Statement about the War in Afghanistan

8th October 2001

Yesterday the first US and British air strikes were targeted against Afghanistan and the "War Against Terrorism" began in earnest. As a British citizen I feel compelled to express my own views on the events and at the very least I hope it will be clear that not everybody in Britain agrees with what is now taking place.

As with any wilful threat to life, acts of terrorism are unjustifiable, and the terrorist acts which occurred in America on the 11th of September were certainly atrocities. My fullest sympathy is extended to everybody affected. But just as I abhor the loss of life caused by those events, so I detest equally the loss of life which has and will inevitably occur as a result of these subsequent military actions. I can see no distinction between the two and everything which is said against the perpetrators of the terrible terrorist actions I consider to apply equally to the actions leading to loss of life in Afghanistan.

It is clear that I am a pacifist and cannot understand what is meant by a "Just War", but the current actions defy belief even beyond this: Tony Blair stated that the ongoing bombing was inevitable due to Afghanistan's refusal to hand over Osama bin Laden. But the Taliban stated that they were willing to negotiate handing him over if they were provided with evidence of his involvement. This is evidence which allegedly exists, so I simply cannot understand why this wasn't presented to the Taliban. If it had been, this further loss of life may have been entirely avoided.

I feel thoroughly embarrassed to have to be associated with the actions of Tony Blair and the government which are sanctioning the killing of people. Military, civilian, Afghan or anyone else; nobody deserves to die.

Please note that these views are only my personal opinions.

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