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13 Mar, 2012 03:08

UK MP: ‘Western forces long outlived usefulness in Afghanistan’

Afghanistan is demanding a public trial for the US soldier who gunned down 16 civilians. British MP Jeremy Corbyn told RT the West has long outlived its usefulness in the region and will only continue to provoke the opposition.

Corbyn said that this tragedy, which is hardly the first, is, sadly, hardly likely to be the last either, bearing in mind the numbers that also fall victim to drone attacks.“My view is that the Western forces in Afghanistan have long outlived their usefulness, if there ever was any, and it is time to go and not wait until 2014. If the forces stay, then the opposition to the presence of Western forces increases, the danger of drone attacks and all the mistakes that have happened over the past few years, gets greater.”When the forces leave, Corbyn believes, there is going to be a kind of vacuum, but there has to be political dialogue between Karzai, the Taliban and any other political forces within the country. “That surely is what should be promoted at the present time,” the MP said.The US soldier turned himself in to NATO authorities after the massacre on Saturday in Kandahar province. Most of the dead were women and children. It is unclear what led to the rampage and the US marine is in custody. Meanwhile, witnesses allege there were several gunmen, all of whom were drunk. Washington has apologized for the incident, but the Afghan President Hamid Karzai says it is “unforgivable”. The Taliban is vowing revenge, and NATO forces in the country are on high alert. John Glaser, assistant editor at Antiwar.com in Washington, told RT he thinks that history suggests the American soldier is unlikely to face a trial despite Afghan outrage.“This so-called rogue action by one soldier is more indicative of the absurdity of the larger war. Nobody can articulate – even after this massacre – the precise reasons why we need to be in Afghanistan. He killed nine children, those children weren’t Taliban, and they certainly weren’t insurgents, certainly weren’t threatening a 38-year-old US sergeant with multiple weapons on his body.”Glaser thinks that it’s likely the US will prevent an investigation and trial of its soldier. “There’s a number of past incidents like this in which the US claims that it is sorry, it apologizes and vows to hold responsible whoever has committed the crime, but it actually has a history of getting soldiers off easy for these types of crimes.”