The “victory” claims of U.S. rulers when they invaded Afghanistan in 2001 have turned around. Not only is Osama bin Laden still at large, but the Taliban and its allies are now launching coordinated assaults on U.S. Army bases and an attack that killed ten elite French paratroopers. No wonder Obama and McCain are advocating troop increases in Afghanistan. At stake is a proposed oil pipeline running from Kazakhstan through Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Indian Ocean.
The seven-year occupation has devastated Afghans. Thousands of civilians have died from U.S./NATO air attacks, bombs, missiles and police fire, intensifying hatred of the imperialists. Poppy cultivation and corruption have soared. Poverty, homelessness, skyrocketing food prices, 75% illiteracy — this and worse is the lot of the average Afghan, the result of U.S. “liberation.” With over 80% of women affected by domestic violence, Afghanistan has become the most dangerous place in the world for women.
All this has become fertile ground for Taliban and al Qaeda recruitment.
In the face of this devastation, Afghans have protested. Hundreds demonstrated against rising food prices; at a teachers’ rally for wage hikes, students set 45 vehicles ablaze and attacked the cops. Angry street demonstrations protested the U.S.-puppet agreement to maintain permanent U.S. bases in Afghanistan.
All this is linked to the instability in bordering Pakistan, a Taliban base.