|AFGHANISTAN: IN DEFENSE OF SOVIET MILITARY ACTION|
|KRASNOY ARMII SLAVA!/HAIL RED ARMY!|
|Russians enter Afghanistan in 1979 to combat imperialist-backed mullahs; in defense of the Saur Revolution and social-progression; and in defense of the Soviet southern borders from Islamic fundamentalism.|
|"The religions of the East are deeply rooted and have many precious values. Their spiritual beliefs cannot be reconciled with Communist atheism and materialism. That creates a common bond between us."
--John Foster Dulles, 1950. He was later Eisenhower's Secretary of State, and right hand man in Eisenhower's anti-Communist/ "rollback" war drive.
|"It's all the Soviets' fault", "the evil Russians destroyed Afghanistan", "the USA and its allies always wanted freedom and democracy for Afghans", "its not the America's fault". These are but a few of the absurd statements made about Afghanistan, demonizing the Soviets, and glorifying the U.S and western roles. The turmoil, oppression and bloodshed which has engulfed Afghanistan throughout the 1990's to the present did not have to happen. In fact in the late 1970's Afghanistan was moving upward, and into the twentieth century. The Afghan workers' progress was derailed and destroyed because such achievements conflicted with the interests of the imperialists, like many others before Afghanistan.
For almost it's entire existence, Afghanistan has been a primitive and backwards Islamic country where the people are subordinate to strict authority of Islamic order governed by small militant families, most of the population was illiterate, with almost no modern technology or industry. Through most of the twentieth century Afghanistan was a monarchy under the rule Shah Mohammed Zahir from 1929-1973. In 1973 a coup d'etat initiated by Mohammed Daoud, and declared Afghanistan a Republic. Daoud's economic reforms had not improved the economy and became very unpopular with not only the people but the military as well.
In April 1978, the Great Saur Revolution (or April Revolution) took place ousting Daoud's corrupt regime. In Kabul and other places the people and army mobilized by the left-wing PDPA (People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan), and declared the DRA (Democratic Republic of Afghanistan) with a Socialist economy. Nur Mohammed Taraki was the revolutionary and party leader who mobilzed Afghanistan into revolution. From the victory of the Saur Revolution, reforms swept Afghanistan. Inspite of the social progress the PDPA, it was weakened by internal rivalries between Taraki's Khalqi faction adapting to more Marxist principles, and Babrak Karmal's Parcham faction resorting to more nationalism, thus making the party exclusively left-nationalist. Power was taken from the previous elite (mullahs, khans, money lenders and feudal landlords) and passed down the the workers and peasants, land and agriculture was collectivized, debts were cancelled, religion and politics were for the first time in Afghan history separated. Although the offical program was atheism, Afghans were still granted the right to practice Islam. Education became available to every Afghan, as well as medicine, pensions, jobs; poverty was fading away. Also was the case of women in Afghanistan whom until the Saur Revolution were regarded as property by their husbands and fathers, and most with no education. After the Saur Revolution women were placed along side men in literacy classes, and later given jobs as professors, doctors, government positions, basically any job available to men was also available to women, who were also encouraged to stop wearing the veils but could do so by their own choice. Afghanistan definitely was moving up, and who could be against it?
"The Communists were trying to change the law of God. They wanted to destroy Islamic traditions -- to rid Afghanistan of poverty and make everyone equal. This is against the law of Islam -- God has decided who is rich and who is poor. It can't be changed by Communists. It's beyond imagination."
Sahar Gul, Mullah Laghman Province (CNN Cold War: Soldiers of God, 1998)
The Revolutionary gains in Afghanistan unfortunately was not convenient to everyone. The mullahs, khans, and feudal landlords along with local bandits who had no authority at this point were outraged and began their counter-revolutionary campaign of terror targeting schools, collective farms, acts of arson, and slaughtering Afghan workers, women, intellectuals, and leftists in barbaric methods such as flayings, beheadings, stonings, and repeated cuttings. The mullah's favorite target for this kind of barbarity were Communist school teachers for teaching women how to read. The Saur Revolution also severly angered the United States, and their imperialist allies, who felt that the Revolution was a serious threat to U.S control of the Persian Gulf oil (decision made by Carter's crony Zbigniew Brzezinski in 1980), and began training these Islamic counter-revolutionary psychotics in Pakistan who called themselves the Mujahideen (holy warriors) who were out to fight a jihad (holy war) against the newborn Afghan workers state. The USA was to do anything in its power to destroy the Saur Revolution which did not exclude a U.S-led invasion.
