The attempt to exploit soldiers' deaths to win support for the shameful war in Afghanistan thankfully isn't working
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 15 July 2009
"All week politicians, media and the military have strained every nerve to turn public sympathy over the deaths of British squaddies into support for the US-led occupation of Afghanistan. After a year of parades, a new Armed Forces Day and a stream of censored reports of derring-do from the frontline, the killing of 15 soldiers in 10 days has triggered a barrage of war propaganda. Having all but ignored the same number who died in Helmand province last month, every tabloid and Whitehall stop has been pulled out to capitalise on the emotions unleashed by the continuing sacrifice of British teenagers in an endless war......
The only way to end the war is the withdrawal of foreign troops as part of a wider political settlement negotiated with all significant Afghan forces on the ground, including the Taliban – and guaranteed by regional powers and neighbouring states: Pakistan, Iran, China and India.
Such a process is bound to take place eventually – whether or not the British government has the guts to follow the example of Canada and The Netherlands and announce plans to pull out earlier. But the assumption must be that a strategic US decision to accept the inevitable, turn its back on the wreckage of the war on terror and withdraw from Afghanistan is going to be a slow and painful process. In the meantime, many more people – mostly Afghans – will shamefully die in vain."