Above: The Taliban’s Islamic Emirate flag. It is white and emblazoned with an Islamic scripture known as the Shahada in black lettering. The Shahada is an Islamic Oath and is the first of the Five Pillars of Islam found in the Quran which reads “I bear witness that none deserves worship except God, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God”. It is considered a basic statement of Islamic faith. Image from http://www.neerthirai.com
26-09-2021: September 17 saw the US Commander of CENTCOM (Central Command) tell reporters at the Pentagon the August 29 drone strike which killed Afghani aid worker Zamarai Ahmadi and seven of his children – was an error. The “over-the-horizon” (controlled remotely from another region or country) drone attack was allegedly carried out to target ISIS-K, who had claimed responsibility for the August 26 bombing of Kabul airport. This incident supposedly took the lives of 13 US soldiers and over 100 Afghans. Suspiciously, eyewitness reports from the time claim that most of the Afghans that perished were not killed by the supposed suicide bomber, but in fact by US soldiers who started “panic” firing into the crowd directly after the blast. As with so many world events today – especially the openly fraudulent coronavirus “pandemic” – the official narrative of the US “withdrawal” and the Taliban takeover is little more than smoke and mirrors to justify yet another war.
Stage managed chaos
While the US mainstream media was horrified at what appeared to be a chaotic withdrawal of some US troops from Afghanistan (leaving thousands of others, plus 18 000 mercenaries), others have noticed that the sequence of events as it unfolded somewhat benefits the Pentagon and may well have been staged managed to do just that. An Afghanistan which once again descends into civil war after the US military machine “leaves” in fact builds political momentum for continued imperialist involvement in Afghanistan, at least in some form. If ISIS makes an appearance, and as if on cue, claims responsibility for an attack which supposedly took the lives of US troops – this obviously creates political conditions for more military operations against the world’s most notorious terrorists.
While on the surface paradoxical, criticism of the Biden Administration’s mishandling of the “withdrawal” can both praise the “ending” of the forever war AND create the conditions for demands for US imperialism to stay in, or return – to “fight ISIS”. How convenient! Liberals – the political base of the Democrats for both the fake “pandemic” and the effective coup which installed Biden, can thus once again be rolled out to demand yet another regime change war. This time, the target is the very Taliban which they have freshly placed in power. This only appears contradictory if the official narrative of “withdrawal” and “defeat” of US imperialism in Afghanistan is taken at face value. It is plausible to speculate that the choreographed and stage-managed chaos was intended to create conditions of conflict, which, with the insertion of ISIS-K seemingly from out of nowhere – transforms the forever war into a hybrid war of destabilisation. Such a hybrid war – which may very well include conditions for yet another colour revolution – is evidently a win-win situation for the Pentagon and the CIA. Surrounding Russia, China and Iran can then be better targeted by subversive terror sponsored by the West.
Taliban as cartoon villains
If the Western corporate media is to be believed, we are now expected to go along with the notion that the Taliban are the new miscreants that must be deposed. This is literally days after the US state gave over 85 billion dollars’ worth of high-tech military equipment to the Taliban. This included: 2000 armoured vehicles, 45 Blackhawk helicopters, 50 Scout Attack choppers, 29 Super Tocano Ground Attack aircraft and over 75 000 vans and Ford and Toyota pick-up trucks! One wonders if the Toyota pick-up trucks are some of the same ones that the US and British governments basically admitted to supplying to “moderate rebels” – who turned out to be ISIS – in Syria during their appalling proxy regime change war from 2011 onwards. Indeed, not only Toyotas, but ISIS themselves appear to have been transported from Syria directly to Afghanistan, by these same Western governments now claiming that the Taliban are the new bad guys. Lebanese Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has repeatedly asserted that the US military has been using helicopters to whisk away ISIS fighters on the verge of defeat in Syria directly to Afghanistan, so they can be used as proxy fighters against Russia, China and Iran. So the Libya-Syria rat line has now morphed into the Syria-Afghanistan rat line.
There is little doubt that the Taliban, generally speaking, do not represent political progress. Yet the difference between the 1996-2001 Taliban, and the Taliban of 2021, is in many respects like chalk and cheese. As much as their values might clash with Western political modernity, the Taliban 2.0 are certainly not the backward and violent stone-age misogynists which emerged out of the anti-Soviet Mujahideen (soldiers of God) supplied with CIA weaponry in the 1980s. The implication that they have not changed stirs liberals and the fake left to make yet more disingenuous appeals for Western states to “save” the women and children of Afghanistan. While genuine leftists cannot offer the Taliban political support, nor can they be dragged into yet another hybrid war which is ultimately not about Afghanistan – but Washington’s grand prize enemies in Moscow, Beijing and Tehran.
For example, accurate translations of the Taliban’s first major press conference reveal the Taliban as potentially mild reformers – as far as within the bounds of Sharia Law will allow. The new Taliban stated that women can be educated at all levels and can continue to work. Only the hijab (hair covering) will be required, NOT the burqa (whole body covering). The Islamic Emirate will not threaten anyone (meaning neighbouring countries) and revenge – formerly an essential pillar of the Pashtunwali code – will be abandoned. This has never previously occurred. The Taliban will form an “inclusive” government, with “inclusive” meaning that women and Shiites will not be excluded. Again, this is unprecedented. Freedom of speech, public criticism and debate will be allowed – albeit within the boundaries of “Islamic values”.
