Friday, August 27, 2021

Afghanistan Crisis: Statements by Communist Parties

Since the beginning of the rapid developments in Afghanistan and the comeback of Taliban in the power, Communist and Workers' Parties from all over the world have issued statements concerning the situation in the country. 
The vast majority of statements refer to the disastrous role of US-EU imperialism, the military intervention in 2001, as well as the immense responsibilities of the U.S. and European governments for supporting the rise of Taliban in the 1980s, primary in the war against the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. 

Read here the statement of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE)

Read here the joint statement by the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India (Marxist). 

Other Statements:

Party of Labour, Austria (PdA)

On the developments in Afghanistan

The developments in Afghanistan confirm the reactionary and for the peoples devastating character of imperialist wars and interventions. The fall of the Afghan puppet government and the return of the Islamist Taliban movement to power after the withdrawal of the US and NATO occupation forces of course mean a continuation of the sufferings of the Afghan people caused by the uninterrupted interference of imperialist forces in the country for decades.

The US and NATO intervention, which started in 2001 under the pretext of “war against terrorism” and “collective defence” under Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, served the interests of the US in this strategically important region. For twenty years, the USA, together with its NATO partners, controlled this crucial crossroads in the neighbourhood of Russia and China. However, the planned end of their military presence, agreed with the Taliban, which we are witnessing today, also serves their interests. They leave behind a highly destabilized country where the different and competing interests of the Taliban, various tribal leaders and warlords meet with those of neighbouring powers such as China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, India, Iran, Turkey, Qatar. Moreover, the USA can now deploy forces and resources in other regions where they best serve its interests in the context of its competition with China.

Austrian governments of every composition also bear responsibility for today’s situation by supporting the US and NATO intervention both politically and militarily. Even though there has been no Austrian military presence in Afghanistan in recent years, the Austrian army continues to participate in numerous imperialist interventions that not only have devastating consequences for the peoples concerned, but also entangle our country in imperialist antagonisms, posing great dangers to our people. At the same time, the present government is pursuing an inhuman asylum policy that denies all protection and security to the victims of imperialist wars and interventions.

The hypocritical concern of bourgeois governments and media about the fate of the people and especially women in Afghanistan contrasts with their open or covert support for reactionary governments in other countries as well as the Taliban themselves and their predecessors when they fought the revolutionary forces and internationalist Soviet aid in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

In Afghanistan, it is once again clear that the struggle against reactionary, backward movements and solidarity with the oppressed and the refugees cannot be separated from the struggle against imperialist interventions and the capitalist system itself that creates them. As long as the imperialist system and capital interests dominate the world, it will also be possible for forces like the Taliban to do their mischief.

Vienna, 23 August 2021.

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Tudeh Party of Iran

We stand with the people and patriotic and progressive forces of Afghanistan at this precarious and difficult time and declare our active solidarity with their struggle for peace, democracy and human rights.

The fall of Kabul and return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan on Sunday, August 15, is a colossal tragedy for its people. The designs of the G7 capitalist powers over the past forty years are the main factor and bear the main responsibility for this calamity. The financing and arming of Afghanistan's Islamist "Mujahedeen" groups by the CIA, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan's military rulers in the late 1970s, following the victory of the Saur (April) Revolution in Afghanistan, was aimed at undermining and bringing down the government of the People's Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. At the end of the 1970s, global imperialism was in no way willing to accept a change in the balance of power in this region or the coming to power of national, progressive and democratic forces. The advancement of this plan paved the way for the growth of a variety of reactionary "jihadist" groups who enjoyed Saudi funds to impair any progressive socio-political change in West Asia. The government of the People's Democratic Republic of Afghanistan aimed to create a new and modern society through the implementation of national development policies, alleviation of poverty, and the elimination of socio-economic underdevelopment underpinned by the feudal system that had held sway in the country before the Saur Revolution. However, Western-backed reactionary Islamists in Afghanistan expressed their overt hostility to democratic human rights and freedoms as enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, especially those pertaining to women and children. The reactionary policies of the new Iranian regime after the February 1979 Revolution, along with the [1977] military coup in Pakistan that brought to power General Zia-ul-Haq, the instrument of British imperialism, and saw the execution [in 1979] of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, were other major factors contributing to the formation of events around Afghanistan.

