Feb 15, 2010
The following is part of a public meeting organized by Spark in Detroit. Parts of the film“Rethink Afghanistan” were also shown.
The news media pretend that the U.S. military began its involvement in Afghanistan after September 11, 2001. Move that date back about two decades.
Direct U.S. involvement in Afghanistan dates back to 1979, when the U.S. began to funnel secret aid to the opponents of the then pro-Soviet government in Afghanistan.
The U.S. provided the private armies of war lords and religious fundamentalists with huge amounts of arms and financial assistance, with money also given by the regime of Saudi Arabia, as well as other oil-rich Gulf states. Among these fundamentalists was Osama bin Laden, a member of one of the wealthiest families in Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden served as a conduit for Saudi money to finance the CIA war against the Soviet Union.
In return, the CIA had provided bases and training for bin Laden’s foreign fighters. The terrorists who were behind 9-11 came from some of these forces the CIA helped establish in the 1980s. As the CIA was quoted at the time of 9-11 – “We spawned our own monster.”
The fact is, the CIA spawned thousands and thousands of monsters like bin Laden. He happened to be the monster that bit the U.S. back – it’s what the CIA calls “blowback.”
After 9-11, U.S. imperialism, its reputation tarnished, needed to show how tough it could be.
So which country to attack? Never mind that bin Laden had been funded by the CIA and by Saudi Arabia, a major U.S. client state. Never mind that he was used and funded by another U.S. client state, Pakistan, through its CIA-funded Inter-Services Intelligence Agency, ISI.
Instead of stopping its own activities which had created and fostered those terrorists, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, overthrowing its government, attacking a civilian population who had nothing to do with the attack of 9-11 and setting up its own regime of warlords to control the population.
Having done this, the U.S. state apparatus, with Bush and Cheney at its head, then focused their attention on Iraq. Again, using the pretext of terrorism, pretending Al Qaeda forces were there, the U.S. attacked a whole population in order to impose its control over this oil-rich region.
But even though the actual U.S. invasion of Afghanistan was short-lived, and the U.S. pulled out most of its troops, the U.S. continued to carry out bombing campaigns to keep Afghanistan under control.
Over the years, the sum total of U.S. policies in the region created an unending chain of disasters, as the U.S. used peoples and militaries for its own purposes and gain. This has included using Pakistan and the Taliban against some of the warlords. Then playing India, Iran and the warlords against Pakistan and the Taliban, arming all the sides against each other. The U.S. has stoked wars in which millions of people have died. And now, once again, it is pushing war in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan, although impoverished – (where people average $3 per day) is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and it borders on much of the world’s known energy resources. It is a strategic area for exploitation by U.S. oil companies. For this reason, the U.S., defending the profits of its oil companies, is imposing terribly repressive and violent situations on the populations in this whole area.
The U.S. is using its military might to try to control and to stabilize an area crucial to the interests of U.S. imperialism. All in the name of fighting against terrorism, when the reality is the biggest terrorist, with the biggest weapons, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians ... is the U.S.
This terrorism, carried out against whole populations by the U.S., is what creates the possibility of individual terrorists coming back against the U.S. population. Attacks carried out by U.S. military, in our name, in wider and wider wars, only fuel anger in populations around the world that can come back to hit here.
If we had no other reason than to be concerned about our own well-being and safety, we should oppose these wars. But we have every reason to be in solidarity with oppressed people around the world to oppose our government, to keep it from destroying them.
For an end to terrorism – U.S. troops out of Iraq, out of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen.
AND out of the 1000 military bases, located in 156 countries around the world.