In another game changer, the Taliban will ban the production of opium/heroin. So for all practical purposes, the CIA heroin rat line is dead in the water. So the notion that the Taliban (derived from the word for “students”) will immediately prevent women from obtaining an education, will cover women in burqas, will enforce an obscure and medieval version of Sharia Law etc.- is entirely false. While it is true that the 33 member Taliban cabinet does not include any women, it does include one Uzbek and one Tajik in amongst the other Pashtuns. Yet Western liberals would do well to remember that Saudi Arabia and Qatar, joined at the hip to Washington, are headed by entirely male royal families. What’s more, there are indications that the Taliban are angling towards an “Islam with Afghan Characteristics”. One wall in Kabul was recently doused in white and painted with Kufic script which stated: “For an Islamic system with independence, you have to go through tests and stay patient”. Overall, Western liberals who depict today’s Taliban as Disney-esque barbarians sporting long beards and wielding cutlasses are once again acting as foot soldiers for the very Empire they claim to oppose.
Afghanistan and the New Silk Road
What is more, the modern Taliban also displays an ability to recognise geopolitical realities, as well as the economic rise of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and corresponding economic malaise of the US Empire. It is in this sense that the US has arguably “lost” Afghanistan to Eurasia, given the PRC’s stupendous economic rise signified by the New Silk Road, or One Belt One Road (Belt and Road Initiative), and Russia’s rise to military prominence with its superior hardware. Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid reflected this economic and geopolitical awareness when he stated: “Chinese assistance will form the basis of Afghanistan development. One Belt, One Road will revive the ancient Silk Road. China will be our gateway to international markets”. Such statements doubtless infuriate Washington and their political operatives – hence their motivation for the orchestrating of ISIS style terror AND mushrooming de facto calls for already upending Taliban rule.
Washington is also well aware of the estimated 3 trillion dollars’ worth of rare earth minerals in the soil of Afghanistan, which has never been extracted largely due to being enveloped in war for close to 40 years. Afghanistan’s deposits of lanthanum, lithium, cerium, praseodymium and gadolinium are known to be the largest in the world. East and West are cognisant of the fact that it is only China which has the scientific, economic and engineering capacity to obtain these elements and manufacture them into the vital electronics, microchips and superconductors that underpin the performance of modern economies. In addition, only China, due to predominant public ownership and a planned economy at home, is able to offer the Taliban mutually beneficial terms for the joint utilization and development of these mineral elements which modern technology demands. Ironically, the “stone-age” Taliban – via the scientific advances of Red China – can provide the elements needed for the jet age.
Afghanistan under the new Taliban will also move closer to full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which was established by China, Russia, Kygyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan in 2001. It is an economic and security bloc with a stated mission of promoting a multi-polar world, one which denies the USA as the single world power. It has since expanded amongst the nations of Eurasia, and now has a population base of 3 billion people and a combined GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of 8 trillion dollars. Afghanistan currently has observer status, and Iran has recently become a full member, with President Ebrahim Raisi denouncing (US) “hegemony and unilateralism” at the welcome. The inevitable “loss” of Afghanistan to the SCO will likely result in yet more US and UK government attempts to break this cooperation through “ISIS” terror.
Asylum for collaborators?
No sooner had the Taliban miraculously survived the so-called deadliest plague in world history without lockdowns, facemasks or vaccines (!), the lockdown fake left began issuing calls which equate to bellowing for imperialist backed regime change. Unfortunately, this should come as no surprise. It is a very small step from backing calls for “revolution” in Syria where the only “revolutionaries” are ISIS and their off-shoots, to backing calls for “revolution” in Afghanistan where the only “revolutionaries” are ISIS-K. Part and parcel of these demands are the pseudo indignant cries for asylum for tens of thousands of Afghan “refugees”. The Socialist Alliance issued a call for the Australian government to increase its humanitarian intake of refugees by 20 000, and to take in Afghans who had escaped to other countries. Socialist Alternative sung the same tune. The Australian Communist Party joined the fray. The Communist Party of Australia (CPA) ramped up the jingoism to explicitly call for asylum for Afghans who worked with the Australian Defence Forces (ADF)!
Would this be the same Australian Army who were exposed as committing some of the worst war crimes in history in Afghanistan? The Brereton Report, conducted by the Inspector General of the ADF, found that Australian troops in Afghanistan had committed at least 39 unlawful killings during their part in the occupation, and this is likely to be just the tip of the iceberg. Afghans who “worked with” the armed detachments of Australian imperialism obviously betrayed their own people in the most disgraceful manner possible. “Translators” enabled the Australian and US militaries to smash down the doors of innocent Afghans looking for Taliban who would be executed if found, assisted the torture of others at Bagram Air Base, and aided tens of thousands of trigger-happy mercenaries to gun down the blameless. These are imperialist collaborators with as much blood on their hands as the Anglo/US militaries themselves. The CPA and the lockdown fake left not only shill for Empire during the Covid class attack, they deepen this betrayal by colluding with the Empire in a military war. Genuine Marxists DO NOT call for asylum or refuge for misanthropic collaborators with imperialism.
The calls for the “non-recognition” of the Taliban government from the liberal left plays the same role. If a nation does not recognise the diplomatic staff of another nation, this is not just a symbolic manoeuvre – it is an act of war. And this is precisely what Wall Street has set up via the Pentagon and the White House: yet another hybrid war for regime change, now with ISIS-K as the “moderate rebels”. In contrast, workers the world over have a vital interest in a temporary military bloc with the non-imperialist powers (Russia, China) and their allies (Iran, Afghanistan) against Anglo/US imperialism. Politically, workers only salvation is forging of workers’ parties which fight for workers’ governments throughout Eurasia and internationally. As far away as it now appears, the expropriation of the major means of production and exchange in the name of society and held in trust by the working class, is key to the breakthrough which is required. Such momentous change can only be led by regionally linked Leninist vanguard parties upholding Trotsky’s theory of Permanent Revolution. Tactically utilising temporary allies, the proletariat is more than capable of blazing a path towards socialism.