US and UK cannot win Afghan hearts and minds!


THE massacres of the Afghan civilian population by air and missile attacks continue, proving that imperialist armies are in the business of mass murder, and have not got the outlook, the principles, or the cause to enable them to seriously try to win the hearts and minds of any people, no mind the long-suffering Afghan people.

At least 27 civilians died in a NATO air strike in southern Afghanistan, in Uruzgan province, on Sunday, the third mis-strike

NATO said it hit a suspected insurgent convoy, but ground forces later found ‘a number of individuals killed and wounded’, including women and children.

Sunday’s attack was not part of the major NATO-led push in neighbouring Helmand province. It was just another routine operation to try an cow the Afghan people.

Since the end of the Second World War, the various ‘small scale’ imperialist wars have been associated with slaughter.

Whether it was the slaughter of refugees in Korea by the UN forces supposedly to try to kill the thousands of North Korean infiltrators that were alleged to be travelling with the refugee families . . .

Or the slaughter of Kenyans in the Hola and other camps during the Mau Mau ‘emergency’. In the camps suspected Mau Mau were either tortured or hung, while British generals like Frank Kitson learnt their skills organising ‘black on black’ gangs to fight the Mau Mau.

There was no heart and minds campaign there, and there was no evidence of any such campaign either in Vietnam or during the ‘emergencies’ in Aden, Cyprus and the north of Ireland.

Capitalism remains based on the brutal exploitation of the working class, while its imperialist stage rests on the mass murder of the subject peoples in order to rob them of their natural resources.

In a period where imperialism is weakening, the slaughter if anything becomes more frenzied.

The idea, therefore, of a successful hearts and minds campaign in Afghanistan, where Britain has has already lost three wars, is a sick joke.

The Afghan government condemned Sunday’s air strike in Uruzgan province, calling it ‘unjustifiable’ and ‘a major obstacle’ to effective counter-terrorism efforts.

The Afghan cabinet also called on NATO ‘to closely co-ordinate and exercise maximum care before conducting any military operation so that any possible mistakes that may result in harming civilians . . . can be avoided’. It could do nothing else.

However, the masses of western Europe know, not only that this war is unjust, but also that it cannot be won by anybody except the Afghans.

This understanding is what is behind the collapse of the Dutch government last weekend. It could not agree to extend the Dutch troops’ presence in Afghanistan beyond this August.

Yesterday, the Dutch acting-Prime Minister made a statement that Dutch troops will be leaving Afghanistan.

There is no doubt that the majority of the British people, and, no doubt, the British troops in Afghanistan, want the UK to follow the Dutch example.

This is where the TUC must be forced to move into action. It must be made to launch a national campaign for the withdrawal of all UK troops from Afghanistan and the Gulf, and to tell the Labour government that unless it follows the Dutch example the anger of the working class will bring it down.

This situation of economic and political crisis, in reality, constitutes the death agony of capitalism and imperialism.

The situation requires a workers government that will put an end to imperialist war, and expropriate the bosses and bankers at home to bring in a planned socialist economy.