Three Articles from Socialists in Afghanistan

Socialist Action / Ligue pour l’Action socialiste in the Canadian state is pleased to share the following trio of recent articles from the Left Radical of Afghanistan party. We have been in touch with that party for a number of years, and welcome its trenchant account of the political scene, on the ground.  While the LR of A party, which evolved decades ago from Maoism and towards Revolutionary Marxism, does not, in the articles below, specifically project the fight for a workers’ government and the need for a revolutionary international, we do appreciate its intransigent opposition to the imperialist intervention/occupation of the past twenty years.  The LR of A party is a revolutionary socialist organization that is operating under extremely difficult circumstances.  SA/LAS is pleased to be in direct contact with this organization of militants, to which we send our fervent revolutionary greetings and solidarity.  (We have taken the liberty to lightly edit the somewhat rough original translated text.) – BW

Withdrawal of US and NATO Troops from Afghanistan and Remaining Threats

Joe Biden, President of the United States, officially declared that, as of August 31, 2021, “the United States ended 20 years of war in Afghanistan.” He confirmed that, by evacuating the last American soldier, the longest war in the history of the United States and the military occupation of Afghanistan has now concluded.

The last American soldier left Afghanistan during the night on August 31, 2021, marking the ending of the military occupation of Afghanistan. The Taliban celebrated the defeat and departure of the United States by firing shots into the air at Kabul airport that night, congratulating each other and calling it a historic moment. Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, told reporters at the Kabul airport that the victory was a good lesson for all invaders.

Undoubtedly, the shameful defeat of the United States and its allies in Afghanistan is a great achievement for the people of Afghanistan and the peace-loving people of the world, because America’s military and economic authority and power, as well as its international standing, have been eroded. But there is no guarantee that the United States government will cease plotting or conducting military and intelligence interventions in Afghanistan and the region.

Indeed, after Biden’s speech, on the same day, Secretary of State Antony Blinken explained, “I want to drive home today that America’s work in Afghanistan continues. We have a plan for what’s next and we’re putting it into action.” He added that a new chapter of American engagement with Afghanistan has begun.

It is clear that the United States government, after reaching an agreement with the Taliban, has carried out its nefarious plans on two fronts: formally using the Taliban, while secretly or indirectly utilizing ISIS and other terrorist networks to realize its cynical and destructive plans.

Pakistan’s military and intelligence service, on the other hand, have played a role as an agent of the United States in the region for nearly 40 years, particularly in Afghanistan. For the past 20 years, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (or ISI, its major intelligence agency) and its military have been cooperating with the United States, and so-called terrorist groups have been based in key Pakistani cities. Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed by the United States in Abbottabad, and Taliban leadership were also active in Pakistan, with some bases in Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Pakistan has received billions of dollars in aid to further a fictitious war on terror and has spent it on coordinating and training terrorist networks.

Moreover, the United States used Pakistani military bases during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. Over the past 20 years, American and NATO military and logistical convoys have arrived in Afghanistan from Pakistan. Now, 20 years later, the United States has moved some of its troops, bases and intelligence personnel to Islamabad to act as a watchdog over Afghanistan and the region.

Furthermore, America’s rivalry and enmity with China, Russia and Iran will enter a new phase. The withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan will not mean the end of tensions and threats in Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Gulf countries. Neither will China, Russia nor Iran passively watch the new game of the United States, which will certainly never renounce war, intervention, barbarism or terrorism until it is completely dissolved.

The signing of the Taliban’s agreement with the United States, along with other secret deals, under the auspices of Pakistan’s military and intelligence agencies illustrates the Taliban’s links to and dependence on foreign countries. The Taliban’s overt and covert dealings with the United States, Pakistan, China, Russia and Iran implicate some of the most politically significant states in the world, and leave none above suspicion. The Taliban do not have the political savvy to balance these competing interests and gain credibility in their relations with major world powers.

The Taliban have no plans for development, poverty reduction or prosperity for the people of Afghanistan, nor are they capable of adapting to the needs and culture of the modern world. The Taliban, as a political-religious group with a much older and more conservative view of Islam, will insist on enforcing Sharia and strict Islamic principles, restricting women’s rights and civil liberties, and will not be able to provide health, education and social services to the people of Afghanistan. The current situation in Afghanistan is worse than it was in 2001. The United States and NATO have not implemented any infrastructure projects and have fostered a culture of corruption. Under the watchful eyes of the United States and NATO, the cultivation and trade of narcotics increased, unemployment and poverty reached about 70 percent.

Indeed, there are many economic, security and social obstacles facing the Taliban that will challenge their next government. Given the facts above, it can be said that the Taliban will soon face opposition, protests and resistance from the Afghan people and will be isolated internationally.

