He said this on the day it was announced that another three British soldiers had been killed, bringing the total to 26 in just over one month, close to one death a day.
And just to reinforce what "winning" means, the US military announced that four of its marines were killed the same day. In total, 15 NATO troops have been killed in the last six days, with no doubt many more seriously injured.
"There is absolutely no chance of NATO pulling out, "says General Richards. "We made this mistake once. Our opponents are banking on us doing it again, and we must prove them wrong."
History is littered with these "mistakes" which the generals and politicians refuse to admit and just keep sending soldiers to kill and be killed, insisting that the war is "winnable" when every indication shows it is not.
The last man to die for a "mistake"
In 1971, John Kerry, now a US senator, summed up the consequences of such delusion, when talking of his army service in Vietnam: "Each day someone has to give up his life so that the United States doesn't have to admit something that the entire world already knows, so that we can't say we have made a mistake."
"How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"
President Richard Nixon and his army generals were not listening to John Kerry, any more than Gordon Brown is listening to Lance Corporal Joe Glenton, who is facing court martial for refusing to return to fight an unjustifiable war, which he says can only bring death and devastation to Afghanistan.
The price paid by for the warmongers trying to disprove reality in the Vietnam war was up to three million killed in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
What the price will be for 40 more years of colonial intervention in Afghanistan is beyond imagination. However, in the last week, the Afghan people have seen yet again what “winning” means for them.
When three children -- who the US army insisted were “militants on motor cycles” - were killed by a US air strike in the village of Kowak, their father Abdur Rahim cried, "What was the fault of my innocent children? They were not Taliban.” Angry villagers shouted "Death to America!" as they displayed the children’s corpses in the back of a pickup truck.
No doubt feeling the same outrage are the families of the five farmers also killed this week by a US helicopter, as they loaded cucumbers into a taxi in the Zhari district. There anger is unlikely to have decreased when told by the US army that their loved ones were "a group of militants loading munitions into a van".
Responsibility of the anti-war movement
The United nations reported recently that there has been a 28 percent increase in civilians killed in 2009 compared to the same period in 2008. And all this slaughter of the innocents is in the name of "helping" the Afghan people, when in reality the only intent is shoring up the unpopular government of the US stooge Hamid Karzai.
The latest polls show that a majority of people in both Britain and the United States oppose the war in Afghanistan. Faced with the lunacy of politicians and generals telling us that "we" could stay in Afghanistan for decades, the responsibility of the anti-war movement could not be clearer.
We need to mobilise the widest possible campaign to bring the troops home, so that it becomes politically impossible for the government, Parliament and the Ministry of Defence to wage a war that the majority of people in Britain want to end now.
Naming the Dead ceremonies
It is tragically predictable that the threshold of the 200th soldier to die in Afghanistan will be crossed soon. Local Stop the War groups will be organising nationwide Naming the Dead ceremonies, on the first Saturday following the 200th death, to commemorate all the wasted lives - of both Afghan and British soldiers -- by reading out names of those killed in this unjustified war.
Sunday 27 September 2009 Labour Party Conference
Stop the War will call a protest at the Labour Party Conference on Sunday 27 September. Details will be available soon.
Saturday 24 October 2009: National demonstration in London: Bring the Troops Home Now
A national demonstration in London, aimed to reflect the majority in this country that all British troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan, has been called by Stop the War Coalition, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the British Muslim Initiative. Full details will be published in the near future.
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