From the outset, the Australian Greens got it wrong about Afghanistan.
In early October 2001 Senator Bob Brown issued a short media release on the subject. The text follows (emphasis added)
SAS Squad Should Be Under UN Control
“It is a strategic mistake for Australian troops to be deployed under a US led mission in Afghanistan, Greens Senator Bob Brown said today. “Australia’s commitment should be under the auspices of the United Nations,” Senator Brown said. “Terrorists could use the fact that the US is in charge to widen the conflict. “It is a strategic mistake for our forces to be led by the USA. They should be under Australia’s control or the United Nations’. “The use of the term ‘war’ is also a mistake. “This is a hunt for terrorists and the term ‘war’ is inflaming the crisis and creating more fear around the world.”
Bob Brown’s statement was extremely rash for the leader a party purportedly committed to the peaceful resolution of conflict.
- First, he assumed some form of external military action was actually needed in Afghanistan.
- Second, he assumed the statements made by George Bush, John Howard etc al were honest – that is, he assumed the invasion of Afghanistan was truly motivated by a desire to find the perpetrators of the 9/11 atrocities.
In fact, there was no justification for military action of any kind against Afghanistan, nor was there evidence Bin Laden was actually responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
911 First Responders cop a lungful of dust we now know contained lethal nanoparticles. The EPA's "all-clear", issued days after 9/11, was utterly deceitful; from the outset there were obvious signs maniacs were in charge of the USA
Despite rather clumsy attempts over the last decade to re-enforce the myth of Bin Laden the master villain, evidence that he master-minded 9/11 is more shakey now than it was at the time.
All the Taliban Government asked for in the aftermath of 9/11, before handing over a guest in their country to a hostile nation, was evidence. Any Government would – or should – ask for evidence before extraditing suspects. Julian Assange doubtless appreciates this long-standing tradition in his present predicament. But the Bush Administration was fixated on war – and bullied and cajoled its way with allies and others until its bombing and invasion began.
Second, Brown’s proposition that “this is a hunt for terrorists” was palpably naive. If that wasn’t obvious then, it surely is now. The USA and its allies ensured Afghanistan became an ongoing war zone, by staying on and enforcing occupation on a people whose independent spirit is legendary. Any pretence that the occupation of Afghanistan is a “hunt for terrorists” who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks has long since dissipated. The occupation itself was sufficient to foment armed resistance – and that resistance is now sufficient to rationalise ongoing occupation…
Bob Brown’s remark that “use of the term ‘war’ is also a mistake” was absurd.
OF COURSE the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was war from the outset! It was, moreover, a war the Greens shouldn’t have had a bar of – in any way – from the outset. The issue of whether a figleaf of UN mandate could be arranged was irrelevant. Arranged it was – AFTER the initial bombing and invasion. On that basis the Australian Greens shut up about Afghanistan for years.
It’s true the Greens now oppose the continuing presence of Australian troops in Afghanistan. But the party took years to adopt that position in a resolute way. As late as July 2009, when calling for a Parliamentary debate on Afghanistan, Bob Brown said “The Bush administration made the calamitous mistake of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan for the invasion of Iraq and it is a not a mistake we believe Australian soldiers should be helping redress.”
In other words the Greens leader was saying he’d wanted an earlier troops “surge” in Afghanistan! He wanted MORE war – not less!
Pro-Ghadafi rally in Tripoli, July 1st 2011; it didn't matter how many Libyans protested opposition to NATO. Bob Brown knew what was best for them...
By failing to represent the peace movement in Parliament the Greens have missed the opportunity to represent the peace movement in this country. It’s a mistake of historic proportions – and a mistake the Greens continue to make.
