War no answer

Statement by Councillor Dave Nellist.
A leading member of the Socialist Party in England
he is also National Chair of the Left grouping, the Socialist Alliance.

Socialists shared the horror felt by millions at the scale of loss of September 11, and we immediately condemned the attacks on New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. But if it was immoral to slaughter 6,000 Americans and others in an attempt to disrupt US economic and foreign policy, then tonight's action involving attacks on Kabul, Kandahar and other targets in Afghanistan carries no greater moral authority.

These attacks will not bring justice to the victims of the World Trade Center atrocity - neither will it destroy terrorism nor the conditions in which support for terrorism breeds. The streets of New York and London cannot be made safer by responding to terrorist attacks with the launch of war.

There's talk tonight of these attacks contributing to the bringing down of the Taliban government. If that happens and the Northern Alliance take control, that will not bring democracy to Afghanistan. Both the Taliban and Northern Alliance were funded, armed and trained by America, Britain and other countries in the 1980s, and in their three years of running Afghanistan, from 1992, those who now are in the Northern Alliance outlawed all opposition and swept aside democratic rights.

Socialists would welcome the fall of the Taliban government, but that is the job of the ordinary people of Afghanistan, not for the west to reinstall either a discredited former king or help the Northern Alliance back into power on the basis of 'my enemy's enemy is my friend'.

Ending support for terrorism requires ending the conditions in which support for the methods of terrorism breeds - worldwide poverty, inequality and repression.

October 7 2002

For other articles on the USA-Afghanistan or USA-Iraq wars go to Iraqi war

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