Bring New Zealand troops home
6 August 2012
Bring New Zealand troops home
The deaths of two New Zealand soldiers killed in Afghanistan over the weekend should be the catalyst for a withdrawal of all our troops from the country where they are part of a hated foreign occupation.
Such a withdrawal would not be an act of cowardice in the face of this human tragedy but an admission that we should never have been there in the first place.
Afghanistan is our longest ever deployment of troops overseas and despite the official cover story our troops are propping up a woman-hating, medieval regime of warlords and drug barons. We are there because the US wants us there. Most Afghanis want us gone.
When our soldiers first went in we were told by Prime Minister Helen Clark we were making the world safer after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre. This was untrue – Osama bin Laden had long gone by the time the foreigners invaded and there have been no Afghans involved terror attacks anywhere in the world. (In fact the Taleban leadership in Afghanistan had offered to arrest bin Laden for trial in a neutral country but this was ignored in the bloodlust which followed the 9/11 attacks)
Then we were told the New Zealanders were helping liberate women from the Taleban. However the US approved regime of Hamed Karzai which replaced the Taleban passed laws which meant a woman could be starved to death by her husband for refusing sex and a man could avoid prosecution for rape by marrying his victim or paying compensation.
Next we were told our troops were helping to bring democracy to Afghanistan but this is a joke. Afghanistan’s so-called “President” Hamed Karzai won the last election through fraud and has as much legitimacy as the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe.
Our government has sent New Zealanders to risk their lives defending this corrupt regime. This has ended in tragedy for another two soldiers and their families with danger escalating for the others.
We are part of the problem in Afghanistan. We are foreign occupiers and we are on the losing side both morally and militarily.
Our troops should come home.
In the nine years since New Zealand took part in the illegal invasion and occupation of Afghanistan (it was never sanctioned by the United Nations) that country has been plunged into violence and chaos for which New Zealand shares responsibility.
In earlier deployments New Zealand troops handed over “suspects” they captured to the American forces who tortured and often murdered their captives. In the latest tragedy New Zealand troops handed over another suspect to Afghan authorities – with barely the shadow of a doubt that person with be tortured and murdered by the regime.
And despite the supposed bravery of our SAS troops they haven’t in the past had the courage to insist on Geneva Convention treatment for people they handed over to the US. One New Zealand SAS soldier was quoted as saying “we sort of knew what would happen to the prisoners, Americans being Americans”.
PM John Key’s tells us any suspects are now handed over to Afghan authorities and he said he had assurances they would be well treated. Those assurances are worthless. This is the regime which suffocated to death hundreds of suspects in containers and which uses torture and murder as its modus operandi.
There is no place for New Zealand troops or our provincial reconstruction team. Afghanistan needs money to help rebuild and this should be channelled through non-governmental organisations. The over $200 million spent so far by New Zealand on reconstruction would have stretched a lot further if it was spent through NGOs rather than on New Zealand soldiers doing reconstruction work on the other side of the world.