Left Radical of Afghanistan (LRA)   Sept 1, 2021- Afghanistan

The Second Round of the Bloody American Game in Afghanistan

Stories of the hellish situation at Kabul International Airport, shocking reports of young people falling from American planes and shootings of poor civilians carried out jointly by American security guards and the Taliban at the airport are still fresh. When two heavy bombs exploded near the airport gate in the American control area, American troops opened fire on the crowd of civilians. The bombings and shootings by United States soldiers killed more than 200 civilians, including women and children, and injured about 350 others. Immediately after the incident, the Khurasan ISIS (ISIS-K) group claimed responsibility for the deadly blasts.

As the “Left Radical of Afghanistan” has mentioned in its previous articles, the imperialist United States and its NATO henchmen have their own strategic goals in Afghanistan and the region that they are trying to achieve in various ways. They promoted terrorism under the banner of counter-terrorism. By waging war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, Washington has managed to keep the war outside its borders and divert the attention of its people from America’s own internal crises, class divisions, discrimination and social injustice.

The shameless defeat of the United States and NATO in Afghanistan and the withdrawal of their troops does not mean the end of their interventionism.  America and its allies change their puppet regimes, organizations and networks whenever they deem it necessary to expand and pursue their hegemonic and predatory policies. Their cronies are a group of heroes one day and a group of terrorists the next; one day a person becomes the world’s second most influential thinker and, 24 hours later, is seen as the world’s most corrupt politician and thief.  Not an abstraction, there are real cases like this in Afghanistan: the Taliban and Ashraf Ghani, ISIS and the al-Qaeda Network.

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan at the end of 2001 and overthrew the Taliban regime, ostensibly for supporting al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. They killed and injured nearly one million Afghans and forced further millions of helpless people to leave their homes and homeland during the past 20 years, all under the pretext of avenging 9/11, fighting terrorism, bringing democracy to Afghanistan and ensuring human and women’s rights. But 20 years later, terrorism is not eradicated, democracy is not established, nor have war criminals or human rights violators been brought to justice.

After the overthrow of the Taliban regime, the United States and NATO created a corrupt regime in Afghanistan, funded fraudulent elections, and promoted poppy cultivation and trade. In addition to the Taliban, they have bred and trained 20 other armed terrorist groups as their reserve forces.

Russia, China and Iran have been concerned about the US military occupation of Afghanistan since its inception. In addition to other American and NATO economic goals in Afghanistan, a major goal has been to destabilize China, Russia and Iran. That is why these countries have secretly, and sometimes openly, helped the Taliban to protect themselves and their allies.

When the Americans realized their failure, they were forced to sign an agreement with the Taliban in Doha in February 2020, under which the Americans promised to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan.  In return, the Taliban promised to not target the resource interests of the United States in Afghanistan and in the region. The Taliban also guaranteed that no threat to the United States and its allies will come from Afghan soil. But what is clear is that neither will the imperialist nature of the United States allow it to survive without war, intervention, and violence, nor will the Taliban, an independent group, remain committed to their agreements. The Doha Accords between the United States and the Taliban may reduce the flames of war, but ISIS and other terrorist groups backed by the United States and other countries continue their terrorist attacks in Afghanistan and take responsibility for terrorist operations in the region.

On August 27, in an interview with CNN, Ryan Crocker, the former United States ambassador to Afghanistan, said that the United States withdrawal from Afghanistan would embolden militant groups in other countries and that what is happening in Afghanistan today would spill over its borders. The real war has not yet begun and is on its way.

Given that no one can easily distinguish between the Taliban, ISIS and the Haqqani network, al-Qaeda and other terrorist networks, the United States will seek to use these groups at various levels to achieve its regional goals. Thus, the real war will begin, according to Crocker.

The bloody terrorist explosion at the gates of Kabul International Airport on August 26, 2021, the American drone strike on ISIS in Nangarhar province on August 27, 2021 and the attack on a civilian vehicle in Kabul killing members of a family, including three children, by ISIS on August 28, 2021, all of which were planned actions, convey at least two related messages: firstly, the United States wants to warn the Taliban that if it disobeys the United States, it will strengthen the ISIS faction in order to create a major security challenge for the Taliban government, and secondly, if the Taliban runs things properly, the United States will lobby and propagandize on their behalf, displaying them as innocent and ISIS as terrorists, and thus pave the way for international recognition of the Taliban regime.

The CIA chief meeting with Taliban officials in Kabul simultaneous with the United States military withdrawal from Afghanistan, the intentional dissemination of propaganda for ISIS and the arrival of Amin al-Haq, a key member of the al-Qaeda network from Pakistan to Kandahar province, can all be interpreted as American imperialism inaugurating its bloody second phase project in Afghanistan and in the region.

