Thursday, December 27, 2007

Russia's Afghan Hound

This day in 1979 saw Russia send 75,000 troops into Afghanistan. The Socialist Standard of February 1980 had 'Russia Seizes Afghanistan' on its front page and noted that "Lenin in 1918 proclaimed "No Annexations." What humbug! Soviet policy in 1980 is equally two-faced. The USSR behaves like every capitalist power in the fight for oil, markets and territorial influence. Socialists oppose capitalism whatever its variety, 'western' and 'eastern'." One of the ways the US responded to this threat was to spend billions of dollars supporting and training members of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda who would be fighting against the Russian army for most of the next decade. The article went on to note the wearisome, nauseous hypocrisy coming from all sides and concluded tellingly by stating that the "..invasion of Afghanistan will not improve the world, it will not make humans better fed, more secure. At most it will draw fresh battle lines to mark the the wars yet to come. In the course of capitalism's conflicts Afghanistan has suffered over centuries and there is no reason to believe that its future will be any more peaceful. So we have been here before and we will be here again. It may happen next in a different country with another set of statesman to peddle their lies; or new political analysts to pronounce their instant solutions. And there will be other workers to die and suffer, in spite of the moldering graves of those before them which testify to the futility of it all."

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