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Five Aussie Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan  
User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 2863 posts, RR: 8
Posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2878 times:

Big loss for the nation

SMH is reporting,

Prime minister Julia Gillard who was in the Cook Islands for the Pacific Islands Forum, has cancelled her commitments at the forum and is returning to Australia for briefings on the incidents.

''I believe this is the most losses in combat since the days of the Vietnam War and the battle of Long Tan,'' she told reporters before flying out.

A very sad day in this completely useless war.

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politi...in-afghanistan-20120830-251og.html


Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6322 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2821 times:

Wow. Big loss for the Aussie's indeed. What a shame. My heart goes out to the Australian nation (where I will soon be - QF94 tomorrow night).

User currently onlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7363 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2812 times:

NZ has also lost 5 soldiers in the past month, 2 in one incident, the other 3 just over a week ago, both caused by IED's.

I really don't see the point in any country other than the US wasting the lives of there troops in this most useless of endeavors. As soon as everyone packs up and leaves Afghanistan will turn back into the same craphole it was prior to Operation Enduring Freedom.


User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5695 posts, RR: 44
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2812 times:
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Shattering news,

My sister and best friend are in the Army, one of today's casualties was serving in the same unit as our grandfather did in WWII.

I am conflicted about this dirty war.

On one hand I think that well off and free nations like ours and others that are involved in Afghanistan are privileged to be able to fight tyranny and help others... but they have to want to be helped.

The rise in "green on blue" casualties is very disturbing.

I am tempted to think we should devote all available resources to get our people out of that sh*&&y little pile of rocks ASAP and the coalition partners should do the same!

The flipside, and it was pointed out by my sister, the soldier, who helps the folk that are targeted by the bad guys, like the 17 people beheaded by the Taliban because they were ... having a party?

Sometimes I think we should either get out .. or take off the kid gloves and bring down a mailed fist and end this thing completely!

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 2):
NZ has also lost 5 soldiers in the past month,

KiwiRob, I very nearly wrote my above post when I heard the news of your countrymen.

A huge lost to both our nations.

I saw the vision on the news of your soldiers returning home.. truly moving!

[Edited 2012-08-30 06:08:36]


If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 35
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2811 times:

Quoting TheCommodore (Thread starter):
A very sad day in this completely useless war.

Have to agree, TheCommodore.

The sort of comments that bother me most are ones like this:-

"Retired major general Jim Molan told the ABC yesterday that such attacks could increase as international forces prepared to withdraw by 2014.

‘‘The probability of them increasing is high,’’ he said."


I should hasten to add, though, that I'm not getting at General Molan; he's 'just telling it how it is.' My quarrel is with all the 'political spokesmen,' from the PM down, who keep saying things like, 'we'll be out of there by 2014.'

I 'did time' as a target for the Luftwaffe in the 1940s, and also spent some time facing the Russians in Germany in the late 1950s. And mates of mine got much worse deals, like having to face insurgents in Malaya and mobs like EOKA in Cyprus. No-one set 'time limits' in those days - it was perfectly clear that that would just more or less tell the other side that they only had to 'stick at it' and they would win. And that, if they could manage to do something 'heroic' in the meantime - like throwing a grenade at off-duty soldiers in a Nicosia cafe, which happened to a couple of friends of mine - they could build a reputation as some sort of 'hero of the revolution,' and get a good government job later.

So setting any sort of arbitrary time limit just encourages the other side. It more or less says to them, in letters ten feet high, "Stick it out, you guys, you're winning......."

And, of course, it ALSO leads even local people who bear us some goodwill to 'keep their heads down,' and not show us too much obvious respect and cooperation; in case they're the first people loaded on to the tumbrils when we Westerners pull out......

You'd have thought that that lesson would have been learned by now. But, clearly, it hasn't been........



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5695 posts, RR: 44
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2796 times:
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Quoting NAV20 (Reply 4):
You'd have thought that that lesson would have been learned by now. But, clearly, it hasn't been........

