Thursday, August 26, 2021

RAWA Responds to the Taliban Takeover


Written by: Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan on 26 August 2021

The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan was established in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1977 as an independent political/social organization of Afghan women fighting for human rights and for social justice in Afghanistan. Its founder was the martyred revolutionary comrade, Meena. RAWA has always been active in opposing imperialism, the corruption of the Kabul government, and the religious fascism of the Taliban. Some of our comrades might remember the speaking tour of Australia by RAWA spokesperson Malalai Joya in March 2007.  She was here to promote her book Raising My Voice, and the follow-up speaking tour by Sohalia in July-August 2007. 

We are pleased to publish here an interview with a RAWA spokesperson.  It addresses the people of the USA, but is just as relevant for Australians - editors.

Sonali Kolhatkar: For years RAWA spoke out against the U.S. occupation and now that it has ended, the Taliban are back. Could President Biden have withdrawn U.S. forces in a manner that would have left Afghanistan in a safer situation than currently? Could he have done more to ensure the Taliban were not so quickly able to take over?

RAWA: In the past 20 years, one of our demands was an end to the US/NATO occupation and even better if they take their Islamic fundamentalists and technocrats with them and let our people decide their own fate. This occupation only resulted in bloodshed, destruction and chaos. They turned our country into the most corrupt, insecure, drug-mafia and dangerous place especially for women.

From the very beginning we could predict such an outcome. On the first days of the US occupation of Afghanistan, RAWA declared on October 11, 2001:
“The continuation of US attacks and the increase in the number of innocent civilian victims not only gives an excuse to the Taliban, but also will cause the empowerment of the fundamentalist forces in the region and even in the world.”

The main reason we were against this occupation was their backing of terrorism under the nice banner of “war on terror”. From the very first days when the Northern Alliance looters and killers were installed back into power in 2002 to the last so-called peace talks, deals and agreements in Doha and release of 5000 terrorists from prisons in 2020/21, it was very obvious that even the withdrawal won’t have a good end.

The Pentagon proves that none of the theory invasion or meddling ended up in safe condition. All imperialist powers invade countries for their own strategic, political and financial interests but through lies and the powerful corporate media try to hide their real motive and agenda.

It is a joke to say values like “women’s rights”, “democracy”, “nation-building” etc. were part of the US/NATO aims in Afghanistan! US was in Afghanistan to turn region into instability and terrorism to encircling the rival powers especially China and Russia and undermining their economies via regional wars. But of course, the US government did not want such a disastrous, disgraceful and embarrassing exit that left behind such a commotion that they were forced to send troops again in 48 hours to control the airport and safely evacuate its diplomats and staff.

We believe the US left Afghanistan out of its own weaknesses, and not because it was not defeated by its creatures (Taliban). There are two significant reasons for this withdrawal. 

The main reason is the multifold internal crisis in the US. The signs of the US system’s decline were seen in the weak response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the attack on Capitol Hill and the great protests of the US public in the past few years. The policy-makers were forced to withdraw troops to focus on internal burning issues.

The second reason is that the Afghan war was an exceptionally expensive war whose cost has gone into trillions, all taken from taxpayer money. This put such a heavy dent on the US financially that it had to leave Afghanistan.

The war-mongering policies prove that their aim was never to make Afghanistan safer, let alone now when they are leaving. Furthermore, they also knew that the withdrawal would be chaotic yet they still went ahead and did it. Now Afghanistan is in the limelight again due to the Taliban being in power but this has been the situation for the past 20 years and everyday hundreds of our people were killed and our country destroyed - it was just rarely reported in the media. 

Sonali Kolhatkar: The Taliban leadership are saying they will respect women’s rights as long as it complies with Islamic law. Some Western media are painting this in a positive light. Didn’t the Taliban say the same thing 20 years ago? Do you think there is any change in their attitude toward human rights and women’s rights?

RAWA: The corporate media is only trying to put salt on our devastated people’s wounds; they should be ashamed of themselves the way they try to sugarcoat the brutal Taliban. The Taliban spokesperson declared that there is no difference between their ideology of 1996 and today. And what they say about women’s rights is the exact phrases used during their previous dark rule: implementing Sharia law.

These days the Taliban have declared an amnesty in all parts of Afghanistan and their slogan is ‘what the joy of amnesty can bring, revenge cannot’. But in reality they are killing people every day. Just yesterday a boy was shot dead in Nangarhar only for carrying the tricolored Afghan national flag instead of the white flag of Taliban. They executed four former army officials in Kandahar, arrested a young Afghan poet Mehran Popal in Herat province for writing anti-Taliban posts on Facebook and his whereabouts is unknown to his family. These are just a few examples of their violent actions despite the “nice” and polished words of their spokespersons.

