Greetings for the British Green Party Autumn Conference 2009

Hamburg / Muenster (Germany)

Dear colleagues,

The German Gruene Friedensinitiative send their greetings to your party conference and wish success, good discussions, decisions, and resolutions. We are sure that the Afghanistan war is one of your main topics and we would like to encourage you to send a powerful anti-war-signal from your conference. The job of the international Green movement is to delegitimate the war. In the last years even many Greens have pressed for a so-called strategy change in Afghanistan. The strategy change came every year with a higher dose of military personnel and equipment – resulting in more and more victims on all sides. And finding the development aid workers as servants and partners of the military. Accompanying the war by more civilian personnel is not the solution.

In 2009 more than 100,000 Western soldiers are stationed in Afghanistan – including ISAF, OEF and personnel plus the mercenary soldiers. Although the number of the Soviet Afghanistan troops is already reached, we can expect upto 40,000 more US troops in 2010, other NATO countries will follow with troop increases.

Afghanistan is the Vietnam of our days. The regime change in Afghanistan has completely failed, corruption and drug productions prosper. The Western troops should withdraw short-term, e.g. meaning in the next 6 months, not in 40 years time. Even the US president has conceded that the war cannot be won.

The learning of German debates is that the cry for strategy change is a political dead end. Green parties in Europe should be war denier, not war supporter. Changing the military strategy is not our business. Demanding and implemting a short term exit strategy is the responsible political step to take.

War does not end if opinion polls show majorities against the war. In Germany, that has been the case for years; and that could not stop the annual parliament decisions to increase the number of German soldiers for Afghanistan. Policy changes need political movements. Therefore, Green parties and their members should engage in the peace movement against the Afghanistan war. This movement should never forget its international character. The end of the war not a national or nationalistic British or German decision. The withdrawal of all NATO and other international troops is the goal, national withdrawal decisions can only pave the way for the overall Western withdrawal.

Good luck for your party conference!

Uli Cremer (Hamburg)
Wilhelm Achelpoehler (Muenster)
The “Gruene Friedensinitiative (GFI)” (Green Peace Initiative) was founded in 2007. The GFI wants to save the peace-political heritage of the Greens and follow up the numerous peace-political ideas and concepts generated within the Greens. The GFI acts as peace-political think-tank and initiates debates about non-military alternatives. The GFI rejects the current dominating military political orientation of the German Greens. The last GFI appeal against committing more German soldiers to Afghanistan in September 2008 (published in the newspaper “tageszeitung”) was signed and financially supported by 150 party members.
Uli Cremer +49-160 / 81 21 622

Wilhelm Achelpöhler +49-171 / 17 17 392

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