Totally agree, I am not a professional soldier like my friend and my sister (and father and grandfather) but have widely read and studied military history.

I cannot find an example of where a preannounced and staged withdrawal went well.

If you have to withdraw just keep fighting then leave.. do not preannounce your intentions.. sounds good in parliment but does no good to the troops on the ground or the civilians you are leaving behind.

[Edited 2012-08-30 06:17:04]


If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently onlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7363 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2755 times:

Quoting stealthz (Reply 3):
or take off the kid gloves and bring down a mailed fist and end this thing completely!

I do agree with this, what should have happened was total war, pull of the gloves, kill em all, the only problem with this is casualties would have been higher, the public today don't have the stomach for mass deaths, so the politicians fluff about and we get this long drawn out mess which is never going to end. When the West to pull out it'll just revert back to pre intervention days with the Telaban running the show.


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 35
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2739 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 6):
Quoting stealthz (Reply 3):
or take off the kid gloves and bring down a mailed fist and end this thing completely!

I do agree with this, what should have happened was total war, pull of the gloves, kill em all

Not at ALL sure about that option, guys?

Kill WHO? All Afghans?



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5695 posts, RR: 44
Reply 8, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2732 times:
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Quoting NAV20 (Reply 7):
Not at ALL sure about that option, guys?

Neither am I, I know my view is simplistic .. as in just move in and take out the bad guys, but in a modern asymetric conflict such as this.. how do you tell who the bad guys are?

Most the bad guys do not wear uniforms that distinguish them from the general population and as is becoming all too common the "good guys" in uniform turn out to be the bad guys!!

No easy answers here, sadly!



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 2863 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2652 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 2):
I really don't see the point in any country other than the US wasting the lives of there troops in this most useless of endeavors.

And you are not alone in that thought. Support generally for this US lead operation (war) is waning

Quoting stealthz (Reply 3):
but they have to want to be helped.

I'm not sure that they actually do want "to be helped" stealthz

I think somewhere along the line we thought they might like it, but Afghanistan has been a complex place for a very long time, and we have lost focus on the important fact. Know who your enemy is !

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 4):
My quarrel is with all the 'political spokesmen,' from the PM down, who keep saying things like, 'we'll be out of there by 2014.'

Me too. I mean why wait until 2014. It is not going to make the slightest difference if we stay another 18 months or so, not one bit !

Lets get out now.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 4):
And, of course, it ALSO leads even local people who bear us some goodwill to 'keep their heads down,' and not show us too much obvious respect and cooperation; in case they're the first people loaded on to the tumbrils when we Westerners pull out......

Yes, that's a sad but true fact indeed.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 4):
You'd have thought that that lesson would have been learned by now. But, clearly, it hasn't been........

Well we know this much.... History repeats itself, each and every time.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 7):
Not at ALL sure about that option, guys?
Quoting stealthz (Reply 8):
Neither am I, I know my view is simplistic

This is where it gets complicated. war is war, you have to know who the opponent is/are, otherwise its just going to turn onto a shit fight.... which it already has.

This has been one giant costly mistake, which will come back to haunt us for a long long time I hate to say.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/green...in-afghanistan-20120830-253ib.html

[Edited 2012-08-30 15:23:37]


Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7907 posts, RR: 51
Reply 10, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2646 times:

RIP to our allies, and it is sad and kind of shocking seeing the reactions to this news... when 5 US soldiers die in Iraq or Afghanistan (which happens quite often) it barely makes the news here. The sad part is how accustomed Americans are to having so many troops die...


Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlinescbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12566 posts, RR: 46
Reply 11, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2642 times:
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Quoting stealthz (Reply 8):
Most the bad guys do not wear uniforms that distinguish them from the general population and as
is becoming all too common the "good guys" in uniform turn out to be the bad guys!!

Sadly true. While I have every sympathy for Australia's loss, we've lost far more troops to those wonderfully euphemistic "blue on blue" incidents involving either Afghan police or army officers who turn out to be insurgents.

