The Spark

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

Afghanistan:
Anger against the occupation troops

Jun 12, 2006

The war which the Western powers continue to carry out in Afghanistan led to more than 400 deaths in less than two weeks in May and produced an outburst by the population in the Afghan capital itself in late May.

In Kabul, thousands of demonstrators expressed their anger when several Afghans were killed in a traffic accident caused by a coalition military truck. When a convoy crossed the city, the truck hit a dozen cars, causing the death of four people. After that, the U.S. officer commanding the convoy announced with typical colonial scorn that financial “compensation” would be paid to the victims’ families.

The population reacted immediately to this latest “collateral damage” caused by imperialist troops in the capital, crowding around the convoy and pelting it with stones. When shots killed people near the convoy – one provocation too many – people’s anger rose higher still. Many people went out into the streets and demonstrated in different neighborhoods, including in front of the embassies of the U.S., Britain and Germany and official Afghan buildings, yelling slogans hostile to the Western forces and President Karzai.

The angry actions of the population aren’t surprising. The 30,000 soldiers of the imperialist countries, including 20,000 from the U.S., are not there on a peace mission. The roars of jets often announce bombing against houses or places suspected of harboring combatants opposed to Karzai, which afterwards turn out to house non-combatants. The same day as the Kabul events, in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, some 50 people were killed in a bombing of a mosque where a few Taliban had assembled. The U.S. A-10 jets weren’t dropping “precision bombs” against only the Taliban, as the occupation commanders of the occupation pretend. The U.S. also bombed a village in the Kandahar region, killing another 16 inhabitants.

The population suffers from the attacks by Western troops, and demands for money by warlord militias which divided up the country with the aid of the U.S. after the Taliban were driven out in 2001.

The occupation of the Afghan mountains and plains by the imperialist forces is not aimed at letting the population benefit from “democracy,” but simply at maintaining control over a region that’s considered strategic for imperialist interests – even if this means waging a permanent war. This winds up reinforcing the hold of the most reactionary groups over the country, whether they are warlords allied to the West or the militias of the Taliban. And it increases the chaos which the population suffers from.

The Kabul demonstrations, which began in the poor neighborhoods of the occupied zone, clearly show that it isn’t only Taliban combatants that U.S. and other coalition soldiers confront, but increasingly the population itself.

The U.S. should get out of Afghanistan too!