Demonstration: Break with Bush - No more deaths

12 March 2006

Demonstration: Break with Bush - No more deaths

Political discussions over the Netherlands' military missions in Afghanistan en Iraq have systematically avoided any reference to the fact that war means death, mutilation and the destruction of people's homes. In most of the media some space has been given to the 3,000 western soldiers who have lost their lives, to murdered westerners and to the abuses in Abu Graib and Guantánamo Bay. But of the many tens of thousands of dead from the Iraqi or Afghan side (very often ordinary, unarmed citizens), we rarely hear anything. On 18th March in Amsterdam there will be a demonstration calling for the Netherlands to break with the policies of the present United States administration.

Stop the occupation in Iraq
Three years after the attack on Iraq the 'Platform tegen de Nieuwe Oorlog' (Platform Against the New War – the main antiwar umbrella body formed to oppose war on Iraq and other US military adventures) is drawing attention to the civilian victims of the conflict. The people of Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering as a result of the west's fight against terrorism, the west's aversion to certain regimes, the west's economic policies and the west's occupation.

Troops out of Afghanistan
In the Netherlands even soldiers have their own trade unions, and these, together with many parents of young recruits, have expressed concern over the huge risks which Dutch military personnel face in Afghanistan. Armed resistance not only in southern Afghanistan, but also in the supposedly tranquil north, is growing. This is happening principally in reaction to the west's actions in Afghanistan itself, but also in the occupation of Iraq and Palestine. Peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere will only be possible when the occupation of Islamic countries is ended. The sending of Dutch soldiers to Afghanistan contributes nothing to bringing peace.

No war on Iran
Meanwhile history seems about to repeat itself. Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency have announced that they have no evidence of the existence of an Iranian Atomic Energy Authority, yet the US, with EU support, is preparing a war of aggression against the country. Pointing to this threat, conservative forces in Iran have boxed the movement for democracy into a corner. War will not bring democracy to Iran. The threat of war is also no effective instrument against the spread of nuclear weapons. The continuing development of such weapons in the western world – in particular by Israel, France, Britain and the United States – demonstrates that the governments of these countries operate according to a double standard.

Stop!On 18th March the SP will be out in force at the demonstration in Museumplein in Amsterdam and fully supports its demands: Dutch troops out of Afghanistan, stop the occupation of Iraq, and no war on Iran. The rally begins at one o'clock with speakers and music. At two o'clock marchers will leave the square in a procession which will return to Museumplein at half-past-three for a commemoration for all of the victims in Afghanistan and Iraq.

If you will be in or near Amsterdam on Saturday, please come along. You don't have to be or speak Dutch to come and show your opposition to a war which is opposed by an overwhelming majority the world over.

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