After the Saur Revolution, Afghanistan signed a Treaty of Friendship with the Soviet Union confirming good comradeship between both countries for Socialist unity. As the Mujahideen continued their acts of sabotage and terrorism, the Afghan People's government mobilized the armed forces to fight the counter-revolutionaries. Although well-disciplined and trained, the young Afghan Socialist state was not fully prepared to cope with the Mujahideen, especially when a U.S-led invasion appeared imminent. Honoring the Treaty of Friendship the Soviet Army entered Afghanistan at the request of the People's government. The Soviet occupation took place on Christmas eve of 1979. The imperialist world did not know until it was fully completed. Once the imperialists learned of the Soviet action, "INVASION" was on all their lips. The U.S-controlled U.N held an emergency session calling for all Red Army troops to be completely withdrawn from Afghanistan. The then U.S president Jimmy Carter attacked the Soviet Union for violating "International Law" (more accurately American Global Law) and organized an international embargo on grain shipments to the USSR attempting to starve the Soviet people. Carter hypocritically denounced the Soviet action as "the most serious threat to the peace since the Second World War." Afghanistan was the only post war Soviet action outside the Warsaw Pact territory, while the U.S had intervened militarily repeatedly in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. And yet the Soviets were posing greatest threat to world peace since World War II in Afghanistan?
Prior to the Soviet intervention, Carter had been on an anti-Soviet campaign unlike any practiced by previous U.S presidents. Making public the reactionary activities by the pro-imperialist anti-Communist Soviet dissidents (Moscow Helsinki Group) and their imprisonment in the late 1970s, Carter used the liberal "human rights violations" to openly attack the Soviet Union which was kept on shakey ground by the defeatist Detente (peaceful co-existence) policy of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Detente was over as a result of the Soviet action. After the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, Carter stepped up his attacks which exceeded further than a grain embargo. Carter restricted American athletes from participating in the Olympic games to be held in Moscow in 1980, and later threatened the Soviet Union with nuclear weapons while accusing the Soviets of jeopardizing world peace. Carter was truly ready to start a third world war over Afghanistan, with the ridiculous rhetoric of a fantasized Soviet invasion of Pakistan, Iran, and then seizing the entire Persian Gulf oil supply. He put all U.S forces in the Persian Gulf on high-alert to protect his precious oil and deter a bogus Soviet threat created in Jimmy's little head. Carter's reponse was covertly aiding woman-hating Islamic fundamentalists, which did not begin after the Soviet intervention, but six months earlier. Jimmy Carter along with Pakistani dictator Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq established training camps where Afghan extremists received training and arms for the purpose of toppling the Afghan People's government.
For the Soviet Union, the military intervention in Afghanistan to combat the Mujahideen had two main objectives. 1) To secure the southern border of the Soviet Union from an Islamic fundamentalism, which could have very well spread a counter-revolutionary jihad through the Muslim republics of the USSR. This was the full intention of the American CIA, British MI-6 and the Pakistani ISI when they were training the Afghan Mujahideen, also promoting a jihad as a counter-revolutionary dagger through the Soviet Union with guerilla attacks in Soviet Central Asia. Such a jihad in the Soviet Union was especially advocated by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran who found himself on the same side of the barricades as the imperialists who's interests he ended in Iran with his Islamic Revolution in 1979. 2) To defend the social gains of the Saur Revolution of 1978 to the Afghan people from the Mujahideen psychotics.
Due to the fiercely independent nature of Afghan people in general, the Soviet government and their Afghan comrades agreed in 1979 on a limited contingent for a temporary occupation until order can be restored, and the Soviet troops would leave. Unfortunately the Kremlin Stalinists not wanting to anger the U.S imperialists any further, they introduced only 100,000 troops at a time. In Afghanistan, the Red Army successfully liberated and secured Kabul and all of Afghanistan's major cities and the surrounding villages from the Mujahideen. The Mujahideen however, were able to use the country side to their own advantage, where Soviet troops and convoys were most vulnerable. Afghanistan's deep gorges and narrow roads were to be a real challege for the Russian forces. But the Soviets would use their control of the air and artillery to provide safer routes through Afghanistan for their convoys. The thick armored Mil Mi-24 Hind Gunship (nearly 100% resistant against 50 caliber rounds), the Soviets' most effective combat weapon, proved to be exceptionally useful not only for convoy escort, but for direct attacks on Mujahideen positions; thus saved many Soviet troops. The Red Army has had a history of counter-insurgency warfare. The Red Army had successfully crushed U.S-backed fascist insurgents: Forest Brothers in the Soviet Baltic Republics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), remnants of the Armia Krajowa (Home Army) in Poland, and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army after the Second World War. In Afghanistan, the Mujahideen would be another. While Soviet and Afghan infantry was mobilized fighting the Mujahideen, Soviet Spetsnaz commandos were dropped behind the Mujahideen lines and attacked their bases with devastating results. Usually the Mujahideen fled Russian and Afghan ground and air assaults in retreat. On the escape routes, Soviet Airborne troops were dropped behind the lines and ambushed the retreating Mujahideen. Although, certainly more challenging than the previous insurgencies, these methods were nonetheless effective against the Mujahideen counter-revolutionaries.
The U.S proxy war in Afghanistan was completely bipartisan with both the Republican and Democratic parties financing the Mujahideen (the Serbian and Iraqi peoples would come to suffer from bipartisan U.S aggression in the 1990's-present as well). The Americans especially were obsessed with the "Soviet Vietnam" rhetoric. In 1980 Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski (the Democratic Party's own Henry Kissinger) wrote a memo to Carter telling him that "We now have the opportunity to give the Soviet Union its Vietnam". That same year at the Khyber Pass in Pakistan, Brzezinski pointing to Afghanistan told the Islamic reactionaries: "That land over there is yours. You will go back to it one day, because your fight will prevail and you'll have your homes and your mosques back again, because your cause is right and God is on your side." Later, Texas Democratic Congressman Charles Wilson said "There were 58,000 [American] dead in Vietnam, and we owe the Russians one...I have a slight obsession with it because of Vietnam. I thought the Soviets ought to get a dose of it." The imperialists' goal from the begining was to kill as many Soviet officers and soldiers as possible.
When Ronald Reagan took over he along with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher aid to the Mujahideen tripled from Jimmy Carter's aid. Both Reagan and Thatcher praised their soldiers of god as "freedom fighters", fighting a war with sticks and stones shouting "allah akbar" against a powerful godless Communist demon. Adding to that, Reagan and his conservative zealots were still plenty sore at the heroic Vietnamese people's (whom they thought of as inferior subhumans) victory over their seemingly unbeatable armed forces and Soviet support for the Vietnam. Seeking "revenge" on the Soviets, Reagan had the CIA arm his darlings with all the latest American weaponry. In addition to US weapons, the CIA organized arms shipments from Great Britain, reformist China, Egypt, Pakistan, Israel (YES!), Saudi Arabia, Iran, Apartheid South Africa, NATO, as well as Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand to the Mujahideen training camps in Pakistan. This covert action would cost the CIA billions of dollars, thus becoming the largest and most expensive covert action in history.
One of Reagan's little darling "freedom fighters" was a rich Saudi named Osama Bin Laden who was among the first volunteers in the imperialists' Mujahideen counter-revolution. He and Palestinian extremist Sheikh Abdullah Azzam established an organization called Maktab al-Khadamat (Office of Order); which not only worked with the CIA, MI-6, and ISI on purchasing arms and explosives, but also recruited Islamic extremists from all over the world. Tens of thousands of Muslim radicals were recruited by the imperialists and Bin Laden from Central Asia, Middle East, Far East, North Africa, and East Africa to fight their Jihad in Afghanistan. Another fanatical Mujahid whom received lots of aid from the CIA, MI-6, and ISI was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Hekmatyar's Mujahids were known for their barbaric methods such as spraying acid in the faces of women not covered; as well as acts of flayings, stoning, setting alight Afghan intellectuals, Communists, leftists, workers, and women labeled as "infidels". Ironically Bin Laden and Hekmatyar with their well accumilated finances and training would later wage a jihad against America.
In the capitalist media and entertainment, Reagan's Mujahideen were depicted as heroes while the Soviets and their Afghan comrades were demonized. The imperialist media were in an anti-Soviet frenzy were quick to use the "genocide" label with faked stories such as "wiping out the Afghan people", Soviets dropping "toy bombs" to lure Afghan children to their deaths, butchering Afghan babies, mass rapes, "yellow rain" chemical warfare without providing sufficient proof aside from "testimonies" by Mujahids. But it was more than enough of what American journalist Dan Rather aired on CBS news of a "Soviet genocide" while dressed in Mujahideen headdress and garments. Naturally the western public (especially the Americans) swallowed it whole, especially when the lies appeared in Sylvester Stallone's Rambo III (the only time a Soviet "toy bomb" ever appeared on screen). Particulary in the very begining when Rambo was being debriefed by a CIA officer, informing him of Soviet atrocities and the U.S involvement, and later when Rambo was with the Mujahideen being informed of barbaric Soviet atrocities. Yet while these tall tales of "Soviet butchers" were being circulated, Reagan himself was covertly supporting fanatical right-wing dictatorships in Latin America and across the Third World.
Despite the imperialist lie of a "Soviet Vietnam", the Soviet and Afghan forces were gaining the upper hand in the war against the Mujahideen, whom were becoming demoralized and retreating by 1985. This was clearly demonstrated in 1985-1986 when the Soviets launched their most effective operation against the Mujahideen supply lines and bases forcing them to retreat into defensive at Kandahar and Herat. Supply caravans from Pakistan and Iran were destroyed or seized by Russian troops. The Red Army also inflicted heavy losses on the Mujahideen in the Kunar and Paktia provinces and forced them into massive retreat from those strategic locations. Due to the Mujahideen's inability to defend their supplies in an organized fashion, the Russians and Afghans annihilated one Mujahideen group after another. It was only a matter of time before victory against the Mujahideen fanatics was achieved. Even Dr. Jack Wheeler, a pundit for the conservative Newsmax Media and cheerleader for Bush's "war on terror", after 9/11 said, "The Soviets won in Afghanistan. The famed up Mujahideen had slunk back to the refugee camps in Pakistan, demoralized, dejected, and defeated. I was there, I saw it. It was August, 1986, and the Mujahideen had given up. The Soviets had won."
"Our sacrifices were not for nothing. We have after all brought there the achievements of the civilized world."
Soviet Veteran of Afghanistan, March 1988 (Workers Vanguard No. 756, 13 April 2001)
Unfortunately during the operation in 1986, the Soviet liberal Stalinist leader Mikhail Gorbachov pledged to the imperialists that he was making plans to withdraw Soviet troops from Afghanistan, thus all major Soviet operations against the Mujahideen came to a halt leaving it to the Afghan People's Army. Even after this, the CIA gave the Mujahideen reactionaries the anti-aircraft shoulder held Stinger missile, for they weren't quite sure that their butchers would prevail. Prior to the Stinger missile, the British had supplied the Mujahideen with their anti-aircraft Blowpipe missile, which in the end turned out to be virtually ineffective against Soviet air power, so the imperialists needed another weapon that ended up being the Stinger. CIA director William Casey (a culprit of the Iran-Contra Affair) dispatched two of his cronies Milt Bearden and Frank Anderson to train the Mujahideen on using the Stinger missile. This weapon limited Soviet control over the air, but the Russians later produced effective counter measures such as flares to fool the Stinger when launched. The Stinger also gave the Mujahideen "freedom fighters" the ability to committ further atrocities, such as in Khost when a Mujahid fired a Stinger at a plane carrying 50 plus school children to study in Moscow. The Soviets were finally able to capture 3 Stingers in Khost after destroying a Mujahideen base in early 1987.
The Mujahideen reactionaries would've virtually been nothing without the support of the imperialists, and Gorbachov's betrayal. When they weren't fighting the Soviets or their Afghan allies, the Mujahideen fought each other. There was no real unity. They were incapable of handling sofisticated weaponry properly, and had to be told repeatedly. The CIA and their allies funding this war is what kept the Mujahideen going, but even that was failing. The Afghan Jihad was motivated by the fact that the Afghan Communists were educating the Afghan masses, which was winning over the population in the late 80's from the Mullahs. But more so the Mujahideen hated the fact that women were being educated alongside men, and given professions within the government, the military, the medical field, and educators. By the late 1980's over half a million female students were enroled at a university, women were made up 40% of doctors and nurses, women made 60% of professors, and even had their own councils. This freedom was made possible only by the Saur Revolution and the Soviet military defense of the revolution. Militia women even fought alongside Soviet and Afghan troops against the USA's female-hating Mujahideen, defended many towns throughout Afghanistan. These militia women were organized by the DOWA (Democratic Organization for Women in Afghanistan). They especially played a big role in fighting and defeating the Mujahideen at Jalalabad (near the Pakistan border) with the Afghan People's Army, after the Soviet pull-out. The Mujahideen's retaliations against women who "violated Islamic law" continued at high rate. This included mass shootings, mass rapes, stonings, and spraying acid in the faces of women whom were not covered.
In 1986 Gorbachov promised the imperialists that Soviet troops will be fully withdrawn by 15 February 1989. Soviet operations came to an abrupt halt, and turned over to the Afghan forces. Gorbachov's betrayal threw the workers, women, peasants, and leftist to the CIA's Mujahideen cutthroats, allowed a Soviet defeat, and the enslavement of millions of Afghans. Afghanistan was to be the first of the Socialist states that Gorbachov would sell out in order to be loved by the imperialists. At the news of the complete Red Army pullout from Milt Bearden in Pakistan, at CIA headquarters in Langley the broke out the champagne while descended into endless chaos by the Mujahideen "freedom fighters". 15,000 Soviet troops were lost in Afghanistan, most sources note 1.5 million Afghans died on all sides.
"I haven't had a bad night. It's not because I am without feeling for ... or without understanding of how much agony goes along with war. It's just that this was such a contribution to the end of what was otherwise an evil that inflicted other kinds of pain and on so many other people, that on balance it was worth it."
Frank Anderson CIA agent in Afghanistan. (CNN Cold War: Soldiers of God, 1998).
Only from an imperialist government can come so much hypocrisy. Especially since the CIA installed extreme right-wing dictators all over the Third World. However, Frankie undoubtedly had his first horrible night on the night of September 11, 2001. For that day he saw what he helped create.
Gorbachov's decision to withdraw Soviet troops from Afghanistan was both sinister and traitorous. In order to achieve this betrayal, he needed support. The Soviet media began a process of demonization of the Red Army troops. They depicted propaganda along the same lines that the imperialist media was doing, depicting Soviet troops as baby killers, destroying villages indiscriminately, losers of the war, and a shame. The Mujahideen was then depicted as fighters against a militarily superior foreign invasion. Thus many of the returning veterans, especially those who felt they were fulfilling their internationalist duty in the war against the CIA's Mujahideen, the media had nothing but contempt for these brave soldiers, and faced discrimination among society. Due to this many Afghan vets found themselves in total isolation. As they learned of this sinister betrayal by the Kremlin Stalinists, many looked at the society with new eyes. As one young Russian soldier said that he was sent to Afghanistan in 1986 "to fight for internationalism" but as he returned home he was degraded, insulted, and "called a rapist by the very same people who sent him there". (Workers Vanguard No. 756, 13 April 2001). In fact after the capitalist counter-revolution in the USSR, the Stalinist bureaucrats threw their party cards away and became capitalists. This further isolated the veterans who had nowhere to turn to, and grew to hate these traitors. There was not one mention of the fight for women's liberation in Afghanistan from imperialist-backed misogynistic Mujahideen, much less the extension of the gains of the October Revolution defending social progression of the Saur Revolution. As one Soviet woman put it, "The propaganda says only that we invaded a foreign country, we sent our children to die. They did not tell us about the women, or about the children." Another said, "So they played on people's maternal feelings. And it ended in the fact that the army was withdrawn, and we consider this a terrible betrayal of the communists in Afghanistan". (Women and Revolution No. 40 Winter 1991-1992)
After the Soviet withdrawal, the Afghan PDPA government continued with the Afghan People's Army holding out alone against the CIA's Mujahideen. At Jalalabad from March to May of 1989 the Mujahideen fanatics made repeated attempts to take the city, but were defeated by the Afghan People's Army assisted by revolutionary militias including Afghan militiawomen, thus leaving the Mujahideen haunted by their failure. For the next three years, the Afghan Army held out successfully against the Mujahideen. Once the Soviet Union and the Eastern European deformed workers states fell to capitalist counter-revolution, led to the weakening and demise of the DRA in 1992 as Kabul fell to the Mujahideen. The then Afghan leader Mohammed Najibullah and his brother were captured by the Taliban. The Taliban then castrated Najibullah and his brother, dragged them behind a jeep and then shooting them to death. Their badly mutilated bodies were then hung from a lamppost in Kabul.
Burhanuddin Rabbani, of the Mujahideen group now known as the "Northern Alliance" became Afghanistan's president in 1992, then went on to fight the Taliban. From then on the people of Afghanistan would endure the terrorism of the now split up "freedom fighters" whom now fought each other over power, systematically slaughtered innocents, subjugated the Afghan masses to extreme poverty and religious totalitarianism. Not to mention the U.S-led rape in 2001-present against Washington's former darlings. Had the Saur Revolution been successfully defended, Afghans would enjoyed a their country without the tribal warfare and imperialist invasion, hence many Afghans who perished would've been alive today thanks to Washington's reactionaries and Gorbachov's defeatism. Gorbachov's withdrawal was a betrayal to the workers of Afghanistan.
A video documentary entitled Afghan Stories made in 2002 by New York film producer Taran Davies for the purpose of shedding light on the conflict in Afghanistan, and the 9/11 attacks. As he traveled through Central Asia he interviewed a family of Afghan refugees whom fled from the terror of the Taliban. Ali Baig lives in Tajikistan with his wife Shukria and four children, and live under constant harassment from the chauvinistic Tajik authorities. Ali and Shukria had very comfortable lives with their family after the Saur Revolution and during the Soviet occupation. In Afghan Stories Ali said, "In 1978 I was accepted to a teaching school in Kabul. It was the golden period in my life...I worked for a newspaper. I also taught as an assistance professor." Afterwards his wife Shukria stated, "It was the happiest time of our lives, I loved my job. I wore a white coat and a stethescope and examined patients. Our lives were normal." Ali was a successful professor of journalism at the Kabul university under the pro-Soviet leftist government of Afghanistan, and Shukria was a successful nurse at a Kabul hospital. After the Soviet withdrawal and the fall of the PDPA government the Baigs, like many other Afghans lost everything they had earned to the CIA's Mujahideen butchers, and witnessed their atrocities against civilians.
While most of the "human rights" groups, along with feminists, zionists, bourgeois "lefts", Anarchists, pacifists, neo-Trotskyists, and Maosits embraced the imperialist anti-Soviet rhetoric of calling for a withdrawal of all Russian troops from Afghanistan and defending the imperialists' Mujahideen. The "lefts" did not even defend the People's government of Afghanistan. You'd think the Maoists at least would have defended the Soviet action as they too were targeted by the Mujahideen. Not to mention the Maoists hailed (as every Communist should have) the Chinese military defeat of the CIA-backed Lamaist counter-revolution of 1959 in Tibet led by the reactionary Dalai Lama, but sadly took a defeatist position on Afghanistan against "Soviet social-imperialism".
Feminist Hypocrisy over Afghanistan
The feminists as well should've supported the Soviet intervention and the Saur Revolution for the rights it granted to women that have never existed in Afghanistan's history. Unfortunately, most feminists such as NOW (National Organization for Women) and RAWA
(Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan) for example sang the Carter-Reagan tune hailing the Mujahideen as "freedom fighters", denouncing the Soviet Union, and ignoring the gains given to the Afghan women, more over the Mujahideen's assaults on women. These bourgeois feminists don't even recognize the DOWA who mobilized thousands of Afghan women to fight in defense for their rights, for the simple reason that they fought alongside the Red Army and the Afghan People's Army. Today these feminists acknowledge that women were treated equally before the Taliban, but will not acknowledge that it was the Soviet-backed Socialist Afghanistan. Ironically these feminists charged the Taliban with "gender apartheid" after praising their fight against the Communists. Why feminsts took this position is by no means a mystery. Feminists like all the other bourgeois liberals and "leftists" have always stood on the side of U.S imperialism both directly and indirectly, particularly against the Soviet Union. Feminists make no attempt to hide their bourgeois nature and hypocrisy.
Another example is four women from the Soviet Union whom were exiled to Vienna in the early 1980s. They were Yuliya Voznesenskaya, Tatyana Goricheva, Natalya Malakhovskaya, and Tatyana Mamonova; a quartet of pro-imperialist bourgeois feminists, man-haters, and Virgin Mary worshippers were loved by bourgeois leftists, pacifists, and feminists. From their counter-revolutionary samizdat Woman and Russia (Mamonova was chief editor) lies were published portraying the USSR as a hellish torture chamber for women as well as anti-abortion propaganda. The fact is the it was the Russian Revolution that would liberate women from the clutches of the male chauvinism of the Christian orthodox and Islamic clergy. Women found themselves having access to free abortion, free from the rags and beatings by their husbands, and literacy (some 80% of women in the Russian Empire were illiterate). On abortion Woman and Russia wrote: "To fulfill one's destiny as a mother is the greatest blessing nature holds in store for a woman", Natalia Maltseva; man-hatred: "Men are destroying themselves with wine, cigarettes, and sexual access....this mass of alcoholics degenerated to the utmost, the upheeding malevolence towards women...", Woman and Russia editorial staff.
While Woman and Russia were whining about male oppression of women, in Afghanistan where the Soviet Army was engaged in a shooting war against the CIA's woman-hating Mujahideen this Russian feminist quartet echoed the imperialist anti-Soviet cry. Women in Afghanistan were in the process of emancipation, their gains as well other social gains were being defended by Russian and Afghan troops. Instead of defending women's rights in Afghanistan and supporting the Red Army fight against the mullahs; Mamonova, Malakhovskaya, Goricheva, Voznesenskaya and their little band of Soviet feminists cheered the Mujahideen psychotics. These Russian women even called on Soviet troops to desert, defect, and spit on their "shameful uniforms". These women were truly a gift from the Holy Mother Mary to the imperialists and their feminist loyalists. More proof of selective support from the bourgeois feminists, and ignoring Afghan women's rights.
"To fight against the Russian aggressors is inseparable from struggle against the fundamentalists. Nevertheless for the time being we should give priority to the former."
Meena Keshwar Kamal, RAWA founder www.rawa.org, 1980.
