Concerned veterans will be conducting a public Speak Out against the Afghanistan War at the gates of the Enoggera Barracks, home to the 7th Brigade and one of the largest of Australian military bases,
from 12 noon Thursday 9 September 2010
The Speak Out will be hosted by Stand Fast, the national association of veterans opposing Australia's engagement in the US led wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. It will be supported by the Queensland Greens and other local antiwar activists.
"Open mike, the Speak Out will be an opportunity for citizens generally, and service and ex-service people in particular, to speak and hear the truth about the Afghanistan War," said SpeakOut organiser Graeme Dunstan of Peacebus.com.
"We veterans reckon the best thing we can do for Australian soldiers serving in Afghanistan is to bring them home," said Stand Fast founder and veteran of East Timor, Hamish Chitts.
"Immediate and unconditional withdrawal is what we demand."
"We cautiously support the Greens-ALP agreement to have a parliamentary debate about the Afghanistan War and note that the debate is nine years too late.
"The damage is done: nothing has been gained, our taxes have been squandered and the dead, Afghans, Australians, US and others, are forever dead."
"Never again!" is what we veterans say," said Chitts.
"As the recent Wikileaks of Pentagon papers make clear, the US military and the US government have lied consistently about the cause, conduct and progress of the Afghanistan war and successive Australian governments have repeated those lies to the Australian people like ventriloquist's dummies."
"The bitter truth is that for all their killing power, there is no win to be had for the US military and their collaborators in Afghanistan. Just like Vietnam, there never was and never could be."
"Our message to this season's soldiers is this: Politicians lie and give not a damn about you. The only way to protect yourself and to protect your mates is to refuse to go to Afghanistan."
Media call: 12.30 pm Thursday 9 September.
Hamish Chitts, Stand Fast 0401 586 923
Graeme Dunstan, Peacebus.com 0407 951 688