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If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/18-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-g20-meeting-age-of-enttilement-engineers-attack-of-austerity-hardship-on-civilians.mp3 (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2014/02/11/john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-2/ (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/4-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-end-of-the-age-of-entitlement-for-the-needy-but-pandering-to-the-lusts-of-the-greedy.mp3 (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole
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Sick kids and paying upfront

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Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (0)

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Afghanistan: Neither the US nor Jehadies and the Taliban

So Barack Obama is going to double the number of US troops in Afghanistan.  He will make the 1 million innocents killed in Iraq look like a footnote to history as he unchains and unleashes the world’s most ferocious killing machine on Afghans and Pakistanis. So much for change you can believe in.  Obama is, like Bush before him, just another commander in chief of terror.

Why double US troop numbers in Afghanistan? First, let me say it has nothing to do with fighting terrorists.  It is in part an attempt to overcome the Iraq syndrome.

The defeat of Western imperialism in Iraq is almost complete.  Obama will withdraw US troops ‘responsibily’.

However Obama has learnt  the lessons of the past.  His proposed troop ‘surge’ in Afghanistan is an attempt to overcome the US defeat in Iraq.  Rather than withdrawing from interventions around the world as US imperialism did after its defeat in Vietnam (for ten years at least), Obama is shifting the focus of the battle to Afghanistan, a poor backward country dominated by Islamists and warlords in constantly shifting alliances.

Imperialism is the economic battle between major capitalist powers.  Militarily this is often fought out through proxies and invasions of poor or weak countries.  Thus the invasion of Iraq was part of the wider American imperialist plan to control the Middle East (with the unsinkable US aircraft carrier Israel also a major component of that plan) and so to control the supply of energy to its imperialist competitors, especially China.  (This in part explains  China’s turn to Africa and the search there for allies and oil, gas and other resources.)

The invasion of Iraq was also supposed to send a message to China and Europe that the US is the dominant global  economic power  and will use its military might to retain that dominant position.  Its defeat in Iraq shows the limits of US power, not its invincibility.  So US imperialism needs a quick victory to overcome that defeat.

But Afghanistan is just a dumb target.  The West cannot win there.  Of course, Obama’s forces might capture or kill Bin Laden – Bush could have done so but did not want to –  but Bin Laden is largely irrelevant now in the Islamist fight against  the US. His arrest or death will make good copy but will mask the reality of the failure of the imperialist strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Russian imperialists invaded Afghanistan in 1979.  Ten years and a million troops later the Russians withdrew in defeat.  This victory of the Afghan resistance contributed to the magnificent “peoples’ movements”  across the USSR and Eastern Europe which saw Stalinism smashed in political (but not economic) revolutions .  Those revolutions have changed the world.

I supported the Afghan resistance in its struggle against Russian imperialism.  This  is because it is not Islamists or tribal warlords who are the greatest threat to the world. It is the economic and military competition between imperialisms that threatens us all. The defeat of imperialism (Russian, British,  American, Chinese, European, even Australian) is a step forward for humanity.

For example the Stalinists and nationalists in Vietnam had my support in their struggle against US imperialism despite the fact they massacred my political brothers and sisters.  The Stalinist battle against (and subsequent defeat of ) US imperialism won them independence and helped radicalise some of western society during the sixties. It forced the US to withdraw into itself and not invade anywhere for another eleven years.  The world was a better place for that silencing of the guns of  US imperialism.

Some will criticise me for siding with reactionaries.  Hmm…  To imagine US or Australian imperialism as civilised is to be blind to reality.  In Iraq for example the consequences of the US invasion are over 1 million dead.  This is the equivalent of September 11 every week.  This barbarism is the essence of military imperialism, whether it be for example in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Tibet, the Solomon Islands or East Timor.

But the battle is more complex than that.  The liberation of the people of a country can only be the act of those people. (Iraq shows that in the negative, and Afghanistan will too.) That means opposing imperialism and the forces of reaction. Liberation does not grow  from the barrel of a US gun nor from the mouth of a mullah.

