Thursday, 5 May 2011

The death of Bin Laden - what next for US foreign policy?

Chris Nineham of Stop the War Coalition takes a long term view of what the world looks like following Bin Laden's death and the resulting jingoism and xenophobia from the US camp and its impact on Muslims.

Robert Fisk, a really serious and experienced journalist with a deep knowledge of the Middle East and the Arab world, poses the question, what is the future of US foreign policy now vis a vis Central Asia, North Africa and the Middle East.

In the meantime, Stop the War Coalition has issued the following statements and news of forthcoming events.

STOP THE WAR COALITION

Newsletter No. 1199

4 May 2011

Email office@stopwar.org.uk

Tel: 020 7801 2768

Web: http://stopwar.org.uk

Twitter: http://twitter.com/STWuk

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stopthewarcoalition



IN THIS NEWSLETTER:

1) BIN LADEN DEAD: WHERE NOW FOR "WAR ON TERROR"?

2) CAMPAIGNING IN THE COMING WEEKS

3) END THE SIEGE OF GAZA: NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION 14 MAY

4) CONFRONTING ANTI MUSLIM HATRED IN BRITAIN AND EUROPE

5) AFGHANISTAN AND THE WAR ON TERROR TEN YEARS ON

6) STOP THE WAR'S YOUTUBE CHANNEL



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1) BIN LADEN DEAD: WHERE NOW FOR "WAR ON TERROR"?



Bin Laden is dead but the "war on terror" continues as before.

2011 is the most violent year in Afghanistan since the invasion

ten years ago. April was Iraq's most deadly month since 2009. The

war on Libya, still being sold as "humanitarian intervention" to

protect civilians, has sunk to the level of killing three of

Gaddafi's grandchildren, all under the age of twelve.



As Andrew Murray, national chair of Stop the War, wrote in his

recent Guardian article, bin Laden's death is a fork in the road

in world politics. The choices are stark: end the "war on terror"

now, or else continue with a policy "which only offers the

promise of thousands more Bin Ladens arising, vowing to take the

fight to the western powers in the only way they see available".

(READ FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://bit.ly/jcCgGA )



The day after Bin Laden's death Stop the War issued the following

statement:



HOW TO DRAW A LINE UNDER 10 YEARS OF WAR SINCE 9/11



The killing of Osama bin Laden by US Special Forces in Pakistan

has been hailed a turning point in the 'war on terror'. The

assassination, it is claimed, will draw a line nearly 10 years

after 9/11. But if the US really wants to draws a line under

these wars it needs to adopt very different policies from those

which it is now pursuing.



The US and other NATO forces must now withdraw all troops from

Afghanistan. The capture or killing of bin Laden was a stated aim

when the attack began in October 2001 -- 'wanted dead or alive'

in the words of George Bush. Since that time, tens if not

hundreds of thousands have died in Afghanistan, the Taliban have

gained in strength, and the pro US government is one of the most

corrupt in the world. There is no justification for the war.



The US and Britain should remind themselves of the grievances

which bin Laden claimed in 2001: the presence of US troops in the

Middle East; the treatment of the Palestinians; and the continued

sanctions against Iraq. All of these grievances have worsened in

the last ten years. There are now western troops in Iraq,

Afghanistan, US bases all over the region, and an intervention

including troops and airstrikes in Libya. The Palestinians suffer

even more, and have been subject to aerial attack by Israel. Iraq

suffers full scale occupation as a result of the war in 2003.



The war has been extended into Pakistan, not just with Special

Forces operations such as the killing of bin Laden, but with

drone attacks which have killed thousands of Pakistanis and

created great instability in the country.



The US and its allies have followed a policy of backing dictators

and despots across the Middle East. Only the uprisings of the

peoples in these countries has in any way altered that policy,

and even now, while waging war in Libya, the west turns a blind

eye to the atrocities in Bahrain and the repression in Saudi

Arabia.



The war against Libya is not about humanitarian intervention but

about the western powers _ especially the former colonial powers

in North Africa_ trying to regain control of the region. The

airstrikes should stop immediately and all troops including

Special Forces and advisers should be withdrawn.



These policies have not helped to end terrorism, but have made it

more likely. Al Qaeda barely existed outside Afghanistan 10 years

ago; now it is a presence in a number of Middle Eastern

countries. The latest events will in all likelihood lead to more

attacks by al Qaeda, including in Europe and the US. The only way

to end terrorism is to change the policies which create space for

it to flourish in the first place.



THE STATEMENT IS REPRODUCED ON OUR WEBSITE, HERE:

http://bit.ly/mJZzTP



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2) ANTI-WAR CAMPAIGNING IN THE COMING WEEKS



President Obama will be making a state visit to Britain at the

end of May and Stop the War will announce shortly the details of

a protest to denounce his continuation of the war policies of his

predecessor George W Bush.



