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BEREAVED MUMS CONVINCE ME WE CAN'T WIN IN IRAQ
By Elaine C.Smith, Sunday Mail (Scotland)
LIKE most people, I despair at the rising death toll and violence in Iraq.
I have been in two minds about whether troops should stay and at one point I did feel that leaving could only make things worse for the Iraqis.
On Thursday, I chaired a meeting in Glasgow for the Stop the War coalition and had much of that opinion changed.
I was completely moved and humbled by the reality of this war for three women - Rose Gentle, from Glasgow, who lost her son Gordon, Sue Smith, from Birmingham, who lost her son Philip and Cindy Sheehan, from the USA, who lost her son Casey.
The loss these women have suffered is a mother's worst nightmare. They have come under severe pressure from the military here and in America to stop speaking out but they refuse.
It is the only way they can make sense of their sons' deaths because fighting and dying in an illegal war based on lies and deception leaves them with little else to hold on to That's what made Cindy set up camp outside George Bush's Texas pile in the summer. She wanted him to look her in the eye. He never did.
What is worse is that this world-renowned peace activist was in Scotland yesterday at our Parliament and First Minister Jack McConnell said that he was too busy to meet her.
MoD figures published in the Daily Telegraph (hardly an anti-war paper) stated more than 71 per cent of Iraqis want the troops out and 46 per cent thought attacks on our soldiers were legitimate.
As the old saying goes, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.
There are no winners in this conflict, except those sharing the spoils from the oil contracts. Meanwhile the mothers of the US, UK, Iraq and Afghanistan weep for the children they have lost