Following the illegal invasion of Iraq, our soldiers are now embroiled in an unexplained, "unwinnable" (and until 2010, never-voted-on,) war in Afghanistan.
In Spring 2003, Britain and America led the devastating invasion of Iraq, and assault on Baghdad, laying waste to anything that got in their way.
Before this there were two votes in Parliament and these MPs voted for war, in spite of the British people and religious leaders telling them not to.
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179 of Britain's best have been killed in Iraq, and over 400 in Afghanistan.
The attack was without UN authority, and because of the then Prime Minister's "extensive, detailed and authoritative" intelligence that Iraq was a "real and present" danger. This was proved false: there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction, nor evidence of any intent to use them even if there had been.
"These service personnel have had their Oath of Allegiance betrayed and their patriotism exploited..." (Reg Keys*).
They shouldn't be in Afghanistan or Iraq; many of the military know this though dare not speak out, fearing Courts Marshall and potentially long prison sentences. Even their commanders admit they are part of the problem.
Our soldiers are not adequately supported when they return: 1 in 11 British prisoners are former military personnel; the suicide rate amongst the military has multiplied; and very many are being diagnosed with a post-traumatic stress disorder.
|This is Gulf War veteran David Bradley, jailed for the 'execution' of his family after suffering mental health problems. There are other cases of ex-soldiers murdering their own wives and children. Mental health problems of ex-soldiers are rarely brought to the public's attention. It is completely false to believe that veterans can escape death and feel secure. If you have had to brutally kill others (especially children) it is bound to affect you.|
Many hundreds have had to be given white sticks, hearing aids, artificial limbs and wheelchairs; in every case entirely unacceptable, disabling, and life-changing injuries. 400 injured soldiers were returned from Afghanistan and Iraq in 2008 alone.
How many Iraqis have died?
Cluster bombs have also been used. Each of these spreads hundreds of self-contained "bomblets". On average 15% of these fail to explode. In effect they become landmines, making large areas of land impossible to farm, and can blow children's legs off if they play there. Princess Diana, who campaigned so passionately against land mines, would turn in her grave if she knew what her country had done.
The UK has also colluded in extraordinary rendition - where people were kidnapped, taken to Guantanamo Bay, imprisoned without trial and tortured. British security services have allegedly taken part in their interrogations. And if pretending to drown prisoners isn't good enough, they are spirited away to other countries where much worse can be done.
"We have to remember that troop deployment was based on the deceit of WMD not on regime change, ...which is clearly against international law." (Reg Keys*).
If it had been about 'weapons of mass destruction', surely the troops would have been brought home as soon as it was discovered there weren't any - and a major enquiry launched into how it could have been got so wrong?
Due to our bombs and bullets, and the resulting chaos, power-struggles and absence of security, over 300,000 Iraqi civilians have died, an estimated two million become refugees and 2½ million (10% of the whole population) are 'internally displaced people.'
We believe Britain and the USA to be guilty of a War Crime. In a representative democracy, the MPs who voted for war are answerable to their constituents for the hundreds of thousands of deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, and must be held to account.
The British people have been lied to war under false pretences.
If you want a fairer and more equitable world, to avoid more conflicts, and to bring our troops home, do NOT vote for a Warmonger.
(We are not recommending for whom to vote; but implore you to choose from among the other candidates, as you see fit.)
* Reg Keys, father of Lance-Corporal Thomas Keys, killed in al-Majar on 24 June 2003.