The Soviet military's entry into Afghanistan at the repeated requests of its government [to uphold the fraternal Treaty of Friendship between the two neighbours] to help counter the violent insurgency of Islamic fundamentalists in the country, took place amidst an already underway unannounced war which was launched in coordination between the United States, Britain, Pakistan, and their reactionary allies in Afghanistan. The imperialist powers and their allies intensified their arming and full support of Islamic fundamentalist groups under the pretext of the Soviet presence in Afghanistan, which they themselves had laid the groundwork for.

The withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989 and the efforts of the central government of Afghanistan to establish an inclusive government of national reconciliation made no difference to the warmongering intent and policies of the Western states, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the Islamic Republic of Iran in support of "jihadist" forces. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the cessation of its economic assistance to Afghanistan, and the intensification of the Islamic fundamentalists' activities, the Islamic Mujahedeen finally arrived in Kabul in spring 1992. From that point onwards, Afghanistan became embroiled in a civil war between Islamist forces that controlled various areas of Afghanistan, similar to the situation that followed years later in Libya after the collapse of Muammar Gaddafi's government.

In the 1990s, when Afghanistan's Islamist forces operated under the ward of Western states, human rights abuses in the country, and the cultivation of opium and production of derivatives such as heroin for export to the world - a source of huge income for these groups - expanded massively.

In the autumn of 1996, the Taliban seized Kabul and announced the establishment of an Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The Taliban demonstrated the continuation of the previous Mujahedeen regime's criminal policies by its heinous executions - including the torture and dismemberment of Dr. Najibullah, the former president of Afghanistan, along with his brother, who had taken refuge in the United Nations administrative complex in Kabul.

During the five years of the Taliban's medieval Islamic state, the social achievements of the People’s Democratic Republic of Afghanistan in health, housing, education, and women's emancipation were completely eradicated and a reverse trend began. Afghanistan became a training center for the region's most reactionary Islamist forces, including al-Qaeda.

The cost of the coalition's occupation of Afghanistan from 2001 to 2021 is estimated to be around $2 trillion - money that was taken from the pockets of the people in countries supporting the coalition and put into the pockets of the imperialist military-industrial-service complexes. During these 20 years, tens of thousands of people died or were displaced in Afghanistan, and thousands of those from the state and private military forces of the occupiers lost their lives. And, in the end, the rapid withdrawal of the Western military forces - the very same forces that had in effect kept the corrupt pro-U.S. house-of-cards government in Afghanistan in power - led to the fleeing of President Ashraf Ghani, the collapse of the Afghan government, and the Taliban's return to power via the brokering of Hamid Karzai, Abdullah Abdullah and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. The reinstalling of the Taliban state in Afghanistan is based on the fully calculated agreement reached between the Trump administration and the reactionary leadership of the Taliban on March 1, 2020. This tragedy will lead to a greater humanitarian catastrophe, the signs of which - including the fear that grips the people of Afghanistan and their attempts to flee the country - can already be witnessed in cities across the land.

The collapse of the Afghan government is clear evidence of the fallacy of the notion of external intervention to change a regime or help it survive. The Tudeh Party of Iran has always maintained that the imposition of puppet governments by foreign forces cannot guarantee the establishment of democracy or the realisation of people's rights. The fate of Afghanistan (and Iraq) should be a lesson to those who place their hopes in the interventions of the United States and other foreign powers; who proudly have their pictures taken alongside the likes of Mike Pompeo, invite John Bolton to speak at their rallies, and defend Trump's sanctions and "maximum pressure" policy. The people of Afghanistan (and Iran) deserve a peaceful and decent life, not corrupt and weak governments reliant on foreign states - nor the Islamic Emirate of the Taliban, ISIS and the theocratic regime in Iran.