Last year Bob Brown and his colleagues also supported NATO’s vicious bombing assault on Libya – the nation that at the time had the highest UNDP Human Development Index in Africa. Under Ghadafi’s leadership, Libya had clawed its way from desperate poverty in the 1960s to quite remarkable prosperity - despite western sanctions for much of that time based on a bogus pretext. By 2010, Libya had the lowest infant mortality and the highest life expectancy in Africa. It offered its citizens free health care and free education. It had helped fund some crucial African development projects, such as the RASCOM satellite that’s done so much to transform communications on the continent. It had economic growth close to 10%, was entirely debt-free and had a huge accumulated reserve of funds. The high status of women in Libya and the secular nature of its government drew praise from many fair-minded observers.
Yet when the drums of war first began to pound in February 2011, Bob Brown announced his support for enforced “regime change” without consulting Greens members. As far as I can tell, he’d had nothing to say previously about Libya. Greens members who complained about this pro-war position that came out of the blue were marginalised and ignored. Open policy debate within the Party was discouraged.
By 2011, in other words, the Australian Greens ‘apple’ was rotten to the core. Under its current leadership it can make no pretence at all of representing the peace movement in Parliament – despite the centrality of peaceful conflict resolution in the Greens own Charter.
Additionally, Bob Brown and his colleagues have made a farce out of the notion of “grass roots democracy” – another Greens Charter principle. Indeed, Brown seems able to endorse new wars with an ease that might have made Joe Stalin jealous.
Complaining to other Greens MPs about this has been a waste of time; they simply refer protesting voices to Brown’s office. I telephoned his office in mid-2011 after successive tweets and emails had been ignored, but wasn’t even allowed to know the name of the relevant political adviser.
While the maggot first entered the Greens’ apple two decades ago with Bob Brown’s ill-advised call for “intervention” to protect Iraqi Kurds from his position in the Tasmanian Parliament, I think it penetrated the core later than that. Let me to roll back the clock and say what I think the Greens should have done in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11th 2001.
Instead of demanding UN military action against Afghanistan in October 2001, the Greens should have dug deeper into the official story of 9/11. Even then, there were many grounds for suspicion. They should have helped play a part in exposing the gigantic fraud perpetrated on the world by those in control of the US Government and western mass media. Allies in other countries were working on the case. Why did the Australian Greens drop the ball?
Greens in the Federal Parliament. Are ALL of them 9/11 Nanothermite Deniers?
The intellectual tools to understand the fictional basis of the “War on Terror” were not readily available 10 years ago. But for several years, they have been available to anyone with internet access. By now, more than 1,600 qualified architects and engineers have demanded a new inquiry. There’s no excuse whatsoever for overlooking this accumulating body of expertise.
The Australian Greens’ self-imposed embargo on even discussing the many anomalies about 9/11 is a ruse that worked for so long, but it’s wearing very thin. Either the party rejoins the side of peace, justice, truth and open debate – or it should be challenged by others who share the goal of environmental sustainability but aren’t afraid of upsetting establishment consensus on issues pertaining to war and peace.
Recent election results suggest the Australian Greens are losing electoral momentum. I believe the leadership’s failure to stand up for the truth and due process is a key reason.
Political cowardice may be convenient for the party leadership in the short-term. Long-term it will prove fatal.
This article was submitted to New Matilda for publication tend days ago, minus the illustrations and a handful of minor edits.
New Matilda politely declined (after chasing-up by email a week later).
Submitting it to New Matilda was an experiment. It has no history of publishing ANY material that seriously queries the official myth about 9/11 – except for allowing comments from the public to mention the subject from time to time. In that respect it’s in the same mould as Crikey and other and other “second tier” new web-based media in Australia. The now almost defuct WebDiary was the same; it seems likely the The Global Mail and The Conversation will confine themselves to the same intellectual straightjacket.
Clearly there are POWERFUL forces that don’t want the truth about 9/11 discussed. Their influence extends as far as Australia’s current “alternative” web media. In turn, these media create the ambience within which professional politicians such as Greens Senators operate.
New Matilda’s About Us page says “there’s never been a more important time for independent media in Australia”.
That at least is something we can agree on.
But why do “independent media” avoid discussing what’s clearly one of the most important stories of the century?
We (actually do) Report.