Monday, November 24, 2008

Troops out now

A letter to the Guardian:

Withdraw the troops from Afghanistan
November 21 2008

Seven years after the supposed liberation of Afghanistan, there is now conclusive evidence that the Nato occupation is a disaster (The errors of Iraq are being repeated - and magnified, November 19). The civilian death toll is mounting. The level of violence is higher than at any time since the invasion in 2001. The UN reports that, under occupation, life expectancy has fallen to 43 years and one in five children die before they reach their fifth birthday. Afghanistan is now fourth from bottom of the UN's league table of development. The mounting violence has caused a refugee crisis and, according to Acbar, the umbrella group of Afghan NGOs, it is making the delivery of aid to the majority of the country impossible. The NGOs warn that there is a very real danger that thousands of Afghans will starve this winter.

The end of the Bush era should be a moment to reassess our foreign policy: 68% of the British public now believe the troops should leave Afghanistan within a year; and 125 British soldiers have already lost their lives in a war that even the UK ambassador to Afghanistan, Sherard Cowper-Coles, has said is unwinnable. We urge Gordon Brown to recognise the facts, respect public opinion and order the withdrawal of British troops.

Nazir Ahmed House of Lords, Julie Bowman Military Families Against the War, Louise Christian human rights lawyer, Jeremy Corbyn MP, George Galloway MP, Lindsey German Convener, Stop the War Coalition, Elfyn Llwyd MP Plaid Cymru UK parliamentary group leader, Rachael Massey Military Families Against the War, Andrew Murray Chair, Stop the War Coalition, Michael Rosen poet & broadcaster, Nitin Sawhney musician, Walter Wolfgang Labour CND (link)

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