Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Afghanistan

"Ditch the dishonest terrorism rhetoric and try and sell the real reasons for our seemingly open-ended involvement in a war that has gone from bad to worse over nine years, making it one of the longest wars in Australian history." he said.

If the opening days of our  43rd parliament are anything to go by, then I can still live in hope. Oh yes, we still have  some limited, predigested thinking being trotted out in its usual clockwork fashion, but here have been a number of new and vital voices who are prepared to discuss and debate and who are prepared to offer their views backed by some decent substance so I can sit and actually think about what they have been saying. There has been a far better attempt than ever this week and over the past couple of weeks to look at our deployment in Afghanistan not just by our politicians, but also by the media. We have actually had people looking back at the history of our placement in Afghanistan, the development and political meaning of the Taliban, the opinions of Afghans and their beliefs. I actually feel informed. I have listened to parliament and the surprise for me is that I can actually listen to it. No one has been disrespectful , speakers appear to be being listened to and most people have got up and spoken in an informed and honest way. We need to do this. We need to talk. We need to get to the bottom of things which have been bothering us and we need to be clear about why we are doing something or why we are not. On the whole the politicians are leading the way and a lot of media people are picking up strongly on this so that thinking and discussion are now on our daily menu. We do have to learn to think for ourselves!

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