War Crimes and Peace Vigils

War is a profitable racket for the super-rich, and wars, and their ensuing sacrifice of working-class lives, are always avoidable. This is why the majority of British people oppose acts of international aggression, like the ongoing wars obliterating Iraq and Afghanistan.

Last weekend bore witness to the latest in a long run of war-time atrocities, with the US military engaging in the prolonged bombing of a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. In total twelve staff from the Nobel Peace Prize winning aid agency Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) were murdered, and at least seven patients, including three children, were killed.

At first the US military chose to refer to their most recent massacre as “collateral damage.” But the military soon changed their tune in the face of international outrage at their callous disregard for life. MSF have now made it clear that the attack constituted a grave violation of International Humanitarian Law.

So-called collateral damage is an ongoing problem for the world’s best-funded and technologically advanced military superpower. Just last year, a report published by the human rights group Reprieve revealed that attempts by US forces to blow up 41 men with drone strikes had actually killed 1,147 people (many of whom were children).

Obama war

Such institutionalized injustice clarifies exactly why it is so important to oppose the continuing growth of the military-industrial complex.

In Leicester the latest horror in Kunduz was marked by a vigil outside the Royal Infirmary at the weekend (October 7, Leicester Mercury). But how many vigils and anti-war protests must the people of Leicester attend before our Government stops taking us to wars to satisfy war profiteers?

It turns out that the bombing-raid, precisely focused upon MSF’s hospital, was no accident. Apparently US fire-power was aimed at (non-existent) members of the Taliban, allegedly hiding within MSF’s hospital complex. Evidently threats to “national security” must be extinguished whatever the human cost.

Here in Britain our Government had made it abundantly clear that it considers the new and popular leader of the Labour Party a “threat to national security.”* This threat was echoed by a high-ranking member of the British military who recently suggested that there would be immediate moves from within the military to overthrow a future Labour Government led by Jeremy Corbyn.

Where, one might ask, is the Government’s outrage at this ominous threat to the sanctity of our democracy? There appears to be none.

The hypocrisy of the Tories non-response is laid bare when considered alongside their support for US drone attacks on foreign individuals whom it considers to represent a threat to British democracy.

Now in the latest installment of the real-life horror show that is British foreign policy, our Government (of the 24%) in the name of freedom, wants to bomb another country into oblivion… to help it. Does the violence of the Tories know no end?

This letter was emailed to the Leicester Mercury on 7th October.

*David Cameron says: “We cannot let that man inflict his security-threatening, terrorist-sympathising, Britain-hating ideology on the country we love.

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