Kabul and Port-au-Prince
Published Jan 24, 2010 8:29 PM
With most media focusing on Haiti and people here in the U.S. gripped by the
humanitarian crisis, they may have missed the dramatic news out of Afghanistan.
Even as thousands of U.S. troops were landing in Port-au-Prince, Afghan
resistance fighters carried out a coordinated attack in the heart of occupied
Kabul, the Afghan capital, hitting targets near the central bank; the
ministries of finance, justice and mines; the entrance to the presidential
palace; and the luxury Serena hotel, where people from the NATO countries stay.
They also took over part of the Ferushgah shopping center.
The Jan. 18 Wall Street Journal reported that the resistance fighters ordered
vendors and customers to leave Ferushgah mall “in an apparent attempt to
minimize civilian casualties.” Speaking of the assault, Afghan parliament
member Daud Sultanzoi said, “To be able to infiltrate at such depth, into
the inner periphery of power here, is a mind-blowing achievement” for the
Some of the fighters died blowing themselves up while attacking the puppet
government. They all were ready to die if necessary.
This all says a lot about the Afghan resistance. It is careful of its
relationship with the Afghan population, even in central Kabul. When the
Taliban was in power in 2001, it was an obscure organization with a program
unpopular in much of Afghanistan. Now, after nine years of U.S.-NATO
occupation, it appears to have transformed into a serious anti-imperialist
Whatever they feel toward the Taliban, most Afghans look upon the resistance as
being their own side. The U.S. and other NATO troops are foreign invaders,
threatening their culture, their religion, their lives and those of their
families. Many Afghans are prepared to make every sacrifice to drive out the
Afghans don’t believe the U.S. is there to help them. Afghan women
don’t believe the Western troops are there to defend women’s rights
— one “humanitarian” pretext for the 2001 invasion. They
don’t believe the U.S. is there to suppress the heroin trade —
it’s more likely that U.S. banks are the final depositing place of most
heroin profits. They even suspect Washington may not be that serious about
The more believable reason for the escalated U.S. occupation is that it aims at
setting up permanent military bases in the region to maintain and increase U.S.
corporate control of the energy resources of Central and West Asia. Such a
reason is consistent with the Pentagon’s worldwide role — in
Afghanistan, in Iraq, from Africa to Latin America. The role of the U.S. Armed
Forces is to defend and expand U.S. strategic power and with it the profits of
U.S.-based banks and corporations.
Now consider Port-au-Prince. The need to aid Haiti to recover from the
earthquake that has brought such horror to its victims and survivors serves an
ulterior purpose: It is a pretext for a renewed and escalated U.S. military
Whatever “humanitarian” acts Marines and Airborne Infantry perform
are a cover for re-establishing a repressive force in Haiti that had
disintegrated with the earthquake. The Haitian police force has disappeared.
The MINUSTAH force — the U.N. occupation army for the past five years,
playing the role of the repressive state against the Haitian population —
was hit hard by the earthquake.
Washington had no problem letting a few days go by without rushing in food and
water. But the U.S. is in a rush to bring in troops. Indeed, the U.S. wants
control of Haiti in its own hands, no longer trusting a U.N. or Brazilian
The presidents of Venezuela and Nicaragua, who are well aware of the role and
threat of the U.S. military in Latin America, are right to add their voices to
those warning of the U.S. military’s role in Haiti.
The corporate media’s handling of news from Haiti also exposes
Washington’s real aims. They present the desperate acts of Haitians
trying to feed themselves and their families as “looting.” Instead
of trying to get food and water into the survivor’s hands as quickly as
possible, the U.S.-run apparatus uses the alleged “chaos” as an
excuse to send more troops. What Washington fears most is that the Haitian
people, organizing themselves for survival, may set up a structure that
competes with the repressive state.
It is important that people here in the U.S. who are in solidarity with the
Haitians remain aware that the Pentagon’s role is not to aid Haiti, but
to occupy the country and suppress the population. The demand should be the
same as in Afghanistan: aid and reparations yes, occupation no.
Articles copyright 1995-2012 Workers World.
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.
Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011
Email: [email protected]
Subscribe [email protected]
Support independent news DONATE