It is clear that neither the United States, nor any other imperialist power, is remotely concerned about the fate of ordinary Afghan citizens - and are only looking after their own interests. In this sense, the words of John Bolton, a militarist and reactionary defender of the Bush and Trump administrations, in an interview with the BBC and Sky News in recent days, is very clear: "Somehow the notion has crept it that we were there to defend Afghanistan [...] that we were there as an act of charity for them [...] It was always a mistake to think that we were there to make Afghanistan the 'Switzerland of Central Asia'. We were not there to build their nation; we were there to protect our nation!" President Joe Biden has also implied that U.S. military forces invaded Afghanistan for their own interests, stayed there for 20 years for their own sake, and are now leaving for their own sake. He added that countering the Taliban is the duty of the Afghan army. And, in recent days, it has become painfully clear that the price of this policy is to be paid by the women, men and children of Afghanistan with their lives and livelihoods. The new wave of displacement and asylum of these tormented people, which Western governments are looking at with "pity", should be of serious humanitarian concern for the world.

In addition to these U.S. and NATO plans - which see the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan ready for their dispatch to the next arena of aggression and destruction - one of the planned consequences of this withdrawal and bringing the reactionary Taliban to power is the creating of major insecurity in Western Asia, especially on the borders of Iran and Central Asian nations, and even Russia and China. At the same time, it appears that in the vacating of Western military forces, a role is now being given to NATO member, Sunni Muslim Turkey, whose ambitious leader envisions the revival of the Ottoman Empire in the new era of his neoliberal policies. Harassment of China's development plans, including the "One Belt - One Road" initiative, is also likely to be another factor and side effect of the recent developments in Afghanistan.

It is now vitally important to recognise - and this should be re-emphasised - that the pawns and puppets of US imperialism, such as Hamid Karzai, Ashraf Ghani, Abdullah Abdullah, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and Zalmay Khalilzad, are not the ones who will open the path to the free and democratic growth and transformation of Afghanistan. Afghanistan and its government have been mired in corruption, embezzlement and tribal rivalries throughout the past thirty years. When the Taliban moved to seize Afghan cities, with the green light of the United States (following the Doha agreement), there was little resistance encountered from the American-trained national army (probably as instructed). In recent decades, there has been no stable and dominant government or order in Afghanistan, and in recent weeks the lives and properties of defenceless people have been abandoned while their mercenary head of state and high officialdom have taken their bags of money and fled the country.

Now, mercenaries like Hamid Karzai, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Abdullah Abdullah are handing over power to the Taliban under the guise of a "Coordination Council" to legitimise the "Islamic Emirate" of these reactionary barbarians. Today, Afghanistan is a striking example of a foreign intervention plan that has led to a humanitarian catastrophe on a parallel with those witnessed in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen.

Such a tragedy should not be allowed to happen again, including in Iran. In these difficult and dangerous circumstances, the Tudeh Party of Iran calls upon all the defenders of peace, democracy, justice and human rights to echo the humanitarian demands of the Afghan people and their supporters against the Taliban's reactionaries and imperialist powers. A government that does not adhere to the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an international treaty for all countries, and does not respect the democratic rights and freedoms of the people - especially women, girls and children - cannot be recognised as a legitimate or defensible government.

The people of Afghanistan and Iran suffer under Islamic fundamentalist and reactionary regimes and are therefore deprived of a decent life. The struggles of these two neighbouring nations for freedom and justice have common goals. We should not allow this struggle to be become subdued. Let the voice of this struggle resound. We stand with the people of Afghanistan and their patriotic and progressive forces at this perilous and difficult time and express our active and steadfast solidarity with their struggle for peace, democracy and human rights.

From Nameh Mardom, the central publication of the Tudeh Party of Iran, No. 1136, August 16, 2021.

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Portuguese Communist Party (PCP)

On the recent developments in Afghanistan

August 17, 2021 

The recent developments in Afghanistan, including the entry of the Taliban in Kabul, regardless of their future evolution, constitute a clear and humiliating defeat for the US, NATO and all those who participated and colluded in their strategy of war and occupation, including successive Portuguese governments – war and occupation that the PCP opportunely denounced and condemned. 

It is worth remembering that more than 40 years of interference and aggression by the US and its allies in Afghanistan, 20 years of which were of invasion and occupation, are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths, destruction, millions of displaced people and refugees, due to the establishment of a regime without legitimacy and undermined by corruption, the transformation of Afghanistan into the world's largest centre of opium production – aspects that are inseparable from the swift outcome of recent days. 

