The Afghan Tragedy between Inhuman Taliban Nationalism and the Barbarity of American Imperialism
(FD, August 15, 2021 – Battaglia Comunista)
The recurrent folktale on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan recites that Washington is tired of being the world’s gendarme, of making its own soldiers die in the four corners of the globe and of spending thousands of billions of dollars to finance NATO operations. Nothing could be more false. The USA withdraw not because they have achieved their objectives, as Biden says, but because they have been defeated. After 20 years of war, 2 thousand dead and 2 trillion dollars of military spending without obtaining the slightest imperialistic advantage, they have withdrawn, leaving the field open to the Taliban on the domestic front and to China, Russia and Turkey on the international scene. Those who claim that these theses of “justified” American disengagement, including the plan of “exit strategy” from Afghanistan, are a tactical solution against China are greatly mistaken. It is true that China is the No. 1 strategic objective, both for the immediate and the future, but the Pentagon no longer has the strength it had a few decades ago. The US-American economy no longer dominates the world market as it once did, its balance of payments with foreign countries is in deep red. The crisis of low profit rates, that is the valorization of capital invested productively, has encouraged speculation, depressed the real economy, so the costs of [being] gendarme of the world, that is the cost of continuing to be the first imperialist country in the universe, are becoming unsustainable. Therefore it is better to withdraw from the dangerous areas, only liable to defeat (Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan), and focus on more limited but strategically more important targets such as China. This is something quite different from the aforementioned folktale. But even so, the US-American withdrawal from Afghanistan allows Beijing to establish agreements with the Taliban that they will no longer interfere in the fight against the Uighurs, in exchange for political recognition and “generous” funding. It allows an easier access for Russian energy products to China and India, and Turkey to present itself as a negotiating partner in the Central Asian area, by setting up a meeting of the Taliban and their opponents in Istanbul. What will happen to the Afghan people, especially women, is of no interest to Biden. Having failed to support an allied and puppet government, the American president gave the order to flee, mobilizing thousands of soldiers for this last, shameful, Afghan campaign. Even imperialisms, when in economic difficulty and defeated, make mistakes or are forced to make mistakes. On the terrain of a class response, unfortunately nothing, everything is missing, that’s why the Afghan tragedy oscillates BETWEEN INHUMAN TALIBAN NATIONALISM AND THE BARBARITY OF AMERICAN IMPERIALISM.
FD, Sunday, August 15, 2021.
Source: Afghanistan – Gli USA si ritirano (withdrawn)
Translation: H.C., August 16, 2021
With a somewhat more explicit conclusion the initial text has been republished as: Afghanistan – LA TRAGEDIA AFGANA TRA L’INUMANO NAZIONALISMO TALEBANO E LA BARBARIE DELL’IMPERIALISMO AMERICANO.
(Translation updated August 24, 2021)
Declaration of the International Group of the Communist Left
(IGCL, August 30, 2021)
«We reproduce (…) the statement of position of the Internationalist Communist Tendency issued on August 15th, the very day the Taliban entered Kabul. We also invite our readers to read the second statement [published August 24, extracts on the next page] adopted by the ICT, which completes the first one. The US defeat in Afghanistan makes Biden’s “America is back” slogan even more urgent for US imperialism. Far from a moment towards peace, the catastrophic US and NATO military withdrawal is just another moment in the dynamic towards generalized imperialist war that the crisis of capital is accelerating each time more. The denunciation of the imperialisms and the conclusion that, in the absence of a response of the international proletariat to the crisis of capital, imperialist rivalries and wars can only increase more and more – and with them massacres and tragedies for millions of human beings – make this document a statement of a class position that we adopt for our own account. Wherever possible, and especially when it comes to defending proletarian internationalism, it is of the utmost importance that the communist groups can speak with one voice, by default of speaking with a united voice.»
The IGCL, August 30, 2021.
Translation from French by IGCL, here slightly improved.
The perspective? The multiplied barbarism of the great dominant imperialisms: USA and China
(Pantopolis, September 2, 2021)
«We publish this statement of position by the Internationalist Communist Tendency [Battaglia comunista, August 15, 2021], written at the time of the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban.
These austere turbaned “religious” people, who are now murdering their country’s musicians and ferociously hunting down their opponents (women included, of course), are not simple beastly “barbarians”, solely bad air from a distant Middle Ages. They have known for a long time how to insert themselves in the international drug traffic (opium).
Since August 15, 2021, since the fall of Kabul, the Taliban have no other perspective than to quickly become the agents of one or other of the dominant imperialisms, if they want to survive a total economic and financial blockade and remain in power.
Proclaiming that they are the “gravediggers of all Western imperialisms” (“the graveyard of empires”), the Taliban, despite all the modern weapons the Americans have given them, are well disarmed both economically and politically.
It is not certain that Chinese super-imperialism, which promises to support the Taliban regime economically – in return for mining concessions for its own benefit – will do so for long and without strategic guarantees (installation of military bases, firm support in the form of “friendship” and “exchange” agreements for China’s foreign and even domestic policy).
We will come back later to the historical meaning of this alleged “defeat” of American super-imperialism in the face of the rising power: Chinese super-imperialism.»