7 February 2012

American colonel says Pentagon is lying about Afghanistan

According to United States Colonel Daniel Davis, the army command is lying about the results of the war in Afghanistan. In an article in the Armed Forces Journal entitled ‘Trust, Lies and Afghanistan’, whistleblower Colonel Davis openly questions how many people will still have to die in an operation that has been wholly unsuccessful. SP Member of Parliament and international affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel has applauded the colonel for his openness and intends to raise Davis’s views this week during an evaluation of the Dutch operation in the Afghan province of Uruzgan.

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1 February 2012

Van Bommel: struggle for Afghan ‘hearts and minds’ fails

NATO’s strategy to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people is failing pitifully. This was the conclusion drawn by SP Member of Parliament and foreign affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel on the basis of a leaked report which reveals that the Taliban enjoy broad support amongst the country’s population. ‘There was always something fishy about NATO’s optimistic official statements on the progress of the war,’ says Van Bommel. ‘Now it turns out that NATO didn’t really believe in these itself.’

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8 October 2011

'War in Afghanistan is becoming ever more a Gordian knot.'

Ten years after the start of the war in Afghanistan, the conflict has only become more complex and more dangerous. What began as a war against a single country has grown ever more into a regional conflict, and because of this a lasting solution is disappearing further and further over the horizon.

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15 September 2011

Soldiers are in danger while politicians in The Hague chatter about a civilian mission

'If it swims like a duck, quacks like a duck and waggles like a duck, then I’d call it a duck. The Minister of Defence must have been thinking this when he spoke to Vrij Nederland.' SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel was referring, during this evening’s parliamentary debate with Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the Minister of Defence himself, to a recent interview given by the said minister, Hans Hillen to a leading Dutch political weekly. In the interview, Hillen said that it was ‘strange that the mission in Kunduz cannot be called a military mission.’

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11 January 2011

'Stop the war, support Afghanistan'

SP Members of Parliament Harry van Bommel and Farshad Bashir today joined party colleagues and members of the Labour Party, the Green Left and the local peace movement on a demonstration in The Hague against a renewed Dutch mission to Afghanistan. The demonstration took place in front of the Café Dudok, just before a celebration of the Afghan New Year to be held that same evening. The SP is opposed to the proposed new military mission to Afghanistan on the grounds that the operation will take place during what, Van Bommel says ‘can only be described as war conditions’.

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7 January 2011

Van Bommel: ‘New Afghanistan mission is military in nature’

The SP is strongly against the proposed new military mission in Afghanistan on the grounds that the context in which it will take place is one of war. ‘There’s no other way to describe these conditions,’ points out SP Member of Parliament and Foreign Affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel.

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16 December 2010

Fokking Hell

We have been told from all sides about the so-called reconstruction mission in which we are participating in the Afghan province of Uruzgan. Yesterday Dutch state TV channel gave us, with the film ‘Fokking Hell’-a film made on the basis of pictures created by the soldiers themselves- a glimpse into what has in reality been happening there. ‘Fokking Hell’ is the answer to the Ministry of Defence propaganda to which we have grown accustomed.

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21 July 2010

'Prolonging the war is no solution for Afghanistan'

“NATO Secretary-General Rasmussen has learnt nothing from the mistakes which have been made in the war in Afghanistan.” This was SP leader Emile Roemer's reaction to Anders Fogh Rasmussen's announcement that the war would be pursued with greater intensity. In the Afghan provinces of Helmand and Kandahar, major attacks would be carried out and the NATO chief acknowledged that these would cost many lives. “The ground is being prepared for the addition of a bloody round to the war," says Roemer. That is a disastrous path.”

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5 May 2010

'Peacekeeping can be conducted without bombers and warships'

Harry van Bommel was today one of tens of thousands of people who attended the Liberation Festival in Wageningen, marking the end of the Nazi occupation on May 5th, 1945. He took part with Green Left MP Femke Halsema and others in a political debate on freedom and the role of the Dutch armed forces. Van Bommel argued that cuts in the defence budget would not mean that the defence department could not continue to play an important role in matters of peace and security. "The Netherlands should be making savings on the offensive parts of the armed forces," Van |Bommel said. "We should not be purchasing new fighter planes, and we could also get rid of part of the navy. You don't need bombers and warships for peacekeeping tasks." These views were the opposite of those expressed by outgoing Christian Democrat Secretary of State Jack de Vries, who wants to exclude the defence budget from the coming round of cuts.

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