As casualty numbers go up, and community support goes down, it's worth reminding ourselves again why Australia is losing lives and spending billions in a far-away-land called Afghanistan ...
"'We pursue that mission because Afghanistan is a safe haven for terrorists." -- Prime Minister Gillard
"It is absolutely critical for the safety and security of Australians and Australia to help prevent Afghanistan from again becoming a training ground and operation base for international terrorists." -- Defence Minister Faulkner
"We continue to be committed to our mission to stop Afghanistan from again becoming a breeding ground for international terrorism." -- Foreign Minister Smith
What none of our political leaders will do is give the true reason for Australia's military presence in Afghanistan's bloody tribal war -- which is this:
"Australia is fighting in Afghanistan because we support our alliance with the US. It is Australia's cornerstone security alliance, and when America fights a major war, especially in or near our region, Australia needs to provide moral and military support to send a clear message to the US Government that we value the alliance."
That's the true reason for our presence in Afghanistan. If you doubt that, ask yourself this question: would Australia be fighting in Afghanistan if the US wasn't there? Of course we wouldn't. There's nothing wrong with telling the public the truth about our part in this war; it's a legitimate reason that most people would understand and possibly support. The best way politicians can show Australian soldiers their respect is to stop lying about why they're in Afghanistan in the first place.