May 31, 2010
Just before Memorial Day, a roadside bomb killed the 1,000th U.S. soldier in Afghanistan. A little more than half those deaths belong to Bush. The rest belong to Obama. The U.S. military that holds Afghanistan in their deadly grip doesn’t record the real number it kills. But hundreds of thousands, at least, have been killed or driven from their land.
Now, the U.S. military is gearing up to attack Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second biggest city, and the region around it. U.S. officials say it will be the largest military offensive since the U.S. invasion. U.S. officials say they intend to do what they did earlier this year in Marjah, but on a much bigger scale.
Last winter, thousands of U.S. troops swept in to Marjah, a region of farming communities, hamlets and markets. Under the pretext of driving out insurgents, U.S. troops expelled Afghan civilians from their homes and land, or imprisoned them. U.S. jets and helicopters attacked cars, trucks, farm houses, and women and children walking on the road, leaving death and destruction in their wake. Pretending it won a victory, the U.S. then airlifted in an entire state apparatus of Afghan officials and police – what U.S. officials call “government in a box.”
The Marjah operation was supposed to confirm the effectiveness of U.S. strategy under Obama and his military commander, Stanley McChrystal. But in the end, the U.S. attack only drove more civilians into the arms of the insurgency. U.S. officials admit the insurgents are again blending in with the rest of the population.
U.S. officials say the operation in Marjah was a dress rehearsal for its Kandahar offensive – but Kandahar will be on an incomparably larger scale. Thousands live in Marjah, while millions live in Kandahar.
Maybe all this talk is a big threat by the U.S. in order to gain a bargaining chip. Or maybe it really marks a huge new offensive in the war. But whatever the U.S. does, it will revolve around its closest ally in Kandahar, Ahmed Wali Karzai. Ahmed Wali is the brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai – and the biggest heroin and opium trafficker in the country. Since 2001, he has been bankrolled by the CIA to beef up his paramilitary forces to control the Afghan population in that region.
This is what the U.S. war in Afghanistan, now in its ninth year, has come to.
Bush invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to demonstrate U.S. imperial power after 9/11. The people of Afghanistan had the misfortune of being picked as the target, under the assumption they could quickly be beaten into submission. Nine years later, the beating down goes on. But rather than demonstrating U.S. strength, the continuing and expanding war has done nothing but provoke ever greater resistance.
Facing this disaster, Obama now says he has to finish the job. That only means U.S. imperialism has to show that it remains the one great superpower, the biggest bully on the block. This can only worsen the already disastrous situation of the Afghan people.
It can also only deepen the impact of this disaster on the U.S. working class. U.S. imperialism is using us and our children as pawns and cannon fodder – so that U.S. oil companies can extend their control and plunder, while the big military contractors and suppliers, like Haliburton, have an endless source of business and profit.
This war is a perfect picture of how rotten and destructive U.S. imperialism is.