NATO Defence Ministers meet in Edinburgh next Saturday. Stop the War Scotland, Scottish CND and the Scottish Afghan Society have organised a protest march calling for them to stop occupying Afghanistan. I will be there and I urge you to join me.
With the appalling death toll for Afghan civilians and British troops alike showing no signs of abating next Saturday's march takes on even more significance.
I am calling on all SSP branches and members to come along, to bring their party banners and to show our steadfast opposition to the military occupation of Afghanistan by Britain and America.
This 8 year occupation of one of the worlds most impoverished countries does enormous damage to Britain's international reputation. The Afghans have made it repeatedly clear they do not want us to be there.
In recent days two opinion polls - one by the Independent, the other by Channel 4 News - have shown around 2/3rds of the British population no longer support the occupation and want to see British troops withdrawn. This shows quite conclusively that the scaremongering argument put forward by Gordon Brown that withdrawal would mean the Taliban reactionaries would sweep back to power has not had the persuasive impact he thought it would. Instead people believe our military repression of 33m people to be senseless and unsupportable. We continue to occupy a country that is no threat to our security and we do so against the express wishes of the Afghan people. Thousands of innocent Afghan civilians continue to die and British troops are blown to smithereens day after day in a conflict which appears to have no end.
The re-election of the utterly corrupt and vile President Hamad Karzai represents a huge blow to Gordon Brown. The Afghan people utterly despise Karzai and see him as a stooge of their US oppressors. He is utterly corrupt and his vicious administration does not in any case govern Afghanistan at all. Instead local warlords have been left in charge by the US and their record is so dreadful that millions now support the various insurgencies like the Taliban because they are fighting back against those who occupy and destroy their country on the one hand and the vicious murderers and war criminals who govern provinces like Helamand at a local level.
Saturday's demonstration called by Stop the War Scotland, Scottish CND and the Scottish Afghan Society assembles at East Market Street at 10.30am.