WHILE the Taliban’s top political leaders arrived in Afghanistan to take control of the country, British MPs held an emergency debate in Parliament yesterday that consisted of nothing more than impotent whinging at the historic defeat of US and UK imperialism at the hands of the Taliban.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson opened the debate with a derisory attempt to try and assert that British imperialism had some strength left to dictate to the new Afghan government. He huffed and puffed like a real ‘paper tiger’!
He said that although the Tory government must face the ‘reality of a change of regime in Afghanistan’ the UK, along with its imperialist allies, would refuse to recognise the Taliban government until it meets conditions set by the West.
This arrogant bluster was empty, as if UK imperialism is in any position to dictate to the Taliban government! The reality is that US and British imperialism have been completely and utterly defeated and humiliated by the Afghan people and are in no position to dictate terms to anyone.
Not that you would know this from the contributions of Tory MPs and their allies on the Labour benches.
Indeed the Tory party is split between those who favoured keeping troops in Afghanistan and carry on bombing the country indefinitely and those who criticised the US and UK governments for leaving without a plan.
No one could explain what plan could have held back the victory of the Taliban who, despite being militarily vastly inferior to the puppet regime’s army, swept to victory with the overwhelming support of the Afghan people, after the imperialist powers were forced to withdraw and scurry out of the country like rats to avoid a trap of their own making.
This didn’t stop Tory MP Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the Parliamentary defence committee, from whining that the retreat in Afghanistan is an ‘operational strategic blunder’ and that it left the West a ‘little weaker’, calling for an independent inquiry into the decision to leave.
Workers will be of the opinion that if Tory MPs are so keen to carry on with the war in Afghanistan then they should consider raising a Tory Party ‘foreign legion’ to go out and fight the Taliban themselves.
In fact the imperialist adventure to impose a puppet regime in Afghanistan 20 years ago was a repeat of much earlier defeated attempts to invade the country.
British troops invaded Afghanistan in 1838, seizing the capital Kabul and installing its own puppet ruler Shah Shuja to make the country part of the British empire. A massive insurrection in 1841 toppled Shuja and British troops were forced to withdraw from Kabul with about 4,500 soldiers retreating to India.
Out of the 4,500, only one man survived that march to tell the tale of the greatest ever defeat inflicted on the British army. This happened when British imperialism really was all powerful and dominated the world. Today history is repeating itself, not as tragedy but as farce.
From being the most powerful imperialist country in the world, British capitalism today is a caricature of past glories that live on only in the minds of increasingly demented MPs.
Imperialism is incapable of learning from the past, but the working class must learn the lessons of this latest example of the weakness of not just British imperialism but also of the US.
In America, president Joe Biden has been reduced to explaining to the public that US capitalism was too weak to afford troops in Afghanistan in an ‘unwinnable war’, and that the blame for this defeat was down to the ‘cowardice’ of his puppet regime there.
The lesson for the working class in Britain and America is that capitalism in its final stage of imperialist decay is a ‘paper tiger’, and that the job begun by the Afghans in 1803, and continued in 2021, has to be finished off by the UK and US working class seizing power to bring in socialism.
In Britain, this means building up the WRP and the YS rapidly to force the TUC to organise a general strike to bring down the Tories. This will create the conditions for a socialist revolution to go forward to a workers’ government and socialism. This struggle will unite the working people of the world!