Tuesday, October 09, 2007

First Australian soldier killed in Afghanistan or Iraq by the enemy

Explosive device may have come from Iran: Nelson

The improvised explosive device that killed an Australian soldier and injured another in Afghanistan yesterday may have come into the country from Iran, Defence Minister Brendan Nelson says.

But he admitted the Australian Defence Force had no proof about the source of the device, which was detonated in a roadside bombing in Oruzgan Province in Afghanistan.

The dead Australian soldier was a driver in a convoy. It was the first time an Australian has been killed in direct enemy attacks in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Dr Nelson said there were 700 Australian troops in Oruzgan Province and another 300 soldiers in other parts of the country.

By his own admission there is no proof or evidence of Iranian involvement. The bomb may have been made anywhere, in Pakistan or perhaps in Afghanistan itself. Why is Nelson pointing the finger at Iran?

Is he trying to prepare the public for war with Iran, a war which must not happen. Australia, instead of enabling or participating in such a war, must join with humanity in doing everything possible to dissuade the US from such a catastrophe.

Howard and his government have been lucky in the Middle East. 5 years of devastating warfare and this is the first enemy killing of one of our own. Of course the contribution has been token and clever Howard seems to have taken care that the soldiers are kept out of harm's way.

The safest place for them would be back in Australia. What on earth are we doing on the other side of the world in an imperialist/colonialist war which is as disastrous as it is illegal and immoral? Did we learn nothing from the Gallipoli fiasco all those years ago? All troops should be brought home immediately.

The death comes as coalition forces in Afghanistan suffer their highest casualties since the start of Operation Enduring Freedom on October 7, 2001.

191 coalition soldiers have died so far this year, already matching last year's total. In 2005, 130 military personnel died, compared to 58 in 2004.

More than likely the White powers will have to pull out of Afghanistan just as they will have to pull out of Iraq.

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