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The News Line: Editorial US-UK FORCES MUST QUIT AFGHANISTAN NOW! THE position of the imperialist powers in Afghanistan has become completely untenable. Their forces are not wanted either by the Taleban or the mass of the population.

Increasingly the occupiers are being killed by their own allies, often while they are ‘training’ them, hammering home the point that even those who are opposed to the Taleban have had enough of the imperialist forces.

Yesterday’s news was that two separate gun attacks on Nato-led troops in south Afghanistan by their allies have left a total of six US soldiers dead.

An Afghan civilian employee shot three soldiers, all from the US, at a base in Helmand province on Friday evening.

Earlier on the same day, also in ‘much improved’ Helmand, an Afghan police officer shot three US marines after inviting them to dinner at a checkpoint.

A US defence department official confirmed the dead Americans had belonged to Marine Special Operations Forces.

Taleban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi told the media by telephone that the attacker had joined the insurgency after the shooting.

‘Now, he is with us,’ the spokesman said.

The killing of two British soldiers in Helmand was also announced on Friday, bringing to eight the number of coalition soldiers killed in Helmand in 48 hours.

At this rate deliberate ‘friendly fire’ will be inflicting more deaths on the allied forces than the Taleban is able to.

There are, however, big doubts that all US troops will be leaving Afghanistan, following the signing of a secret agreement with President Karzai.

Then there is the fact that the drone attacks and the assassinations of ‘hostiles’ are continuing around the clock.

Leigh Day lawyers are currently acting on behalf of an Afghan citizen who lost five of his relatives in a missile attack by international military forces.

They are challenging the UK’s ongoing involvement in the establishment and maintenance of the Joint Integrated Prioritized Target List (JIPTL), an involvement which the firm claims is unlawful.

The JIPTL is a list of individuals which the military forces operating in Afghanistan have designated as targets.

The effect of adding a person’s name to the List is to designate that person and others around them as enemy combatant(s).

An official public report to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States Senate (the US Senate Report) describes the List as a ‘kill list’, stating that: ‘The military places no restrictions on the use of force with these selected targets, which means they can be killed or captured on the battlefield’.

This is just another version of the Phoenix Programme. This was established during the Vietnam war so that US special operatives and special forces could murder their way through lists of NLF supporters drawn up by US intelligence and stooge collaborators.

The same type of programme was then established in Iraq after the fall of Saddam when US-backed and supported ‘death squads’ killed thousands and drove several million people out of their country.

Now the UK is involved up to its neck in a similar programme in Afghanistan, where US-UK operatives are working their way though ‘kill lists’.

The situation remains that the imperialist powers will have to be forced out of Afghanistan. The UK trade unions must be made to call for, and take action to secure Britain’s immediate withdrawal, and also the shutting down of the Joint Integrated Prioritized Target List (JIPTL).



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