17 February 2009 Main Posts no more pussyfooting Jeff Sparrow ‘End the pussyfooting’ — over at the Oz, they’re beating the drums for extra troops to Afghanistan, with the classic slogan from colonial wars. Enough fighting with our hands tied behind our back! No more constraints — let’s give those dusky savages some cold steel! As Obama begins his Afghan surge, expect more of this from the Australian Right — until, eventually, Rudd signs on. Meanwhile, the Australian commitment to Afghanistan produces results familiar enough from the American commitment to Iraq: FIVE children have been killed in a gunbattle between Australian special forces and Taliban militants in Afghanistan. […] Asked if the children were being used as a human shield, General Evans said he did not want to speculate but noted that Taliban insurgents commonly operate “inside the civilian community”. “We’re taking every measure we can to avoid civilian casualties,” he said. “It’s a pity that the Taliban doesn’t do the same.” He said the death of five children was a matter of “great concern”. “It’s important our operations are done carefully and we do everything we can to avoid civilian casualties.” All the lesser races use their children this way, don’t you know. If they’re not tossing their kids off refugee boats, they’re using their babies to attack harmless Israeli rockets. Why else would Afghans have children in their houses other than to smear the diggers sent to kill them? Back in Iraq itself, the slaughter continues. Jeff Sparrow Jeff Sparrow is a Walkley Award-winning writer, broadcaster and former editor of Overland. More by Jeff Sparrow Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 11 November 202211 November 2022 Main Posts On the last day of Subscriberthon, our amazing online editor gives you one last (very good) reason to subscribe Editorial team What's in store for the last day of Subscriberthon? First published in Overland Issue 228 10 November 202210 November 2022 Main Posts On the second-last day of Subscriberthon, our favourite editor-duo give you reason #1002 to subscribe to Overland Editorial team What's in store for the second-last day of Subscriberthon?