U.S. Out of Afghanistan, Now!

Reprinted from The Worker, newspaper of the Workers Party, USA, October 12, 2013

Twelve years into the aggressive colonial war against Afghanistan launched by the U.S. with the support of Britain, the Pentagon is continuing to carry out offensive military operations with the aim of subjugating the people of Afghanistan. But it is U.S. imperialism that is losing the war. The U.S.-installed colonial administration has virtually no control outside of Kabul and its soldiers, as well as U.S. and NATO troops, are coming under daily attack.

In the more than four years since Obama’s inauguration the U.S. military has employed the most brutal methods in the war while U.S. imperialism has refused to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan. So too, Obama has continued to espouse the openly colonial and racist doctrine of the "white man’s burden," insisting that some nations, some cultures, some religions, some peoples, are too weak, too uncivilized, too backward to be "allowed" the right to self-determination and self-governance and need to be administered and "mentored" by the "morally superior" U.S. imperialists.

Today, U.S. imperialism is digging in for the long-term occupation of Afghanistan. The Obama administration is already admitting that U.S. "interests" will require "boots on the ground" beyond the 2014 "deadline for troop withdrawal." Today, 60,000 U.S. troops and thousands more from Britain and other capitalist states are occupying the country and trying to impose their dictate. This colonization is justified by the racist logic which claims that the people of Afghanistan are "backward" and "uncivilized" and need the West to "mentor" them in "nation-building."

To prepare for launching war on Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, the U.S. government ignored international law and refused to respect the sovereignty of Afghanistan, even while openly admitting that its aim was to install a new government there. So too, this precedent has been used ever since. For example, in the nearly five years that Obama has been president, U.S. imperialism has gone around the world repeatedly boasting about its aggression in Afghanistan and telling others they will suffer the same "fate" if they refuse to bend to the dictates of U.S. imperialism.

Almost immediately after launching the war bases were placed in Pakistan and pressure against that country began. Other countries were immediately put on the "hit list" of terrorist states, including of course, Iraq. The Israeli aggressors were immediately given the green light to escalate their war against the Palestinian people. U.S. imperialism began feverishly preparing new wars in the strategic Gulf region and began openly targeting countries with "weak central governments" that were considered "ripe for the picking." Thus, for example, Pentagon officials declared that "war against Somalia is not a question of if but when." Even before Obama took office and stated that the "international war against terrorism" will last for "generations," and began insisting that everyone must side with the U.S. as "leader of the world," George W. Bush had already admitted that the war was meant to last "for decades" and insisted that every country must either side with the U.S. or be "treated like a terrorist."

The extreme aggressiveness of the U.S. war program did not start with the events on October 7, 2001. For nearly a quarter of a century U.S. imperialism has been relying on its military power to try to impose its dictate on the whole world. The extreme aggressiveness of U.S. imperialism arose from the ongoing crisis of the capitalist-imperialist system.

In the early 1990s the collapse of the Soviet empire ushered in a new phase in the struggle of the U.S. and other imperialist powers for the division of the world, a period marked by extreme instability, inter-capitalist rivalries and tensions.

Under these conditions, U.S. imperialism has set itself the agenda of creating a "new world order" under its domination. The U.S. demands that every country embrace the "free market system" and open its economy to the U.S. monopolies.

Facing sharp competition from other imperialist powers and capitalist states, the U.S. has been relying on its military superiority to gain spheres of economic influence, grab new territories and redraw the map of the world in its favor.

For ten years prior to launching aggressive war on Afghanistan, the U.S. had already been waging war against Iraq to keep that country under its thumb, to militarize the Persian Gulf and to keep rival capitalist powers out of the region. So too in Yugoslavia, U.S. imperialism declared war in order to carve out part of the country and set up U.S. protectorates in the Balkans.

At the same time as these inter-imperialist rivalries have intensified, U.S. imperialism has been stepping up its attacks on liberation movements of the people.

It is in this agenda that we find the real meaning of Obama-style imposition of Might Makes Right on the world. Any country or people who resist U.S. dictate are labeled as potential targets of U.S. aggression. Under the Obama administration, U.S. imperialism has set its sights on Cuba because it refuses to surrender its sovereignty to U.S. colonialism. Under the Obama administration U.S. imperialism has set its sights on North Korea and labeled it a "rogue state" because it too remains independent. The Palestinian people are branded as "terrorists" because they "dare" to fight for their freedom from U.S.-backed Israeli colonialism. Colombian peasants and workers are damned as well, because they too are fighting for liberation, etc.

Yet just as U.S. imperialism’s program for world domination brings home the extreme aggressiveness of U.S. imperialism, these events also show that the world does not march to imperialism’s drumbeat.

Today, Obama is coming up against more and more obstacles. The U.S. and NATO powers are being defeated in Afghanistan. Hundreds of millions of people across the globe have come out in opposition to the U.S. war and are linking Afghanistan with other fronts of U.S. aggression – in Iraq, in Latin America and elsewhere. In many countries, the capitalist governments have become extremely isolated because of their support for U.S. militarism and war. In addition to the peoples, various governments have asserted independent stands against imperialist aggression and in defense of peace and the sovereignty of countries. So too, in the U.S., in the teeth of the government’s chauvinist propaganda and fascist war program, millions of Americans have come into the streets to protest the war.

To defeat the capitalist program, the people need to build up the broadest possible front against war and imperialism. We must oppose each and every aggressive step taken by U.S. imperialism. We must wholeheartedly support the just liberation movements of the oppressed peoples and support the just stands of governments which defend the sovereignty of countries and the rights of the people. We must demand a genuinely democratic foreign policy which puts an end to all U.S. military intervention and aggression, withdraws all U.S. troops stationed abroad, and ends the militarization of economic and social life.

While imperialism means war, the whole history of the last 100 years shows that it is peoples and their struggle for liberation which are the decisive force. The American people must not leave the question of war and peace in the hands of the imperialist warmakers. Rather we must take the initiative and unfold a powerful movement to stay the hands of the warmakers and overthrow imperialism once and for all.