U.S.-NATO occupiers withdraw from Korengal
Published Apr 25, 2010 7:38 PM
In one remote region of Afghanistan, the Korengal Valley, the Pentagon has
decided to close down its embattled outpost, seeing that its efforts are
useless and that the people of this region will not submit to occupation.
Forty-two U.S. troops died there, most between 2006 and 2009, and hundreds more
were injured. Many more Afghan troops were killed in fighting, probably because
Afghans hired to enforce Western domination are routinely not provided with as
much protection and body armor as their Western paymasters and
More and more Afghans have joined the resistance and are fighting with the hope
that the U.S. occupiers will be driven not just from this forested valley by
the banks of the Pech River, but from their entire homeland.
Some historical background can help explain this resistance. After the 1979
revolution led by the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan, the
mountains and valleys of the Afghan countryside became economically prosperous.
Philip Bonosky, a reporter from the U.S. who resided in Afghanistan during that
time, describes this in his book, “Afghanistan: Washington’s Secret
At that time, the PDPA government worked to provide employment for the
residents of the rural areas as part of its efforts to assist the people of the
country, the majority of whom were peasants, along with a few low-paid
With Soviet material aid, the PDPA government provided employment for youth
throughout the countryside, mobilized to teach them to read, and offered
medical care and other necessities unknown to many Afghans during the preceding
years of Western domination of the country’s government and economy.
Bonosky notes how much of Afghanistan’s great forests had been decimated
through years of unregulated harvesting by foreign capitalists. However, young
people organized under the leadership of the Marxist-Leninist Democratic Youth
League attempted to reforest the countryside and heal the ecological damage the
capitalists had inflicted in order to build a sustainable environment for the
The revolutionary regime carried out a massive Soviet-funded jobs program,
which helped improve life for millions of Afghans who dwelled in the
mountainous regions and had previously barely survived.
When U.S.-sponsored mercenaries defeated the PDPA government after a lengthy
war, the victors sold off vast natural resources of Afghanistan to those who
had collaborated with the West. Many of those who profited from the removal of
the popular regime were not themselves even born in Afghanistan. Many had been
hired with CIA funds to wage war against the democratic government and its
Class war in the countryside
Once the PDPA government was driven out in the 1980s, the Korengal Valley, like
many other areas, was run by a class of Western-backed “timber
lords,” capitalists in the lumber industry who often employ their own
private armies. These lords rule without question in a totally “free
market” where no government intervention exists and money is the only
law. It was only in 2006 that government forces of any kind re-entered the
region. (New York Times, Feb. 24, 2008)
The people of the Korengal Valley have shown they will not submit to
Washington’s wishes. Many villagers live in houses embedded into the
sides of mountains. They have loudly refused to recognize the pro-U.S. puppet
regime in Kabul or to accept Western “aid” meant to buy their
compliance. (New York Times, April 14)
Even after Oct. 20, 2007, when 2,000 pounds of bombs were dropped on the
village of Yaka China in the valley, turning five innocent civilians into
“collateral damage,” the will of the people to resist did not dry
Despite nine years of occupation, thousands of deaths, bombings and other
brutality designed to force the Afghan population to submit, it seems that the
U.S. has been unable to “stabilize” even this single wooded valley.
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