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Afghanistan: the Afghan tragedy between inhuman Taliban nationalist and the barbarities of American imperialism (ICT)

We reproduce below the August 15th position of the Internationalist Communist Tendency, the same day the Taliban entered Kabul. We also invite our readers to read the second statement – in English – adopted by the ICT [1] 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 imperialism 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 class position that we take over. Wherever possible, and especially when it comes to defending proletarian internationalism, it is of the utmost importance that communist groups speak with one voice, if not with a united one.

Afghanistan: the Afghan tragedy between inhuman Taliban nationalism and the barbarities of American imperialism (Internationalist Communist Tendency)

The recurring popular story about the US withdrawal from Afghanistan says that Washington is tired of being the world’s policeman, having its soldiers killed in the four corners of the globe and spending trillions of dollars to finance NATO operations. Nothing could be further from the truth. The US is withdrawing, not because it has achieved its goals, as Biden says, but because they have been defeated. After 20 years of war, 2,000 deaths and $2,000 billion of military spending without obtaining the slightest imperialist advantage, they have withdrawn, leaving the field free to the Taliban on the domestic front and to China, Russia and Turkey on the international stage. Those who argue that a ’justified’ American disengagement, including the ’exit strategy’ plan from Afghanistan, is a tactical solution against China are grossly mistaken. It is true that China represents strategic objective No. 1, both for the immediate and for the future, but the Pentagon no longer has the strength it had only a few decades ago. The US economy no longer dominates the world market as it once did, its balance of payments on trade is deep into the red. The crisis of low profit rates, or the valorisation of capital invested in production, has encouraged financial speculation, and depressed the real economy, so the costs of being the world’s gendarme, or the cost of continuing to be the prime imperialist country in the universe, are starting to become unsustainable. Therefore, it is better to withdraw from dangerous areas where defeat can be the only outcome (Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan) to focus on more limited, but strategically more important, objectives such as China. This is quite different from the previous folktale. But even as the US departs, the American withdrawal from Afghanistan allows Beijing to make agreements with the Taliban: In exchange for political recognition and ’generous’ funding to rebuild Afghanistan after thirty years of war they will no longer interfere in the fight against the Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province. In addition Russian energy products now have easier access to China and India and Turkey can present itself as a negotiating power 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 they are in economic difficulty and defeated, make mistakes in their strategies or are forced to make mistakes. On the field of a proletarian class response, unfortunately there is nothing, everything is missing. That is why the Afghan tragedy oscillates between the inhuman Taliban nationalism and the barbarism of American imperialism.

Battaglia Comunista (ICT), August 15th 2021