The sight of American ex-service men and woman loudly denouncing NATO aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan, by hurling their war medals towards the location of the recent NATO summit, made an extremely powerful statement. The emotion was clear to see too, these brave veterans felt betrayed by their country and some seemed to be carrying a sense of shame and guilt for whatever role they played in the invasions. This anti-war protest, as moving as it was, must have made it very hard for NATO leaders to ignore. This show of unity between the protesters and veterans might well inspire other men and woman who have served in the forces or who are currently serving, to speak out about the immorality of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
There have always been very loud and strong movements speaking out against the illegal invasion of Iraq. In 2003 at least 750,000 people marched in protest in London alone. Since then, the number of citizens against the invasion and following occupation as increased exponentially. In the beginning, opposition against the war in Afghanistan was less obvious, possibly due to confusion regarding the ambiguity of mission objectives cited by politicians and war planners. There has been a distinct change in public opinion over the past few years leading to a huge drop in support for the war, with many calling for the withdrawal of troops. Whether troop withdrawal is the best way forward or not (many people have concerns over likely human rights abuses once foreign forces leave), the anti-war feeling seems to be here to stay, for the time being at least. With the increasing likelihood of an attack on Iran growing all the time, I just hope that the anti-war movement will become so large it simply cannot be ignored.