costing us BILLIONS of dollars! When you add to that the fact that wars such as the one in Afghanistan and Iraq have managed to destabilised the whole middle east and cause the displacement of millions of people throughout the world, it shows you the level of criminal corruption, total disregard for humanity and unconscionable depravity exhibited by self-serving politicians who hope to use and abuse these wars for their own political expediency!

    Now that America and Australia have so COWARDLY deserted Afghanistan and left countless millions of desperate Afghanis – especially the Hazara minorities – to the callously cruel brutality, notorious vengeance, medieval ideology and misogyny of the primitive, alpha-male dominated excesses of the ruthlessly brutal Taliban, it will have a devastating impact on Afghani citizens (especially women) and the likelihood of a very bleak future for their children! Once the tyrannical, tribesmen of the Taliban take over, they will, once again, drag Afghanistan back 3,000 years!

    Of course, ALL this genocidal malfeasance, politically-motivated depravity and cold blooded murder of so many innocent, desperate people will be so easily and conveniently forgotten UNTIL the NEXT TIME these despicable, totally depraved, war mongering sociopaths in right-wing politics will, once again, start to STINK IN THE POLLS! It will be – at that time – that the Republicans and their lapdogs in the LNP will revert to their Modus Operandi of creating, initiating and getting involved in bloody conflicts, wars and aggression in order to garnish votes when they, once again, become as unpopular as a pork chop in a Synagogue! Sadly, right-wing political parasites KNOW that when nations are at WAR, foolish Murdoch-manipulated, gullible citizens will ALWAYS vote conservatively! WAKE UP, AUSTRALIA!!!!

    The Republicans and the LNP have always THRIVED on fear, hate, division, xenophobic racism, misogyny and WAR! STOP voting for these barbaric war criminals – they are sacrificing our sons and daughters lives and the lives of innocent citizens in vulnerable third world nations, for their OWN unconscionable, political ambitions!

  5. paul walter

    The ordinance industry will also going into mourning, but for different reasons.

    So reminiscent of Vietnam in 1975, but wasn’t this even harsher, for the rapidity of the collapse.

    For the US, GB ourselves and several other places, the humiliation must be comprehensive. No “cut and run” here, to roughly quote a former PM.

    Dear oh dear, unceremoniously runout of Afghanistan, the most sophisticated alliance in history, by a few “rag heads”, as the allies used to call them. Ahh well, another century, another Empire, as they say in Kandahar.

  6. skip

    but but but

    stralya treats women and Indigenous and refugees the best in the World just ask Barnee

    Viz: Escape from Manus

  7. paul walter

    And it serves them right, a right comeuppance for the time they wasted persecuting Julian Assange when they should have had their minds focussed on other, real issues.

    The bubble disconnect from actuality has seemed disturbing but this proves it has been no illusion.

    Never mind, perhaps they can go and help the poor Haitians, instead.

  8. skip

    In Australia today the average female worker earns 15.3% less than a male worker. That’s almost 10 minutes of unpaid labor for every hour worked. But it’s not just unequal pay plaguing women across the country. According to research women are more likely to be depressed, retire into poverty and be victims of domestic violence. Many of the struggles women face today could arguably be attributed to their underrepresentation in government, with women representing only 32% of parliament, despite making up over 50% of the population.

  9. Fred

    So nobody expected Afghanistan to fall to the Taliban overnight? 𝗢𝗵 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆?

    Had our lazy executive bothered to listen to Afghanistan veterans, to urgently bring our “friends” to Australia and asked the question “why urgently?” it would have been informed of the corruption of the Afghani leadership and sub-standard Afghan military.
    It was concerning when our embassy closed at the end of May. How do you obtain a visa if the embassy is shut? I normally don’t contact MPs but after no action for too long and knowing this was a pending “train wreck”, I wrote to my local federal member (Liberal) on 21 July – see depersonalised below.

    To: JJJ
    Subject: Important/urgent: save some lives and …
    JJJ,
    Nice to receive the update, but it is mainly a rehash of what’s on the news. Since you don’t have a portfolio, you’ve got time on hand.
    Really important/urgent: Can you please go and save some lives by bringing the Afghani interpreters/any local people that provided support for our troops and their families to Australia immediately.
    Regards,
    XXXXXXX

    PS Why do I want you to do something urgently?

    What was the point of our being involved in Afghanistan? Our intervention created hope and saw positive change but our withdrawal has created a cohort of the “walking dead”. The Taliban appear to be ruthless murderers that hold grudges and hunt down those locals that provided support to the foreign “invaders”. It not only creates a fear factor but also sends a strong message to the locals about helping foreigners. If we bring them here the Taliban can only claim they have scared them off but the locals will know that we have done the honourable thing.

    𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗥𝗘𝗣𝗟𝗬 𝗢𝗙 𝟱 𝗔𝗨𝗚𝗨𝗦𝗧 𝗪𝗔𝗦 𝗡𝗢𝗧 𝗘𝗡𝗖𝗢𝗨𝗥𝗔𝗚𝗜𝗡𝗚:
    Dear XXXXXXX,

    Thank you for your email. I am sorry for the delay in responding.

    I share your concerns about the Afghan interpreters who worked alongside Australian forces. Australia should look after those who have helped and served alongside us in a time of conflict.

    Australia has been using the special humanitarian visa programme and providing efficient pathways to residency for Afghan interpreters who worked alongside Australian forces. 𝗩𝗶𝘀𝗮 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝗽𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗳𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝗶𝗴𝗵𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗼𝗿𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗛𝘂𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗻 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺. 𝗛𝗼𝘄𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿, 𝘃𝗶𝘀𝗮 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝘀𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘀𝗳𝘆 𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗼𝗿𝗼𝘂𝘀 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝘀𝗲𝗰𝘂𝗿𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝗾𝘂𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀. 𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗻 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗶𝘃𝗶𝗱𝘂𝗮𝗹 𝗰𝗶𝗿𝗰𝘂𝗺𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲𝘀, 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝗶𝗴𝗵𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗼𝗿𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗯𝗲𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀.

    Since the program was instigated for Afghanistan, over 1480 people have been granted a visa under the program, including the family members of eligible interpreters. In the second half of June alone, 80 Afghan interpreters and their families arrived in Australia under the program, and around 100 applications are currently being considered. That demonstrates our Government’s ongoing dedication to this program and the steadfast action which we are taking in order to implement it effectively.

    Thank you again for taking the time to write.

    Kind regards,…

    Is it acceptable that some of the applications have been in train for over 2 years? Not in my books, but your perspective may be different.

    A little reminder of why I don’t engage with MPs – what’s the point. It’s deeply disappointing that government cannot grasp the concept of expediting humanitarian relief when faced with a dire situation. Typical of the SloMo government – 𝗧𝗢𝗢 𝗟𝗜𝗧𝗧𝗟𝗘 𝗧𝗢𝗢 𝗟𝗔𝗧𝗘.

    There will blood on his hands for his inaction. You can be sure the Taliban will kill our “friends”.

  10. Dianne

    On the upside, bacha bazi will again be illegal. And at the lived level.

    Then again, the fault emanated from the chai boys.

    Oh the wonders of the blind eye.

  11. Jack sprat

    Morriscum is deliberately making it very difficult for afghans who aided Australian forces from escaping to australia as he knows that if large numbers of muslin refugees came to Australia , he would lose a large numbers of his voter base to Pauline Hanson . Remenber his rise in the liarbral party was on his reputation of stopping refugees of non christian countries and of brown skin from coming here. John Howard started this hard line on refugees cause he too was frighten of losing votes to Hanson.

  12. Brozza

    The coalition of immoral greed and subservient bumboys will give the same consideration to the Afghani’s as they they did to the 1/2 million Iraqi’s killed since the 2003 invasion.
    At most, a bit of faux empathy at a presser.

  13. New England Cocky

    @Jack Sprat: Yep!! The White Supremacist, Little johnnie Howard had good reason to be fearful of Porelean because he ”stole” her policies and had her jailed to remove her from politics, an unsuccessful strategy.

    But surely White Supremacy is one of the pillars of Liarbral ideology, otherwise the present Scummo COALition misgovernment would have been more concerned about Aboriginal susceptibility to COVID infection and met their own original targets for Aboriginal vaccinations.

    At present, the Dubbo NSW COVID ”cluster” reports have about 40% of infections occurring in Aboriginal kids under 10 years ….. while snotty nose middle class private schools can get vaccinated before going on adventure camps.

    ”We’re all in this together ….. ” Are we?? Or is the tardy vaccination programme in regional centres a conspiracy to reduce the number of Aboriginal persons who have survived and thrived despite other government sponsored strategies for genocide?

  14. New England Cocky

    @skip: You really are a bit of a bleeding heart ….. I mean, historians of Australian agriculture have discovered (but not widely discussed) the many instances where women have been the innovators that their men were unwilling or unable to be. For example, It was Elizabeth Macarthur who founded the Australian wool industry while John was away, banished to England to be tried for treason for his part in the NSW Rum Rebellion.

    Then there were three ladies who sourced Merinos from Germany and elsewhere, walking around Europe collecting mobs to transport to Western Victoria and Tasmania. Only the New England Merinos could possibly be described as Australian bred by recognising the effects of a starvation diet with the subsequent selection pressure creating the present genetically stable blood lines.

    The Australian mohair industry had many early supporters and Jenny Anderson of Glen Innes was among the leaders.

    Funny how 19th & 20th century male historians only recognised the efforts of other males, regardless of the ”facts”.

    But you overlook the immediate post WWII decades when single women for whatever reason, were expected to raise families while working for 50% of male wages for the same work..

    Now tell me about the ”horrors” of Islam theology and we can compare them to the reality of Christian Western practices.

  15. DrakeN

    Just like a thorough reading of the “Christian” Bible will disclose the myriad of contradictions contained therein, the world of Islam contains just as many.
    The reality of “Western” practices are little known to the general public since so much is done in the name of ‘National Security”; ‘Cabinet confidentiality’; ‘Commercial in Confidence’ and the well known but never disclosed ‘back room’ discussions and conversations at the urinal or in the ‘Ladies’ Room’.
    I must check this out again, but does that ‘seat of Western democracy’, the USofA, still have the highest rate of absolute poverty in the Industrialised world?

  16. skip

    ASPI & the WAR (PROMO) MEMORIAL

    FOLLOW THE MONEY

    The Australian War Memorial accepts sponsorship from the world’s largest weapons makers.

    War Memorial

    Previous articles in Eurekajournal.net have exposed the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) as the tool bag of U.S. influence in Australia. ASPI is promoted as a non-partisan board providing advice to the Australian government. On examination, it promotes uncritical allegiance and loyalty to the U.S. regime – Democrat or Republican. ASPI receives funding from U.S. military corporations (BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon).

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