A message for Peace
Families of loved ones in the military are sending the government a clear message as a campaign including a petition and a letter to Downing Street gathers supporter momentum.
As difficult as it is, looking at our recent history and record is essential to inspire any positive change. The site OWNI.eu has made the available/official statistics more digestible with their visual analyses on the War on Terror. “The 9/11 attacks resulted in 2,996 casualties, which included 343 firefighters and 59 police officers who were in trying to save victims inside the World Trade Center. The war on terror launched by George W. Bush Jr. has led to at least 227,000 people (more than 300,000 according to other estimates). This includes 116,657 civilians (51%) between 76 - 108,000 insurgents or Taliban Islamists (34% to 36%), 25,297 Iraqi and Afghan soldiers (11%), and 8,975 American, British, and other coalition forces (3.9%).” http://owni.eu/2011/05/05/the-war-on-terror-in-numbers/
The sad truth is these numbers will only reflect in part the devastation that is being caused by the conflicts. What goes unreported? The numbers do not include those who have been contaminated by depleted Uranium, the many incarcerated, torture, those who have had their access to water and food supplies cut off, those whose desperate situation leads to abandoning children or the millions of refugees it has created. The degrees of separation amongst people would mean that someone will personally know someone who has been killed or damaged by the conflict, planting the seeds of rage, making it a fertile breeding ground for more of the same. Of course one innocent civilian killed is in violation of international law let alone 116,657. When the suffering caused is so high the stated intent becomes irrelevant. Regardless of the narrative that is spun the fact remains the vast majority of those peaceful men, women and children are dead and would be continuing life today if it was not for the occupation’s “War on Terror.” The gravest of crimes against humanity has been committed and it has taken hundreds of thousands of people to pull it off. Below is the letter that will be handed to downing street.
Dear Prime Minister,
Recent attacks on NATO troops have destroyed what passed for a strategy in Afghanistan. It is clear there is no prospect of an ‘orderly handover’. All indications are the vast majority of Afghans want NATO troops to leave and leave soon. The occupation is the main cause of violence in the country.
It is unforgiveable to keep or send troops to Afghanistan for another two years in this pointless war. On current figures it would lead to the death of over one hundred more British soldiers, the wounding of hundreds more and the death of uncounted Afghan civilians. You must recognize that every single casualty is a real human tragedy for which those controlling the war are responsible.
We urge you to listen to the voice of the people and end the futile killing by bringing all the troops home by Christmas.
Military Families Against the War: Kathy Bairstow ∙ Brenda Burt ∙ Cait Ni Cadlaig ∙ Sandy Elliott ∙ Sue Glenton ∙ Joan Hartnell ∙ Jim Hartnell ∙ Lilian Hennigan ∙ Madeline Hennigan ∙ Joan Humphreys ∙ Graham Knight ∙ Erin Main ∙ Caroline Munday ∙ Chris Parsons ∙ Linzi Payge ∙ Susan West
Supported by: Ronnie Campbell MP ∙ Martin Caton MP ∙ Jeremy Corbyn MP ∙ Paul Flynn MP ∙ John Hemming MP ∙ Caroline Lucas MP ∙ Tayo Aluko writer & actor ∙ Howard Blake composer ∙ Victoria Brittain journalist ∙ Andy de la Tour actor ∙ Janie Dee actor ∙ Brian Eno artist & musician ∙ Lindsey German convenor Stop the War Coalition ∙ Jemima Khan journalist ∙ Roger Lloyd Pack actor ∙ Miriam Margolyes actor ∙ Simon McBurney actor ∙ Len McCluskey gen. sec. Unite union ∙ Celia Mitchell actor ∙ Andrew Murray chief of staff Unite union ∙ David Randall musician ∙ Michael Rosen author & broadcaster ∙ Mark Rylance actor
Protest this weekend
This Sunday 7 October is the eleventh anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan. Feel free to join one of the protests that have been organised this weekend:
London: Sunday 7th October, 1pm, Trafalgar Square, Naming the Dead with military families, Paul Flynn MP, Brian Eno, Victoria Britain, and many more. Full details here: http://bit.ly/PEaeye
Manchester: Sunday 7th October, 2pm, Naming the Dead, Queen Victoria Statue, Piccadilly Gardens.
Newcastle: Saturday 6th October, 12 midday, Naming the Dead, Grey’s Monument