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John Passant

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October 2012



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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)



Withdraw from Afghanistan now


Today marks 11 years of the unjust war and occupation of Afghanistan. A good time to remember these words from Malalai Joya: “Afghans can govern ourselves without foreign interference. Democracy is possible here but can never be imposed at gunpoint.” For more information visit



Comment from Kay
Time October 9, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Clearly a very brave woman! Perhaps in time a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize?

Yes, it is certainly time for the allied forces to leave Afghanistan! It is unfortunate for Afghanistan that it occupies such a strategically important position in between Russia, Pakistan, India, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries, and is close to China. That no doubt will mean that even if allied troops leave Afghanistan, the US will retain a presence in the area.

Afghanistan has been invaded many times – by the British, the Russians, and, more recently, the US and its allies. I think after 11 September 2001 there was a political imperative within the US to seek out and eliminate those who had inflicted such an horrific terrorist attack upon the US. That, combined with tales of the horrific Taliban rule in Afghanistan meant that in addition to seeking revenge upon those who ordered the 9/11 attacks, the invasion of Afghanistan was seen as an opportunity to give some hope to the women and girls of Afghanistan.

Alas, like all previous invasions of Afghanistan, the current one has just made matters worse. Apart from civilian deaths resulting from the conflict, the current government is almost entirely composed of corrupt appointees – war lords, drug lords, religious fundamentists – you name it. And many who have committed atrocities continue to roam free.

It seems the only time women had ‘a fair go’ at equality in Afghanistan was during the brief ‘Communist’ regimes from 1978-89, but overall the repression then was very brutal. Of course, the US was worried by the Communist regime in Afghanistan and its close ties to Russia, and so began its move to support radical Islamist and anti-Communist forces – a move that backfired badly on 9/11. The Russian occupation resulted in the deaths of up 2 million Afghans. After the Russians withdrew in 1989, the US were pleased but the rise of the Taliban just created a new nightmare! Systematic massacres occurred under the Taliban, with Shia and Hazara people particularly targeted.

It seems the only path forward for Afghanistan is one that excludes all foreign intervention (that has only exacerbated problems in the past). Afghanistan is different from many other countries in that it seems to be composed of many warring factions and tribes, for whom religion appears to be very important. Perhaps a centralised government is not the way to go?

I just hope that some day, somehow the Afghans can develop their own form of democracy, one that includes female equality and religious tolerance. But a lot of brave people will probably end up dying in trying to bring that about. History certainly shows that external interference does nothing but create even worse disasters!

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