Sun Feb 25, 2024
February 25, 2024

A ‘second front’ has reopened for imperialism


A few weeks ago, Afghanistan once more was on the headlines of the world press. Shattering TV images showed a sector of the population of Kabul, the capital and the main city of the country, challenged troops armoured to their back teeth and the images resembled the Palestine Intifada as they attacked embassies, offices of the UNO, of the government and the police wile crying ?Death to the Americans!?, ?Death to Karzai? (head of the administration). American soldiers shot at a raging crowd and caused at least 14 casualties and dozens of wounded. It all began when a group of American armoured cars collided with several civilian cars and killed five people. The response to this fact was a veritable popular uprising that the press showed.
A bit of history

What has just happened in Kabul is not an isolated event for it expresses a change in the situation of the country. To understand this change it is necessary to see a little of the history of Afghanistan in these last decades.

In the 1980s, the country lived an invasion and occupation by the troops of the former USSR to uphold an allied government. This occupation was confronted by a coalition of Islamic guerrilla supported by the Islamic government of Pakistan and by USA. In 1989, the troops of the former URSS were defeated and withdrew from the country.

A period of civil war between the different guerrilla fractions ensued. At that moment, with the support of the Pakistani government, the Talibans spear and some time later they manage to have the upper hand over the other fractions and they seized power in Kabul. Under the cloak of religious fundamentalism, they set up a fachistoid, dictatorial regime, which persecuted the minorities and exerted great social and cultural oppression.

In 2001, the first military action of the ?war on the axis of evil? declared by Bush after the 11/9 raids, imperialist troops invaded the country and obtained and swift military victory and defeated the Taliban regime. This was made easier by the fact that a great part of the population of the country hated the Talibans. In several cities, the invaders were received as liberators. After their defeat, the remaining Talibans recoiled to the mountainous zones and started restricted actions against the puppet government and the foreign troops stationed there.

The real profile of the occupation

But as years went by, this initial support started wearing off. On a scenario similar to that of Iraq, the fraud of the promised investments that were supposed to come as ?support from  abroad? became plain. The state of schools, hospitals, motorways, etc is pitiful and the ?works? were simply a means to enrich imperialist companies hired to make ?humanitarian? investments. The weight of the occupation is such that  even a ?parallel economy? was created administered by the UNO and its Afghan clerks earn much more than the rest of the Afghan population coexisting with the poverty of the vast majority.

On the other hand, the Karzai administration has always leaned on the USA troops and their imperialist allies for support, but never really controlled the country. To carry out ?democratic? elections splendidly propagandised by the USA, the arrived at agreements with the ?lords of the war? who had been part of the former Alliance of the North and obtained the support of their troops. The condition for such agreements was allow these ?lords? maintain the control of their regions, dominate the local institutions to oppress at will the regional population and carry out their criminal activities freely, particularly the opium business. The government restrained themselves to stay in the capital and, by means of these agreements, administer the entire country precariously.

A change in the situation

That is why, after nearly 5 years of occupation, imperialist troops and the puppet Karzai administration are in a qualitatively different situation. The experience with the reality of the occupation was making more and more sectors of the population turn against the occupants.

The change in the feeling of the population in these last months opened a space for a new resistance where various groups challenge the occupants and the puppet government. Today there already are whole areas where the government does not penetrate and the occupation troops only go when there is a major military operation, otherwise they attack fro the air and are unable to maintain soldiers permanently stationed there. Journalist speak of ?liberated zones? in the provinces Paktia, Khost and Zaul, in the sour and southeast of the country, where traditionally the control has always been precarious and in Halmand, strategic area of the country, where attacks have accrued recently and Karzai is said not to have effective control

The multiplication of the resistance comes together with a recovery of the prestige of the Taliban leaders because they have always been against the occupation. But it is important to say that resistance is not restrained to the: a coordination between different wings and tribes which ?  not being Talibans ? are joining the armed struggle against the invader. For example, Gulbudin Hekmatiar, former ally of Iran and leader of the guerrilla against the occupation by the URSS troops in 80s has joined in. This leader, after being a minister of the Karzai administration, split away from him and declared to be against occupation.

The Kabul events show a deepening of this process for the capital hast so far been the only place in the country where the government and the occupying armies seem to be more firmly in control of the situation.

The feared “second front”

This is very bad new for Bush and imperialism as a whole: the feared second military front is opening up in the world. And this finds them in an awkward situation: Bush has been seeking a possibility to diminishing his troops in the country and transferring the weight of the occupation to European imperialist powers through NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation). As the situation in Afghanistan seem peaceful, the plan was that Germany, England and Spain should be in charge of that task. For example, Zapatero, to show that the withdrawal of Spain from Iraq, forced by the massive mobilisation in his country,  did by no means mean forsaking the interimperialist front with the USA, has sent troops to Afghanistan.

But this policy of Bush?s, who has to concentrate on Iraq, where problems are increasingly serious, now collides against the deterioration of the situation in Afghanistan. As a sample of the concern about this new reality, John Hamre, Academic Director of the Centre of Strategic and International Studies told New York Times, ?The Afghan crisis is the dormant crisis of this boreal summer? and he added, ?Some American officials are worried about the possibility of getting tied up in a prolonged battle while the control is getting out of the hand of the central government.? This situation might mean the possibility of reducing the number of 20 000 American soldiers and replacing them by troops of other NATO countries, according to Washington officials. This fact happens at the same time as Bush confronts increasing difficulties to renew American contingents in Iraq and when European Allies that have troops in that country are rapidly getting worn out or are defeated in elections, as was the case of Berlusconi in Italy.

This new bottleneck imperialism is in together with all its institutions (such as NATO and UNO) is good new for the workers and peoples of the world, The possibility of a military defeat of imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq is posed with increasing clarity. We, the revolutionary, without granting the least trust or political support to the leaders of the resistance ? let us remember that many of them have been allies of the USA ? support unhesitatingly the resistance of the Afghan people to drive the invading troops out of the country the same as all the institutions of imperialism ? whether American, European or ?World? and to pull down the puppet government of Karzai.

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