The  Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (or RAWA), no disinterested observer of the situation in their  country (unlike the faux feminists of the Western media) said this, in a statement made in October last year on the 7th anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan.

Neither the US nor Jehadies and Taliban, Long Live the Struggle of Independent and Democratic Forces of Afghanistan!

Seven years back the US government and its allies were successfully able to legitimize their military invasion on Afghanistan and deceive the people of the US and the world under the banners of “liberating Afghan women”, “democracy” and “war on terror”. Our people, who had been tormented and oppressed by the Taliban’s dominance, were filled with hope but soon their dream of the establishment of security, democracy and freedom was shattered in the most painful manner.

By the installation of the puppet government of Karzai, the US reused its creations and continued its deal with the Jehadi criminal warlords. From the very start, Mr. Karzai shunned the demands and trusts of the people and chose to compromise with the criminals of the “Northern Alliance” and placed the filthiest faces in the key posts of the government. In contradiction to the shameless claims of the ministers and other treacherous and corrupt officials, our people feel more ill-fated; the country has been turned to a mafia state and self-immolation, rape and abduction of women and children has no parallel in the history of Afghanistan.

… The reality is that till now a big part of the aid have fattened the wallets and waists of the mafias of the “Northern Alliance”, national and international NGOs and the corrupt governmental authorities. The people of the world should know that their aid is going to a government composed of fundamentalist criminals and technocrats who are also secret agents and corrupt to the marrow of bone and their aid has no benefit for the common people of Afghanistan.

The day to day expansion of the power of Taliban reflects the real nature of the “war on terror” which has empowered the roots of fundamentalist terrorism more than ever. This is only a showcase to justify the long military presence of the US in our country and in the region. The result of this war has been such a huge failure that even political and military officials of the US and other countries have mentioned it very explicitly several times.

Instead of removing the cancerous lump of the Taliban and their Jehadi brothers from the framework of Afghanistan, the troops of the US and its allies are bombarding wedding and joy parties and showering bullets on our oppressed people, especially women and children. Furthermore, when such crimes are exposed they shamelessly and haughtily deny them, and when the matter is proved, an arrogant “sorry” is offered, which pours more salt on the wounds of the people.

As we have declared many times, the US government has no and will not have any genuine concern for the condition of freedom, democracy and women’s rights in Afghanistan. It is ready to accept a more corrupt, destructive and anti-democratic government than the one in power now, provided that its stooges are the rulers. Therefore today, some top criminals are being consistently freed from the prison. This clearly shows that “democracy” and “freedom of women” do not hold even an iota of value for the US administration and its allies in Afghanistan. They are planning to install a government made up of Talib and Gulbuddini criminals; Khalqi and Parchami Quislings; lackeys of the blood thirsty Iranian regime from the “National Front”; and some other reactionary and treasonous elements related to the intelligence services of the West, so that even without direct military presence they would be able to control the country and save the country from becoming Iraq where the people rose against the US forces and its allies. If the US argues that it has not committed treachery, with the establishment of a government woven of the dirtiest enemies in the history of Afghanistan, they have committed the biggest possible treason against the Afghan nation, and they will not be able to justify this with any kinds of fabrications and cheatings.

Forgetting their foremost duty of giving awareness, a portion of the intellectuals of our country are engaged in shameful deeds of creating and igniting the ethnic, religious and linguistic differences among people on which the occupations are pouring fuel too. Some have taken this to such a level of disgrace that they believe the Taliban to be the rescuing forces; and the band of the murderers and agents of the “National Front”, and the groups attached to the US and NATO to be the sources of prosperity.

The Afghan intellectuals who see the remedy of freedom from the captivity of Taliban and Jehadis as leaning on the US have no idea about the history of the US; more importantly about the bourn of Afghanistan in the past seven years. Neither can they present a single example of a country that had gained freedom and democracy with the help of the US military invasion nor can they bury the secrets of the bloody wars and invasions of the US in different parts of the world. Thus, the mentioned intellectuals are practically known as “agents of CIA” in the political scenario of Afghanistan.

