Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Britain out of Afghanistan! Revolutionary Praxis

The past month has again seen media attention drawn to the continuing war against the Afghani people by the British imperialists. It has highlighted just one of the atrocities committed by the British military personnel against the peoples of Afghanistan. There are far more atrocities which have been carried out which we do not know of make no mistake! The British Army has a history of murder and rape against the nations it has occupied.
Since 2002 the British and other NATO powers have invaded, occupied and terrorised Afghanistan. They claimed it was against terrorism. Afghanistan has had nothing to do with terrorist attacks in the imperialist countries, none of those guile of the 9/11 attacks came from Afghanistan, yet they did come from the US and Britain’s ally Saudi Arabia. They have no right to invade another nation in any case, but they used the ‘war on terror’ as a pretext to invade. The current media focus is on whether a British soldier who was convicted of murdering an Afghani fighter should be given bail while his appeal is heard. The circumstances of the murder have exposed the racist and colonial mentality which is a massive ideological weapon of imperialist armies when oppressing other nations as was also the case in nearer to home in Britain’s 800 year occupation of Ireland. Britain has invaded Afghanistan four times! They have been defeated on three occasions. Its time to show solidarity with the peoples struggle in Afghanistan.
On September 15th 2011 three Royal Marines captured an injured Taliban fighter in Helmand province and he was murdered. One of the Marines Sergeant Blackman was convicted of the murder. Corporal Watson and Marine Hammond were aquitted. The Taliban fighter had been injured when attacked by an apache helicopter Blackman then ordered the combatant be dragged away from view of the British surveillance camera balloon. As they dragged him away he was mercilessly kicked and beaten, then the incident was caught on video, for some macabre reason they chose to video their attack. Sergeant Blackman then ordered his subordinates to stop providing First Aid to the Afghan fighter and proceeded to shoot him while verbally abusing him. In October 2012 the Civilian police discovered the video on one of the Marines laptop. The conviction followed in 2013 at a military court in Wiltshire. Blackman was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment as life sentence was mandatory. After an appeal it was reduced to 8 years. The latest incident of the saga saw Blackman denied bail pending another appeal hearing in 2017.
What the case has shown is that there has been much support for Blackman’s murderous behaviour from other Marines and high ranking military personnel as well as the public and tabloid gutter rags such as ‘The Sun’ and ‘The Daily Mail’. Blackman himself has never shown remorse for the murder of a captive combatant (breaking the Geneva convention) he has only shown sorrow for what he described as ‘any damage caused to the Royal Marines’. What about the damage these mercenaries of British imperialism have dealt to the peoples of Afghanistan we might ask?
While some senior military officers have been outraged at the murder it cannot be detached from the actual function of the imperialist army and the colonial and racist institution it is. The imperialists have usually observed the Geneva Convention when they choose to apply it to combatants from other imperialist nations, but when it comes to peoples struggling against the subjugation of their country to the imperialists they tend to blatantly ignore the rules. Hitler openly proclaimed this in his war against the Soviet Union in 1941, claiming his war against Bolshevism was a racial one which required the Red Army soldiers to be exterminated. Imperialist countries such as Britain, America and Japan have behaved no differently over the last century. People in Kenya and Ireland have suffered racist oppression and persecution by occupying British forces to name only two cases which have been bought to the attention of the public recently. Millions across the planet suffered at the hands of British imperialism and it is by no means over as Afghanistan shows.
The development of the nation of Afghanistan has over the century been hampered by the occupation and interference of Britain, Russia, the USA and Britain yet again. However the people of Afghanistan have always risen up to fight their foreign oppressors which has either led to stalemate or a defeat for the occupiers. The British public appear to oppose the occupation of Afghanistan but on the whole it may not be for anti imperialist reasons and only out of concern for the British troops, it is difficult to judge. In a BBC survey conducted in 2009 it found 56% of people questioned were against the operations by the British in Afghanistan. This may or may not have been as a result of rising British casualties.
The people of one country cannot themselves be free if they oppress another, said Karl Marx in regard to Britain’s occupation of Ireland. British troops are not ‘our boys’ or ‘our troops’ they are the soldiers of the British state, they defend and maintain the interests of that state and its military economic power in the world and the capitalist system it maintains exploiting the working class, the poor and sections of the middle class. The British troops would be deployed against people in Britain if there was major challenge to the authority of the British state or its economic interests. This was the case during the General Strike in 1926 and as we have witnessed in recent years the deployment of troops in the ‘Green Goddess’ auxiliary fire service to effectively break Fire fighters strikes against unfair work conditions. Britain does not have a conscript army, it is a professional army based on voluntary entry, Most who join therefore have an ideological commitment to maintaining British dominance and imperialism, committed to the defence of the interests of the ruling class which are in direct contradiction to the interests of the working class and the majority of working people in Britain and Afghanistan. Some people of course do join the army in order to learn a trade and are less committed ideologically. However they are all mercenaries of the British imperialist state. We should give what solidarity we can to the Afghani people fighting the British army and other NATO armies. We must defend the right of the Afghani people to take up arms against the British army. The ‘Stop the War Coalition’ which is at the forefront of opposing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has failed to do this.
Most of the left appears to echo the propaganda against the Afghani struggle for national liberation. The media and human rights groups are quick to point out the lack of equality regarding women in Afghanistan, but this patriarchal culture has a long history in the country and is not exclusive to the rule of the Taliban, who actually alleviated some of the worst treatment of woman by the rule of the Mujahideen warlords such as prostitution and rape, which was a regime backed by the West.
Eurocentric colonial arrogance is a powerful tool by the imperialists used to justify their occupation including when it comes from Human Rights groups claiming civilised Westerners can ‘liberate’ the people of Afghanistan, indeed Amnesty International (which is selective about human rights abuses which it wishes to highlight) claimed in a poster that NATO was liberating the woman of Afghanistan with the slogan ‘NATO: keep the progress going’! The traditionalism of the Taliban is of course not progressive but the country cannot progress when it is oppressed by imperialist nations who prevent any development in the peoples interests and murder and terrorise them.
Just as with the struggle of the people in Ireland who were branded ‘terrorists’ by the state and media, so too are the struggle of Afghanistan today. The left in Britain was on the whole not very supportive of the struggle in Ireland against British rule, afraid of offending the British state. This should not occur again, we should state clearly that the struggle of the Afghani people is a just one that deserves support. All people who oppose this war and aggression against other nations and all progressive forces should defend the struggle of the Afghani people against the British Military. We should attempt to uncover and expose the murderous actions of the British army against the Afghani people. We should oppose any attempts by those known to be guilty of murdering Afghanis to be acquitted, we should challenge the leaders of Stop the War to take a clear stand on the struggle of the people of Afghanistan against the British military.
Workers and oppressed people of all countries unite!
Solidarity with the struggle of the Afghani people against the British-Nato military!Britain out of Afghanistan!
Victory to the people of Afghanistan

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