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The tragedy of courageous Australian soldiers being murdered by  Afghan ‘allies’ demonstrates not only the futility of war but also the absurdity of politicians repeating cliches about ‘staying the course’, and ‘ completing our mission’. The media participates in this process by usually inviting a  grim  faced Defence Association  spokesperson to repeat those cliches, usually with a reference to ‘never cut and run.’

It’s time that another perspective was heard and heeded.
Professor Stuart Rees, Chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation says, ‘It will take courage to question the cliches, to challenge that militaristic culture which regrets loss of precious lives yet stays determined to continue the policies which guarantee that  more lives will be lost. This pointless process,  built around claims about ‘honor’,  and ‘ the courage to continue the fight’ has continued for centuries.
Another form of courage is needed: the mental/political courage to say enough is enough.
Instead of staying in  Afghanistan,  Australians can teach the world another  lesson: this is a war which is not a war; this is an  intervention which has lasted for too long.
Instead of uttering predictable cliches, political leaders could say,’ We will therefore find the courage to withdraw from Afghanistan and we will be determined to never  sacrifice young lives again. We now realize there is no honour  in that.’
Professor Rees concludes, ‘This statement may be met with cries of cowardice, but that is a risk worth taking  The search for an alternative to these   Afghan tragedies is long overdue.’
Melissa McCullough | Sydney Peace Foundation Media Officer
m: 0432 861 653
w: sydneypeacefoundation.org.au