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Brown Pushes for NATO Troop Boost in Afghanistan

Posted on Nov 13, 2009
NATO soldier
AP / Fraidoon Pooyaa

An Italian soldier with NATO stands guard during a patrol west of Kabul, Afghanistan.

Not to be outdone by Barack Obama as the president contemplates whether to send 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced he will campaign for and expects to get coalition partners to commit an additional 5,000 troops to the NATO operation in that country.

The Guardian:

Gordon Brown today said he was leading a drive to get Britain’s non-US coalition partners to commit another 5,000 troops to the Nato operation in Afghanistan.

In a interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the prime minister also dismissed reports that he was planning to “talk to the Taliban”, although he raised the prospect of “mercenaries” fighting for the Taliban being reintegrated into Afghan society.

Brown has reportedly ordered Bob Ainsworth, the defence secretary, and Simon McDonald, a senior foreign policy adviser, to embark on a round of diplomatic lobbying to get other countries to contribute more troops to Afghanistan.

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By FRTothus, November 14, 2009 at 6:00 am Link to this comment

“You can always hear the people who are willing to sacrifice somebody else’s life. They’re plenty loud and they talk all the time. You can find them in churches and schools and newspapers and legislatures and congress. That’s their business. They sound wonderful. Death before dishonor. This ground sanctified by blood. These men who died so gloriously. They shall not have died in vain. Our noble dead.”
(Dalton Trumbo, Johnny Got His Gun)
“Defense becomes offense, the protection of your children becomes the murder of another’s, his threat becomes your preemption. You kill to stop the killing. Then you wonder, Are you the victim, or the slayer? But you are both.”
(James Carroll)
“We now live in a state of permanent war - a global arms industry, apparently the largest single international business, must have its products used up so more can be sold. There must be profits for the capitalists and jobs for the proles… Are we not still in Caligula’s Rome?
(New Internationalist magazine)
“One of the great attractions of patriotism—it fulfills our worst wishes. In the person of our nation we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat. Bully and cheat, what’s more, with a feeling that we are profoundly virtuous.”
(Aldous Huxley)
“Why of course the people don’t want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship ...Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.”
(Hermann Goering)

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By PatrickHenry, November 13, 2009 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment


Good point you make about the mechanization of war. 

The indiscriminate use of standoff weapons has led to increased collateral damage incidents which has turned Afghan public opinion against us.

I wonder how long this feeble “coalition” will last given the mounting opposition of the people from the countries involved. 

Brown has to get it past his own people.

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By gerard, November 13, 2009 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

The arm-twisting it takes to support the continuation of these “first world” wars against “third world” countries is disgusting.
I’ll give you this it you’ll give me that—dealing in human suffering arm by arm, leg by leg, brain by brain, soul by soul. 
  Violence is the modern “plantation”, armaments are the cotton-pickin’ business, the military-industrial officials are the slave dealers, and the Mason-Dixon line is “Hell No!  I won’t go!”

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By Folktruther, November 13, 2009 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

This is the reason that any effective anti-war, anti-oppression movment must be a world movement. US imperialism is a world movment and its violence cannot be stopped effectively except by earthpeople cooperating to resist it.  Otherwise, the US plutocracy will conduct its imperialist wars by proxy, just as it kills people at long distnace by vidio gamers operating predator dromes.

Note that Brown is organizing Nato to increase their troops while Obama is pretending to decide whether or not the US will increase theirs.

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