The fight between the U.S. imperialists and their Russian, Chinese and Iranian rivals — for control of the oil and gas fields of the Caspian Sea and Central Asia region and the pipeline routes to take these resources to market — is leading to wider Middle Eastern wars and eventually to an inevitable global confrontation. Controlling this region is crucial to the U.S. bosses’ efforts to regain absolute control of oil-rich Middle East, which have been the basis for their dominant imperialist position since the end of World War II.
Obama chose to concentrate on the Afghanistan war in hopes the U.S. backed TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline) could be built. This pipeline, bypassing both Russia and Iran, could reverse Russian-Chinese advances in the energy-rich former Soviet republics, giving the U.S. control of this strategic region.
If successful, together with a new string of U.S. bases in the area, TAPI would put Russia and China on the defensive militarily, break Russia’s growing world energy monopoly, especially of the European Union’s energy market, and position the U.S. bosses to potentially starve China of the energy resources needed to fuel its economic and military rise.
It would also free the U.S. military machine to deal with Iran, if it hadn’t capitulated by then. Iraq could then be more easily pacified and U.S. imperialism’s dream of extending its hegemony well into the 21st century would be within reach.
As U.S. imperialists’ political, economic and military hegemony shrinks, their ability to control the outcome of world events becomes limited. An example is the recent Afghan presidential election, aimed at getting rid of Karzai, who has become an obstacle to their geopolitical goals in the area. He’s been cozying up to China and deepening his ties with the warlords of the Northern Alliance, backed by Russia, Iran and India.
Their electoral scheme failed. So far, with 99% of the votes counted, Karzai is the winner with 54% against the U.S candidate Abdullah Abdullah’s 28%. Plan B was to claim massive fraud and call for a run-off election rigged to guarantee Abdullah”s victory. But some among their ranks like Zbiegnew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to Jimmy Carter, disagree with this plan. They claim it would further destabilize Afghanistan and increase the “growing risk …that the Taliban …be viewed as a resistance movement against foreign occupation… and that would be a strategic defeat.”
The U.S. ruling class is clearly at odds over this. Some are making frantic efforts to force Karzai into a unity government with his rival Abdullah Abdullah (known in Afghanistan as “Obama’s wife”). Others see no option but to accept Karzai and to configure a government run by their ambassador Eikenberry and General McCrystal. Some call for the “Afghanization” of the war while others demand Obama’s unfailing commitment to his surge. Some, with Saudi Arabia and Britain, are working for a negotiated settlement with the “good Taliban.”
Besides, some of their European allies also disagree with the plan and are reluctant to send more troops. German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised the elections, while demanding, with leaders from Britain and France, an international conference to force the “Afghanization” of the war so “that the international engagement can be reduced.” Brzezinski agrees, arguing it might reduce “the growing risk of the war becoming a war of foreigners against Afghans,” and the Europeans allies “might be less likely to pull out entirely…. [Leaving] the U.S. alone in the lurch.”
Whatever tactics the U.S. butchers finally decide on, pipeline TAPI may never fly. It is detrimental to the ambitions of China, Russia and Iran. A U.S.-Taliban agreement will never bring peace to Afghanistan as the warlords of the Northern Alliance, the Taliban’s sworn mortal enemies, will fight desperately to survive.
Even if the U.S. imperialists carve out an independent “Pashtunistan” from Afghanistan-Pakistan, as some are planning, the war is likely to widen as the area’s instability helps China and Russia further consolidate their grip on the Caspian-Central Asia region. The Iranian nuclear issue — nothing but a fig leaf to hide the vital role of Iran’s energy resources and strategic location in the fight for world domination — is rapidly forcing a showdown between the U.S., Russia, Iran and potentially Israel.
How many more millions must be murdered, maimed and displaced for the profits of the imperialists of the world? No election, peace agreement, U. N. resolution or slick-talking politician like Obama will ever put an end to this butchery. Workers, students and soldiers, getting angrier at the cutbacks and layoffs, need to see that the widening imperialist genocide, inherent in capitalist crisis, is costing $billions and murdering so many members of our class! Students need to unite with soldiers and workers who bear the heaviest burden for the capitalist war economy. Only an international communist-conscious working class under the leadership of PLP can put an end to this bosses’ inferno, with a communist revolution.