Sep 5, 2011
Playing on people’s fears for all it was worth, pretending he was launching a hunt for bin Laden, Bush in fact launched a devastating war against the people of Afghanistan.
It was always obvious that this was only a pretext for the U.S. to establish its control over an area of the world central to oil pipelines, and strategically located in relationship to the Middle East and Near East. But bin Laden has been killed, the U.S. pretends that al Qaeda has practically been put out of existence – and yet the war in Afghanistan goes on. Bin Laden was a product of U.S. close ally, Saudi Arabia, part of its privileged upper class – and he had also been for years the recipient of funds from the U.S., conveying CIA money and support to Afghan warlords who were fighting against the Soviet Union. No – the hunt for bin Laden, whoever and wherever he was all during these years was nothing but a pretext for war.
It was a war fought against the Afghan people, fought by the biggest imperialism in the world, fought for reasons of empire.
For the Afghan people, its consequences have been devastating. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, many hundreds of thousands more wounded. More than three million have been turned into refugees, without a country, and nearly a half million more are refugees in their own country, driven from their homes.
The U.S. and its allies have laid waste to a country already devastated by the previous war during which bin Laden was a U.S. ally. Just as in that war, U.S. intervention has let loose a civil war fought out by warlords, holding the population hostage.
Afghanistan is lying in ruins, with income solely from charitable agencies and the sale of poppies for the heroin trade.
Just as with the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan has taken its toll in U.S. soldiers: 1594 U.S. soldiers and 874 allied soldiers dead, plus 763 contractors. Not to mention thousands wounded.
The U.S. population has paid with money taken from education, from public services, from roads and bridges, from preparation for hurricanes, tornadoes and floods, from social services for the poor and the elderly.
The cost of imperialism’s wars.