Troops Out


Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable.

–  George Orwell

Afghanistan is little more than a sanitised bloodbath and if Cameron and his Liberals feel this it is still right to be there it doesn’t mean that we have to agree. The Wikileaks denoument of British Foreign Policy and complicity in war crimes and atrocities confirms the facts that we have known for a long time: the British State is irredeemable and we should leave it at the first opportunity.

As the Scotsman reported: 2British soldiers allegedly shot or bombed Afghan civilians, including women and children, on 21 different occasions, according to the leaked US army archives. At least 26 people were killed and another 20 wounded in the attacks by UK forces. They allegedly include 16 children, three women and a mentally ill man.”

British foreign policyis an unreformable moral chasm – and the Afghan ‘war’ is the latest expression of its imperial drive. It is no excuse to claim ‘junior partner’ status in America’s wars.

In 2008 Alex Salmond claimed that Britain’s involvement in the war in Iraq was “the most disastrous foreign policy decision of recent times”. In Iraq Scotland (with 8% of the UK population) suffered  11% of the UK war dead. I don’t know the figures but I’d be suprised if they were very different in Afghanistan. We are again following an ancient tradition of disproportionate representation in the British Armed Forces.

It’s time to leave this imperial force and bring our troops home.

In 2007 Wikileaks broadcast a secret video showing US air crew falsely claiming to have encountered a firefight in Baghdad and then laughing at the dead after launching an air strike that killed a dozen people, including two Iraqis working for Reuters news agency.  The release of the video came shortly after the US military admitted that its special forces attempted to cover up the killings of three Afghan women in a raid in February by digging the bullets out of their bodies.

This is the Afghan Mai Lai. Assange is our Seymour Hersh with his desktop on his back and working for no media outlet he is the epitome of the new world disorder. The presence of the Task Force 373, extensive use of drones and their application in civil society, mass civilians deaths, unaccountable secret units and regular units ‘off the leash’ – add up to an unquestionable fact – this is a war we should not be fighting and Scottish soldiders should be withdrawn.

Of course we can’t do this but to raise the question would be to remind people that we are tethered to this war machine and maybe let people question the sanity of this imperial union. Speaking in London, Mr Assange said: “It is up to a court to decide clearly whether something is in the end a crime.

“We would like to see the revelations that this material gives to be taken seriously, investigated by governments and new policies put in place as a result, if not prosecutions of those people who have committed abuses,” Mr Assange said.

“It’s important to understand this material does not just reveal abuses. This material describes the past six years of the war.”

He described the role of WikiLeaks as directly accountable to the “court of public opinion”, with no commercial interests.

See a special interview with Julian Assange here:

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  1. David Leigh says:

    More here on Wikileaks: US Attack Killed 300 Civilians In Afghanistan: Report…Locals told Reuters that up to 300 civilians – as well as a number of Taliban – were killed in the air strike after they had been rounded up to watch a Taliban-organised public hanging of two suspected spies.

  2. DougtheDug says:

    The comparisons between Vietnam and Afghanistan many commentators make are legitimate because both are wars where an outside power got involved in a combination of civil war and war of liberation. Not that that Vietnam is the only comparison. The wars in Algeria, Kenya and Chechnya also can be used as a comparison. It’s not surprising that when an outside power is fighting against an enemy embedded in the local population that things always get messy.

    Afghanistan also compares with Vietnam in that it is in a way almost a “religious” war where the enemy is defined by the US to be somehow an alien entity within the country and an enemy who are outside the pale of normal US society. In Vietnam it was the communists who were defined as the aliens even though they were Vietnamese who had fought under a nationalist banner against first the Japanese and then the French in a war of national liberation. In Afghanistan it’s the Taliban who are the aliens and who have been demonised, just as in Vietnam, as somehow alien to the country and not embedded within the Pashtun population.

    The Afghanistan war combines a “religious” element of a war against the “bad-guys/Dr. Evil Henchmen”, as the US would describe them, with a civil war where most of the Afghan Army is Tajik or Uzbek not Pashtun and mixes that with a war of liberation where the Pashtun see themselves as defenders of Afghanistan.

    In all these wars which combine a “religious” element, a civil war, a liberation war and an outside foreign power everything gets messy. In Afghanistan you have CIA mercenaries running around, a NATO death squad unit, a tactic of aerial strikes on the flimsiest of evidence and trigger-happy standard army units manning checkpoints all trying to get Afghans on their side while killing civilians relentlessly. Afghanistan has become a playground for out of control special forces adrenaline junkies.

    We should get out because the only reason for the UK’s involvment that I can see is that Tony Blair was so dazzled by the media attention, celebrity and power of George Bush’s Camelot that he did anything George wanted so that he could wander round in jeans alongside George in his flying jacket while basking in heat of the media’s flashbulbs.

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