THE ‘row’ that left an Afghan officer cadet dead and three NATO troops injured at the UK-established ‘Sandhurst in the Sand’ in Helmand province has brought more than a touch of the ridiculous to the UK’s Afghan operations.
It has put an end to the attempt to portray a historic defeat in Afghanistan as some orderly withdrawal from the Afghan quagmire, leaving something behind for the future.
The Afghans carry their history with them. They know that all former British interventions into Afghanistan resulted in defeats for imperialism, with even Winston Churchill advising his successors never to intervene in Afghanistan.
Today’s generation of Afghan fighters would have lived in shame if they had failed to emulate their illustrious predecessors by driving the British out yet again.
The idea of a UK Sandhurst in the desert teaching the Afghans how to fight is itself a joke, with the biggest belly-laugh being the fact that one of the lectures was on the failed British invasion of 1839, when only one British soldier survived, and tens of thousands of British and Indian troops and dependants were slaughtered.
Now, with the killings at the college, this latest pipe-dream of the British officer class training a pro-British officer corps that they would leave behind them has collapsed.
That the Taleban will not tolerate any US-UK troops remaining in Afghanistan is obvious.
This is what has emerged out of the US swoops to arrest leading Taleban officials who have been leading the discussions with President Karzai over the composition of the post UK-US withdrawal government, in particular how many Taleban ministers there are to be.
This is also why Karzai has not been able to grant any US troops, who were to remain in Afghanistan after the general withdrawal begins, immunity from prosecution for war crimes.
The future of US troops in Afghanistan after 2014 will be decided by an assembly of tribal elders in late November, its organisers have said, setting a date for the verdict on the long-delayed bilateral deal held up by disputes over key provisions.
A draft pact known as the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) was hammered out in Kabul last weekend by US Secretary of State John Kerry. But he left without a final deal as Afghan President Hamid Karzai said only the assembly, the Loya Jirga, had the authority to decide contentious issues.
These include a US demand to retain legal jurisdiction over its troops in Afghanistan, which would give them immunity from Afghan law. The request appeared to have been resolved this summer, but emerged as the main sticking point after Kerry’s visit.
‘The BSA is very important, it has many details and has several chapters over 32 pages,’ Sadeq Mudaber, one of the organisers, told a meeting with journalists and dignitaries.
‘Now it is time to present it to the people of Afghanistan with all its details and get their consultation on it.’
The United States says it cannot agree to a deal unless it is granted the right to try in the United States its citizens who break the law in Afghanistan.
The tentative date set for the Loya Jirga, November 19-21, will further test US patience. Officials previously said they wanted the BSA in place by the end of October to give the US-led NATO coalition of troops time to implement plans for 2015.
The truth is that all Afghans are determined to see all US-UK troops leave their country, this is why they will not grant them immunity from prosecution.
As the pictures of British troops giving Nazi salutes in Afghanistan show, the Afghan war has demoralised and brutalised the British forces.
They will be coming home to a capitalist country in crisis where the Tory government, the police chiefs and the army officer class are openly quarrelling with each other and where the ordinary people are being turned into paupers.
British workers must celebrate the victory of the Afghan people over imperialism.
The best way to celebrate it is by overthrowing the British ruling class with a socialist revolution, in order to go forward to socialism along with the workers of the world.