But we believe their claims may be one of the dramas being played by the Taliban and they are just trying to buy more time till they can organize themselves. Things happened so fast and they are trying to build-up their government structure, create their intelligence and make the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, which is responsible for controlling the little details of people’s daily lives like the length of the beard, the dress code and having a Mahram (male companion, only father, brother or husband) for a woman. Taliban claim that we are not against women’s rights but that it should be within the framework Islamic/Sharia laws.

Islamic/Sharia law is vague and construed in different ways by Islamic regimes to benefit their own political agendas and rules. Furthermore, the Taliban would also like the West to acknowledge them and take them seriously, and all these claims are part of painting a whitewashed image for themselves. Maybe after a few months they would say that we will hold elections since we believe in justice and democracy! These pretences will never change their true nature, and will still be Islamic fundamentalists: misogynist, inhuman, barbaric, reactionary, anti-democracy and anti-progressive. In a word, the Taliban mentality has not changed and will never change!

Sonali Kolhatkar: Why did the Afghan National Army and the U.S. backed Afghan government fall apart so quickly?

RAWA: Some major reasons out of many are:

1) Everything was done according to a deal to handover Afghanistan to Taliban. The US govt. negotiating with Pakistan and other regional players had an agreement to form a govt. mainly composed of Taliban. So, the soldiers were not ready to be killed in a war that they knew there was of no benefit to the Afghan people in it because finally it is set behind closed doors to bring Taliban to power. Zalmay Khalilzad is highly hated among Afghan people due to his treacherous role in bringing the Taliban back to power.

2) Most Afghans understand well that the war going on in Afghanistan is not the war of Afghans and for the benefit of the country, but waged by foreign powers for their own strategic interests and Afghans are just fuel for the war. Majority of the young people are joining the forces because of severe poverty and unemployment so they have no commitment and morale to fight. It is worth mentioning that the United States and the West have tried for 20 years to keep Afghanistan a consumer country and have hindered the growth of industry. This situation created a wave of unemployment and poverty, paving the way for the recruitments of the puppet government, the Taliban and growth of opium production.

3) Afghan forces were not so weak as to be defeated in the course of a week, but they were receiving orders from the presidential palace not to fight back against the Taliban and should surrender. Most provinces were peacefully handed over to the Taliban.

4) The puppet regime of Hamid Karzai and Ashraf Ghani were calling Taliban “dissatisfied brothers” for years, and released many of their most ruthless commanders and leaders from prisons.  Asking Afghan soldiers to fight a force that is not called “enemy” but “brother”, emboldened the Taliban and hit the morale of the Afghan armed forces.

5) The armed forces were unprecedentedly plagued by corruption. The large number of generals (mostly former brutal warlords of the Northern Alliance) sitting in Kabul grabbed millions of $, they took a cut even from food and salary of soldiers fighting in the frontlines. “Ghost soldiers” was a phenomenon exposed by SIGAR. High-ranking officials were busy filling their own pockets; they channelled the salary and rations of tens of thousands of none-existing soldiers into their own bank accounts.

6) Whenever forces were besieged by Taliban in the hard fight, their call for help was ignored by Kabul. In numerous cases tens of soldiers were massacred by Taliban when they were deserted without ammunition and food for weeks. Therefore, the rate of casualties among the armed forces was very high. In the World Economic Forum (Davos 2019), Ashraf Ghani confessed that since 2014 over 45,000 Afghan security personnel have been killed, while in the same period only 72 personnel of US/NATO were killed.

7) Overall in society growing corruption, injustice, unemployment, insecurity, uncertainty, fraud, vast poverty, drugs and smuggling, etc. provided a ground for the re-emergence of the  Taliban. 

Sonali Kolhatkar: What is the best way for Americans to help RAWA and Afghan people and women right now?

RAWA: We feel very lucky and happy to have the freedom-loving people of the US with us during all these years. We need the Americans to raise their voice and protest against their government’s war-mongering policies and support the strengthening of the people’s struggle in Afghanistan against these barbarians.
It is human nature to resist and the history bears witness. We have the glorious examples of US struggle “Occupy Wall Street” and “Black Lives Matter” movements. We have seen that no amount of oppression, tyranny and violence can stop resistance. Women will not be shackled anymore! Just the next morning after the Taliban entered the capital, a group of our young brave women painted graffiti on the walls of Kabul with the slogan: Down with Taliban!  Our women are now politically conscious and no longer want to live under the Burqa, something they easily did 20 years ago. We will continue our struggles while finding smart ways to stay safe.

We think the inhuman US military empire is not only the enemy of the Afghan people but the biggest threat to world peace and instability. Now that the system is on the verge of decline, it is the duty of all peace-loving, progressive, leftist and justice-loving individuals and groups to intensify their fight against the brutal war-mongers in the White House, the Pentagon and the Capitol Hill. Replacing the rotten system with a just and humane one will not only liberate millions of poor and oppressed American people but will have a lasting effect on every corner of the world.

