“Blood on their hands!”

Like a many people here, I grew up in the 60’s. It was a time of polarizing politics mainly as a result of the Vietnam war, conscription and enormous social change.

There was a deep political divide in those days with the government committed to both the war and conscription… ‘All the way with LBJ’,  etc. The ALP stood on the other side – anti war/conscription. And, as everyone knows, it wasn’t until the election of the Whitlam government in 1972 that the troops were brought home and conscription ended. It was a very popular move at the time and one I personally celebrated. (I was in the ‘lottery’ just prior to the election and although I didn’t ‘win’ a few of my friends did.)

We were in the Vietnam war at the behest of the United States. And no doubt there were strong feelings that, given the US had ‘saved’ us during the battle of the Coral Sea, Vietnam was seen as some sort of ‘payback’.  Needless to say, a lot of those born post WW2 didn’t see it that way.

It seems things have changed now.

It was comments by Andrew Wilkie, and more so Mal Washer, that initiated this post.

In Australian politics today, it seems that both sides cannot agree on:

*the best way to alleviate problems associated with the climate

*how best to get a fair deal from the mining boom

*how best and when introduce a disability scheme

*what’s the best way of dealing with the Murray/Darling

…the list goes on..

But it seems the one thing they do agree on is WAR…i.e, “’completing’ the job in Afghanistan”.  So we have a situation of bipartisanship.  Who would have believed it!

Is there any end purpose in Afghanistan?  How many more will die before the schedule departure date?

Is Australia’s involvement making Australia a safer place? Or are just there at the behest of the U.S.?

What motivates a Labor Government to support a seemingly unwinnable war? Why ‘stay the course’?

This is not the Labor Party I first voted for in 1972!

(I might add that I have nothing but admiration for the Australian armed forces and the work they do. This is not about the personnel)

Over to you.