Afghanistan No ‘Graveyard’ for US/EU/NATO Axis of Domination
Black Alliance for Peace
(August 23, 2021) — Some have asserted the US empire has reached its historic endpoint because of its defeat in Afghanistan. However, that call is as premature as political scientist Francis Fukuyama’s proclamation that history had “ended” in 1989 when Western liberalism won because the former Soviet Union was coming apart.
Afghanistan might have been the so-called “graveyard of empires” and of certain states at other points in history. But the US defeat in Afghanistan had occurred years earlier, a fact verified by revelations found in the “Afghanistan Papers.” That defeat had no appreciative impact on US foreign-policy makers, who continued their destructive path in places like Yemen, Libya and Syria. Only a handful of the US population was still interested in continuing a war in Afghanistan up until the last week or so. But the rulers did not inform the US public, so the masses did not know the war had been lost.
This point is important because one of the lessons that should be taken from understanding that the United States had squandered $2 trillion, murdered 500,000 Afghans, sacrificed 2,300 US service members from the US working class and wounded over 20,000 US military personnel is the public finally understands these wars only benefit the ruling class and have nothing to do with the interests of the vast majority of the people.
Despite this new awareness, the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) warned in its latest Afghanistan News Update [Read more below — EAW]:
“While all eyes are on Afghanistan, the United States continues its other wars of aggression across the world, claiming to “fight terrorism” — the same excuse it used to invade Afghanistan 20 years ago.
” Biden recently authorized air strikes on Somalia, more US Special Forces recently have moved into the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the United States is continuing its mission to further destabilize the Horn of Africa by pushing for so-called “humanitarian intervention” in Ethiopia. That country has been added to the nearly 40 that are under some form of deadly US sanctions that deprive countries of food, fuel, and medicine.
“Meanwhile, the United States remains entrenched in Iraq, reportedly expanding its Ain al-Asad base despite calls for its withdrawal. All this while it claims to be withdrawing its combat forces from Iraq. Over in Syria, the United States continues the destabilization effort, as well as stealing Syrian resources. Meanwhile, Haiti struggles to effectively respond to yet another natural disaster because of the more than a century’s worth of US/Western imperialist aggression.”
As indicated above, while the earthquake in Haiti occurred right in the middle of the US-made drama in Afghanistan, the disaster in Haiti is both a natural disaster and a human-made disaster that requires special mention.
After the devastating 2010 earthquake, billions of dollars flowed into Haiti to support reconstruction. Most of that money flowed right back out. More money went to the Washington Beltway and to the salaries and infrastructure of aid organizations than to reconstruction. Haitian organizations, and the Haitian state, were almost completely bypassed.
In keeping with the nefarious logic of disaster capitalism, the so-called “poorest country in the hemisphere” — also known as “The Republic of NGOs” — made certain people rich. For example, the small local oligarchy, with properties to lease and businesses to serve foreigners, benefited.
Meanwhile, the crisis in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake was used to cover imperialism’s expansion: The United States and the “Core Group” of Germany, Canada, Spain and a vassal state — Brazil — as well as the Organization of American States (OAS) were able to consolidate their power through the installation of neo-Duvalierist Michel Martelly and the Bald-Headed Party (PHTK).
Will history repeat itself in the wake of the latest earthquake?
Haiti, Afghanistan, Syria, mass incarceration in the United States, and illegal sanctions and corporate press agitation for more aggressive positions on China (simply because China is in the process of defeating Western capital at its own game) all demonstrate the repressive and lethal reality: The Pan-European colonial-capitalist white-supremacist patriarchy is not going to go away quietly. It must be decisively defeated if global humanity is to survive in a way that allows for the potential for real democracy and social justice. The work reflected in this newsletter reflects BAP’s commitment to that historic task.
Afghanistan News Update #3
Black Alliance for Peace
(August 13, 2021) — Just days ago, some intelligence estimates figured it could take up to six months for the Taliban to seize control of Kabul in its sweeping campaign to reclaim power in Afghanistan. Yet, on Sunday, former President Ashraf Ghani formally resigned and fled the country. Now, Taliban officials reside in the presidential palace as they formalize their new government.
In just one week, the group captured dozens of provincial capitals and assumed control over borders shared with Iran and Tajikistan. The inevitability of this moment had been assured for weeks, but few could have predicted the rapid pace at which the US-funded and -trained Afghan National Army would be defeated.
Nevertheless, B-52 bombers and AC-130 gunships (courtesy of Boeing and Lockheed Martin, respectively) continued US airstrikes last week. These planes have occupied the skies of Afghanistan for nearly 20 years. With one foot out the door, the United States and its NATO allies have maintained their shameless and criminal disregard for the Afghan people by growing the toll of death and destruction inflicted upon this nation since 2001.
