The Spark

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

Editorial:
Preparing New Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Nov 9, 2009

For over a month, the Obama administration has been carrying out a big public debate about how many more troops to send into Afghanistan. Should it put in another 40,000 troops, as recommended by General Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan? Should the U.S. military go after al-Qaeda or the Taliban? Should the U.S. widen its invasion and war in Pakistan?

But what the politicians say publicly is for show. It’s not the real debate. The real discussion behind the scenes is how to enable U.S. imperialism to claim victory in three countries, with its military bogged down for more than eight years in devastating and catastrophic wars.

The U.S. invasion of Iraq was supposed to be quick and easy. After all, the U.S. had already bled the Iraqi population and destroyed much of the country after 20 years of war and a suffocating U.S. embargo. All it was supposed to take was a few weeks of intense U.S. bombing (“shock and awe”), followed by a brief invasion and occupation. The country and its oil was supposed to fall into the U.S. military and oil companies’ lap.

Instead, there was a powerful resistance that the U.S. military could not put down, even though it killed hundreds of thousands of people. Playing the divide-and-conquer strategy, the U.S. military instigated a bloody civil war that rages to this day. This civil war threatens to destabilize the U.S.-backed Iraqi regime and wider parts of the Middle East. Despite all the talk about the success of the famous U.S. troop surge, the U.S. is still not removing troops. Even today, the Obama administration is hinting that it may delay a partial troop withdrawal scheduled for January.

Add to that, Afghanistan. The U.S. invaded that country after 9/11 in order to demonstrate to the entire world that the U.S. military had not been weakened. That country had also been devastated by two decades of invasions and wars, in which the U.S. had already played a key role behind the scenes.

But what happened was the opposite of what U.S. authorities expected. After eight years of bloody war and occupation, U.S. commanders admit the U.S. and its NATO allies are losing control over more and more territory. Instead of appearing strong and invincible, “the greatest military in history,” as Obama calls it, has shown itself vulnerable. And every action taken by the U.S. to impose its control only seems to drive the Afghan population more into the arms of those fighting against the U.S.

Faced with these disasters of its own making, U.S. imperialism has one answer: to continue these wars and expand them. And everyone knows it. But the U.S. government has to convince the U.S. population to support continuing, and above all expanding, the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well.

That is where the big show of a public debate comes in. The Obama administration pretends to be considering all the options and possibilities. Obama takes his time, making it appear that wading deeper and deeper into bloody wars is the only supposedly “reasonable” option.

These are abominable lies. No matter what the Obama administration says, the U.S. will be engaged in continuous war for years to come. For the people of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, it means worsening destruction and carnage. For the U.S. working class, it means the loss of young people driven into the military by the unemployment, then chewed up and spit out by the wars. Our tax dollars are used to destroy other peoples and lands.

For what? So that the U.S. capitalists can continue to exploit people and resources in countries all over the world. So that U.S. imperialism can take the fruit of other people’s labor, their oil, agriculture, everything, at the point of a gun, holding out the threat of massive U.S. military force and violence if anyone dares call any of this into question.

For U.S. imperialism, that is why the “credibility” of U.S. military force is so important, and why the Obama administration keeps pushing us into supporting these wars.

We have no interest in doing so. U.S. out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan!