U.S. imperialism out of Afghanistan and Pakistan!
A new leaflet from SAIC denouncing the U.S.-led war and occupation in Afghanistan, and the expansion of the war into Pakistan.
[Seattle Anti-Imperialist Committee, http://www.seattleaic.org/]
Solidarity with the masses, not their oppressors!
U.S. IMPERIALISM OUT OF AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN!
The war in Afghanistan enters its ninth year this October, and it's being expanded into Pakistan through the cowardly use of drones. And the Washington politicians and Pentagon generals see no "light at the end of the tunnel." This year Obama has already escalated the bloodletting once, and there's constant debate over whether to send still more troops to kill and die. Furthermore, even though casualties among their troops were the highest ever in July, government officials and generals openly talk of being in Afghanistan for decades to come--perhaps 30-40 years according to the new head of the British Army.
In contrast, the majority of people of the United States and other cannon-fodder supplying NATO countries have now joined with the majority of Afghan and Pakistani peoples in wanting the U.S.-NATO troops out of Afghanistan. And why shouldn't they? There's no justice in this war.
The dirty history of the U.S. in Afghanistan
Beginning in 1979 the U.S. heavily financed a long and dirty war in Afghanistan, not to liberate its people, but to bleed its (then) Soviet imperialist rivals for global domination. Hence, in alliance with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the CIA built an army (the Mujahideen) led by fundamentalist warlords and mass butchers that also included Saudi Arabian adventurers like millionaire Osama bin Laden. But after the Soviet troops were driven out, the U.S. had little interest in Afghanistan, and eventually left it under the rule of the ultra-fundamentalist, anti-women Taliban; and in Pakistan's sphere of influence. (The Pakistani government, in turn, has largely been within the U.S. sphere of influence while also maneuvering with China and other regional powers in pursuit of its own capitalist agenda.)
During the 1990s, bin Laden turned against his former patrons and launched a campaign to drive U.S. troops out of Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich lands. But bin Laden wasn't just an isolated clerical fanatic; he had influence and support among sections of the pan-Islamic elite, including among members of the Saudi royal family. Thus, beneath the developing conflict between al-Qaeda and the U.S. imperialists lay a struggle over who was going to dominate Middle Eastern petroleum resources that had little to do with Afghanistan. Only when the Taliban gave refuge to bin Laden did U.S. imperialism renew serious interest in this impoverished country. This "interest" manifested itself with Bill Clinton's 1998 bombing, and then the post-9/11 U.S.-led invasion.
The "good war" rubbish
Obama and the ruling establishment like to portray the war in Afghanistan as a "good war," but there has never been anything good about it for the people of this poor and already decimated country.
* Thousands were killed in the initial U.S.-led onslaught, and now Obama's escalation has increased the notorious bombings of civilians that went on under Bush, while his ground offensives bring new deaths in record numbers. Meanwhile, he has escalated the drone attacks into Pakistan by 30% and, according to the pro-imperialist Brookings Institute, more than 600 Pakistani civilians have been killed.
* The people are now ruled over by a U.S.-installed government whose constitution is based on Sharia law, hence this year's passage of a marriage law giving husbands the legal right to rape their wives. Moreover, it's a government filled with grisly fundamentalist warlords whose blood-stained records stretch back for decades:
One of these warlords is President Karzai's defense advisor General Abdul Rashid Dostum, whose forces in 2001 (in presence of U.S. military and intelligence personnel) murdered up to 2000 prisoners of war who had been sealed in cargo containers. Another is Karzai's first vice presidential running mate Mohammad Qasim Fahim, whose forces unleashed a 1992 reign of rape, looting and murder in Kabul that left an estimated 800 people of the Hazara minority dead.
Karzai's second vice presidential running mate is also a warlord, while his main opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, has long been a leading figure in the Northern Alliance of warlords, where he was a close advisor to the murderous Ahmed Shah Massoud.
* Right from 2001 the people have been treated to fascist barbarism by U.S. forces. Thousands of Afghans were hauled off to Afghanistan's Bagram Air Base, Guantánamo Bay and other "black sites" around the world to be held indefinitely, tortured and even murdered. This included soldiers from the defeated Taliban conscript army, civilians who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and innocent people who were turned in for rewards. Nearly eight years later perhaps a thousand of these prisoners remain in these dungeons with no rights. And even if "progressive" Obama ever closes high-profile Guantánamo Bay, he's already announced that he will resume the military commissions (kangaroo courts) at new sites. Meanwhile, Bagram will remain open while U.S.-NATO soldiers continue to kick down the doors of innocent Afghans, and shoot or drag off "suspects."
Such is the "good war" in Afghanistan.
"You can cut down the flower, but nothing can stop the coming of the spring"
This summer the workers and impoverished farming people of Afghanistan have already been ravaged by nearly 30 years of wars, while the U.S. and NATO, the warlord government and the Taliban only promise more. Yet there continue to be everyday acts of solidarity and resistance against all three enemies, and these are the basis for organizing a revolutionary-democratic movement to liberate the country. Indeed, the people continually express their democratic strivings.
For example, in late 2005 the people of Farah Province elected an advocate of women's rights, secularism and democracy to parliament in a landslide. And when their representative, Malalai Joya, was expelled from parliament for denouncing most of the other politicians as the "kind who destroyed the country and killed 60,000 people" and saying that the parliament was "worse than a stable," she had wide support among the masses nationally.
Today, at age 30 and under death-threats, Joya continues to speak out. To the people of the West she says:
> Dust has been thrown into the eyes of the world by your governments.
> You have not been told the truth. The situation now is as catastrophic
> as it was under the Taliban for women. Your governments have replaced
> the fundamentalist rule of the Taliban with another fundamentalist
> regime of warlords. [That is] what your soldiers are dying for.
> Obama's policies are quite similar to Bush—and in some sense he is
> worse than him...But what is important for the world is not whether
> the President is black or white, but his actions. You can't eat symbolism.
> If the occupation forces do not leave Afghanistan voluntarily then they
> will face the resistance of my people... With the withdrawal of one enemy,
> the occupation forces, it will be easier to fight against these internal
> fundamentalist enemies.
Build the anti-war movement!
Working class and progressive people in the U.S. should come to the aid of the Afghan people by preparing powerful October demonstrations marking the eighth anniversary of the occupation of their country. In doing this we're also strengthening ability of the working people in this country to stand up and fight back against the Wall Street robbery, layoffs and wage-cutting, racist police brutality, deportations of immigrant sisters and brothers, and general attacks on civil liberties that we face at home. An injury to one is an injury to all. This means we must actively support those in this country who are specially oppressed on the basis of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or immigration status, and build international solidarity with those who are living under the guns of U.S. imperialism abroad.
Seattle Anti-Imperialist Committee
August 14, 2009
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