By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
First of all, let me thank the Solidarity Committee with the People of Afghanistan for inviting me to this Solidarity Meeting with the People of Afghanistan.
We, the International Coordinating Committee and the hundreds of member-organizations of the International League of Peoples´ Struggle in various regions of the world, express our firm solidarity with the people of Afghanistan in their revolutionary struggle for national liberation and democracy against US imperialism, the NATO and the reactionary puppets represented by Karzai and other warlords.
The people of Afghanistan are victims of imperialist powers which covet and seek to dominate Afghanistan as a source of cheap labor and raw materials, as a market for industrial manufactures, as a field of superprofit-yielding investments and as a strategic area for economic , political and military control over Central Asia and the adjoining regions. To achieve their vile purposes, the imperialist powers unleash aggression and recruit the most reactionary local puppets.
In the ongoing era of modern imperialism and proletarian revolution, the people of Afghanistan can achieve national and social liberation only by having a revolutionary party of the proletariat, a people´s army and a broad united front of anti-imperialist and democratic forces. While they take their destiny into their own hands, the people of Afghanistan need the support of the world proletariat and people against imperialism, their common enemy.
We commiserate with the people of Afghanistan over their long suffering from the scourge of imperialism, assisted by the worst reactionaries as puppets. Afghanistan has been turned into a war front by rival imperialist powers since 1979, resulting in the death of more than three million people and the devastation of the lives and homes of the people, their economy and social infrastructure.
Soviet social imperialism invaded and occupied Afghanistan from December 1979 onwards. US imperialism sponsored and financed Islamic fundamentalism, in order to outmaneuver and defeat the Soviet forces. Following the withdrawal of the Soviet forces in 1989, the US allowed the various reactionary military factions in Afghanistan to pummel each other for several years and eventually together with Pakistan supported the Taleban to prevail and take the reigns of government.
But in the wake of 9-11, the US and NATO started on October 7, 2001 to wage a war of aggression on Afghanistan under the pretext of punishing and overthrowing the Taleban government for coddling the Al Qaida. They engaged in a massive campaign of bombardment, raining death upon communities and destroying public buildings and other facilities.
Since then, the US and NATO forces have escalated the horrors of war within Afghanistan and across the borders into Pakistan, with the incessant use of tanks, armored carriers, bomber planes, jet fighters and drones. The violence of the imperialist occupiers and their contract killers is complemented by the brutality of the corrupt Karzai regime and its warlord and drug lord allies.
Social degradation has worsened. The workers and peasants are exploited and oppressed more than ever before. The Western media have boasted that the US-NATO occupation has liberated women but in fact their oppression has worsened. Women who object to forced marriages are subjected to acid attacks and facial mutilation. The self-immolation and mass incarceration of women have increased.
Violent ethnic and religious conflicts between the Pashtun nationality and other ethnic communities have spread. The most reactionary elements are connected to the Taleban and have widespread influence. The cultivation of opium poppy fields is ever expanding. The Karzai ruling clique and the warlords are profiting from the production and trading of opium and heroine within Afghanistan and abroad.
The US selected Karzai as their puppet president because he had been a reliable factotum of the US oil company Unocal and he comes from a big landlord family in Pashtun. His presidency is indicative of the US scheme to lay oil and gas pipelines across Afghanistan and to exploit its natural resources. In the meantime, Karzai and his henchmen are enriching themselves by grabbing for themselves a major part of state revenues and foreign funds for so-called reconstruction and training of local security forces and by profiting from the opium poppy plantations.
True to the plundering character of monopoly capitalism, the overriding interest of the US and other imperialist powers is to dominate and control Afghanistan because of its strategic position between the huge oil and gas resources of Central Asia and the large fuel consumers China and India and also because Afghanistan is itself a potential source of such strategic raw materials as coal, gas, oil, copper, gold, silver, zinc, lithium and salt.
It should be logical for the US and its imperialist allies to end their war of aggression in Afghanistan in order to peacefully exploit the people and their natural resources. In fact under the pressure of the revolutionary resistance of the people of Afghanistan and that of the anti-war movements in the US and abroad, the Obama administration has announced the withdrawal of the US and NATO forces before the end of 2014. There is yet no certainty for this to happen because it is also in the character of modern imperialism to find the slightest reason to be able to perpetuate overseas military bases, stations or facilities.
There are local warring groups as a result of inter-imperialist contradictions. And most importantly for the US in the meantime, there are superprofits for the US military-industrial complex to make from continuing the war of aggression and occupation even as the US and European Union are now beset by financial crisis. The private monopoly firms are focused on extracting superprofits from the destruction of Afghanistan; from the subsequent “reconstruction” or “rehabilitation” of what they destroy and from the ultimate use of Afghanistan as transit route and source of raw materials.
But the most important factor in the equation now and in the future is the people of Afghanistan aspiring and struggling for national liberation and democracy. Their revolutionary struggle is ever potent as the long history of Afghanistan has proven that this country is the quagmire of empires. In recent history, the people of Afghanistan were able to demonstrate that they could defeat a behemoth like Soviet social-imperialism. Currently, they are delivering lethal blows to the forces of the US and NATO.
As in their own history and circumstances and in the example of Chinese revolution, the people of Afghanistan and their revolutionary forces can take advantage of the situation of tangled warfare of imperialists and local warlords in order to advance the armed revolutionary movement. To win victories, the people of Afghanistan can wield the most powerful weapons: the revolutionary party of the proletariat, the people´s army and the national united front. Taking their destiny into their own hands and waging a just struggle, they can inspire the people of the world and win their solidarity and support.