The Spark

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

Editorial:
Obama Continues Bush’s Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Feb 23, 2009

When President Barack Obama announced that he was sending 17,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, he signaled that it is only the first installment of a new U.S. escalation of the war. Obama is considering practically doubling the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan over the next year.

For more than seven years, the U.S. has been waging war in Afghanistan with troops, assassination squads, bombs and missiles. The U.S. has imposed a puppet government made up of war lords and fundamentalist fanatics. The U.S. has destroyed the Afghanistan economy and turned the country into a narco-state.

The U.S. invasion has fueled an ever growing war. The more troops the U.S. has sent, the more bombs U.S. planes have dropped, the more this has enraged the population, and the more they have fought to get the U.S. out.

Obama claims he has the answer for Afghanistan. He says he wants to imitate Bush’s surge in Iraq. He says Bush’s surge in Iraq “succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.” That’s what Obama told Bill O’Reilley on Fox News during the electoral campaign.

This is a complete lie. The U.S. surge in Iraq was a huge catastrophe. The U.S. and its death squad allies killed so many people, it turned the country into a vast cemetery. Those who survived were forced to flee for their lives, or else to live in ethnically-cleansed, walled-off ghettoes almost like prisoners.

The result: Iraq continues to be a powder keg, ready to explode along the divisions that the U.S. played on in order to impose its order. And despite all the talk about “success,” the U.S. continues to keep 146,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. The military talks about troops still being there five years from now.

Obama’s escalation of the war in Afghanistan will only produce a bigger disaster. And not just for the people of Afghanistan. The U.S. war is spreading into Pakistan. Three days after taking office, Obama ordered an Air Force drone to bomb two separate Pakistani villages, killing what Pakistani officials said were 22 people. Since then, the U.S. bombings in Pakistan have continued. And U.S. Special Forces and assassination squads continue to operate in that country as well.

Just like Bush, Obama is risking a wider war in Pakistan, a country with a population of over 170 million people!

Obama rode to office promising a “change.” But his policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan is simply a continuation of Bush’s bloody policies.

The U.S. working class has paid for these wars. Thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been wounded and disabled. And these wars have already cost us trillions of dollars.

With his escalation of the war in Afghanistan, Obama expects us to pay even more: in lives and hundreds of billions of dollars, even as the bosses’ economic crisis, layoffs and unemployment threaten our livelihoods here at home.

It is time to tell Obama: No to his rotten surge in Afghanistan and into Pakistan. Get all the U.S. troops out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan!