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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

The long goodbye

When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains
And the women come out to cut up what remains
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier

IT IS SAID that when an entire British army was wiped out by Afghan forces in 1842, the tribesmen spared an English doctor so he could tell the tale of this humiliating defeat when he made it back to British-held territory. There’s no need that these days. We only have to turn on the telly to see the Americans scuttling out of Kabul whilst panic-stricken mobs of those who once served them over-run the international airport in a desperate attempt to flee the wrath of the victorious Taliban militia.

In the chancelleries of Europe and the Beltway in Washington the blame game has already begun. Some blame Trump. Others blame Biden. None of them blame themselves for a disaster that was entirely of their own making.

The US-led invasion of Afghanistan was a criminal venture from the start. It had nothing to do with the so-called “war on terror”, let alone womens rights or ending the drugs trade that starts in the poppy fields of Afghanistan. The “war on terror” was the beginning of a new campaign of regime change to establish American hegemony over the world. They called it the “new world order” and “globalisation”. It was simply imperialist aggression.

Tens of thousands of NATO troops were killed or injured during a campaign that began in 2001 and ended in ignominy last weekend. Most were Americans. Some were British. All died in an ultimately futile effort to recolonise a country that is indeed the “graveyard of empires”.

Many, many more Afghans died in a war that was not of their making. One way or another the Afghan people have the right to decide their future for themselves.

The Americans are leaving Afghanistan. For the sake of peace let’s hope they never come back.