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Stop the war on Afghanistain

Published Sep 4, 2009 7:45 PM

The hint is becoming loud and clear in the official media of the U.S. ruling class: The Pentagon is on the verge of a massive escalation of the war in what they now call the “Af/Pak theater.” An Aug. 31 attack on a NATO arms convoy in Pakistan near the Afghan border that blew up 18 trucks served to underscore the drama of this decision.

The Washington Post, New York Times and television talk shows report that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, U.S. commander in Afghanistan, is about to report to the Obama administration that without a substantial increase of U.S. resources—including commitment of its youth in uniform—the occupation will fail.

An Aug. 31 Washington Post article interviewed six “experts,” only one of whom came out clearly for the U.S. getting out. His reasoning: He believed even a big escalation would lead to a crushing setback, which would not be good for U.S. stability.

For the world’s workers—including the entire U.S. working class—and for Afghanistan’s people, there is no reason to consider what’s good or bad for the long-term interests of U.S. imperialism. That’s what the strategists paid by the U.S. ruling class focus on, and anyone can read that in the Washington Post and elsewhere. The important issue for everyone else is how a decision to escalate the war hurts workers here and all the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

For South and Central Asia it means more death, more turmoil, more refugees, more disruption. No good can come of that.

For U.S. workers, for the African-American community, for immigrants and all oppressed peoples, and for all young people here, an escalation confronts them with the unpalatable choices faced by the population during the U.S. war against Vietnam. Do I die? Do I kill? And for what?

The Obama administration has identified the war in Afghanistan as vital to U.S. interests. But it is vital only to the interest of U.S. imperialism to militarily dominate Central Asia and not to the interest of any workers and unemployed here, who are having a hard enough time these days just getting by. Every poll shows the public more disenchanted and disapproving of the Afghanistan adventure, with those who voted for Barack Obama most against the war.

There is no doubt that all progressive people here who fought against the Iraq war must redouble their efforts to stop any escalation in the “Af-Pak” region and get the Pentagon out of Asia.