From our own correspondent’s Nick Danziger tells us that the Afghani people are the most wonderful people he knows. It’s women who continue to suffer the worst of the conflict. Outsiders make the same mistakes as most Afghan men, they don’t listen to women. Not a single one wants the Western forces to leave. “As the West rushes to exit the quagmire, they deserve continued support.”
Consider today’s demo in Trafalgar Square. It’s a ‘an Anti-War Mass Assembly’ demanding the withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan.
George Galloway, Lauren Booth, Julian Assange, Seumas Milne, Moazzam Begg, Yvonne Ridley, Salma Yaqoob are some of the names who pledged to attend.
Harry’s Place has posted an article by Terry Glavin who is dismayed that Peter Tatchell has also “lent his good name” to the cause. Peter Tatchell the crazy mixed-up gay activist who stood with the homophobic Muslims in a recent demo against the EDL. He’s a very brave mixed-up activist, and very mixed-up.
However, after a heated exchange of emails, it seems Tatchell was persuaded to modify his anti-war stance. He has issued a revised statement:
”The left and anti-war movement is gambling with the lives of Afghan women, democrats and leftists when it calls for the immediate withdrawal of all UK and NATO troops. This demand is rejected by most Afghans and could result in mass slaughter by the Taliban. It risks capitulation to a clerical fascist movement that threatens the human rights of the Afghan people,”
(Read the rest here.)
“There needs to be a more sophisticated anti-war alternative to the Nato strategy. I haven’t got the answers but I know we should not abandon the Afghan people to a Taliban bloodfest. Anti-imperialism cannot be allowed to trump human rights.”
Of course it would be a lot easier if he didn’t go to such demos at all.
But maybe he didn’t. BBC news 24 reported this demo uncritically, or should we call it ‘with studious impartiality’, in the context-free manner to which we’ve become accustomed. On the website, though, they’re positively enthusiastic.
“The Stop The War Coalition said up to 5,000 people joined musicians, actors, film-makers and MPs at the Anti-war Mass Assembly in Trafalgar Square.”
Yippee. Sounds like a proper knees up. But they did say the organisers would find the attendance disappointing. There were only ‘about a thousand’ there. Too bad.