It used to be that we only had to worry about gung-ho Americans killing us. Now we don't know who the hell to trust.



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2839 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2623 times:

Quoting TheCommodore (Thread starter):
''I believe this is the most losses in combat since the days of the Vietnam War and the battle of Long Tan,'' she told reporters before flying out.

Without wading into the international politics aspect of your country's loss, a sad day for Australia and we morn with you. Australian soldiers have served bravely in many, many conflicts. I encourage any American to read up on the Battle of Long Tan (mentioned above) to see how professional this country's soldiers are.



The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5695 posts, RR: 44
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2603 times:
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Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 10):
when 5 US soldiers die in Iraq or Afghanistan (which happens quite often) it barely makes the news here.

DeltaMD90 and Steve, My comments were in no way meant to belittle the sacrifices of your serving men and women nor those of the other coalition partners.
American casualties do make news here at times but this is a pretty big story here as the numbers are pretty significant given the size of our armed forces.(even more so for our ANZAC comrades from NZ in the last few weeks)

Regards,



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7907 posts, RR: 51
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2571 times:

Quoting stealthz (Reply 13):
Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 10):
when 5 US soldiers die in Iraq or Afghanistan (which happens quite often) it barely makes the news here.

DeltaMD90 and Steve, My comments were in no way meant to belittle the sacrifices of your serving men and women nor those of the other coalition partners.

No, on the contrary, I know that wasn't the intention. I honor the 5's sacrifice and regret my government's handling of this war that probably wouldn't be going on now had it been managed properly. What I was saying is I see this thread and the sadness in it, and it makes me sad that when 5 US soldiers die, us Americans (me included) hardly take notice as it is a weekly or monthly occurrence (even more so a few years ago) and how used we are to having 5 or more soldiers die. Look at how many troops we lose a month and how many Americans really care......

Really put some things in perspective for me...  



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 35
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2567 times:

Pretty hard-hitting and 'different' article here. If what it says is true, all I can say is that we should all pull our guys out within a few months, not in a year and a half. Otherwise, we're just likely to find ourselves losing people at an ever-increasing rate all the way to 2014:-

"The French are smart: all their troops will be gone from Afghanistan by the end of this year. The Canadians were even smarter: almost all their troops left last year. But the rest of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries dumbly soldier on towards the scheduled departure date of 2014, even though the situation is clearly spinning out of control: one-quarter of the 51 Western troops killed in Afghanistan this August (including five Australians) were murdered by Afghan government soldiers.

"The most striking thing about these so-called ''green-on-blue'' killings, according to a 2011 Pentagon analysis reported by Bloomberg, is that only 11 per cent of them are the result of infiltration by the Taliban. Most of them are due to grudges or disputes between coalition and Afghan army troops, which suggests that NATO's current focus on training Afghan forces to ''stand up'' on their own is just as futile as all its previous strategies. Last year a team of US Army psychologists investigated the nature of these grudges and quarrels, conducting interviews with dozens of American and Afghan focus groups. Their report, A Crisis of Trust and Cultural Incompatibility, concluded that the Afghan troops see the American soldiers as ''a bunch of violent, reckless, intrusive, arrogant, self-serving, profane infidel bullies hiding behind high technology''.

"The US troops, in return, generally view their Afghan allies as ''a bunch of cowardly, incompetent, obtuse, thieving, complacent, lazy, pot-smoking, treacherous and murderous radicals''. This does not constitute the foundation for a successful collaboration.

"The view of the Afghan soldiers is more positive, despite all that, than the civilian population's attitude towards the foreign forces. A poll conducted in late 2010 by the Afghan Centre for Socio-Economic Research reported that nearly 60 per cent of civilians wanted all the foreign soldiers gone within a year. Forty per cent would still want the foreigners out even if their departure meant that the violence got worse.

"In the main conflict areas, 40 per cent of the population believed that roadside bombings and other attacks aimed at killing US and other foreign forces were justified. And almost everybody hates and despises the gang of warlords and racketeers who make up the US-backed government of Afghanistan."


Read more: http://www.watoday.com.au/opinion/fr...-20120830-2532m.html#ixzz255eRExje

In the simplest terms, the 'bottom line' seems to be that the whole 'Afghan venture' has turned out to be an utter and complete failure.



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7907 posts, RR: 51
Reply 16, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2480 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 15):
In the simplest terms, the 'bottom line' seems to be that the whole 'Afghan venture' has turned out to be an utter and complete failure.

That's what we get for trying to make the military a nation builder. I hate it when people say the military has failed over there. We failed the military. We should have taken out the threat and left... let the UN and other human rights organizations help fix the country. M-4s and Apaches don't build schools very well...



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlineQFA380 From Australia, joined Jul 2005, 2067 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2445 times:

Was devastated to see this news the other day.

One of my best mates from school was friends in the Army with the youngest of the soldiers.

It's ridiculous we're still in this war, the notion that Western militaries can waltz in and change the nature of the Afghan soldiers despite massive forces around those soldiers impeding any hope of camaraderie. To say that no one in Afghanistan knows how to fight is preposterous which is pretty much all we're doing. I really wish either side would just admit that it's time to leave. The Coalition doing so would pretty much force the government's hand, Australians are having a hard time seeing our soldiers slain by the exact people we're there to help

The strongly titled Pentagon report says it all, there is a massive cultural incompatibility that is directly leading to soldiers getting killed and if anything, preventing the Afghanis getting trained.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14026 posts, RR: 62
Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2442 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 15):

"The most striking thing about these so-called ''green-on-blue'' killings, according to a 2011 Pentagon analysis reported by Bloomberg, is that only 11 per cent of them are the result of infiltration by the Taliban. Most of them are due to grudges or disputes between coalition and Afghan army troops, which suggests that NATO's current focus on training Afghan forces to ''stand up'' on their own is just as futile as all its previous strategies. Last year a team of US Army psychologists investigated the nature of these grudges and quarrels, conducting interviews with dozens of American and Afghan focus groups. Their report, A Crisis of Trust and Cultural Incompatibility, concluded that the Afghan troops see the American soldiers as ''a bunch of violent, reckless, intrusive, arrogant, self-serving, profane infidel bullies hiding behind high technology''.

"The US troops, in return, generally view their Afghan allies as ''a bunch of cowardly, incompetent, obtuse, thieving, complacent, lazy, pot-smoking, treacherous and murderous radicals''. This does not constitute the foundation for a successful collaboration.

"The view of the Afghan soldiers is more positive, despite all that, than the civilian population's attitude towards the foreign forces. A poll conducted in late 2010 by the Afghan Centre for Socio-Economic Research reported that nearly 60 per cent of civilians wanted all the foreign soldiers gone within a year. Forty per cent would still want the foreigners out even if their departure meant that the violence got worse.

Add to this a culture of ultra-machismo, where any perceived insult or wrong doing has to be answered with deadly violence to regain one´s honour....

Jan


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 35
Reply 19, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2395 times:

It's only Wikipedia, of course, but I was stunned by these figures. A few quotes:-

"As of 20 August 2012 (2012 -08-20)[update], there have been 2,998 coalition deaths in Afghanistan as part of ongoing coalition operations (Operation Enduring Freedom and ISAF) since the invasion in 2001."

But deaths are only part of the story. I recall being taught, when I was in the army way back in the 1950s, that the WW2 ratio of killed to wounded was of the order of one to five. Looks like, if anything, the proportion of wounded is even higher now:

"As of August 29, 2012, 17,382 United States soldiers have been wounded in action in Afghanistan."

But this was the figure that really stunned me. OK - as I said, it's only Wikipedia; but have there really been 50,000 US veteran suicides since Afghanistan began?

"Although veterans have a high rate of suicide compared to the general population, the Department of Veterans Affairs does not classify suicides as war-related casualties but the number is very high, up to the first month of 2012 are up to 50,000 or more."

