9 January 2007

NATO responsible for too many civilian victims in Afghanistan

SP Member of Parliament and Foreign Affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel is seeking clarification following a statement by NATO spokesman Brig. Richard E. Nugee, who, referring to the campaign in southern Afghanistan during 2006, said that “the single thing that we have done wrong and we are striving extremely hard to improve on is killing innocent civilians” Brig. Nugee admitted that dozens of Afghan civilians had lost their lives as a result of airstrikes and violent attacks in which NATO troops were involved.

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13 September 2006

Secret CIA prisons: Stop cooperation with US in Afghanistan

The parliamentary debate over US-Dutch relations today took an unpleasant turn when the right-wing attempted to block voting on a resolution brought forward by the small centrist party D66. SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel was forced to use a roundabout procedure in order to save the motion, which called for an enquiry into the Netherlands' support for the war in Iraq. Earlier in the day's debate Mr van Bommel had Christian Democrat Foreign Minister Ben Bot on the ropes when he said that "Either you accept that the US is guilty of human rights abuses and declare that this is justified because it serves a higher interest, the fight against terrorism, which as far as I'm concerned means that our country would be added, along with the US, to the list of rogue states, or you don't accept the US policy, which decision would lead to certain conclusions. For example that cooperation with the US in those areas where people are being held in secret prisons must be ended."

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27 December 2005

Dutch cabinet not prepared to show its hand over Afghanistan

The lower house of the Dutch parliament, the Netherlands' most important legislative body, has not received a clear answer to the question it posed the government as to whether the cabinet has or has not taken a decision on the sending of military forces to the south of Afghanistan. SP Foreign affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel, criticising the government's reticence, said: “The cabinet is obviously not prepared to take any position now that the smallest party in the coalition, D66, has come out on the same side of the argument as the SP, opposing the sending of troops.”

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19 December 2005

‘No more troops to Afghanistan is the sensible decision’

The Dutch government has not yet had the courage to take a decision on the sending of troops to southern Afghanistan. Such a decision should have been taken today, but has been postponed to Thursday, when attempts will have been made to bring D66 ministers into line. The smallest of the governing parties has this week, against expectations, spoken out against participation in the mission. “The government must have nothing to do with the plan”, says Harry van Bommel. “That would be the best decision for both the Afghan people and Dutch soldiers.”

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8 October 2001

‘Attacks on Afghanistan Inhuman, Ineffective and Counterproductive’

The Socialist Party of the Netherlands is the only Dutch parliamentary political party to have spoken out in opposition to Bush and Blair’s war. Their five Members of the "Tweede Kamer", the lower house of the Dutch parliament, condemned unequivocally the approach taken by the United States in the fight against terrorism, viewing the Anglo-American attacks as inhuman, ineffective and counter-productive.

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