Non-violent resistance by the military could stop these deadly political adventures

Editor Adrian Goldberg wrote in 2007: “On the most conservative estimates 75,000 Iraqi civilians have died since US and UK forces invaded Iraq in 2003 – many of them children.”

To these we can now add those killed in Afghanistan

Barbaric drone strikes are killing civilians – young and old – in Afghanistan and intensifying conflict. As Professor Anatol Lieven, an authority on insurgency and terrorism explained, in an interview with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, this creates a vicious circle: 

“ . . . the old, old thing: you kill some of these people, and you create an even greater desire for revenge among all their relatives. Particularly of course if women and children are killed . . . 

. . . this creates even greater hatred, contempt and desire for revenge 

“But there is another factor, which is that… there’s a deep feeling in the Pashtun areas that this way of waging war is illegitimate and contemptible and unmanly, basically, because you run no risk. And that, my impression is, creates an even greater hatred and contempt for the United States and the US army, and an even greater desire to hit back at whatever of them you can actually hit back at and see, which is of course the troops on the ground in Afghanistan.” 

We recall the words of Moseley peace activist Elizabeth Way on Adrian’s web-paper:   

“Contrast the almost total silence of the press about the thousands of suffering Iraqis mourning the maiming, death or disappearance of their children with our media’s obsession with the tragic McCann mystery . . . “. 

She believes that politics have silenced compassion and truth, censoring news of the real extent of Iraq’s destruction and chaos following the US & UK’s illegal invasion of that country. 

The silence was broken by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s assertion that the conflict in Iraq has done far more harm than is being admitted. At huge expense – using money coming directly or indirectly from the taxpayers – the second war against Iraq has completed the ruin of that country. Foreign company owners, shareholders and highly paid employees of arms manufacturing and oil companies are its only beneficiaries. 

Dr Williams said that taking military action against Syria or Iran, would be “criminal, ignorant … and potentially murderous folly . . . I can’t understand what planet such persons are living on when you see the conditions that are already there. The region is still a tinderbox.” 

He hoped that, in future, politicians would no longer even contemplate such wars. 

Elizabeth ends: 

Non-violent resistance by the military could stop these deadly political adventures 

“Effective action could be taken by those men and women enlisting to defend their homeland but irresponsibly ordered – by politicians living in comfort and safety – to enter and destroy other countries. 

“By following the example of many, including the boxer Mohammed Ali, imprisoned for refusing to accept his Vietnam draft papers and, in 2006, the RAF doctor who was imprisoned for refusing to  serve in Iraq because he thought the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 was illegal and “on a par with Nazi Germany”, they could stop these deadly political adventures.”

 Prof. Lieven’s article with the Bureau can be read here.

 

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