Obama and Cameron may fool themselves over Afghanistan but they can't fool 73% of us

Obama and Cameron may fool themselves over Afghanistan but they can't fool 73% of us

13 March 2012
Robin Beste
Afghanistan and Pakistan

The latest poll shows that seven in ten people believe that the Afghan war is unwinnable and even the media is beginning to catch up with what has long been obvious to the British public.
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By Robin Beste
Stop the War Coalition
13 March 2012

"No, Barack, I'm not kidding. 73% of people in Britain really do think the war is unwinnable."

"Success in the Afghan province of Helmand is within the Army's grasp," head of the British army General Sir Peter Wall wrote in The Sun on Sunday on 11 March 2012. "Our soldiers are making a huge difference… Security in Afghanistan is vital to our safety back home."

It's the same line spun by David Cameron, who said yesterday that nothing must "derail the very good work that American and British and other Isaf forces are doing in Afghanistan".

They really do think the British public was born yesterday if they think we'll swallow this nonsense.

The war now in its eleventh year -- lasting longer than the combined total of World War I and II -- has been a catastrophe from beginning to its fast approaching end.

It has brought nothing by mass slaughter and devastation to the Afghan people and huge cost in lives and money to the United States, Britain and the other invading countries.

The reality of this pointless war has been brought home in recent weeks by the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians by a US soldier, the killing of six British troops on 7 March, the deliberate burning of the Koran by the US Army, which provoked nationwide outrage, and the pictures of US troops urinating on the bodies of Afghans they had killed.

Even the mainstream media -- which has till now obediently trotted out the twists and turns of Obama and Cameron's justification for the war -- is being forced to catch up with what has long been obvious to the majority of the British public: there is no justification for keeping foreign troops in Afghanstan for one more day, let alone till the supposed exit date at the end of 2014.

The latest Index poll conducted by ComRes shows that seven in ten people in this country believe that the Afghan war is unwinnable.

The figure has grown from 60 percent in June last year to 73 percent, while more than half (55 percent) think British troops should be withdrawn immediately compared to 48 percent previously.
About 46 percent have no idea why we're in Afghanistan and did not understand why British soldiers were fighting, up from 39 percent before.
The public understanding of the purpose of Britain's mission in the conflict has fallen from 44 percent last October to 38 percent this week, and now nearly half (48 percent) of those asked do not believe they have a good understanding of the purpose of Britain's mission there.
Only 18 percent think that having forces in Afghanistan makes Britain a safer place with three in five who disagree (60 percent).
Over half (55 percent) believe that the threat of terrorism on British soil is increased by British forces remaining in Afghanistan, while one in five (21 percent) disagree with this while one in four (24 percent) do not know.
More than half (57 percent) disagree that the deaths of British soldiers in Afghanistan are justified by the cause they are fighting for, rising from 50 percent last June. Now just one in four (26 percent) agree and 17 percent say they are not sure.

What we have to ask David Cameron and his war-happy General Sir Peter Wall is the same question asked by John Kerry -- then a returning soldier from Vietnam -- in his statement to the US Senate in April 1971: "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

David Cameron has plenty of blood on his hands already. But any more deaths in a war he knows to be without purpose will stain his reputation even further and beyond recall. Indeed, how will he ask anyone to be the last to die in the lost Afghanistan war?

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