Now our fear is that the world may forget Afghanistan and Afghan women like under the Taliban bloody rule in late 90s. Therefore, the US progressive people and institutions should not forget Afghan women.

We will raise our voice louder and continue our resistance and fight for secular democracy and women’s rights!

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Charity hand in hand with military, strengthens capitalism’s hold on Australia

 Written by: Louisa L. on 20 August 2021

For the first time in 90 years, charities are feeding large numbers of Australians. Most are grateful to those who keep them from hunger, but bewildered at the unimagined difficulties they suddenly face.

Successive governments have gradually vacated the social welfare field. Most tax income relies on workers actually working, and with the middle and upper managers receiving tax handouts for the privilege of being relatively rich, the taxation kitty is pretty empty.

Our US imperialist overlord birthed philanthropy to promote its soft power. Originally focussed on the arts and research, it eventually flowed into Australia. 
Corporate hands here have long held a stranglehold on peak arts’ funding and board seats. That control is seeping into many smaller arts’ organisations.

He who pays the piper calls the tune. Corporate uproar erupted when the Sydney Biennale called out its sponsor Transfield for profiting from refugee jails. Biennale funding was threatened and then slashed

Recent federal laws penalise charities for political comment (except “Thank you, masters for your great generosity”) with loss of all government funding. 

Multinational charity

No wonder OzHarvest looked to corporations like Google, Lendlease, BP, Menulog, Domain and others to fund their food for the hungry. 

The Big Issue’s content changed dramatically with the arrival of more corporate support. Gone were articles denouncing the cause of homelessness. In came front covers lauding the rich and famous.

Another multinational-sponsored charity is Aussie Helpers, touted by Alan Jones. Food Bank is a supporter. Foodbank itself has nearly 150 corporate supporters, including Nestle, Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, Zurich, QBE, ANZ, Linfox and Johnson and Johnson. The latter is struggling with credibility after its baby powder was exposed to contain asbestos for decades, while it also faced legal action over the US opioid epidemic, and over dangerous vaginal mesh implants and a number of other products.  

Military links

We can also expect billionaire philanthropists like Dr Twiggy Forrest (pictured above) to try mop up some public feelgood deeds in the wake of this Covid disaster, especially as his Indue Card impoverishes people.

After the NSW flood disaster, the May 26 edition of Camden Haven Courier, lauded Forrest and his Mindaroo Foundation for financial support to the volunteer efforts of Disaster Relief Australia (DRA). 

Alongside Mindaroo, major sponsors of DRA are gambling organisations Clubs NSW and Keno, plus a little known rising US multinational, Drone Deploy. 

The newspaper’s Tracey Fairhurst wrote, “Eighty-five per cent of DRA’s crews are veterans or serving military while another 10 per cent is made up of first responders.” 

The board of is mostly retired military brass. 

Drone Deploy has 5000 corporate clients over a range of major economic sectors from mining to agriculture to construction, all described as unifying “commercial drone industry under one roof.” Military clients aren’t highlighted, but with drones buzzing the Delta hotspots in Sydney, militarism and paramilitarism hide behind civilian shields.  

Effectively critiquing charities is difficult, because many will be fooled. The ruling class is reorganising the way it operates. When mobilising people we need to ensure we don’t play into the hands of their enemies. 

Neo-liberalism’s day is almost done. Mindaroo’s links with the military prepares for capitalism’s next phase. Corporate feet already wear jackboots on the streets. But what they hold in their hands is also critical. In one is deception, and in the other, divide and conquer. 

The people need to understand and be ready for all three.

Geelong protests against seismic testing


Written by: Duncan B. on 18 August 2021

Geelong’s waterfront has been a busy place for protests lately. On Sunday August 15th more than 40 protesters staged a protest at the gates of the port at Corio Quay, or paddled their surfboards in Corio Bay. They are members of an environmental group OCEAN---the Otway Climate Emergency Action Network.

They were seeking to disrupt the loading of the seismic survey ship Geo Coral. The ship was due to leave Geelong, bound for the Otway Basin west of King Island to conduct seismic blasting in a search for oil in the area. Recently the Federal Government gave the go-ahead for oil exploration in the Otway Basin, as close as 5 km from the Twelve Apostles.

Seismic blasting involves releasing 259-decibel blasts from the rear of the ship to determine gas and oil deposits deep below the ocean floor. The blasts kill, damage and disturb marine creatures including whales. One protester, who is a rock lobster fisherman at Apollo Bay, said he had seen at first-hand that seismic testing was decimating the marine life in his fishing grounds off Apollo Bay. He said, “Over the last year or so, fishing has been in strong decline, the ships just go there and blast away and don’t care what they wipe out.”

An OCEAN spokesperson said, “If we are to limit global warming and for our planet to be a safe place for our children to live, we must leave fossil fuels under the ground.”