Left Radical of Afghanistan (LRA)    September 2, Afghanistan

What Matters most to the U.S. Congress:  $169 million Stolen, or Millions of War Victims?

On August 18, 2021, Fox News wrote, “Afghanistan’s exiled President Ashraf Ghani must be brought to justice and face criminal charges of embezzlement if he indeed fled the besieged country with duffle bags full of cash intended for the Afghan people, according to the U.S. House Oversight Committee.  House Republicans are raising alarms over news reports that Ghani left Afghanistan with ‘duffle bags full of cash totaling $169 million.”

President Ghani was not a ghost when he fled Kabul with his family, 52 close associates and about $169 million on August 14, 2021, the day before the Taliban entered Kabul. Yet, miraculously, nobody saw him while the Kabul airport was under strict surveillance of the United States. In fact, he was guided on how to escape, what vehicle to take and where to go in order to evacuate the Presidential Palace in Kabul before the arrival of the Taliban.

The United States government often uses its cronies and spies as a tool. As long as the tool works efficiently and well, the United States will support it, but when it fails in its handover mission, or a new and improved crony or spy is found, the old one will be killed, or replaced and even put on trial.

By doing so, United States government officials seek to achieve two goals: firstly, to blame their local allies for their failures and crimes in order to present themselves to their people and the world as innocent, nonpartisan and faultless. Secondly, by delivering power to a new group or regime, they can revive the aspirations of certain factions and thus secure a chance for years or even decades of keeping those people unaware and distracted, in order to achieve their nefarious goals.

Over the past 20 years, about $2.6 trillion has been spent by the United States – alongside hundreds of billions of dollars more by its allies – in Afghanistan, but the positive impact has amounted to zero for the Afghan people. 80 percent of the aid money went back into the pockets of the donor countries, and the remaining 20 percent went to their local partners. The United States Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) and other relevant agencies have consistently reported major thefts carried out by American and domestic officials, but until now no Afghan minister, deputy, governor or other foreign official has been prosecuted. While the war in Afghanistan was a humanitarian catastrophe for the people of Afghanistan leading to bloodshed and misery for millions, it was a lucrative business opportunity for many imperialist cronies and corporations, such as Blackwater USA.

Members of the United States Congress are concerned about their $169 million, but they never ask what the 20-year military occupation of Afghanistan was for. Why were around one million poor Afghans killed, maimed and their homes bombed? Why were chemical and biological weapons, and even super-heavy ordinance such as the GBU-43/B MOAB (known as “the Mother of All Bombs”) used on an oppressed nation? Your Excellencies, members of the United States Congress, the people of Afghanistan were fortunate when Mr. Ghani stole the $169 million, otherwise you would have only used this money for more war and bloodshed! Undoubtedly, the money was sent not to satisfy the hunger of an Afghan child, but to put a bullet in the mouth of that hungry child! You should be angry; you should prosecute your puppet Ashraf Ghani!

You have the right to investigate the $169 million abducted from your bloody war chest, but the people of Afghanistan and the victims of your imposed war also have the right to hold accountable the leaders of this war – the legitimizers and the legislators of this war. The question of why the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 must be investigated as well! What has it gained from 20 years of war and bloodshed? Why did they overthrow the Taliban regime then, and now reconcile with the same Taliban and hand over the power to them in Afghanistan?

Undoubtedly, Ashraf Ghani and other high-ranking officials should be prosecuted, but it should not be forgotten that the Afghan people want the United States government to be held accountable for the humanitarian catastrophe, the killings and all of the damage caused by the 20-year war in Afghanistan. It must pay reparations, and the relevant authorities who led the war, including members of Congress, must be criminally tried. If George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden are directly responsible for ordering the invasion, assassination, and destruction in Afghanistan, then the United States Congress is equally responsible for this crime because it approved the budget to fund the bloody war and occupation in Afghanistan.

If it is really a matter of ensuring justice and identifying black and white, let the international “independent” agencies do the job. But the fact is that every time the people of Afghanistan or the International Criminal Court (ICC) call for an investigation into the issues of war crimes or human rights abuses in Afghanistan, the United States government administration and Congress strongly oppose it, even going so far as to impose sanctions against ICC leadership. You may pardon your puppet president Ghani for stealing $169 million, but the people of Afghanistan will never forgive your heinous crimes. History will record these horrific events, much like atrocities in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Vietnam were recorded. 

Left Radical of Afghanistan (LRA)

September 3, 2021, Afghanistan