Figures for other countries also available on the site. People will no doubt also note the graph at top right, showing the increasing rate of deaths in recent years. One point that I should make; the heading says 'Coalition military casualties', but that is an error; the figures are for deaths only. Taking British casualties as an example, thanks to modern medical expertise, we can pretty well multiply deaths by about 5 to arrive at the total number of 'killed and wounded.' And on top of that one has to allow for 'disease or non-battle injuries.' The figures quoted by Wiki are:-

"As of August 18, 2012, the British forces have suffered 425 fatalities and 1,875 wounded in action, another 3,759 have suffered from disease or non-battle injuries.'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalition_casualties_in_Afghanistan

Glad that I had the luck only to be a 'Saturday night soldier,' a 'Territorial.' And that we were only up against the Russians; who were no keener on starting World War Three than we were.

The blokes in Afghanistan don't have the same luck. There aren't enough of them to win; and the pollies (American, British, Australian, etc.) are just leaving them there to go on 'copping it,' day after day......

[Edited 2012-09-01 08:34:34]


"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlinescbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12566 posts, RR: 46
Reply 20, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2373 times:
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Quoting stealthz (Reply 13):
DeltaMD90 and Steve, My comments were in no way meant to belittle the sacrifices of your serving men and women nor those of the other coalition partners.

No, that's understood and apologies if it sounded as though I was less than sympathetic to Australia's loss.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 19):
Looks like, if anything, the proportion of wounded is even higher now:

I would have expected that. If you applied WWII levels of care to Afghanistan, I have no doubt the number of deaths would be significantly higher. Not only is medical care significantly better, but modern communications and evacuation by helicopter both help to save lives that would previously have been lost.



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14026 posts, RR: 62
Reply 21, posted (2 years 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2362 times:

Quoting scbriml (Reply 20):
I would have expected that. If you applied WWII levels of care to Afghanistan, I have no doubt the number of deaths would be significantly higher.

Don´t forget that WW2 saw the first application of antibiotics and sulfonamides, but only on western Allied side (Germany and the Soviets didn´t have them yet) . This prevented a lot of wound infactions and resulting amputations.

Jan


User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7907 posts, RR: 51
Reply 22, posted (2 years 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2335 times:

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 17):
To say that no one in Afghanistan knows how to fight is preposterous which is pretty much all we're doing.

I've heard that most of the best fighters are on the Taliban's side. Forgot which documentary I saw (I think it was British) but it said many ANA and ANP were misfits and not very disciplined. I've heard many gripes from soldiers that go over trying to help



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 35
Reply 23, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2239 times:

New Zealand, which has also lost five soldiers killed in the past month, has decided to withdraw its forces earlier then planned, in April of next year. Apparently one of the reasons for this is that the province that they occupy (Bamiyan) is relatively isolated; road travel to and from Kabul has become impossibly dangerous and they are dependent on a single airport which is due to be closed next spring for major repairs.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-New...Zealand-confirms-early-Afghan-exit

By contrast, the Australian government debated the issue last week, and both major parties straight away decided against any earlier withdrawal. I listened to some of the debate Two aspects struck me as particularly relevant:-

1. One member after another spoke along the lines of any early withdrawal meaning that the lives already lost would somehow have been 'wasted.' That argument (which has regularly been 'trotted out' ever since the Battle of the Somme in 1916) is of course utterly illogical.

2. Practically every speaker harped on about the need to 'beat the Taliban.' This was in spite of the fact that the morning newspaper stories had made it abundantly clear that the latest killings had nothing to do with the Taliban, but had been carried out by an Afghani soldier under training. There's no room for doubt that the Taliban are no longer the problem; all the signs are that they are content to 'keep their heads down' and wait for the Coalition withdrawal.

And the idiocy goes on - our prime minister off-loaded another serving of absolute tosh just last night:-

"We went there for the right reason. We are acquitting an important mission in our national interest," she said.

"Every life lost hits us hard. It's a tragedy for our nation and particularly a tragedy for the families who lose loved ones."


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-09-04/gillard-on-afghanistan/4241570



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
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