British trade unions against Afghanistan, Libya wars

This video from Britain is called Trade unions against war – Cameron’s hairstylist costs tax payers.

By Rory MacKinnon at the Trades Union Congress in London, England:

Delegates back troops pullout

Wednesday 14 September 2011

The Unite union led a successful motion today calling for Britain to pull out of Afghanistan and Libya.

Campaigns officer Andrew Murray told delegates at the Trades Union Congress in London that his union was pushing for immediate withdrawal from both countries.

David Cameron’s rhetoric on behalf of Libyan civilians demonstrated “the absurdity of bombing them in order to protect them,” while the case against Afghanistan was “even clearer.”

The war was now in its 10th year – “as long as the two world wars put together” – and was now about propping up a discredited and corrupt pro-West regime, he said.

“This is a war even more dangerous in its regional implications than the war in Iraq. It is now spreading into Pakistan, a nuclear-armed country, destabilising the situation there.

“It is fraught with disaster and should be brought to an end now,” he said.

The Stop the War Coalition welcomed TUC delegates’ backing for the rapid withdrawal of British forces from Afghanistan.

It said: “This is the first time the TUC has publicly opposed the disastrous war in Afghanistan and is one more proof of the depth of anti-war sentiment in Britain.”

From British daily News Line:

Delegates voted overwhelmingly for motion 71 ‘Peace in the Middle East/South Asia’.

It calls for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, a halt to military action on Libya and endorses the call for the recognition of the state of Palestine.

Motion 71 says: ‘Congress believes the attack against Libya has been misjudged and, while holding no brief for the Gadaffi regime, believes military action should be halted immediately.’

Massive security operation mounted as Cameron and Sarkozy become first world leaders to visit capital post-Gaddafi: here.

Britain’s aid package for Libya is cause for alarm, not relief, Stop the War Coalition said today: here.

With their surprise visit to Tripoli Thursday, Sarkozy and Cameron signaled that the scramble by the major powers for control of Libya’s oil wealth is in full swing: here.

The visit by Cameron and Sarkozy to Libya recalls all the sordid and bloody traditions of imperialism: rank hypocrisy, economic plunder and the ruthless use of force to attain its ends: here.

Night raids by US-led occupation forces in Afghanistan are fuelling resentment that has undercut any “battlefield gains,” a US think tank said today: here. And here.

An Afghan employee at the CIA headquarters in Kabul opened fire on Sunday evening, killing an American CIA contractor and injuring another man. The gunman was killed during the attack. The shooting is the latest in a series of incidents that have highlighted the tenuous character of the US-led military occupation of Afghanistan, and the widespread hostility to it: here.

The average monthly tally of armed clashes, roadside bombings and other violence has increased sharply this year in occupied Afghanistan, the UN warned yesterday: here.

USA: Almost half the troops in Afghanistan think the war is stupid: here.

Afghan Children Being Sold Into Forced Labor: here.

Also from News Line:

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Miliband’s refusal ‘to back his natural supporters is a slap in the face’

LABOUR Party leader Ed Miliband was heckled during his speech at the Trade Union Congress (TUC) conference on Tuesday.

Miliband angered delegates as he condemned unions for taking strike action over pensions while negotiations were ongoing and also declared he would not reverse Tory-LibDem cuts.

10 thoughts on “British trade unions against Afghanistan, Libya wars

  1. Decorated soldier gets 10-year sentence for taking bribes in Afghanistan

    Posted Friday, Sep. 23, 2011

    By Matthew Barakat

    The Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — A decorated former Army captain was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for taking more than $300,000 in bribes from Afghan contractors, a scheme the government called the largest bribery case to be prosecuted related to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.

    Sidharth “Tony” Handa, 32, of Charlotte, N.C., who received the Bronze Star for his service in Afghanistan, was arrested this year. He was targeted in a sting in which he agreed to assist a purported heroin dealer who had promised to help Handa collect additional bribe payments he believed were owed to him.

    Handa coordinated reconstruction projects in Kunar province. Federal prosecutors say he solicited $1.3 million in bribes and received $315,000, which he split with an interpreter.


  2. US soldier gets 7 years in prison for Afghan murder

    TACOMA: The youngest of five US soldiers accused of killing unarmed Afghan civilians in cold blood was sentenced on Friday to seven years in prison for gunning down a teenage boy whose corpse he posed with as if it were a trophy.

    Andrew Holmes pleaded guilty on Thursday to a single count of murder — reduced in a deal with prosecutors from the more serious charge of premeditated murder — admitting he made a “bad decision” when he shot the young villager at close range.

    “I wish I could tell the father and brothers in Afghanistan I’m sorry,” the tearful 21-year-old Army private said on Friday, near the conclusion of his court-martial at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. “It’s a deed that will never be forgotten. It will live on in my mind until the day I die.”

    Holmes’ demeanor was strikingly different from his first hearing last year, when he vehemently professed his innocence to the presiding officer and declared, “I want to tell you, soldier to soldier, that I did not commit murder.”

    Holmes still insists he had no prior intent to kill the boy but exercised poor judgment when he obeyed an order from a higher-ranking soldier in his unit to shoot the youth.

    The other soldier, Specialist Jeremy Morlock, was sentenced in March to 24 years.

