Imperialists, get out of Afghanistan!
Nations and peoples of Asia, Unite to put an end to criminal imperialist aggression!
Ten years ago, on 8 October, the US imperialists launched a brazen military invasion of Afghanistan, in the name of waging a “war on terror”. In these last ten years, the land of the brave Afghan people has been trampled under the jackboots of the troops of the US imperialists and their allies. Their villages, towns, roads and even mountains have been bombed repeatedly. The aggression and occupation of Afghanistan was followed by the criminal bombing and imperialist conquest of Iraq in the name of destroying non-existent “weapons of mass destruction”. Over a million people in these two countries have been killed in this past decade in the name of fighting terrorism.
In keeping with their proud tradition of never bowing down before any invader, the people of Afghanistan have kept up a relentless resistance all these years. As a result, the US imperialist-led occupation is in deep trouble. Opposition to the foreign forces is growing day by day.
Mazdoor Ekta Lehar considers the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan by the US imperialists and their allies as a great crime against humanity that must be roundly condemned by all who stand for peace and justice. The struggle of the Afghan people to free their motherland from foreign occupation troops is entirely just and deserves the support of all of humanity.
The US led imperialist propaganda presents the invasion of Afghanistan 10 years ago as a reaction to the destruction of the World Trade Centre in New York on Sept 11, 2001. However, the truth is that plans were afoot in Washington to invade Afghanistan months before the Sept 11 attack. The truth about who actually organised the Sept 11 terrorist attack remains a mystery to this day; but what is clear is that it gave the US government precisely the excuse it needed to launch an all-out invasion of Afghanistan.
The US led invasion and occupation of Afghanistan can only be understood in the context of the imperialist geopolitics in this part of Asia in the last few decades. During the Cold War period, the US imperialists had tried to use Iran under the Shah as well as Pakistan as counterweights to their arch-rivals, the Soviet Union. With the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the overthrow of America’s henchman, the Shah, in the Iranian revolution the same year, the US imperialists felt their position slipping in this region. They intervened actively in the politics of Afghanistan with the sole aim of bolstering their own interests. They poured in billions of dollars and armed various warlords to the teeth to fight the Soviet occupation. After the defeat of the Soviet forces and their withdrawal ten years later, the warlords who had been backed by the US plunged the country into chaotic civil war lasting several years in the 1990s. The civil war ended with the coming to power of a new group, the Taliban, in 1996.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US imperialists considered control over Afghanistan as vital to their larger plans to expand their influence over the countries which had been part of Soviet Central Asia, extremely rich in oil, gas and other raw materials.
There is clear evidence that the US originally sponsored the consolidation of Taliban power, with some American oil companies pouring a lot of money into the project with the expectation of gaining control over new oil mines. US imperialism started turning against the Taliban during the Clinton regime, when it refused to agree to the US dictate that it share power with some warlords considered friendly to the US.
In the last ten years of occupation, innumerable crimes have been committed against the Afghan people. Different parts of the country have been parceled out among different occupation forces. Constant raids on homes to allegedly flush out Taliban and their sympathisers, and patrolling of their streets by heavily armed foreign troops, have resulted in brutal atrocities and extreme insecurity for the people, including women and children and old people.
Bombing and strafing of civilian areas and roads from the air have led to enormous casualties, which are cynically dismissed by the Pentagon spokespersons as just “collateral damage”. Those picked up by the occupation forces for supporting the resistance have brutally tortured and killed in prison camps, both inside and outside the country. The wretched conditions inside Afghanistan have also compelled at least 3.2 million Afghans to flee their homes. Of these, about 2.7 million are to be found in refugee camps in Pakistan and Iran.
The invasion of Afghanistan marked a new development in imperialist aggression and expansionism around the world. It was the start of the so-called global “war on terror” championed by US imperialism and its NATO allies. In this offensive, people of the Muslim faith, wherever they are, are being demonised. No evidence of criminal activity is considered necessary to attack them, whether they are ordinary citizens even of the US itself, or they are recognised and established governments in any part of the world.
“Regime change”, and the installing of their chosen lackeys in power, has become a regular way of advancing imperialist interests in any country of their choice. New and fascist military technology, such as drone attacks and cluster bombs, are being used to cause maximum damage and spread terror among the targeted peoples, while minimising the risk to the imperialist attackers.
The lives and liberties of peoples, and their political sovereignty, are brushed aside as being of no consequence. And all this is being cynically justified in the name of “humanitarian intervention”, as in the case of Libya!
While talking of a phased withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, US president Obama has on the contrary increased the number of occupation troops significantly. He has escalated the frequency of drone attacks to blow up homes and kill men, women and children within the territory of Pakistan, in the name of hunting down the terrorists who are alleged to be hiding there.
The working class and people of India have ancient ties of friendship and mutually beneficial trade with the Afghan and Arab peoples, with Persia and Baghdad, the nations of Central Asia, the people of China and many others in Asia. The US-led “war on terror” poses a grave threat to peace in Asia, to the very lives of her people and to friendship among its ancient nations and civilisations.
It is unpardonable that the Government of India has not come out in open opposition to the unjust aggression and occupation of Afghanistan. The rulers of our country have been advancing Indian corporate interests and seeking to establish their own foothold in that country, through investments and intrigues. Even though this is being justified in the name of contributing to the “reconstruction” of Afghanistan, it makes the Government of India complicit in the imperialist crimes in this region.
The situation is calling for farsighted action on the part of governments in Asia at this time, including India, to halt the murderous US-led imperialist offensive against national sovereignty and peace in Asia.
Freedom-loving peoples all over the world, including those in the aggressor countries, have never reconciled themselves to the murderous US-led imperialist offensive over the past 10 years. Mass street protests are continuing to this day against the military occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, with the American people declaring "Not in our name!" and demanding immediate troop withdrawal.