Saturday, 6 June 2009

Obama and Afghanistan

Lindsey German, convenor of Stop the War, provides a very useful and well-informed analysis of Barack Obama's major speech in Cairo here.

We had a meeting about Afghanistan, organised by Stop the War, in Newcastle this week. Mohammad Asif, a Scottish-based journalist born and bred in Afghanistan, provided an account of the country's long suffering and the current worsening of conditions. He located the violence and conflict firmly in the context of war and occupation by the US, UK and NATO allies.

The discussion raised important points about how Obama's election has clearly not delivered the change in US foreign policy to Afghanistan many wanted, and how American imperialism continues to view the country as a strategic frontline (and increasingly the same applies to Pakistan). More optimistically, we discussed the considerable achievements of our movement and its continuing ability to mobilise opinion agianst the warmongers.

Two important landmarks to look forward to are in November. The Nato Parliamentary Assembly will meet in Edinburgh and become a focus for protests; also in Scotland, the G20 Finance Ministers have their conference, which will be a chance for thousands to demonstrate and make the links between economic carnage and war. We in Tyneside will be making these a big priority.

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