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  • Greens urge withdrawal from Afghanistan after 6 years of war

    Posted by Green Party Peace Network on October 15, 2007

    GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
    http://www.gp.org

    For Immediate Release:
    Monday, October 15, 2007

    Contacts:
    Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, mclarty@greens.org
    Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, starlene@gp.org

    Greens call for US troop withdrawal on the sixth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan

    WASHINGTON, DC — On the sixth anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan, Green leaders renewed the party’s call for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

    “Rather than seek an international police effort to bring the alleged terrorists of 9/11 to justice, the Bush Administration used the attacks as an excuse to invade Afghanistan and then Iraq,” said Hajja Romi Elnagar, member of the Green Party’s International Committee. “The invasion involved aerial bombings that resulted in massive civilian deaths and injuries, in violation of the Geneva Conventions. The bombings have continued, with reports as recently as June 2007 of an air assault on the village of Haydarabad that may have killed 130 civilians.”

    “Food and fuel prices have nearly doubled in some parts of Afghanistan over the past year. The outcome of the US-NATO invasion has been greater poverty and the devastation of infrastructure, renewed repression under warlord rule in many areas, and expansion of opium production, which the the Taliban had nearly wiped out. Civilians are suffering displacement, exile, threats, robbery, beatings, and murder by both government and anti-government forces. Schools, especially girls’ schools, have been targeted for bombings, arsons, and shootings,” Ms. Elnagar added.

    Greens noted that Afghanistan fell quickly because the Afghan people were promised a better life after the oppressive, misogynistic Taliban theocracy, and that bombing of Afghanistan actually began in 1998 under the Clinton Administration.

    The Bush Administration had plans for a military incursion in Afghanistan even before 9/11, said Greens, when Bush officials grew frustrated with the Taliban’s rejection of a deal for a US-controlled pipeline through their country from the Caspian basin. Current Afghan President Hamid Karzai and ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad were paid consultants of US energy firm Unocal, which had sought the pipeline. Unocal’s interests were promoted by the Foreign Oil Companies Group, whose membership included former Halliburton CEO and current Vice President Dick Cheney.

    In August 2001, State Department negotiator Christine Rocca allegedly threatened the Taliban with a US attack, saying “Accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs,” and the Bush Administration warned India and Pakistan of a likely attack on Afghanistan before the end of October.

    “The Bush Administration’s policies on Afghanistan suggest that its intentions had less to do with bringing the supporters of the 9/11 attacks to justice than punishing the Taliban for not cooperating with US oil interests,” said TE Smith, black Vietnam War veteran and member of the DC Statehood Green Party. “Despite the invasion, Osama Bin Laden remains at large and serves as Bush’s useful villain in ‘war on terror’ propaganda. The US wars on Iraq and Afghanistan have motivated further animosity against the west in the Muslim world, and the post-9/11 attacks, targeting Bali, Madrid, and London, which may have occurred independently of al-Qaeda itself.”

    According to the July 16, 2007 CRS Congressional Report, the budget for the Afghanistan War rose from $18.9 billion in 2006 to $36.9 billion in 2007.

    “While the war on Afghanistan gets little scrutiny now, the US military effort there will continue indefinitely,” said Aimee Smith, member of the Green Party’s Peace Action Committee and Vice Chair of the Green Party of Michigan. “The only sign of US and NATO victory is a puppet government in Kabul, hundreds of thousands of destroyed lives, and a country in ruin.”

    MORE INFORMATION

    Green Party of the United States
    http://www.gp.org
    202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
    Fax 202-319-7193
    • Green Party News Center http://www.gp.org/newscenter.shtml
    • Green Party Speakers Bureau http://www.gp.org/speakers
    • 2007 national Green Party meeting in Reading, Pa.: video footage, blog and media coverage http://www.gp.org/meeting2007/

    Green Party Peace Action Committee (GPAX) http://www.gp.org/committees/peace
    GPAX Blog http://gpax.wordpress.com

    International Committee of the Green Party http://www.gp.org/committees/intl/

    “‘Bomber McNeill’ reveals the ‘Cheapness’ of Afghan lives: the massacre in Haydarabad, Helmand”
    Marc W. Herold, Cursor.org, August 7, 2007
    http://www.cursor.org/stories/bomber.html

    “The Mega-Lie Called the ‘War on Terror’: A Masterpiece of Propaganda”
    By Richard W. Behan, AlterNet, September 27, 2007
    http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/63632/

    ~ END ~

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