Meena Keshwar Kamal, an Afghan feminist made crystal clear her support imperialists' Mujahideen. In her last sentence she bluntly expresses sympathy for the woman-hating Mullahs as opposed the the Red Army and the Afghan PDPA forces whom she dubs as "Soviet stooges" without even a notice at Revolutionary gains that granted Afghan women opportunities, and the Soviet defense of that system. In 1981 Meena, went to France as a spokesperson for the Mujahideen (RAWA dubbed them "Afghan Resistance") where she was hosted by the French imperialist president Francios Mitterrand of the Socialist Party. At Mitterand's rabidly anti-Soviet Socialist Party Congress Meena was photographed waving a victory sign as a representative of the Mujahideen. Ironically Meena was killed in 1987 in Quetta, Pakistan by the Mujahideen group of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of the most fanatical leaders of the Mujahideen. Meena's feminism had failed to grant her respect from those she supported. Hekmatyar's men had killed Meena's husband the previous year. Yet to this day the RAWA hails the "Afghan Resistance".
"When the Communists took over, Afghan women were jailed, they were subjected to torture, especially the women who had ties to the Afghan resistance that took root in Pakistan. This was unheard of in Afghan history.... The Afghan Communists basically had a laissez-faire attitude toward Afghan women. The schools were not closed, they did not institute the veil, and they did introduce reforms. But they focused so much on the war that they did not actively upgrade the status of women."
Sima Wali, Ms. Magazine, May/June 1997
Sima Wali is a self-labeled Afghan "human rights activist" and feminist who obviously lies through her teeth. She tries to portray the Afghan Communists as the perpetrators of the oppression of women in Afghanistan after they gave women the ability to pursue another career other than being strictly male property. The "Afghan Resistance" Wali mentions is Reagan's woman-hating Mujahideen led by the Mullahs. She then resorts to the old bourgeois slander of Afghan Communists violating Afghan traditions, followed by then acknowledging the benefits for women from the Saur Revolution.
"After the Soviet invasion and the establishment of a communist government in 1978, education was stressed for both men and women. The communists prohibited some ethnic practices which had harmed women, including forced marriage and bride price.... but it was nonetheless the dictate of an occupying force and Afghan activists say the educational materials amounted to little more than propaganda.... Considering the U.S government's role in the subjugation of Afghan women by assisting the mujahideen, and ultimately the Taliban, the U.S has an obligation to end the atrocities toward women."
Cindy Hanford, Political Solutions in Afghanistan Must Be Shaped by Women, Jan 28, 2002 (http://www.now.org/issues/global/afghanwomen2.html)
Cindy warily takes notice of the Afghan women's gains of the Saur Revolution and the Soviet defense of those gains, but clearly states her opposition to the USSR and DRA system that started the programs for women. The Afghan activists Cindy refers to were those "moderates" whom hailed Reagan's jihad against the Saur Revolution. She also notes that the USA aided the Mujahideen against the Soviets, and the Taliban regime; i.e assisting the enslavement of Afghan women. But Cindy and NOW believe that the U.S imperialists are ones to end the oppression of Afghan women, when it was the imperialists whom ensured these Mujahideen woman-haters' power in Afghanistan in the first place. And today these bourgeois feminists pathetically attempt to hide the fact that they ever hailed the CIA's Mujahideen against the Red Army and their Afghan comrades, while painting themselves to be the dear ally of the oppressed women of Afghanistan. Feminists have also never given one iota of support to the Red Army when the gains of the October Revolution spread into what later became Soviet Central Asia in the early 1920's, and they stripped the mullahs of authority granting revolutionary gains to women in the region. NOW and the vast majority of feminists will carry the illusion that U.S imperialism and their reactionary stooges world wide are the true defenders of women's rights, which in Afghanistan it was clearly disproved.
Lies and Truths about the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan
LIE: The Soviets wanted to rule Afghanistan, then Pakistan and Iran for the oil in the Persian Gulf.
TRUTH: Afghanistan before the Saur Revolution of 1978 had been one of the Soviet Union's capitalist client states of the Third World. They were already allies before Afghanistan's Socialist Revolution. The Soviet Union always had an abundant oil supply in the Central Asian republics and the Caucasus. If the Russians only wanted to conquer Afghanistan as is absurdly believed today, why didn't they do it before? They had many chances.
LIE: The Soviets wanted to force Communism on Afghanistan.
TRUTH: Every military action taken by the Soviets after World War II has been either requested or in honor of a treaty made by that group or country. The USA and their U.N and NATO stooges however, have occupied countries and toppled their governments (whether a dictatorship or democratically elected) that threatened U.S colonial rule over the region. The Soviet government despite its achievements was bureaucratically degenerated by Stalinism. At the time of the Soviet action in Afghanistan, the Kremlin Stalinist took up a truly Red action. They had virtually no interest in seeing Socialist Revolutions anywhere but would support them if they occured, and defended the countries where they occured from American aggression. The Soviet government took Third World capitalist anti-Western states as client states (Syria, Libya, Somalia, Iraq before Hussein, Egypt under Nasser to name a few), abandoning any real class struggle in these client states. The previous regimes of Afghanistan before 1978 People's government were among these Soviet client states. Also, the Soviet government would accepted countries pledging to be neutral (such as Austria, Finland, or Ireland) with capitalist systems, therefore not promoting class struggle in these countries.
