British anti-Afghan war movement, 20 November

This CNN video is called Lance Corp. Joe Glenton “The Afghans don’t want us there“.

From the Harrogate Advertiser in England:

Ex-soldier to return medals in protest

Published Date: 18 November 2010

A former soldier now studying in Leeds is set hand back his military medals in protest at Britain’s continuing involvement in the war in Afghanistan.

Joe Glenton, who served six months in a military jail after refusing to return to Afghanistan for a second tour, will hand over his medals to 10 Downing Street.

He will be joined by relatives of other soldiers, who are members of the Military Families Against The War campaign group, including Joan Humphries, whose grandson Kevin Elliot was killed in action in Afghanistan last year.

This video is called Joan Humphries – grandson Kevin killed in Afghanistan 2009.

Mr Glenton, who now campaigns against war, served one tour of duty in Afghanistan, but deserted from the Army when he was ordered to return. He is now a student at Leeds Metropolitan University.

The military families will deliver a letter to the Prime Minister calling for the government to bring British troops home from Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the Stop The War Coalition said it expected thousands of people to join a national demonstration in London on Saturday to oppose the conflict in Afghanistan.

The group’s convener Lindsey German said students and sixth-form pupils from across the country will take part in the protest amid a “surge” of anti war feeling.

“It will be a lively demonstration to press for the withdrawal of troops. Spending on Afghanistan is now approaching £5 billion a year – money that should be spent on areas such as education and welfare, which are now under threat because of the Government’s spending cuts.”

Ms German said opposition to the war was growing, with 75% of the British public wanting the troops home now.

Speakers at Saturday’s rally will include Labour’s London Mayoral candidate [Ken Livingstone], Labour MPs Eric Joyce and John McDonnell, human rights lawyer Phil Shiner and writer Terry Eagleton.

This is a video about the anti Afghan war demonstration in London on 20 November.

March report: here.

Afghanistan has ‘no military solution,’ German envoy says: here.

The NATO summit that began yesterday in Lisbon has one primary objective in regards to the war in Afghanistan: to shelve all talk of President Obama’s July 2011 deadline for beginning the withdrawal of troops: here.

Australia: Afghan feminist and anti-war activist Malalai Joya urged 400 people at the University of Technology Sydney to get the Australian government to pull the troops out of her country. The Afghan people were capable of winning against the fundamentalist warlords, but not while Western occupying troops rehabilitated the Taliban, she said: here.

6 thoughts on “British anti-Afghan war movement, 20 November

  1. US sick of asking Australia for troops


    19 Nov, 2010 02:30 AM

    THE United States has repeatedly asked for more Australian troops to be sent to war-torn Afghanistan and for Australia to take control of the coalition forces in Oruzgan province, but has been rebuffed on both counts.

    The revelation comes after repeated denials by the Australian government and Defence Force hierarchy that NATO commanders had asked Australia to boost its contingent of 1550 troops.

    The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and the Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, are attending a NATO conference in Lisbon this weekend, at which the leaders of coalition countries will begin to set a timetable for transition next year – the process of turning small regions over to Afghan forces.

    The Herald has been told US General Stanley McChrystal, who was sacked this year after publicly criticising the President, Barack Obama, made at least three written requests in 2008 and last year after it became clear Dutch forces would withdraw from Oruzgan, which they did in August.

    ”These were more than just ‘scoping documents’,” a source said. ”These were full-blown requests.”

    Senior Defence Force officers have often refused to pass on to government recommendations on troop movements, and requests for increases, because they know the requests will be rejected, sources said.

    Another Defence source said yesterday US officers regularly said they were ”sick and tired of Australia not doing enough … they’d like us to be doing more”. However, they realised the Australian government was set against sending more troops.

    ”Any discussion on leadership [in Oruzgan] is quickly terminated by Australian politicians,” a third source said.

    There has been speculation about US requests to Australia since Mr Obama reviewed his Afghanistan strategy last year, but until now there has been no confirmation of any written requests from US commanders to their Australian counterparts.

    When asked at a Senate hearing in May whether Australia had been asked to take leadership of Oruzgan, the then defence minister, John Faulkner, replied ”absolutely not”.

    Last year, the then prime minister Kevin Rudd denied Australia had been asked to provide more troops, describing its contribution as ”about right”. The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, recently described Australia’s contribution as ”proportionate”.

    Sources have said the requests from General McChrystal were sent to successive commanding officers of Task Force 633, which controls all Australian forces in Afghanistan. At least one request was made late last year, when the Pentagon was still pushing Mr Obama to send at least an extra 30,000 troops and US planners wanted their allies to also increase troop numbers and take on more responsibility.

    They said Australian officers provided contingency plans in support of the requests, one of which included sending a brigade of Australian troops to Oruzgan – about 3000 men.

    One source disparaged the Lisbon conference, saying its main aim was for ”politicians to give the domestic audience something to grab onto” whether or not the stated strategic goals are possible.

    General McChrystal expressed his displeasure about Canberra’s limitations on Australian forces in a phone call to the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, late last year.

    After that, American officers were pleased when Senator Faulkner persuaded Mr Rudd to allow Australia’s special forces to have a greater role outside of Oruzgan.

    There was speculation Australia would take control in Oruzgan when the Dutch withdrew, but shortly before the withdrawal, it was announced the US would take leadership of a new Australian-dominated force.

    A plan to deploy Australian special forces deeper into hostile Taliban territory – at the risk of greater casualties – was canvassed at this month’s summit of American and Australian political leaders in Melbourne.

    The top US military commander, Admiral Mike Mullen, confirmed the idea of permanently basing Australian SAS and commandos in Kandahar – one of the most restive areas in Afghanistan – was raised during talks with Air Chief Marshal Houston.

    Australia’s 320 special forces troops in Afghanistan are based in Oruzgan, but some regularly make the hazardous journey to Kandahar for operations.


  2. 19.11.2010 10:55

    Report: US deploys heavy tanks to Afghanistan

    The United States is sending a company of M1 Abrams tanks to Afghanistan, the first such deployment of heavy tanks in the nine-year war, the Washington Post reported Friday.

    Sixteen of the 68-ton tanks are headed for use by the US Marines in south-west Afghanistan, officials told the Post, and will considerably boost the firepower and range of guns against insurgents, DPA reported.

    “The tanks bring awe, shock and firepower,” an unidentified military officer was quoted as saying. “It’s pretty significant.”

    The deployment of heavy tanks is seen as part of the overall intensification of the war against Taliban insurgents in recent months.

    The Post reported that US and NATO aircraft used a total of 1,000 bombs and missiles in October, more than in any month since the war began in 2001.


  3. Military: The head of the army has written to the BBC criticising a controversial drama by Jimmy McGovern showing bullying among British troops in Afghanistan.

    Chief of the General Staff Peter Wall wrote to BBC director-general Mark Thompson to express his dismay over Accused, a BBC1 drama airing at 9pm on Monday which depicts a young soldier being brutalised before committing suicide.

    But McGovern stood by his script, saying he had “the greatest respect” for British troops.


  4. Pingback: Pro-peace conference, London, 8 October | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Afghan feminist on US army atrocities | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: NATO kills Afghan police | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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