Despite its withdrawal, the United States will not divert its gaze from Afghanistan. China and Russia are seeking to strengthen and expand their economic relationships across Central Asia. Maintaining US hegemony in the region will require obstructing and undermining these relationships. Additionally, the United States has poured trillions of dollars into its half-century-long project of strangling Arab/Third World nationalism in its cradle, ranking widespread destabilization as a favored outcome in nations like Iraq, Iran, Syria and Yemen.
The alternative would be a regional balance of power that threatens the dominance of US-Israeli interests and interrupts the further accumulation of capital by the world’s foremost weapons manufacturers. That would imperil the very foundations of US capitalism, imperialism and colonialism. The developments in Afghanistan may not alter Western objectives, but they will certainly influence them.
The latest reports from Washington indicate former mujahideen leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and former President Hamid Karzai, two known CIA assets, are among the people coordinating with the Taliban on the formation of a new government. The aspirations of the Afghan people for peace, democratic governance and national sovereignty undoubtedly will be cast aside as this coordination takes place. Meanwhile, neighboring nations are absorbing a mounting outflow of refugees as Afghanistan confronts the enduring social, economic and political crises the United States has left in its wake.
As far as accountability is concerned, the worst the United States will suffer internationally is criticism over the failure of its war and the mishandling of its withdrawal. But it will not experience a sanction of any kind for its innumerable criminal actions: The violation of Afghan sovereignty, the widespread use of torture, and the slaughter of tens of thousands of Afghan men, women and children. No reparations will be paid for the decades lost to war because of the lives lost; the myriad physical and psychological damage inflicted upon survivors; the destruction of homes, families, hospitals, schools and other infrastructure; and the toxic remains of two decades of bombings.
And while all eyes are on Afghanistan, the United States continues its other wars of aggression across the world, claiming to “fight terrorism” — the same excuse it used to invade Afghanistan 20 years ago. Biden recently authorized air strikes on Somalia, more US Special Forces recently have moved into the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the United States is continuing its mission to further destabilize the Horn of Africa by pushing for so-called “humanitarian intervention” in Ethiopia. That country has been added to the nearly 40 that are under some form of deadly US sanctions that deprive countries of food, fuel and medicine.
Meanwhile, the United States remains entrenched in Iraq, reportedly expanding its Ain al-Asad base despite calls for its withdrawal. All this while it claims to be withdrawing its combat forces from Iraq. Over in Syria, the United States continues the destabilization effort, as well as stealing Syrian resources. Meanwhile, Haiti struggles to effectively respond to yet another natural disaster because of the more than a century’s worth of US/Western imperialist aggression.
While the United States claims to be ending its war on Afghanistan, US wars never end until the empire controls a country’s resources or its geostrategic capabilities for the benefit of Western capital. Perhaps the latest developments in Afghanistan will inspire more resistance to US occupation in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere around the world.
Legacies of US Imperialism in Afghanistan
• US Scrambles to Evacuate Embassy as Taliban Occupies Afghanistan
US President Joe Biden has deployed 6,000 US troops to oversee the hurried evacuation of US nationals remaining in Kabul. Diplomats spent their final days destroying sensitive materials before their departure. (Washington Post)
• Afghanistan: Clashes claim 20 civilians life, health clinic, school in Helmand destroyed, Yahoo! News; Military Times
According to local reports, 20 civilians lost their lives, and a health clinic and school were destroyed, after US airstrikes hit the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, while 18 civilians, including women and children, have been killed during airstrikes on the city of Kandahar.
As the US publicly proclaims its pivot away from Afghanistan, what legacy does it leave behind for the millions of Afghan people subject to its occupation since 2001?
• Salt and Terror in Afghanistan, CounterPunch
During 2013, when the United States spent an average of $2 million per soldier stationed in Afghanistan, the number of Afghan children suffering malnutrition rose by 50 percent. At that same time, the cost of adding iodized salt to an Afghan child’s diet to help reduce the risk of brain damage caused by hunger would have been 5 cents per child per year.
• Quarterly Report to Congress, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, January 30, 2021
- While the United States constructed sprawling military bases in Kabul, populations in refugee camps soared. Trucks laden with food, fuel, water, and supplies replenished the US occupation without interruption.
US contractors signed deals to build hospitals and schools, which were later determined to be ghost hospitals and ghost schools, places that never even existed.
Between January 2012 and February 2013, airstrikes “killed more than 200 people. Of those, only 35 were the intended targets. During one 5-month period of the operation… nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets.”
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has criticized the US for its insistence on deploying military power in place of political solutions, and claims that a protracted civil war in Afghanistan would lead to a refugee crisis in neighboring Pakistan, as well as further instability across the entire region.
Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has expressed US actions shattered all hope for political reconciliation during the times that his own government was in power.
• Biden’s careful approach to Iraq is built on all that’s absent in Afghanistan, The Washington Post
The Washington Post details the diverging strategies aimed at maintaining US power in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iraq provides the “successful” model, while Afghanistan continues to spiral further toward an uncertain future.