Media Release 26 October 2010
Speaking Out against the Afghan War
at Bandiana Army Base, Wodonga
A Stand Fast Speak Out against the Afghan War will take place
from noon - 2 pm Friday 29 October
at the gates of the Bandiana Army Base at Wodonga
This will be the fourth in a campaign of barrack gate Speak Outs being conducted by Stand Fast , the national association of veterans and ex service people against the war.
Organisers are inviting service people, ex service people, concerned family and friends to come speak and hear the truth about the war.
"As the Parliamentary debate last week has shown, the Gillard Government, like the Rudd and Howard governments before it, is continuing to lie to Australians, citizens and soldiers, about the cause, conduct and progress of the Afghan War," said Hamish Chitts, East Timor veteran and spokesperson for Stand Fast .
"PM Gillard has promised another ten years of war in Afghanistan if the US asks it of us. We say Ms Gillard must like going to funerals."
"Now in its tenth year, this war never was and never will be winnable. Indeed it goes from bad to worse and the best thing we can do for the troops is to bring them home immediately," said Chitts.
Wikileak-ed documents show that the death toll for Afghan civilians and security forces is about 160,000 - twice as many as the US military has previously admitted. Of these 680 have been killed at US manned check points.
"How can anyone believe this slaughter of innocent people could either make people in Australia safer or improve the lives of the same people being slaughtered or stop them wanting to take up arms against the foreign troops?" asks Chitts.
The cost to Australians to maintain its troops in Afghanistan will be $1.2 billion in 2010-11 . It has also cost us 21 dead and 149 wounded.
But these are just costs visible now. The hidden costs is the psychological damage being done to service people. People supporting for sufferers of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder now are warning of a coming avalanche of PTSD diagnoses.
"Prevention is better that cure," said Chitts. "Bring them home now."
Hamish Chitts, founder Stand Fast 0401 586 923
Graeme Dunstan, Peacebus.com 0407 951 688
Laurie Kelly / Kate Tonicia, Picking Up the Peaces, 0410 900 433