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U.S., NATO out of Afghanistan!

Published Mar 2, 2009 7:57 PM

Sending 17,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan to reinforce that country’s occupation will just add another chapter to the nightmare caused by 30 years of U.S. imperialist intervention in that country.

Let’s quickly review those 30 years, as the U.S. intervention appears to be escalating once more. It was under the Jimmy Carter administration in 1979—before the Afghans invited the USSR in—that the U.S. began to destabilize a progressive Afghan government. During Ronald Reagan’s 1980s the CIA poured billions of dollars worth of weapons into supporting reactionary groupings that fought that progressive regime and its Soviet allies.

After more than a decade of slaughter, U.S.-backed counterrevolutionaries smashed the progressive government. Following

a few years of instability, the Taliban came into power in 1996, backed by the then-military regime in Pakistan, with the blessing of Bill Clinton’s Washington.

Unbelievable? Under their reactionary rule, the Taliban managed to curtail opium production. It was only after they held off from signing a deal to transport oil from the Caspian Sea through a U.S.-controlled pipeline to Pakistan that the Taliban fell from favor in Washington.

By 2001, the Bush administration seized on the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks to justify ordering a U.S. invasion intent on overthrowing the Taliban, occupying Afghanistan and projecting Pentagon power throughout Central Asia. Of course, the ruling Taliban had nothing to do with the attacks in the U.S. The Bush-Cheney gang considered the occupation a quick and easy victory and immediately began plotting the fraudulent and criminal U.S.-British invasion of Iraq.

Seven years later, the Afghan resistance that seemed nonexistent in 2002 and 2003 has now grown and flourished. Apparently this is under Taliban leadership, but with the participation of many other Afghan groups that want a country where foreigners don’t boss them around, jail and torture them and murder civilians from the skies. Yes, the NATO command always claims they are killing “insurgents,” but when anyone takes a closer look, 85 percent of those killed are civilians.

To add to the horrors and risk of a new catastrophe in the region, the Pentagon has sent 70 “advisers” into Pakistan to train Pakistani troops as U.S. drone planes fire rockets, killing Pakistani civilians.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s puppet President Hamid Karzai, who has begun complaining publicly that NATO forces are killing too many Afghan civilians, has so little popular support that he is jokingly called the “mayor of Kabul.” But Kabul too is under attack. And after seven years of U.S. occupation, opium is once again Afghanistan’s major export crop.

The main problem, though, is not that Washington’s occupation of Afghanistan has failed. The problem is in even thinking—no matter which capitalist party is in office in Washington—that U.S. imperialist occupation can improve life for the Afghan people or make the U.S. population safer. Not only should the U.S. refrain from sending 17,000 new troops, not only should it halt the attacks on neighboring Pakistan, it should withdraw the troops who are already in both countries.

No more attacks on Pakistani territory!

U.S., NATO out of Afghanistan and Pakistan!