The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

The U.S. Leaves the Wreckage of Its Occupation

Aug 2, 2021

As they get set to pull the U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, Joe Biden and the military have made a big propaganda campaign to sell the idea that they’re making an honorable withdrawal. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said, “We have spoken many times about the moral obligation we have to help those who have helped us.”

When Biden was asked if there was any comparison to the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam in 1975, he said, “None whatsoever. Zero,” and, “There’s going to be no circumstance when you’re going to see people being lifted off the roof of an embassy of the United States from Afghanistan.”

What a crock of bull!

By making a big deal about how they’re helping their friends, these officials are trying to cover for the destruction done to the whole population of Afghanistan—“friend” or foe. In fact, it’s like Vietnam in more ways than one.

Just as in Vietnam, the U.S. invaded the country in order to defend its monetary and political interests. The U.S. did not bring peace, freedom or prosperity to Afghanistan, but ongoing war and chaos ruled over by corrupt officials who lined their own pockets at the expense of the population.

Just as in Vietnam, the Afghan government has no independent base of support in the population, having been created and propped up by the U.S. As the U.S. withdraws, the government’s control simply crumbles as other armed gangs, including the Taliban, take control of more and more of the country. The official government of Ashraf Ghani now controls barely more than the capital of Kabul itself—mere months after U.S. troops started to withdraw.

Surely, just as in Vietnam, many who were the face of the U.S.—translators, clerks, drivers and others—will be left holding the bag. But their number loses significance in the face of the millions of Afghanis who have paid the price for war.

At least 241,000 people have been killed in the war since 2001. Over 330,000 ordinary Afghan people have been displaced by the recent fighting, with 30,000 more fleeing every week. In addition to the over 3 million Afghan refugees living in Europe, Turkey, Pakistan and Iran.

And finally, a whole population thrown into grinding poverty by decades of war and economic disruption. According to the United Nations, HALF the country’s population is already in need of humanitarian aid—twice as many as last year, and over 6 times as many as four years ago.

Those who did the U.S. government’s bidding may be flown out of the country—but millions more are trapped in the hell created by the U.S. occupation AND its withdrawal.