11 Years After 9/11, Campaigners In York Still Want Our Troops Home
10:13am 11th September 2012
York Against The War is campaigning to stop our troops fighting in Afghanistan.
Its 11 years since the terror attacks on the twin towers in New York.
The group don't believe the war in Afghanistan is helping the situation.
The campaign supports our troops but feel the war is the wrong.
There's a public meeting tonight being held at the priory centre in York.
York Against The War Statement:
We announce a public meeting to be held on Tuesday September 11th at 7.00pm, in The Priory Street Centre, Priory Street, York
Jonathan Steele, the well-known journalist, analyst and writer, will speak on:
THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN
"IS THE WEST FAILING AS DISMALLY AS THE SOVIET UNION?"
Jonathan Steele was Bureau Chief for the Guardian newspaper in Washington (1975-79) and in Moscow (1988-94,) and still writes in the Guardian. He has reported on Afghanistan for three decades, and is the author of Ghosts of Afghanistan - the Haunted Battleground, in which he effectively debunks as myths many statements on Afghanistan which most of us regard as fact.
Most recently he has been reporting from Damascus for the Guardian on the Syrian conflict.
With his specialist knowledge of Afghanistan, Jonathan Steele will give his reasons for thinking that the western attack on Afghanistan was doomed from the start, and that NATO's current strategy of "transition" from its own forces to the Afghan army is faulty. He will stress the need to avoid an intensification of fighting, as foreign troops pull out.
The deadline for withdrawal is two years away in 2014, and NATO is already presenting this as the conclusion of a successful campaign. Last week Europe's NATO commander, Admiral James Stavridis, claimed that Afghan and foreign troops "are working to build lasting peace and stability for the people of Afghanistan" and said "I firmly believe that we will succeeed in Afghanistan".
In reality NATO's idealistic targets - democratic government, universal education, equal rights for women, adequate food and shelter for all - have long been abandoned. British soldiers still fight and die in areas claimed to be pacified - some killed by the Afghan soldiers they are training. Far more Afghan civilians die, many killed by US and UK pilotless drones. A secret US report earlier this year said the Taliban see their victory, once foreign troops leave, as "inevitable".
September 5th 2012: the Times reports ex-UK Ambassador to Kabul Sir William Patey saying "Afghanistan has a 50-50 chance of civil war once NATO forces leave"; the Guardian quotes a UN report that in Helmand province, after ten years of western aid, 30% of children are acutely malnourished. For this "success" Britain's taxpayers are contributing £11 million a day.
STOP PRESS: Since agreeing to speak in York, Jonathan Steele has travelled to Damacus, from where he has sent long reports to the Guardian (Aug 11th & 21st) on the conflict. We hope he may be prepared to answer questions about his Syrian experience as well as on Afghanistan.
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