    Reuters | Sep 24, 2011, 08.02AM IST


  3. Mideast carrier Gulf Air blasts Afghan officials for ‘unprofessional’ denial of landing rights

    By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, September 27, 1:12 PM

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — One of the few foreign airlines flying to Afghanistan accused Kabul of unfairly breaching an aviation agreement after refusing its planes landing rights.

    Two of Gulf Air’s flights were denied permission to land in Afghanistan in recent days, including one that was forced to turn back as it neared the capital Kabul, CEO Samer Majali said. It’s unclear whether the carrier’s next flight Wednesday will get the go-ahead.

    The dispute is causing headaches for the Bahrain-based carrier and forcing it to reroute passengers on alternate flights. It also underscores the challenges of attracting foreign business to Afghanistan, which is in desperate need of outside investment but is beset by rampant cronyism and corruption.

    “It’s just nonsensical. … Somebody says you can fly, then they change their mind,” Majali told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday. “They’re trying to normalize the country … and yet they do something which is uncivilized. It’s unprofessional.”

    Afghan aviation authorities refused the landing rights after asking Gulf Air to cut its flights from four to two per week. Majali said that request goes against an agreement between Afghanistan and Gulf Air’s home of Bahrain that allows the airline up to eight flights a week — twice the number it had been operating.

    A spokesman for Afghanistan’s civil aviation department, Nangyalia Qalatwal, acknowledged that Gulf Air had been asked to reduce the frequency of its flights, but denied that authorities had acted improperly.

    He said the department acted following pressure from domestic carriers.

    “There were complaints from the Afghan airlines regarding this contract with Gulf Air. They wanted us to stop their flights, but instead we decreased” the frequency, Qalatwal said. “We have the authority to stop (all) their flights, but we are not doing that. They should respect our decision.”

    Gulf Air began flying to Kabul from the Bahraini capital Manama in mid-June.

    Its flight last Wednesday was unexpectedly denied permission to land after it entered Afghan airspace, Majali said. That plane, carrying 117 passengers, was forced to land in the Gulf city of Dubai instead.

    Gulf Air flights Saturday and Sunday received landing clearance, but permission was again denied for Monday’s flight.

    Majali said if the dispute drags on, Gulf Air may be forced to reduce its flight schedule or consider pulling out of the Afghan market altogether.

    Persian Gulf cities such as Manama and Dubai are among the most popular transit points for government officials, aid workers and businesspeople traveling to Afghanistan because they offer a wide range of long-haul destinations.


    Associated Press writer Rahim Faiez in Kabul contributed reporting.

    Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


  4. Airline row escalates between Bahrain and Afghanistan

    Tom Arnold

    Sep 28, 2011

    A row over landing slots between Bahrain’s Gulf Air and Afghanistan has escalated to government level after two of the airline’s flights were refused entry to Kabul.

    Gulf Air is accusing the country’s aviation authorities of breaching international rules controlling landing rights.

    “The Afghan authorities recently advised the airline to reduce its flights from four to two without justifiable reason and in direct contravention of the bilateral agreement in place between the Kingdom of Bahrain and Afghanistan,” said Samer Majali, Gulf Air chief executive.

    Under a bilateral agreement between Bahrain and Afghanistan, Gulf Air is allowed to operate eight flights per week to Afghanistan, Gulf Air says.

    It started flights to Kabul International Airport in June, choosing to operate only four flights per week. With the launch, Gulf Air became the first full-service commercial carrier in the Middle East to connect to Afghanistan.

    But problems emerged barely three months into the service.

    Last Wednesday, a Gulf Airbus A320 was refused permission to land in Kabul by the Civil Aviation Authority in Afghanistan. The flight carrying 117 passengers was forced to return to Bahrain, where the airline had to scramble to accommodate the passengers on alternative flights to Kabul or their destination of origin.

    Since then another plane bound for Kabul remained grounded in Bahrain because it was also refused entry.

    Bahrain Civil Aviation Affairs, the regulatory authority for air transport in Bahrain, has now taken up the matter with the Civil Aviation Authority in Afghanistan.


  5. Police trainers have little to do in Kunduz

    Tuesday 04 October 2011

    A number of the police trainers due to leave for Afghanistan at the beginning of November may find their trip is cancelled, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday.

    It is currently unclear whether there is enough work for them at the police school in Kunduz, a defence ministry spokesman told the paper.

    At the moment only three of the 19 trainers stationed there are actually giving lessons, the paper says. The other 16 are waiting to be sent back to the Netherlands because of a shortage of students and a lack of classroom space.

    The Netherlands agreed to send a 500-strong mission to help train police officers in the northern province after pulling out of the military mission in the south last August.



  6. Afghan Detainees Tortured, U.N. Says


    Published: October 10, 2011 at 7:04 AM ET

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The United Nations in Afghanistan says prisoners at some Afghan-run detention facilities have been beaten and tortured, but that the mistreatment is not the result of government policy.

    A 74-page report released Monday found that detainees in 47 facilities in 22 provinces run by the Afghan National Police and by the Directorate of Security were subjected to interrogation techniques that constitute torture under both international and Afghan law.

    It said Afghan security ministries cooperated with the investigation, and took measures to stop the abuse after being presented with the report.

    NATO announced last month that it stopped transferring detainees to 16 of the facilities.


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