RAWA strongly believes that there should be no expectation of either the US or any other country to present us with democracy, peace and prosperity. Our freedom is only achievable at the hands of our people. It is the duty of all the intellectuals, all the democratic forces and progressive and independence-seeking people to rise in a constant and decisive struggle for independence and democracy by taking the support of our wounded people as the independent force, against the presence of the US and its allies and the domination of Jehadi and Taliban criminals. Combating against the armed and alien forces in the country without being loud-mouthed against the Talibi and Jehadi enemies would mean welcoming the misfortunes of fascism and religious mafia. Also, struggling against this enemy without fighting the military presence of the US, its allies and its puppet government would mean falling before foreign agents. The path of the freedom-fighters of our country without doubt, will be very complex, difficult and bloody; but if our demand is to be freed from the chains of the slavery of foreigners and their Talib and Jehadi lackeys, we should not fear trial or death to become triumphant.

Neither the US nor Jehadies and Taliban, Long Live the Struggle of Independent and Democratic forces of Afghanistan!

The other reasons for bolstering US troops in Afghanistan are to help in the long term strategic aim of encircling China and ensuring future energy supplies can run through Afghanistan under a complaint puppet regime in Kabul.

The victory of the independent and democratic forces of Afghanistan against the foreign invaders and Jihadis and Taliban would be a dramatic advance for humanity (and women in particular) and a major  set back for the murder machine that is US imperialism.

So let’s join with RAWA in their call for a victory for the independent and democratic forces of Afghanistan.

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Comments

Comment from Peter Quinn
Time January 29, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Obama will do war in Afghanistan like Bush could never have done! This is better than Nixon opening up China. Now lets see how fast he gets America out of Iraq. 16 months? Not a chance. They’ll be there for decades, and the left will blame it on Bush. Obama could murder his own children and the left would blame it on Bush.

Comment from John Passant
Time January 29, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Peter

I agree. I was trying to rebut the idea it is all Bush’s fault. For foreign policy that excuse might work (although killing innocent Pakistanis, as Obama did a few days ago might disabuse some of Obama’s goodness and purity and Christ like features.) But for the economy?

Unemployment in the US and elsewhere is rising rapidly and people expect Obama to fix it now. Of course he can argue it will take time, but by year 3 of his Presidency this isn’t going to cut much ice.

I’ve been thinking about this in an Australian context. Maybe, as unemployment worsens markedly, Rudd is a oncer?

Anyway, back on topic, the US invasion of and brutality in Afghanistan is driving popular support to the Taliban.

Comment from Peter Quinn
Time January 29, 2009 at 3:13 pm

John, we finally agree. Obama will be the Jimmy Carter of the 21st Century. But he’ll still be reelected, since he can do no wrong, even when he does wrong. And, boy, will he do wrong!

Comment from John Passant
Time January 29, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Peter

Have you read my ‘Barack Obama is not Jesus Christ’ article on this blog? I think you’ll find a lot you can agree with there.

4 years is a long time. More people might see by then that the emperor has no clothes.

Carter only lasted one term.

Comment from Peter Quinn
Time January 29, 2009 at 8:38 pm

John dear, but nobody confused Jimmy Carter with the great Jesus H. Christ!

Comment from John Passant
Time January 29, 2009 at 9:13 pm

True, but soem of Obama;s supporters appear to have done so! The headline was for dramatic effect, to rebut this unseemly worship (or deification?) of Obama the man.

.

Comment from Chris Ives
Time February 9, 2009 at 9:59 am

May I ask where you pulled the 1 million dead in Iraq statistic from?

I assume this includes those killed in terrorist attacks carried out by various groups, blaming this on the West serves no purpose.

Comment from Chris Ives
Time February 9, 2009 at 10:01 am

May I ask where you pulled the 1 million dead in Iraq statistic from?

I assume this includes those killed in terrorist attacks carried out by various groups, blaming this on the West is a bit of a stretch. The underlying hostilities between the Sunni and the Shiites was always present, you cannot blame their actions on the West.