It wasn’t long ago the American media was gaslighting us on Cuba. Now it’s Afghanistan. The situation is complex, but any solution begins with the United States leaving. The sudden concern for Afghan women is an especially confounding event.
Afghan women report in polls that almost 90% of them are abused. Their plight may be even worse under the Taliban, but the last time the US pretended to be concerned was 2001. As cynical as the use of women for war and profiteering is, the goal of women’s rights is a vital one. Sustained equality for women has only been achieved in peace time. If that’s not the plan, then there is no plan.
Yes, this was Joe’s sloppiest pullout since Hunter. But we’ve been hearing that it’s the wrong time to leave Afghanistan for 20 years. And yes, there was a time, early in the Bush-era war, when the Taliban was weak and leaving Afghanistan would have been an even better idea. But Biden was right when he said that the rabid rise of the Taliban proved that the American presence in Afghanistan was doing nothing for anybody.
Political elites will lament that America lost the war. This is why Vietnam, and just about every American war after, is seen as a failure. However, all wars are failures. In war there are no winners, there is only loss. In this stage of capitalism, war, like everything else, is a pretense to make money and the real winners were weapon contractors.
The Taliban gained the country not because they were popular, and not because the Afghan army was cowardly, as Biden pathetically claimed on his way out. The Taliban won because the US was never interested in the well-being of the Afghan people, and pretending to be so now only makes things worse. The only honest thing Biden said in his scapegoating of Afghanistan on his way out the door is that it is a war Americans don’t want to be in.
Despite Biden’s claims we all know the US was using Afghan blood for a war that was never for Afghanistan. There is nothing courageous about modern warfare, dressed up in drones, the invaded country’s own soldiers and a network of profiteering NGOs. For decades fraudulent schools, reminiscent of Trump University, were hyped as the change Afghanistan needed. The US leaves the Taliban with its one true legacy, its own war on terror technologies. The war on terror, in the hands of terrorists, as it always has been.
The pullout was as careless as the invasion. No US President, including Joe Biden, has any care for the people of Afghanistan. But the first step in democracy, especially for women, is for the US to leave. Next must come the Taliban and the capitalist class in general. The first step to peace is never more war. Joe Biden has a chance to be a footnote in world history if he withdraws the US from all its wars. Without this, he will be forgotten as just another profiteer on the backs of the people, an enemy of the revolution.
It was the United States who destabilized Afghanistan when it fought the Soviet Union with the Taliban. Former President Ashraf Ghani ominously predicted the downfall of the puppet regime of the Soviet Union when writing for the LA Times. Just as some on the left romanticize January 6th, we should not romanticize the falling of Afghanistan to the Taliban.
Like the fascist Republican Party in the United States, these terrorist organizations hold education, art, women, and minorities in contempt. However, they rise only because the establishment has proven to be too corrupt and inept to provide anything for the people to fight for.
The United States built up the Taliban to beat communism. It should be a lesson that this same force took down the greatest capitalist power, blinded by money, unable and unwilling to govern by anything except violence. Now, with liberal democracy under threat across the world we are left with a fork in the road for our new world order. The United States is the biggest baddest terrorist force in the world today. Where it falls, we must be ready to replace it with something better. In Afghanistan, and everywhere else, there is more good work to be done.