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Feedback: Green Party Says Afghans Have Rights

Scoop Feedback: Green Party Says Afghans Have Rights

22nd November 2001

Dear Editor,

Writers who attack Green party members and others for opposing the bombing of Afghanistan, nearly always refer to this opposition as being "anti American".

However, if your correspondents read and listened more carefully, they would discover that the emphasis is on equal value of all human life, and measures that would bring about long term peace and security. New Zealand's executive decision in favour of the war has in fact legitimised the reintroduced of the death penalty, without any semblence of a trial.

Little concern has been expressed over Afghans lives - and a civil war has been re-ignited. And have any terrorists been brought to justice?

The intervention of the U.N. is needed to attempt to prevent further bloodshed between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance, and address the brutal treatment of Afghan people, especially women.

Future peace requires planning now for significant investment in social and economic development. A sound legal case must be made and brought before international courts for arrest and extradition as necessary.

International cooperation to bring terrorists before the International Criminal Court can eventually be successful as the current trial of Milosevic, the former Serbian President shows.

The World Trade Centre terrorist bombing was unusual in that it targeted the symbolic centre of the western world. Western countries have also been proxy to actions which have resulted in the death of millions and the denial of equitable development.

The media at times documents these abuses, but it seems that some readers glide onto the next item least it unset their world view.

Nicaraguans well remember attacks on health centres, schools, and development workers that resulted in 50,000 dead, along with the mining of their harbours which strangled their economy.

One of the architects of this illegal war condemned by the World Court, John Negroponte, was confirmed recently as the USA United Nations ambassador.

Elliot Abrams, who had pleaded guilty in 1981 to lying to Congress over the conduct of the war, was installed by US President Bush to head his "office for democracy and human rights".

The "right" result was achieved in Nicaragua's national election this last month, following widespread threats, effectively threatening further impoverishment if the wrong result came through.

To make real progress on terrorism and respect for human rights, we will need a little more transparency, dialogue, trust, understanding, and redistribution of some of the world's wealth.

For now, Afghanistan needs trained UN peace keepers and long term development assistance from NGO groups who have understanding of the local conflicts.

Yours sincerely,
Paul Bruce,
International Secretary Green Party Aotearoa, International.Secretary@greens.org.nz,
PO Box 11-652, Wellington
www.greens.org.nz


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