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Why socialists want troops out of Afghanistan

This October will be the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan. It will probably not be celebrated anywhere in the world, least of all in Afghanistan itself. This has been the most unpopular of wars – second only to the war in Iraq.

A poll in December 2010 found 57 per cent opposed to Britain’s military involvement in Afghanistan, while only 34 per cent supported it. The same number say it was wrong to have invaded and occupied Afghanistan in the first place.

So just why do Labour, Tories and Lib Dems all support the war, while the majority of people in Britain oppose it?

The answer is that our much-vaunted parliamentary democracy, with its two-and-a-half party system, is not “the rule of the people”. It represents us least of all when it comes to life or death questions like war. Parliament represents the interests of big business and the banks and takes military action on their behalf.

We have been lied to repeatedly about this war. They said it was a “war on terror” – but we are now exposed to more terrorism as a result of the war.

They said that invading Afghanistan would improve the rights of Afghan woman. But Malalai Joya, Afghanistan’s most famous women MP, wants the troops out of her country. She says, “For our people, Obama is a warmonger, like Bush. He follows the same disastrous policies, only with much more determination and force.”

Another lie is that NATO forces are winning, and will be able to hand over control to their puppet Afghan army within four years. In fact, the violence is increasing, and has spread to the previously more peaceful North and East of the country.

But the biggest lie is that British soldiers are fighting and dying “for our freedom”. The real reason they are there is so that Britain and the US can control Central Asia’s oil and natural gas reserves.

This is a war in which 356 British and over 1,420 US soldiers have died. The pro-war media highlights every British death to boost support for the war, exploiting families’ grief for political gain. They say little about the estimated 34,000 Afghans killed in the last ten years, most of them civilians.

We must oppose all military interventions by our big buisiness government. The occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan have been a disaster, solely carried out with the aim of securing the country for western interests.

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