On Wednesday 18th of August OCEAN members returned to the port in the early hours of the morning for another protest. Two intrepid people actually boarded the Geo Coral and attached themselves to the ship. They were able to delay its departure until police could forcibly remove them. The two will be charged on summons with trespassing and will appear in court at a later date. They have been threatened with severe penalties under the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003.


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Statement of the Central Committee of the CPA (M-L) on events in Afghanistan

 Written by: Central Committee, CPA (M-L) on 19 August 2021

The Communist Part of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) welcomes the withdrawal, in defeat, of US imperialist aggressor forces and their accomplices from Afghanistan. 

The withdrawal of US imperialist military forces and the fall of its Afghani puppet government is a tribute to the long and determined resistance by the Afghani people to imperialist occupations of their country by the British, Russians and now the US and its allies.

The new government of the Taliban represents the Afghani peoples’ desire for independence, but is a reactionary religio-fascist organisation with a track-record of cruel oppression of secular Afghans, women and national minorities such as the Hazara.   

Focus in Australia is currently on the attempts to withdraw from Kabul, those Afghans who had cooperated with Australian occupation forces.  Prime Minister Morrison said on Tuesday that “They fought under our flag and for our values”. This clearly shows that he sees Afghanistan as a possession of imperialism, that he is incapable of understanding an oppressed people’s desire for independence and liberation. It clearly shows his refusal to acknowledge the war crimes committed by a number of Australian soldiers which can only have been committed by soldiers undertaking occupation and denial of other people’s rights to independence. 

As US imperialism inflicts the humiliation of a desperate withdrawal on itself, other imperialist powers are busy in the background.  A Taliban delegation was in China only weeks ago.  China once supported the Afghan people’s fight against the occupying forces of Soviet social-imperialism and a Marxist-Leninist Party, armed with Mao Zedong’s Thought, was active in the anti-Soviet fight.  Remnants of that Party remain and continue the fight for independence and socialism, but they are not strong enough to defeat the reactionary Taliban at this time.

Now China and Russia are advising the Taliban on the best way to stabilise the country so that they can exploit its resources and its people. Chinese Premier Wang Yi said yesterday that, “under the new circumstance, China and Russia are necessary to strengthen communication and coordination in order to support each other to protect the two countries' legitimate interests in Afghanistan - personnel, companies and organizations.” 

In order to protect their companies operating in Afghanistan they have been advising the Taliban to “build a broad-based and inclusive political structure and friendly and peaceful foreign policies”, advice echoed in the Taliban’s first press conference.  If the advice calms tensions in Afghanistan, it will have served a useful purpose, but it is essentially self-serving, and its ready acceptance shows the influence that the newer imperialisms already have over the Taliban government.

Our observations, necessarily at a distance and on the basis of a limited understanding, are that the very welcome defeat of US imperialism and its accomplices does not yet guarantee the independence of Afghanistan, and that under the Taliban’s new government, the struggle for secularism, for women’s rights, for self-determination for national minorities, and for democracy, land redistribution and democratic rights will continue within the framework of a fight for socialism.

The defeat of US imperialist military and its allies in Afghanistan encourages the people’s movement in Australia to end the US-Australia alliance and Australian support for US-led wars and occupations.  It reinforces the struggle for Australia’s anti-imperialist independence from all imperialist powers.


More on the takeover of Huon salmon

Written by: Duncan B. on 17 August 2021

The takeover of Tasmanian salmon producer Huon by Brazilian meat producer JBS has taken an unusual twist.

Billionaire iron ore miner Andrew Forrest, who holds a PhD in marine biology, has intervened. Forrest’s investment firm Tatterang already held a 7% shareholding in Huon, but Forrest recently doubled this shareholding in an apparent challenge to JBS. Forrest wants JBS to agree to a list of environmental and animal welfare improvements he desires for the company.

We are not talking small fry here.The Tasmanian salmon industry is a billion dollar industry employing over 1500 workers and producing over 50,000 tonnes of salmon per year. Salmon has the highest gross value at the farm gate of any agrifood commodity at over $700 million, far outgrossing beef, dairy or wool.

There are three main producers of salmon in Tasmania, Tassal, Huon and Petuna. Tassal recently reported a rise in revenue to $594 million, although net profit fell 50% to $39.6 million. Tassal blamed the effect of COVID on the world salmon market for the fall, together with higher airfreight costs, but predicted a turnaround this year.

JBS is not squeaky clean. Four years ago JBS was involved in a bribery and corruption scandal in Brazil which resulted in millions of dollars in fines and gaol sentences for its controlling shareholders. JBS has also faced claims of involvement in slave labour, illegal deforestation and questions about its animal welfare practices.

Meanwhile, allegations are being made that many of the companies busily engaged in buying Australian farms, water and agribusinesses are taking advantage of the use of overseas tax shelters such as Jersey, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands to avoid tax. Some of the companies involved are vigorously denying these allegations, claiming that they pay tax where required in Australia. 

