Spirit of Eureka welcomes the withdrawal of US military forces from Afghanistan. It is a testament to the heroic Afghani people’s historically long resistance to colonial and imperialist invasions, occupations and exploitation. The determination of many Afghani people fighting for justice, the rights of women, peace and genuine independence and democracy will continue.
The scale of the US military retreat in Afghanistan is not clear as yet. What is clear to the world is that US, the world’s leading and most aggressive super power, could not subjugate/conquer the Afghani people to imperialist control. No doubt the US military withdrawal has been forced on the US by a stalemate with guerrilla insurgencies and corrupt, widely unpopular and ineffectual puppet government installed by the US. The military retreat is also likely a strategic repositioning of US policies and plans from its original pretext for invasion and occupation as “war on terrorism” to consolidating and preparing its forces for a war with China and Russia. The recent rapprochements and political and economic deals between Russia, China and the Taliban are undoubtedly a setback for the US in terms of inter-imperial rivalry.
The resistance to imperialist occupation is wider than the Taliban with other sections of the people employing varied strategies and tactics of resistance.
There are persistent reports that from Trump’s presidency to Biden, deals were being negotiated between the US and Taliban to effectively hand over the country to the Taliban in return for a continuation of the heroin trade and protecting US economic interests. 90% of heroin trade originates in Afghanistan. That the CIA (and possibly other US agencies) have made immense profits from this trade is well-documented, going back at least 50 years to Vietnam War era. There are also other major US economic interests at stake in Afghanistan: the US military-industrial complex that profits hugely from war in Afghanistan; a long-proposed gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through to India and Pakistan; and very large reserves of mineral wealth the US identified in Afghanistan. These are no doubt part of the future contention between the major imperialist powers and the Taliban. No doubt the Taliban is exploiting competition between the rival powers for control of Afghanistan.
The Afghani people who include the city and rural people, women, students, the Hazaras and other minority groups would clearly know from their long and bitter experience, the importance of resisting any further attempts by any foreign nation to control, exploit and occupy Afghanistan under the pretext of “helping the economic development and upholding human rights”.
The main lesson from Afghanistan is that even after the spending of $1 trillion dollars over 20 years, imperialism is still a paper tiger against popular resistance. And clearly, the lesson to Australia is once again that the US is neither a reliable ally nor a force for stability and prosperity for countries they invade under the pretext of bestowing “freedom and democracy”. Tragically, it is the ordinary people of both the invaded countries and the occupying troops who suffer. An independent Australia which ends the war mongering alliance with the US and imperialist wars is our only peaceful way forward.