How many more will die in vain before we withdraw?
By Seumas Milne, Guardian columnist speaking at a packed meeting on 13 July 2009, organised by Stop the War Coalition and Media Workers Against War, and titled The Good War? Afghanistan in the Media.
"The only way to end the war is the withdrawal of foreign troops as part of a wider political settlement negotiated with all significant Afghan forces on the ground, including the Taliban – and guaranteed by regional powers and neighbouring states: Pakistan, Iran, China and India.
Such a process is bound to take place eventually – whether or not the British government has the guts to follow the example of Canada and The Netherlands and announce plans to pull out earlier.
But the assumption must be that a strategic US decision to accept the inevitable, turn its back on the wreckage of the war on terror and withdraw from Afghanistan is going to be a slow and painful process. In the meantime, many more people – mostly Afghans – will shamefully die in vain."