Given the false and cynical concerns about the respect of rights, we should recall that it was the US and its allies that promoted and supported the most backward and obscurantist forces and their violent action against the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, established with the People's Revolution of April 28, 1978, and the Afghan progressive forces. 

We should recall the role of the US and its allies in creating, promoting and supporting groups that are known for their terrorist action, including in Afghanistan, and the cynical invocation of the so-called “war against terrorism” to justify and carry out their strategy of domination. 

Given the new risks and dangers facing Afghanistan, the rights of its people, as well as the Central Asian region, the PCP draws attention to the fact that it is up to the Afghan people – like every people – to solve their problems without external interference and choose their own path of development, helping stop Afghanistan from being used to promote instability in the region. 

The recent developments in Afghanistan reinforce the demand for an end to the interference and aggression carried out by the US, with the support and complicity of its allies, namely NATO, against Syria, Iraq or Yemen, but also its policy of confrontation in international relations, including the end of the illegal and criminal policy of economic sanctions and blockades against countries and peoples. 

The recent developments in Afghanistan also reinforce the demand that Portuguese foreign policy stop being subordinated to the warmongering policy of the US, NATO and the EU, and be guided by respect for the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, the United Nations Charter and International Law. 

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Communist Party of Britain

The Communist Party holds Britain, the US and other Western powers chiefly responsible for the latest tragedy in Afghanistan as Taliban Islamist forces secure their take-over of the country. 

  'These events expose the so-called humanitarian case for imperialist intervention as a travesty and vindicate the stance of the anti-war movement in Britain and internationally', Steve Johnson told the party's political committee on Wednesday evening.

  He declared that Western imperialism and NATO have long been the problem, not any part of the solution. 

  'Not just for the last 20 years', Mr Johnson explained, 'but from the late 1970s and 1980s, when the Western powers and their reactionary allies in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan financed, armed and trained jihadi insurgents in order to bring down the progressive People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan regime and its Soviet backers'.

  As a consequence of US, British and French military intervention, he pointed out, countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria had been plunged into catastrophic chaos and slaughter, while sectarian religious fundamentalism had grown massively in strength.

  The CP political committee called on the British government to provide generous refuge to people fleeing oppression in Afghanistan and urged the labour and progressive movements to stand in solidarity with women and others who are courageously defending democratic and human rights in defiance of the Taliban. 

  'These rights have never been the genuine concern of Western governments, whose real interests are in mineral resources, trades routes and military bases', Steve Johnson insisted.

  'As the climate emergency and the unfair distribution of Covid vaccines confirm, capitalism means continual conflict, war, disease and environmental degradation', he concluded, 'Rosa Luxemburg's prophetic words that humanity's choice is  "Socialism or Barbarism" are more relevant than ever'.

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Communist Party of Pakistan

The story of Taliban occupation of Afghanistan and 1st part of the US imperialist another great game is slowly unfolding.The Afghans and the world is waking up to the new reality every day.

There are more questions than answers.How is it possible Taliban could occupy the whole Afghanistan in 11days while they were fighting 20 years against the US and NATO forces with no real gains? One thing is clear that Doha agreement was to construct the scene of the events and Taliban was handed over the power by US to play a role in the region for the US interests.They will be proxy of US imperialism and the conflict zone and the great game battle field will be extending now not only to the neighbouring Pakistan, Iran and Central Asian countries but Afghanistan and Taliban will be used to protect US interests in the region creating a defence line against China and Russia.

The Taliban rise will be sparking  a new wave of fundamentalist ideology and the progressive, democratic forces of the region will be targeted again.

The Afghans citizen rights, human  rights, the rights of women and children will be again under the hammer of Talibans so called Islamic laws.

The communist Party of Pakistan is watching these events very carefully and we have already appealed to the progressive forces and parties in Pakistan to unite so a strong and fighting force can be formed.

