IT’S official. The western imperialist states are engaged in a ‘war against terror’, which they have been waging since the Bush-Blair axis was formed after September 11 2001, that they cannot win, and which, by definition are bound to lose, unless they can reach an accommodation with their opponents.
The author of this defeatist thesis is not the ‘Stop The War’ movement, but none other than the Chief of Staff of the British armed forces, General Sir David Richards.
His recognition of the situation comes nine years after the invasion of Afghanistan to destroy the Taleban and kill Osama bin Laden, objectives which have been beyond them.
Tens of thousands of Afghan men, women and children have been killed, but the Taleban are stronger than ever.
Recently, the US provided safe passage to a senior Taleban leader through Afghanistan, so that he could have a serious discussion with the Afghan government on the issue of the Taleban forming a coalition with President Karzai to govern Afghanistan!
Osama bin Laden has proven to be invulnerable as far as the ‘death squads’ of US imperialism and its deadly drones are concerned, and Al Qaeda as we have just found out is one of the forces that cannot be beaten.
In March 2003, the ‘Shock and Awe’ campaign was begun to destroy Iraq, and seize its oil resources.
This was organised by Bush and Blair on the basis that the attack on the Twin Towers, and the ‘War on Terror’ provided a golden opportunity to attack Iraq, and seize its oil wealth, despite the fact that its secular leadership was completely opposed to the Taleban and Al Qaeda.
As a consequence of this action, over one million Iraqis have been slaughtered, four million have been turned into refugees, the infrastructure of the country has been destroyed, its people have been subjected to the atrocities of Abu Ghraib, pro-Iranian militias are running parts of the country and government, while Al Qaeda has been able to establish itself and is busy slaughtering Christians and and Shi’ites.
The results of the ‘War on Terror’ have been a complete disaster for imperialism and have proven to be a powerful recruiter and builder of Al Qaeda worldwide.
Now the British military, having been driven out of Basra with its tail between its legs, and fearful that the same experience is on the way in Afghanistan, has declared that its chosen war is one that cannot be won and, by implication, an accommodation will have to be reached with its targets of the last ten years.
Yesterday, General Sir David Richards wrote in the Telegraph that Islamist militancy would pose a threat to the UK for at least 30 years but added: ‘First of all you have to ask: do we need to defeat Islamist militancy in the sense of a clear-cut victory?
‘I would argue that it is unnecessary and would never be achieved.
‘But can we contain it to the point that our lives and our children’s lives are led securely? I think we can.’
The ‘best weapon’ in the battle ahead turns out to be ‘education and democracy,’ which in fact was exactly the reason that Blair and Bush gave for the invasion of both Afghanistan and Iraq.
The UK trade unions must launch a massive campaign for the immediate withdrawal of all UK troops from Afghanistan the Middle East and the Gulf.
They must also warn the armed forces chiefs that if they think that they will be able to return to the UK to support the coalition and act as strike breakers, to think again, since their defeat at home will be even more shattering than their experiences in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and could prove terminal for the UK armed forces.