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Anti-war coalition responds to crash of U.S. helicopter in Afghanistan

By staff

_The war in Afghanistan continues, anti-war movement continues to demand ‘U.S. Out Now’ _

Minneapolis, MN – Thirty U.S. troops were killed when Taliban forces shot down their helicopter over Afghanistan Aug. 6. The helicopter crash was the most deadly single incident for the U.S. military forces in Afghanistan since the war began nearly ten years ago in 2001.

The Minnesota Peace Action Coalition issued a statement that says in part, “The destruction of the U.S. helicopter has put the U.S. war in Afghanistan back on the front pages across the country.

“The U.S. war in Afghanistan is not winding down. While the Obama administration talks of troop withdrawals, the actual number of soldiers being withdrawn over the next year will leave twice as many U.S. troops in Afghanistan as were there on the day Obama took office. The number of U.S. air strikes, both by unmanned drones and by planes, is increasing.”

Last week, Wired magazine reported in its Danger Room blog that “Allied jets and bombers are unloading their weapons on more than 20 sorties a day, according to U.S. military statistics, for a total of 652 attack runs” during the month of July.

The magazine went on to report, “It’s part of a war effort that has grown more aggressive in nearly every way. Special operations forces now launch a dozen ‘kill/capture’ raids a night… Massive surface-to-surface missiles have been used to clear the Taliban out of Kandahar; tanks have been sent to Helmand province to help crush opponents; civilian homes taken over by insurgents have been leveled without apology.”

A UN report issued last month reported that 1,462 civilians were killed as a result of the war in Afghanistan in the first six months of 2011, a 15 per cent increase in the number of civilian deaths over the first half of 2010.

The Minnesota Peace Action Coalition statement explained, “The war in Afghanistan is continuing and costs billions of dollars every month. At the same time, millions of people in the U.S. face unemployment and loss of their homes to foreclosure. We need funds for jobs, housing and education, not a war without end in Afghanistan.”

The Minnesota Peace Action Coalition statement went on to urge all those against the war to turn out for anti-war actions this fall. The fall actions will mark the tenth anniversary since the start of the war.

Anti-war actions being planned include a call by a wide range of organizations for people to participate in an ongoing protest in Washington D.C. starting on Oct. 6, which will include non-violent ‘civil resistance’ actions in the capitol.

Local protests are being planned in cities around the country on Friday, Oct. 7, the actual date of the start of the war in 2001. A Midwest regional anti-war march has been called for Chicago on Saturday, Oct. 8.

The United National Antiwar Committee and others are working for Saturday, Oct. 15 to be a day of national anti-war protests in cities around the U.S. In Minneapolis. the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition will hold a march and rally Oct. 15 under the call “Bring the Troops and War Dollars Home Now – Time to Leave – Get Out of Afghanistan.”

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