ga('send', 'pageview');
John Passant

Site menu:

October 2010



RSS Oz House



Subscribe to us

Get new blog posts delivered to your inbox.


Site search


My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Afghanistan: more Australian troops to the slaughter?

Julia Gillard may be positioning the parliamentary debate on Afghanistan, 9 years after the invasion, to be about the ruling class’s desire to send more working class kids to kill Afghan civilians and to die for the US alliance. 

 As the campaign against the Vietnam war shows, parliamentary debates won’t get the troops home or end the invasion. Only building a huge campaign on the streets and in the workplaces can do that.

The Greens are the best placed to build such mass action to stop Australia’s role in the massacre of the innocents in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Will they?

I doubt it. They will sit back aghast when the Labor conservatives join the Opposition conservatives to reaffirm the ruling elites’ support for the war in Afghanistan. Depending on which poll you read, between 54 and 61 percent of Australians want the troops bought home now.

In Parliament the vote in favour of keeping the troops in Afghanistan, and perhaps even increasing their number, will be about 90 percent. The disconnect between Parliament and the people couldn’t be greater, and yet the Greens will continue to put their faith in parliamentary tactics.

Organise a movement against the war. You will have mass support and win more supporters.

Ordinary people see through the lies of our rulers about why we are there. They know it is about the US Alliance and paying our dues.  Under the umbrella of US power the Australian ruling class can expand its power throughout the region. 21 dead Australians so far is a small price to pay for our bourgeoisie and its imperial ambitions.

The war in Afghanistan is about containing China. It is about showing US strength.

However the ongoing quagmire shows that the invincibility of the US empire is in fact a furphy. The lesson China will be drawing is that the US cannot subjugate a poor country of twenty million people.

On top of that  it is costing the empire hundreds of billions of dollars, money that from its point of view could be more profitably spent on other ‘real business’ activity.

Before the invasion the Taliban controlled 80 percent of the country. The Northern Alliance – the present corrupt warlords and their hangers on in charge of Kabul – only survived with US support.

The inevitable defeat of the US and Australia and the other countries there, and the victory of the resistance will see a further retreat of the US Empire for a while, to the regret of US capital. This opens up opportunities for Chinese imperialism.

The reasons the US is in Afghanistan have nothing to do with fighting terrorism, or for democracy but much more about Empire, and much more about encircling China. Judged by those real reasons Afghanistan is a failure so the benefit even from imperialism’s point of view is negative.

Dumb strategy, but I am not here to lecture the butchers who sit in Washington on the best way forward for their brutal terrorist Empire.

But assume they stay, which they will. Vietnam 75, Afghanistan whenever. It took the US over a decade before it used its troops again after 1975, and then it was a little country called Grenada. So the beast was kept in its lair for ten years and that saved lives.

But this is not yet the Vietnam era and developing a mass campaign against the war is much more difficult for the left on its own. In part opposition will continue at a passive level as the troops kill and be killed. But the sense of struggle is lost and will have to be learned. That is true for many campaigns.

At this stage the left cannot build the movement on its own, without the Greens. But the Greens have their head up the arse of Parliament and the silly games there.

So we on the left will continue to plug away around refugees, same sex marriage, for workers’ rights and against our rulers’ wars.

In summary, and to quote Peter Jones:

‎1. Foreign troops are perpetrating and fueling the violence. This is widely acknowledged, even by the invaders.

2. Foreign troops are supporting warlords who have social policies basically indistinguishable from those resisting the US (including the Taliban).

3. Afghans don’t want foreign troops there.

4. The process of the Afghans themselves defeating the Taliban – the only path to emancipation – cannot really begin while foreign troops are there, since many Afghans (correctly) see the foreign troops as the major threat and fight them.

5. US imperialism is the major military threat in the world. Defeat of US imperialism would be an advance for the anti-war movement world-wide, as it was when they were forced out of Vietnam.

The only way we can get Australian troops out of Afghanistan is to build a mass movement against the war. The Greens are the only party with the credibility and support to do that. Over to you Senator Brown.



Comment from Auntie Rhoberta
Time October 5, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Excellent, John. Old Brown Job will no doubt jump at the opportunity.

Comment from John
Time October 5, 2010 at 10:26 pm

yes. And pigs will no doubt fly Auntie Rhoberta. It could all be very demoralising if we let it get to us.

Comment from David G.
Time October 6, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Your point number 5 is an idea I often advance myself and did so in my last post.

Keep up your good work. We’ll have some impact one day surely!

Write a comment