Author Topic: HANDS OFF IRAN AND SYRIA, NO NEW WARS  (Read 2247 times)

nestopwar

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HANDS OFF IRAN AND SYRIA, NO NEW WARS
« on: January 07, 2012, 11:23:11 PM »
HANDS OFF IRAN AND SYRIA - NO NEW WARS

PROTEST RALLY: SATURDAY 28 JANUARY, 2-4PM
OUTSIDE THE US EMBASSY
24 GROSVENOR SQUARE, W1A 1LQ

Simon Jenkins writes in Wednesday's Guardian that 'Imposing
sanctions at Washington's behest is an idiocy, and likely to do
little other than escalate the steps to open conflict'. (See
http://bit.ly/zk2kVc) The new year opened with further threats
against Iran.

More sanctions from Washington and a blacklist of anyone who does
business with the country are an escalation of the Western
confrontation with the country. Israel is talking more and more
of an attack on Iran to 'deal with' its nuclear capability (even
though Israel is the only country in the Middle East which
actually possesses nuclear weapons). In an election year for the
US, tensions around this issue are almost certain to grow.
Already, Iran has responded by testing missiles in the Gulf and
there has even been talk of closing the Straits of Hormuz to oil
exports.

Following a year when Britain and France led the intervention in
Libya the dangers of further western attacks in the region are
very real. Under the guise of 'humanitarian intervention' in
recent weeks there have been threats to Syria and Iran. There are
many signs of covert intervention in both countries.

Stop the War has called a protest outside the US embassy in
Grosvenor Square on Saturday 28th January from 2-4pm. We are
asking all our supporters in London and the South East to
mobilise for it. Any attacks on Iran or Syria will almost
certainly herald a much bigger war in the Middle East than
anything seen so far. We must build an opposition to these
threats now.

As Jenkins goes on to say, 'Economic sanctions are coward's
diplomacy. They purport to high moral stance but are merely a
low-risk way of bullying the world. The danger is that they
encourage militarist lobbies to escalate the steps that lead to
open conflict.' We know that there are plenty of militarist
lobbies and politicians willing to back them.

We would like all our supporters to campaign against this threat.
There are petitions on the website that can be downloaded (see
http://bit.ly/x9nxvP) and local groups will be holding meetings
on the topic to build a national campaign.

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TROOPS OUT OF AFGHANISTAN - PROTEST AT 400th UK DEATH

A big effort was made over the new year to present the situation
in Afghanistan in a favorable light. The reality on the ground is
suggested by the death of five British soldiers in less than a
month, taking the total to 395. The fact is last year the Taliban
proved their resilience and their military capacity with a series
of assassinations, bombings and raids in northern cities which
had been virtual no-go areas for them. Unsurprisingly, the
occupation is increasing levels of violence in the country. In
December there were two attacks by Afghan soldiers on foreign
troops making a mockery of plans for an imminent 'security
handover'.

The Western response to what is in reality a worsening security
situation has been to accept the need for talks with the Taliban
against President Karzai's wishes but also to plan for troops to
be kept in Afghanistan permanently. General Allen has publicly
called for troops to stay indefinitely despite President Obama’s
pledge to withdraw them by 2014.

Tens of thousands of people have been massacred during the
occupation, and there are many people without food. Most surveys
show life has got worse for the majority in the last decade. As
Afghan activist and ex MP Malalai Joya said on her 2011 tour, the
US and NATO use women's rights and human rights as an excuse for
occupation, "yet they blindly bombard my people from the sky".
There is no democracy, she said: "It is the same donkey with a
different saddle. It doesn't matter who votes, it only matters
who's counting".

Stop the War is asking its supporters to prepare for a national
day of protest when the 400th British soldier death is announced,
calling for all the troops to be brought home.

Please send any local details for posting on the website.

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STOP THE WAR NATIONAL CONFERENCE

NATIONAL CONFERENCE
SATURDAY 3RD MARCH
ULU, MALET ST, WC1E 7HY

We are holding our Annual General Meeting on March 3rd at the
University of London Union in Malet Street. The conference will
be a chance to discuss and analyse the West's interventions in
Central Asia and the Middle East and to debate and decide our
policies, strategy and campaigns for the coming year. It will be
addressed by MPs activists and experts. As well as delegates from
affiliated groups, the conference is open to all members of Stop
the War before January 1st 2012. Members who have joined since
can attend as observers. To book a place for yourself or a
delegation e-mail office@stopwar.org.uk or phone 0207 801 2768.

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