We are asking all local Stop the War groups to organise events in

their communities, with public meetings, street stalls,

petitioning etc, to raise the profile of the anti-war majority in

this country that opposes the escalating aggression of the

western powers, and, specifically, to call for the immediate

withdrawal of all British troops from Afghanistan and an end to

the bombing of Libya.



Campaign leaflets and petition sheets are available to download

from our website.



If you would like to get involved in a local Stop the War group

in your area, contact our national office: Email

office@stopwar.org.uk or call 020 7801 2768.



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3) END THE SIEGE OF GAZA: NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION 14 MAY



The plight of Palestinians continues to deteriorate, as Israel

maintains its siege of Gaza, denying its people basic resources,

and escalates its theft of Palestinian land and property on the

West Bank and in East Jerusalem.



Stop the War has joined with Palestine Solidarity Campaign, CND,

British Muslim Initiative and Palestinian Forum in Britain, in

calling a national demonstration on Saturday 14 May against

Israel's endless violations of international law. The

demonstration is supported by many other organisations. Full

details are available here: http://bit.ly/mLTDTI.



END THE SIEGE ON GAZA - FREE PALESTINE

JOIN THE PROTEST SATURDAY 14 MAY 2011

ASSEMBLE 12NOON DOWNING STREET LONDON SW1A

For updates, go to: http://bit.ly/mLTDTI



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4) CONFRONTING ANTI-MUSLIM HATRED IN BRITAIN & EUROPE



The West's assaults on three Muslim countries in the last ten

years have been accompanied by a chorus of anti-Muslim

propaganda, which will no doubt swell further in the aftermath of

the killing of Osama Bin Laden.



To discuss the effects of Islamophobia and how to campaign

against it, Stop the War, as part of the Enough Coalition, is

organising a day conference which will bring together community

figures, campaigners, academics, experts, and victims of

anti-Muslim attacks, from Britain, Europe and the USA.



Speakers include Seumas Milne (The Guardian), Salma Yaqoob, Daud

Abdullah, Tony Benn, Lindsey German, Peter Oborne (Daily

Telegraph), Marwan Muhammed from France, Dr. Sabine Schiffer from

Germany and Professor John Esposito from the USA (FULL LIST OF

SPEAKERS HERE: http://bit.ly/f43fUZ ).



The event if free but places are limited, so early booking is

advisable. Please register to book your place at

info@enoughcoalition.org.uk.



CONFRONTING ANTI MUSLIM HATRED IN BRITAIN & EUROPE

CONFERENCE: SATURDAY 21 MAY 11AM - 6PM

LONDON MUSLIM CENTRE WHITECHAPEL, LONDON E11JX

Leaflet: http://tinyurl.com/65f7zu9

Register place: info@enoughcoalition.org.uk



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5) AFGHANISTAN AND THE WAR ON TERROR 10 YEARS ON



Anger against the western powers will only be increased by recent

events. The Taliban have just announced the start of the fighting

season in Afghanistan, Pakistan is deeply destabilised by the

"war on terror". The British government has now admitted that the

war on Libya could be "a long haul".



Stop the War's day conference on Saturday 11 June will highlight

the disasters of the Afghanistan war and put it in the context of

wider imperialist intervention. Central to the discussion will be

the next steps in the campaign to get the troops home.



Speakers include Tony Benn, George Galloway, Tariq Ali, Lindsey

German, David Swanson from the USA, Pankaj Mishra, Mehdi Hasan

(political editor of New Statesman), Joan Humphries from Military

Families Against the War and David Gentleman, the artist who

designs the now legendary bloodspot placards and posters for Stop

the War.



AFGHANISTAN AND THE WAR ON TERROR 10 YEARS ON

DAY CONFERENCE: SATURDAY 11 JUNE

25 RED LION SQUARE LONDON WC1R 4RL

For updates, go to: http://bit.ly/gjt1qE



Admission is £5. Please book in advance by emailing

office@stopwar.org.uk or phoning 020 7801 2768.



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6) STOP THE WAR'S YOUTUBE CHANNEL



Stop the War's YouTube channel, started just a few months ago, is

proving very popular, with close to 100,000 views already. Over

50 videos have now been posted and we are adding new films every

week. The two most recent are:



* Osama Bin Laden's death and the day America declared war on the

world.

* Look who came to the royal wedding: dictators, torturers, human

rights' abusers



WATCH STOP THE WAR'S YOUTUBE CHANNEL HERE:

http://www.youtube.com/stopthewarcoalition



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