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Behind the election ploy in Afghanistan

Published Oct 25, 2009 11:17 PM

Hamid Karzai, who was first foisted on the people of Afghanistan as their president in 2002 by the U.S.-NATO war and occupation, has now agreed after heavy pressure from these same imperialist powers to a runoff election on Nov. 7.  What’s going on here?

The war to subjugate Afghanistan and use it as a launching pad for Anglo-U.S.  domination of the whole region is in big trouble. Even though they face more than 100,000 foreign troops equipped with the highest-tech weapons of death available, the Afghan resistance has been growing.

Every air strike, whether it’s heavy bombing from planes that travel thousands of miles to blast the villages and mountainsides, or rockets launched against domiciles and vehicles from pilotless drones, has further alienated the population and increased the number of young Afghans joining the resistance.  The Pentagon—especially Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan—has said they need at least 40,000 more troops to “get the job done.” This is a hard sell in Washington, since more and more people in the U.S.—some 52 percent, according to a recent CNN poll—are now comparing this war to the 1962-75 war against Vietnam and increasingly want to see it end.

In addition to opinion polls, more people are starting to demonstrate against the U.S. war in Afghanistan, seeing it not as a response to 9/11 but as part of the “great game” for the control of Central Asia by the energy- and resource-hungry transnational corporations behind imperialist wars.  Karzai was a CIA contact during U.S.  imperialism’s first war in Afghanistan, when Washington built an army out of the landlords’ resistance to the Afghan revolution of 1978. Some of those forces, recruited on the basis of fighting against the Soviet Union’s intervention on the side of the revolution, are now fighting the Western imperialists. But Karzai remained allied with his U.S. paymasters.  However, the rampant corruption of his government, the low turnout in the August election and the popular opposition to this Western puppet led to a big embarrassment for Karzai and his sponsors in Washington. He was caught carrying out massive fraud in his run for reelection.  Since he already was losing favor with Washington for his inability to rule the country, they and the NATO countries pushed for a negation of the vote and a runoff election with his closest rival, Abdullah Abdullah.

Where does this leave the war and a possible escalation?

It is extremely likely that the spin of the powerful corporate media will now be to assure the people here that the political obstacles to “getting the job done” are being cleared away, that a new government in Afghanistan will be cleaner, will do more for women and the poor, will inspire confidence in the masses and will therefore undermine the armed opposition—so all it will take is a few more troops to win the war and secure the occupation.  This is pure baloney.

In Vietnam, it should be remembered, the CIA actually arranged for the assassination

of the Diem brothers—U.S. puppets—when they failed to be effective against the National Liberation Front. A new general was installed who was supposed to be more democratic. But the imperialists not only remained—they escalated the war, which did not change its reactionary character. The strategists for U.S. imperialism—from the CIA to the Pentagon—were still trying to destroy the popular opposition in order to carry out their own agenda, which was to clear the way for the domination and exploitation of all Southeast Asia.

In the end, it was the courageous resistance of the Vietnamese people, who were ready to fight for 100 years if necessary, that forced the withdrawal of U.S. troops—whose rank and file were also refusing to fight in ever greater numbers.

McChrystal is touted as the world’s authority on counterinsurgency. What he fails to recognize, however, is that any foreign occupation engineered to serve the global interests of a super-rich exploiting class will eventually bring about resistance.

No amount of “brilliant” sophistry from West Point can change that.

This is no time to stop marching. Only the people’s struggles can bring the troops home from Afghanistan, Iraq and the rest of the oppressed world.