Riga humiliation for Bush and NATO

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WHILE President George Bush was condemning EU leaders for not sending more forces to Afghanistan to fight the Taleban, officials of the main central Asian regional ally of the US, Pakistan, were telling EU officials that they should have the courage to admit that they have been defeated by the Taleban.

Further, they were urged, to think out the consequences of that defeat.

They were told that these consequences were that the NATO states should begin working for a new national government in Kabul, that would include the Taleban, but would have no place in it for the current president, Karzai.

Foremost with this advice has been Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Kasuri, who addressed NATO foreign ministers, just before the Riga conference on these issues.

The astonished NATO foreign ministers emerged from Kasuri’s briefings to say that he had advised ‘us’ to surrender.

No wonder Bush was reduced to haranguing his allies at the Riga meeting.

After much pressure the most that he could get out of his allies was a pledge that if there was a state of emergency, restrictions on the use of their soldiers could be relaxed, but that the decisive definition of what constituted an emergency would rest with their troops’ commanders.

The message was that NATO troops would stay in Kabul or the north, while British and Canadian troops did battle in Helmand and Kandahar provinces, supported by US airpower.

At Riga, only the minor nations agreed to ease the restrictions on deployment against the Taleban including the Dutch, Romanians and smaller nations such as Slovenia and Luxembourg.

The major states, France, Germany, Spain and Italy, said they would now send help to trouble zones outside their areas, but only in emergency situations, which would be defined as such by their commanders.

Prime Minister Blair’s verdict was that the summit had made significant progress towards generating enough force to defeat the Taleban, but they still ‘need to make those last remaining steps’.

Foreign Office minister Howells was more to the point, stating: ‘This view seems to say it’s alright for British soldiers to die in defence of the West but it’s not alright for other soldiers.’

Bizmark’s view of the Balkans came to the minds of many, that the area was ‘not worth the bones of a single grenadier’.

From Riga, Bush flew off to Amman, on another no-hope mission. In Amman he was due to meet the Iraqi puppet Prime Minister Maliki.

Bush was due to order the Dawa party leader that he must disband the militia of Moqtada al-Sadr, the Shi’ite cleric who supports the puppet government but opposes the occupation, and has fought two wars with the US occupation army.

Sadr earlier yesterday warned once again that if Maliki met with Bush he would withdraw his support from the government, and accordingly yesterday late afternoon, in Baghdad, five government ministers, supporters al-Sadr, withdrew from the puppet government, denouncing his meeting with Bush as treachery.

Their withdrawal took place when Iraqis were furious with the occupiers, after US troops killed five girls in Ramadi in a tank attack on a house and two women in Baquba in an air attack, also on a house.

The Maliki government is now rapidly on the way out, while the insurgency is becoming more powerful with every day that passes.

The time has come for all insurgent movements to unite under a joint command to sweep the US-UK occupiers out of the country.

This will create the conditions for the election of a constituent assembly to form a government free of any ties with the occupying powers.

British workers must agitate in their trade union for them to take political strike action against the Blair government to bring it down, in order to bring in a workers’ government that will withdraw all British troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and take action to provide billions of pounds in reparations to help the Iraqis and Afghans rebuild their countries.