Our democracy and Afghanistan
We live in a democracy, right? so you’d expect wouldn’t you that the parliament would actually represent the views of the people on issues like Afghanistan?
But ti doesn’t There’s a ‘debate’ going on right now in Australia’s Parliament about our rulers’ invasion of Afghanistan.
You might have missed the other parliamentary debates over the long nine years since Australian and other NATO troops went into Afghanistan. That’s because there haven’t been any.
John Howard took us t war without a debate. The labor Party agreed with Howard about the war and since it won power in 2007 has not bothered with debating the issue.
That changed with the last election. The minority Gillard Government, under pressure from the Greens, agreed to hold a debate.
This invasion has nothing to do with terrorism, or women’s rights or democracy in Afghanistan. it has, as labor heavyweight and former defence minister pointed out, everything to do with the US Alliance.
The debate will be a four course meal of lies, deceit and imperialist spin.
The Labor Party and the Opposition both support the invasion. There is not a tissue between them on the issue.
So parliament will affirm the invasion and ongoing occupation. The vote in the house of representatives will be almost unanimously behind the killing. The one green will vote against as will one or perhaps two of the independents. That’s at best 4 of the 150 lower house seats.
Yet poll after poll shows more than 60 percent of Australians want the troops withdrawn.
We live in a parliamentary dictatorship where the needs of capital override everything else. That’s not democracy.