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No good war

Published May 23, 2010 11:03 PM

With 30 million under- and unemployed, cops shooting Black children in Detroit, Arizona persecuting immigrants, all states and cities cutting education, pensions and health care, and an oil slick destroying one of the most beautiful and fecund bodies of water on earth, it’s understandable if people lose track of U.S. imperialism’s foreign adventures. But it’s necessary to constantly bring the struggle against war and occupation back to the front burners.

With the Pentagon still occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, still threatening Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — and still probing every other part of the world — there is always the possibility that ugly imperialist war will replace the economic or domestic political headlines. This week in mid-May, the almost nine-year-old occupation of Afghanistan is back in the front pages.

Last December, the Obama administration escalated the U.S. military presence in that Central Asian country, sending 30,000 more official troops and an unknown number of mercenaries. It even dragged some of Washington’s reluctant NATO allies into the war, along with some now rightist-ruled Eastern European states.

The administration said a strong show of NATO force and military success would split the Afghan resistance, which it always refers to as “the Taliban,” thus leading to a pro-imperialist settlement and eventual withdrawal of U.S.-NATO troops.

The highly publicized invasion of Marja province followed. A public relations “success,” it was a military nothing and a political disaster.

An even bigger offensive is now promised for Kandahar, another public relations “turning point” for the war.

Responding to the U.S.-NATO offensive, Afghan resistance fighters struck two sensitive spots: the capital, Kabul, and the U.S. Air Field at Bagram, infamous as a torture place for prisoners of the Pentagon war machine. Five U.S. troops and a Canadian colonel died in the Kabul explosion, along with many others, and at least five U.S. troops were wounded in a firefight at the well-guarded base. The deaths brought U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan to 1,000, half of them in the last two years of the nine-year occupation.

The message for everyone is that the U.S.-NATO war and occupation have aroused a resistance movement based in a large sector of the Afghan masses and that this resistance is not only justified, it can inflict casualties on the occupation troops.

The message to the U.S. progressive and anti-war movement is that ending the Afghan war better stay on our front burners even as we intervene in and develop the struggle for jobs and against racism at home.