Foreign takeover of agribusiness continues

 Written by: Duncan B. on 11 August 2021

Not only are foreign buyers rushing to buy Australian farmland, they are also snapping up other agribusiness operations.

In July the billion-dollar Chinese-owned food processor Kilcoy Global Foods purchased beef and lamb processor Hardwick Meats, a family-owned company based in Kyneton (Vic).  

Another multinational beef giant, JBS announced plans in June to acquire pork processor Rivalea Holdings, increasing JBS market share in Australia’s pork industry. Farmer groups have raised concerns about access to pork processing facilities in Victoria.

JBS has also announced plans to acquire Tasmania-based Huon Aquaculture, one of Australia’s largest salmon producers in a deal worth over $500 million. (The deal is subject to approval by Australian authorities and minority shareholders in Huon.)

Huon Aquaculture is one of the companies named as environmental polluters by author Richard Flanagan in his recent book Toxic: The Rotting Underbelly of the Tasmanian Salmon Industry.

The Canadians are also still busy. Recently Hewitt Cattle Australia, backed by Canada’s PSP Investments, paid $40 million for the historic Tubbo Station in the Riverina.


Monday, August 16, 2021

US invasion force leaves as Taliban enter Kabul

 Written by: Maoist Communist Party of Afghanistan on 16 August 2021

We are repinting below a statement of the Communist Party of Afghanistan (Maoist).  It was released last March in the wake of President Biden's decision on the withdrawal of US troops. Many of its predictions are coming true as we witness the collapse of the puppet regime and the advance of the Taliban. 

Statement of the Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan on the announcement of the withdrawal of the American occupying forces from Afghanistan

On April 13 Joe Biden the president of the United States announced that he is “ending the longest war of America’s history” by withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan by September 11 this year.

Choosing 11 September as the date for the withdrawal of the US troops is an attempt by the Biden administration to reinforce this lie that the objective of the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was the fight against terrorism. Biden stated: “We went to war with clear goals.  We achieved those objectives.  Bin Laden is dead, and al Qaeda is degraded in Iraq — and in Afghanistan.” However, the truth is the US imperialists have failed in their objectives in Afghanistan.

The war in Afghanistan was started for implementing “the project for new American century,” a plan to prevent the decline of American supremacy through military means. This plan was devised by the neoconservatives in the Bush administration to prevent the decline of American hegemony through warmongering, invasion, and occupation of the imperialist-dominated countries. This strategy also became known as the “Bush doctrine,” which allows for the US “preventive” military actions. Although, the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan were conducted under the label of war on terrorism after September 11, however, in reality, the invasion of Afghanistan was the implementation of Bush doctrine, whose objective was strengthening the world domination of the American imperialism, to build a unipolar world through military aggression and aggression against the occupied countries. The perpetrators of this plan were talking of an “endless war” from the very beginning. This strategy began with the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and continued with the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Barack Obama and Donald Trump not only continued the "Bush doctrine" and the “endless war" policy but also expanded the US aggression to other West Asian and African countries. Now, although the US is withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan, the United States is not seeking an end to "endless warfare.” Joe Biden stated: “At my direction, my team is refining our national strategy to monitor and disrupt significant terrorist threats not only in Afghanistan, but anywhere they may arise — and they’re in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere” Thus, the war and aggression that started by the neo-conservatives under the Bush administration under the name of “War on Terror" will continue to be waged by the Biden administration. Therefore, the claim that the United States has achieved its "specific goals" in Afghanistan is nothing more than a lie. Apparently, one of these "specific goals" was to eliminate Islamist terrorists in Afghanistan, the forces that previously the US imperialists had created supported and equipped in the region. The invasion and occupation of Afghanistan not only did not destroy these forces but also increased the scope for their activities and ideology. For this reason, in addition to the Taliban and al-Qaeda, ISIS is now active in Afghanistan.

Another "specific goal" was to establish a puppet regime to protect imperialist interests in Afghanistan. In this regard, the United States has borne the cost of forming and advancing a puppet government. But this puppet regime, after twenty years of efforts, still lacks legitimacy and political cohesion and is on the verge of collapse. This regime consists of bourgeois-comprador and semi-feudal political forces that agree only on national treason and serfdom to imperialism. These forces are divided into two groups, which have existed since the beginning of the puppet regime. The dominant faction within the regime wants a presidential system, that is, to maintain the current structure. But the opposition, especially the Jamiat-e-Islami party, wants a restructuring to a decentralized system in which executive power is divided between the president and a prime minister. This split within the regime is an important factor of its current incohesion and could play as a factor in its eventual collapse; for this reason, many are worried about the onset and intensity of the "civil war" in Afghanistan.