LIE: Afghanistan was the Soviet Union's own Vietnam.
TRUTH: It is sickening to compare the Soviets' defense of the Afghan Socialist Revolution to the U.S-led mass murder of the Vietnamese people. In Vietnam the Soviets were aiding their comrades as Communists should against an imperialist bloodbath. In Afghanistan, the USA aided Islamic fundamentalists whom they had previous problems with in places like Iran, hence an unholy alliance. The American war in Vietnam was to keep in power an incomptent and unpopular regime, to keep the workers and peasants of Southeast Asia under U.S colonial rule. In Afghanistan the Soviet war was for the purpose of defending social-progression (brought by the workers and peasants of Afghanistan) from the agents of U.S imperialism. The Russians succeeded in securing Afghanistan's cities from the Mujahideen and were gaining the upper hand, whereas the Americans couldn't secure even Saigon from the Viet Cong in spite of the "military victories". The Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army were well organized, disciplined, and united; who's victory came in rebuilding Vietnam from the imperialist onslaught. The Mujahideen were disorganized, ill-trained, undisciplined, and plagued by tribal and ethnic rivalry. Once the Mujahideen took over Afghanistan, they systematically destroyed the entire country. The struggle of the Viet Cong and NVA was an internal revolutionary struggle against brought by the will of the heroic Vietnamese workers and peasants. The Mujahideen's Jihad came from the imperialists' fund, i.e from the outside not inside. Even CIA stooge Frank Anderson stated,
"It is entirely true that this was a war that was fought with our gold but with their blood." (CNN Cold War: Soldiers of God, 1998). Clearly there are no similarities.
LIE: The Stinger missile brought down the Soviets in Afghanistan and turned the war around.
TRUTH: A common lie told to boost America's image before September 11th 2001 that it was the Americans who forced the Russians to withdraw from Afghanistan. However, American military analyst Alan Kuperman stated in his article The Stinger Missile and U.S. Intervention in Afghanistan: "The Stinger effectively was neutralized by technical and tactical counter-measures well before the Soviets actually completed their withdrawal. Thus, there is no evidence the Stinger even hastened Soviet withdrawal. Had Gorbachev not decided autonomously to withdraw, it is unlikely the Stinger could have chased him out of Afghanistan." Flare dispensors were installed on Soviet and Afghan aircraft to fool the Stinger heat-seeking missiles and detered them from engaging the aircraft, along with effective air maneuvers.
LIE: The war in Afghanistan destroyed the Soviet Union and the Mujahideen inspired the "uprisings against Soviet rule" in Eastern Europe.
TRUTH: What destroyed the Soviet Union was not the outcome of the war in Afghanistan but the decades of Stalinist misrule, corruption, and illusions of peaceful coexistence with imperialism ended with Gorbachov and his reactionary policies of glasnost (capitulation) and perestroika (market reforms) which contradicted the Bolshevik internationalist policies of Lenin and the October Revolution, and led to the eventual fall of the Soviet workers state. After Gorbachov's sell out in Afghanistan, he then put as much pressure as possible on the Eastern European Stalinist leaders to reform or resign. The result was isolation for the deformed workers states of Eastern Europe where counter-revolutionaries backed by the U.S gained power as one workers state after another fell to capitalist counter-revolution.
|Red Army Airborne troops were dropped behind the lines to cut off Mujahideen escape routes after assault by Soviet and Afghan forces.|
|Soviet troops in position to fight Mujahideen fanatics.|
|Soldiers of the Afghan People's Army combated the CIA's Mujahideen effectively along side Soviet troops and after the withdrawal.|
|Tens of thousands of Afghan women formed militias to defend their gains against the CIA's woman-hating Mujahideen, and fought along side the Red Army and Afghan People's Army. These brave women had no moral support from western bourgeois feminists. Meena Keshwar Kamal's famous quote: "Afghan women are like sleeping lion, when they awoken, can play a wonderful role in social revolution." These Afghan women were just that, except Meena stood against their social revolution and with the Mujahideen.|
|Texas Democratic congressman Charles Wilson (top, second from left) poses with his Mujahideen "freedom fighters".|
|Meena Keshwar Kamal, an Afghan feminist heroine to the imperialists in 1981. Waving the victory sign as she gives a speech at the
French imperialist Socialist Party Congress on behalf of the Afghan "resistance" who would later kill her.
|The Afghan Mujahideen cutthroats, supplied by the U.S waged their reactionary jihad on behalf of U.S imperialism, and spilling the blood of millions of Afghan workers, women and leftists for the last two decades.|