By James Cogan:
Civilian death toll soaring in Afghanistan
3 August 2009
A report issued late last month by the Human Rights Unit of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) sheds light on the rising number of innocent Afghan men, women and children who are being killed in order for the US and its allies to consolidate their neo-colonial occupation of the country.
The UNAMA report contrasted the number of officially recorded civilian deaths for the first six months of 2009 with the number in previous years. From January 1 to June 30, it registered 1,013 civilian fatalities, “compared with 818 for the same period in 2008, and 684 in 2007”.
Fears of Fraud Cast Pall Over Afghan Election: here.
UK soldier Joe Glenton to Gordon Brown: Why I won’t return to Afghanistan.
Britain: The government has pressed ahead with an appeal against compensation awards to two injured servicemen – despite it being branded “bonkers” by a top aide to the Defence Secretary.
After the deadliest month since the Afghan war began, US military commanders are planning to press for more troops in order to mount a counterinsurgency campaign in the Central Asian country: here.
- Report: ‘Lack of US cooperation’ halts Afghan probe into civilian killings, according to document obtained by @Reuters (reuters.com)
- In Afghanistan, interpreters who helped U.S. in war denied visas; U.S. says they face no threat (orrazz.com)
- U.S. prevents Afghan investigators’ access to soldiers (worldbulletin.net)
- Afghans Say 5 Civilians Killed in NATO Strike (voanews.com)
- In Afghanistan, interpreters who helped U.S. in war denied visas (chinavisaservice.wordpress.com)
Afghan soldier faces court martial
By Aleisha Scott, Press Association
Monday, 3 August 2009
A soldier will face a court-martial today for refusing to return to Afghanistan.
* Stop MoD payouts appeal, says Minister’s aide
* Refugees head home after army scatters the Taliban
* Afghan war tied to security at home
Lance Corporal Joe Glenton, 27, from the Royal Logistic Corp handed a letter to the Prime Minister last week saying that the army’s mission will fail and troops should be withdrawn from the country.
L/Cpl Glenton, who is a member of the Stop The War Coalition, said that the Nimrod crash in 2006 was a key event which left him disillusioned with the war during his first tour of Afghanistan.
Having joined the Army in 2004, he went AWOL in 2007 before handing himself in after two years and six days.
His letter to Gordon Brown was handed in on Thursday and said: “It is my primary concern that the courage and tenacity of my fellow soldiers has become a tool of American foreign policy.
“I believe that when British military personnel submit themselves to the service of the nation and put their bodies into harm’s way, the government that sends them into battle is obliged to ensure that the cause is just and right, ie for the protection of life and liberty.
“The war in Afghanistan is not reducing the terrorist risk, far from improving Afghan lives it is bringing death and devastation to their country.
“Britain has no business there.
“I do not believe that our cause in Afghanistan is just or right. I implore you, Sir, to bring our soldiers home.”
L/Cpl Glenton, who lives in York, is facing a court martial for desertion and will appear at Bulford Military Court Centre, in Salisbury, Wiltshire, for a preliminary hearing to set a date for trial.
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