THE news that the death toll of British soldiers in Afghanistan passed the 400 mark this week has been greeted with outpourings of grief from the coalition government and the Labour opposition along with the army high command, who have all collectively come unstuck in the most massive way possible, with Afghan civilians and their soldiers paying the price.
These are the very same people who were gung-ho in sending these very same troops into Afghanistan in 2006, after losing hundreds of soldiers in Iraq, and after being run out of Basra by the Mahdi Army, saying publicly that they did not think a shot would be fired in anger in Afghanistan.
Millions of shots later, the UK ruling class is clinging to the coat-tails of US imperialism and getting used to the idea that in the not too distant future they will have to deal with a Taleban government in Kabul.
This is what is really causing the display of grief amongst US and British imperialists. They are facing ignominious defeat at the hands of the Afghan people.
Their ‘withdrawal’ will immediately signal the end of the puppet Karzai regime.
However, it would be a grave mistake to suppose that, having suffered a defeat in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the imperialist nations will draw back from further murderous military adventures throughout the world.
On the contrary, the economic crisis of the international capitalist system – which drove imperialism to invade Iraq for its oil and Afghanistan for its strategic importance – has deepened since these countries were illegally invaded, to the point where the very survival of world capitalism is driving them to attempt to re-order the entire world.
Only through the physical domination of the world’s resources and markets can capitalism hope to survive and prevent revolution at home. The UK ruling class is prepared to sacrifice millions of soldiers and civilians to achieve these strategic tasks. In fact, they consider that the millions of dead of all nations that this will require will constitute ‘a price worth paying’.
This is the stark message being delivered by the likes of Senator John McCain, who is leading the Republican charge for the US to bomb Syria, while America’s attack dog in the region, Israel, is openly preparing war against Iran – a war that the Obama regime has already signalled it will join in, on the side of its client state.
In Libya, British and French imperialism bombed the Gadaffi government out of power and paved the way for the complete break-up of the country, leaving it in the hands of warring counter-revolutionary militias who are wreaking havoc and bringing untold destruction to the Libyan people.
None of this matters to the imperialists since they have secured the oil wealth of the country for themselves.
This is capitalism in its death agony, striking out at the working class at home through the destruction of wages, jobs and welfare provision, at the same time as waging merciless war on the ex-colonial countries for their resources.
The truth is that the common enemy of the working class in Britain and the peoples of Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Libya and the entire world is imperialism, in particular British imperialism, its coalition government and the bankrupt capitalist system that it serves.
The working class of Britain must stand fast with the people of the world against British imperialism.
Workers must demand that their leaders in the TUC take a decisive stand against this common enemy to make sure that the Afghan military adventure is its last, and that the plan to smash the NHS and the Welfare State is defeated.
The TUC must be forced to call a general strike to bring down the coalition and replace it with a workers government and socialism, to end all the attacks on workers at home and end all the military adventures abroad.