British Prime Minister Gordon Brown faces a grassroots challenge over the war in Afghanistan at this month's Labour Party conference, the Guardian reports:
Gordon Brown faces fresh questions over the war in Afghanistan at this month's Labour party conference, with grassroots activists circulating a motion demanding that troops be withdrawn.
I'd give anything for the opportunity to address this conference.
I'd wait until one or two people gave speeches arguing that Britain had to keep its troops in Afghanistan out of friendship with the United States. Then I'd ask to be recognized, and I'd say,
"As an American, I thank the honorable gentlemen and ladies for their kind words of friendship towards the people of the United States. I assure you, as you know very well, that the feelings are reciprocated.
"But I beg you, in the name of humanity: show your love differently than by continuing to support this war. Do not love us like a drinking buddy who gives liquor to an alcoholic. Do not love us by staying, teeth gritted, in a car whose driver has had too much to drink. Do not love us by holding back your criticism, or praising our war policy with faint damnation.
"Like the majority of Britons, the majority of Americans oppose this war. Fifty-seven percent of Americans say they oppose the war in Afghanistan, CNN reports.
"Moreover, the constituencies that the Labour Party represents in Britain -- working people, members of the trade union movement, women, members of minority groups -- these constituencies in the United States are overwhelmingly opposed to the war. Three-quarters of Democrats in the United States oppose the war, CNN says.
"These constituencies oppose sending more U.S. troops to the war, as is now being proposed in Washington. Americans making less than $25,000 a year oppose sending more troops by a margin of 70-27, McClatchy News reports. American women oppose sending more troops by a margin of 2 to 1; Hispanic-Americans oppose sending more troops by a margin of 86-9; African-Americans oppose sending more troops by a margin of 78-15.
"Even our Vice-President, Joe Biden, opposes sending more troops, the New York Times reports.
"In the political discourse of the United States, the presence of British military forces in Afghanistan is being used to justify the presence of American military forces in Afghanistan. If Britain is there, we have international support. If Britain is there, it is a coalition that is taking action, not a unilateral U.S. military action. By supporting the continued presences of British forces in Afghanistan, you not only give yourselves responsibility for what happens to those forces and for what they do in Afghanistan; you also give yourselves some responsibility for what happens to the American forces and for what they do in Afghanistan.
"If you love America, if you love Americans, show your love by passing this resolution put forward by the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy demanding the withdrawal of British troops of Afghanistan. Help America. Help America to get its own troops out of Afghanistan. Get out of Afghanistan, so we can get out."