Joe Biden, visiting the graves of slain soldiers in Afghanistan, stated with colonial arrogance: “From the very beginning, you may recall, I never thought we were there to somehow unify . . . Afghanistan” This is another lie that the leaders of American imperialism are telling to deflect their destructive role in Afghanistan over the past four decades. American leaders pretend that the current social crisis, war, and reactionary violence, and the rise of fundamentalist groups in Afghanistan, including the Taliban and ISIS, have nothing to do with the US aggression or imperialist policies. Although, the forty-year crisis in Afghanistan at every stage has been a reflection of the contradictions and crises of the imperialist and social-imperialist capitalist system. This crisis began with the aggression and occupation of Soviet social imperialism and intensified with the rise of fundamentalist forces and the direct aggression and occupation of US imperialism and its allies. Now twenty years of war and occupation have intensified the scope of this social, political, and economic crisis and has increased class division to an unprecedented level. The bourgeoisie-bureaucratic comprador, which controls the helms of the puppet regime, literally uses this institution as a jirga to divide the spoils and plunder. But the masses, the working classes, the peasantry, and the petty bourgeoisie are in the worst possible condition, suffering from poverty and the continuation of war and violence. In the last two decades, Afghanistan has always been at the top of the most corrupt countries in the world, because national traitors and the reactionary forces controlling the puppet regime is only after capital accumulation by plundering imperialist aid and plundering the commons and the properties of the masses.

The Taliban have not yet clearly outlined their preferred political system. The former political system of the Taliban, under the name of the Islamic Emirate, was an authoritarian and theocratic regime headed by a mullah as Amir al-Mu'minin. But the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate system does not have support within the country and also does not the blessing of regional and international powers, and this is clear to the Taliban leadership.  Russia, China, India, Iran, and even Pakistan do not want the Islamic Emirate to return to power. That is why the Taliban intensification of war is more for making gains in the peace talks. Now they are demanding the release of the group's prisoners and the removal of the Taliban leadership from the UN’s blacklist. If these demands are met, the Taliban will likely participate in the next rounds of negotiations.

Although the US imperialists have pledged to fund and support their puppet regime in the future, the withdrawal of the occupying forces, if implemented, could shift the military balance in favor of the Taliban. In the past Taliban had managed to seize districts and provincial capitals even when the puppet regime had the aerial support of the occupying powers. Therefore, it is predictable that after the withdrawal of the occupying forces, the Taliban will enter the battlefield with a stronger spirit.

The US imperialism is now hoping for an UN-led diplomatic effort to preserve its puppet regime which cost them $ 2 trillion to build. But the experience of a decade of diplomatic efforts for peace has shown that it is only good for intensifying war. Although US imperialism is likely to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, this does not mean the end of the US imperialist domination in Afghanistan and this also does not mean a Taliban victory. In case the diplomatic efforts are successful, and the Taliban are eventually integrated with the puppet regime, and it is the Taliban that is capitulating to the puppet regime and imperialism while the colonial situation of Afghanistan is continuing. The puppet regime's political, security, and military institutions would be reliant on the US imperialist support, and the security pacts between the US and the puppet regime will continue to maintain the dominance of imperialism over the country, and the puppet regime would be reliant on the support of its masters, and the US imperialists and its allies who have pledged to continue providing financial and weapons assistance to the puppet regime.

Biden unlike Trump has involved more countries in the affairs of Afghanistan and has achieved partial agreements from Russia and China, which could accelerate the process of compromise between the regime and the Taliban. Thus, if the efforts of the countries involved, Turkey, Qatar, and Pakistan, together with the United Nations, succeed, the Taliban will participate in the "peace process" meetings and the puppet regime will be reorganized by merging the Taliban within its ranks. The emerging government from the compromise will again represent the feudal-bourgeois-comprador class. While it will also increase the theocratic, national, and gender chauvinist aspects of the current regime. The Taliban have the same class base as the forces within the puppet regime. The Taliban, like the Mujahideen, had in the past been equipped and armed by US imperialism and its allies. In a government resulting from the combination of these reactionary and treacherous forces, the masses will be further under the yoke of class exploitation and double social oppression, and the accumulation of capital will continue with the plundering of the commons and at the cost of the pauperization of the masses. Therefore, it is clear that this process of reconciliation and collusion under the name of peace has nothing to do with real peace and in the country. The only real solution is a new democratic revolution with a socialist orientation; a new democratic revolution will make Afghanistan the base of the world revolution, or Afghanistan will remain the center of the world crisis, the hotbed of imperialists, and the center of activity of fundamentalist forces such as the Taliban, ISIS, and al-Qaeda. No doubt the situation is fast-changing, the changing circumstances have created new challenges and new opportunities for us, we should dare to face the new challenges and the new opportunities in the changing new circumstances and utilize them in enhancing the revolutionary path.

Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan

March 2021


Friday, August 13, 2021

Military upgrades for Australian satellites: The small print behind the big deal

 Written by: (Contributed) on 14 August 2021

Almost hidden in enlarged Australian defence budgets in general and the recent $270 billion ten-year military upgrade specifically, lie references to equipping existing US-led satellite systems with enhanced facilities.

The US-led facilities form the basis of regional intelligence-gathering hosted by the Australian government. The facilities, furthermore, have placed Australia in a front-line position for US-led regional foreign policy with all the dangers and implications which that particular diplomatic position has involved.

A recent announcement from the Pentagon that the US military have begun testing an advanced artificial intelligence system for faster analysis of intelligence was provided minimal coverage in mainstream Australian media outlets. The system, referred to as a global information dominance experiment (GIDE), is not about new ways of intelligence-gathering and will use existing satellite systems, radar facilities and various underwater systems which are already in place. (1)

The GIDE system is primarily an AI computer program with the capacity to analyse vast quantities of intelligence for military application with the specific intention of 'exploiting the mass of data, beyond any human ability to absorb, to predict how the enemy might react by examining patterns and changes'. (2)

Once alerted to what are regarded as significant factors, military commanders will then have the ability to feed the information into geo-spatial intelligence satellites (GEOINT) to 'examine human behaviour … in order … to take a closer look at what might be going on in a specific location'. (3)

The range of the satellite systems has also been extended in recent years with linkage to more than one ground station to increase coverage of larger geographical areas. (4)  

The announcement coincided with a similar official diplomatic statement from the Australian Defence Department about the ADF adopting new digital battle space strategy systems with modern warfare postures for defence and security provision. (5) It was noted by Assistant Defence Minister Andrew Hastie that 'our war-fighters – commanders and troops in the field, air-crew and sailors – all need access to fast and reliable data to successfully conduct operations … our inter-operability with our security partners and allies depends upon us sharing sophisticated mission and intelligence data'. (6)

Australia has had a long history of intelligence-sharing with the US; Pine Gap has remained central to US regional and global operations for decades. A February 2008 agreement between the US and Australia, likewise, was based upon 'intensified co-operation and intelligence-sharing in GEOINT … to boost surveillance of Asia and the Pacific'. (7) It formally linked Canberra with the US National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency Headquarters at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Australia, subsequently, re-named existing facilities into the Australian Government Geo-Spatial Intelligence Organisation in 2013, as one of six official intelligence agencies. (8) It was later linked to similar US-led agencies, elsewhere, in: Canada, the European Union, the UK, New Zealand and Portugal.

As the Indo-Pacific region in recent years has become the epicentre of rising diplomatic and strategic tensions, Australia has become even more important for US-led regional military planning. Recent references in ADF material to Five Eyes Partners and 'repositioning data as a strategic asset … which will … underpin front-line operations', leave little to the imagination about the designated role of Australia in US-led regional military planning. (9) Australia has become primarily an important hub for US-led regional operations.

The newly established Australian Force Structure Plan has, furthermore, been noted as 'a signal … and major shift in Australia's global role … placing … a greater focus on the immediate region', and has already included planned anti-ballistic missile defence shields. (10) Elsewhere, there are references to 'military satellites and ground-based signals intelligence facilities' linked to the use of long-range strike capability and anti-submarine warfare. (11)

The moves have also coincided with increased high-level diplomatic relations between Australia and Japan, as a three-way relationship with the US. The recent Japanese diplomatic statement from Ambassador Yamagami Shingo that he wanted greater access to Australia's remote training facilities and more joint naval exercises reveal a greater co-ordination between the US allies. (12) They have drawn Australia ever closer to hostilities between the US and China over Taiwan, which is one of several regional flashpoints where military and diplomatic posturing could easily escalate into real-war scenarios. (13)

The moves have also created dangers for Australia which have been clarified in a recent military assessment by the Lowy Institute. The paper, from the Centre for a New American Strategy, by Thomas Shugart, has assessed China's new range missile programs and concluded that while a war between Australia and China is 'remote', serious competition between the US and China particularly within the western Pacific has become problematic for Canberra. (14)

Australia has nothing to gain from being so closely allied with the US, and a great deal to potentially lose in a real-war scenario:
                                       We need an independent foreign policy!

1.     Pentagon uses AI to figure out what the enemy will do next, Australian, 4 August 2021.
2.     Ibid.
3.     Ibid.
4.     See: Fundamentals of Micro-wave and Satellite Technologies, Abdul Khaleque, 29 October 2008.
5.     Diggers to fight on digital front, Australian, 4 August 2021.
6.     Ibid.
7.     Australia to access US spy satellites, Spatial Source, 13 February 2011.
8.     Wikipedia: Geo-Spatial Intelligence Satellites.
9.     Diggers to fight on digital front, op.cit., 4 August 2021.
10.   PM shoulders arms to China, Australian, 1 July 2020; and, Defence spending must shore up national security, Editorial, Australian, 11 August 2021.
11.   Ibid.
12.   Japan steps up military alliance, Australian, 5 July 2021.
13.   Japan steps up to support Taiwan, Editorial, Australian, 8 July 2021; and,
        Japan vows to defend Taiwan with US, Australian, 8 July 2021.
14.   Australia 'within PLA strike range', Australian, 11 August 2021.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Labor: how can anyone call it an “Opposition”?