The Communist Party of Pakistan is also appealing to all fraternal communists and workers parties in the world to pressurise their respective governments to not recognise the Taliban regime until a free election is held in Afghanistan and a Democratic government is elected in Afghanistan ensuring the basic human and civic rights for all Afghans specially the rights of Women and children are respected.  

International department.

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Communist Party of Bangladesh  

The Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) has expressed deep concern over the 'dramatic' and dangerous incident of the Taliban's seizure of power in Afghanistan. In a primary statement on the latest developments in Afghanistan issued on 17th August 2021, the CPB President Mujahidul Islam Selim and General Secretary Mohammad Shah Alam said that power had been handed over to the Taliban on the eve of the withdrawal of US troops after 20 years of their aggressive war in Afghanistan. After a long dark period of American occupation in this 'blue-print game' of imperialism, the Afghan people are now facing the darkness of medieval barbarism of the violent fanatical militant Taliban regime. 

While the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan is long desired to the people of that country and to the whole world, the Taliban regime is by no means an alternative. Afghanistan today has been thrown from a boiling pot into a burning furnace. There is a deep conspiracy behind the resurgence of the Taliban. It is also linked to billions of dollars in drug trafficking and illegal arms trade.

In the statement, CPB leaders called the resurgence of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan a serious threat to the security of the whole of South Asia. CPB leaders have called for vigilance against the use of Taliban power in Afghanistan to create tension in South Asia and to "export" Taliban influence to various countries, including Bangladesh.

Hasan Tarique Chowdhury

Head of International Department and member of the Central Committee


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Communist Party of Canada

Two decades ago, the United States invaded Afghanistan, with the support and involvement of Canada and other NATO allies. It was the start of the “War on Terror,” waged in part under the pretext of humanitarian intervention to “liberate” the people of Afghanistan from the Taliban and bring peace, democracy and stability to the region.

It is abundantly clear that US imperialism and its allies have utterly failed to realize any of those stated objectives. Conservative estimates are that nearly 175,000 Afghan people have been killed as a result of the invasion and 20-year occupation, including at least 50,000 civilians. Nearly 7 million people remain displaced. Economic development ranks among the lowest in the world, with one-quarter of the population officially unemployed and more than half live under the poverty line of one dollar per day.

Today, as defeated imperialist forces scramble to leave, the people of Afghanistan remain in a situation of endless suffering.

The issue is not, as some claim, that the US did not do enough to protect the Afghan people’s rights – the issue is that US and imperialist intervention has been single-mindedly dedicated to undermining those rights. The very forces that the US and its allies identified as enemies in 2001 were themselves created and nurtured by previous US administrations, with the purpose of destabilizing and overthrowing the progressive popular government which came to power in Afghanistan through the April (Saur) Revolution of 1978.

In its rush to halt and roll back progressive reforms in the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan – such as democracy, land reform and women’s equality – US imperialism laid the foundation for decades of brutality and suffering.

The Communist Party of Canada warned of this in October 2001, immediately after the launch of the invasion of Afghanistan. “We reject as completely false and hypocritical the claims by the Bush and Blair governments that their military actions are “humanitarian” in nature. The reality is that the Taliban and Osama bin Laden are largely the creations of massive CIA intervention in Afghanistan during the 1980s. The “Northern Alliance” forces opposing the Taliban were also heavily backed by US imperialism during their war against the Afghan government during the 1980s and proved to be just as reactionary and undemocratic as the Taliban during their period in power. The idea that further imperialist intervention in the region can bring anything but new disasters for the people is utterly false.”

To justify the invasion and occupation, government in the US, Canada and other NATO countries have promoted the spread of Islamophobia and racism. The vast range of “security” laws that these governments introduced have been used to target and oppress Muslims and racialized people in the first place, as well as general dissent.

The Communist Party stands in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan as they face new and exacerbated problems, especially for women and refugees. We also warn that the US and its allies will not cease their interference and aggression in the region. The imperialist threat of war, destabilization and oppression has not diminished – it must continue to be exposed and opposed.

The Communist Party of Canada calls on all labour and progressive movements to help rebuild and strengthen the peace movement in this country. Working people must demand a new, independent foreign policy based on peace, disarmament and international cooperation.