The Spark

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

Editorial:
U.S. Policy in Afghanistan:
30 Years of Destruction

Jun 14, 2010

U.S. military brass says the task at hand in Afghanistan is to root out corruption and rebuild the country.

Root out corruption? Is that why the U.S. has been propping up a president who had to steal an election to stay in power? Is that why President Karzai’s brother – who controls Kandahar – is the biggest opium trafficker in Afghanistan?

Rebuild the country? Is that why the U.S. military bombed and invaded Afghanistan? Is that why the U.S. has been dropping huge bombs on villages, destroying homes and killing hundreds of civilians?

Today, after nine years in power, the U.S.-sponsored Afghan government controls little more than its own compound in Kabul. So the U.S. – in addition to its own murderous military machine – relies on private armies of warlords to control different parts of the country. These warlords, armed with guns and U.S. money, have a free hand to attack and rob the population.

That’s hardly a way for the U.S. to “win the hearts and minds” of the Afghan people – as it pretends to be doing!

And it’s nothing new. It’s the continuation of a cynical U.S. policy that has had catastrophic consequences for the Afghan people for more than three decades.

In the late 1970s, the U.S. began to channel money to warlords fighting the then Afghan government. U.S. policymakers, under both Democratic and Republican administrations, did this in part to create problems for the Soviet Union, with which that Afghan government was allied.

The rebel warlords used a reactionary ideology to recruit fighters and build a base for themselves in the rural population. In the areas they controlled, they stifled any hint of social progress. Women, who had been able to go to school and get jobs under the previous regime, were forced back into their homes, and under the full-body cover of the burqa.

Today women in Afghanistan are reduced to slaves of men – especially wealthy men like the warlords themselves. The population continues to be attacked and robbed by the warlords. Afghanistan continues to be one of the poorest and most socially backward countries in the world.

Unlike the press releases of the U.S. military that change every week, U.S. policy toward Afghanistan has remained the same for more than 30 years: to try to control the country, in the interests of U.S. Big Business.

Whether the U.S. tries to control Afghanistan by using its own military or by paying off reactionary, corrupt warlords, the results for Afghan people are the same – death, destruction, backwardness and cruelty.

When the U.S. government destroys lives in other countries, it claims it’s acting in the name of the American people.

No, we can’t allow this barbarism to go on!