Written by: Nick G. on 10 August 2021 

The Labor Party’s latest act of deferring to the needs of the capitalist class has taken the unedifying form of support for the Government’s refusal to be transparent about which big corporations are refusing to pay back JobKeeper supplements, introduced at the start of the pandemic in 2020.

Labor and the independents had said they would require the tax commissioner to publish the names of entities which received JobKeeper, the number of individuals for whom the entity received the JobKeeper payment and the total amount that they received, with the option of also publishing information about how much the entity has paid back. These are companies that predicted a downfall in sales because of the Pandemic, but which subsequently turned in big profits, meaning that they did not need to retain the JobKeeper payment. Only five companies have so far paid back the funds.

It is well-known that big exploiters like Gerry Harvey (of Harvey Normans) simply thumbed their noses at the suggestion that they pay back the money. The car dealership Eagers Automotives paid out more than 100 per cent of the $67 million they received in JobKeeper for July-December in shareholder dividends. Others gave CEOs, already on obscene levels of remuneration, huge personal bonuses. And this was public money meant to keep workers in jobs.

Labor announced yesterday (August 9) that it would withdraw support for the transparency measures, leaving independents and the Greens like shags on a rock.

It followed Labor’s capitulation over the proposed low and intermediate-level nuclear waste dump proposal. Instead of holding the line with the independents and the Greens and blocking the dump, Labor worked with the government on a compromise that would allow the dump at Kimba in SA to proceed in return for opponents having the right of appeal through the courts.  The Barngarla First Peoples, having been subjected to a racist exclusion from a community vote on the dump, are now faced with having to plead for funds.  Anticipating the possibility of being forced into a judicial review of the dump, they established a Go Fund Me appeal several months ago, hoping to raise $100,000. To date, they have raised just $5,232 (including a donation from our Party).  The have been thrown to the wolves by Labor.

Crawling at the heels of the Government like a dog with a broken back, Labor is so determined to achieve office by making itself indistinguishable from the Liberals that they finally junked their negative gearing policy (which promised at least a partial redistribution of wealth) whilst attaching themselves firmly by the leash to the Government’s scheduled tax cuts for high-income earners.

Here's a tip for the journos in the mainstream media: stop calling Labor “the Opposition”. An Opposition opposes. It is possible to do that even within the common acceptance of Parliament as the social institution of capitalism, and within the agreed framework of capitalism as the accepted economic system. 

The Greens can oppose the Government on most things.  So can Jacqui Lambie, Rex Patrick and others in the Senate, and some of the independents in the Lower House.

As an exasperated Senator Lambie said to Labor Senators on Monday, “You are supposed to be the Opposition. God, you've been doing it for eight years! No wonder you're still there! Stand up to them, because I can tell you that they won't be giving in by Thursday afternoon. Goodness me! Here you are, both Liberal and Labor, with all these staff, yet it takes the Independents and the micros to come up through the lot of you and call you out.”

And the determined and hard-working Senator Rex Patrick also addressed the Labor seat-warmers: “I think I said in the chamber last year that I was going to help you with your marketing. I'm going to buy you a dog. I am going to buy you a dog and it's going to be a dog that rolls over every time a Liberal Party member walks into the room, because that's exactly what you're doing here.”

We have said, and we say it again, the Labor Party is a party of capitalism.  It has no vision for an independent and socialist Australia.  It does not provide any leadership in the direction of these goals of the Australian people. The "Opposition" label pinned on the ALP creates illusions of democracy and choice, as well as illusions that Labor represents the working class and socially progressive policies.

That it can’t even badge itself as a fighting Opposition says heaps about its sole goal of obtaining the fruits of holding office for the imperialists who really run Australia.

Its unwillingness to even play the role assigned to it as an Opposition, will give further credibility to the need for an independent working class agenda led by a real party of change, a party that will always stand by the right of the people to struggle and win.

Monday, August 2, 2021

US imperialism not pleased by Korean peninsula diplomatic thaw

 Written by: (Contributed) on 3 August 2021

High-level correspondence accompanied by various proposals between South Korea (ROK) and the northern DPRK provide a welcome thaw in their diplomatic relations.

The US, officially, was taken by surprise with the development although it would appear doubtful to be the case: their intelligence tentacles reach deep inside the ROK political and economic system.

Behind the scenes two important factors have to be considered.

It is the last year of office for President Moon Jae-in and his administration is faced with difficult elections next year following previous pledges to normalise diplomatic relations with the DPRK.

Secondly, the ROK is bitterly politically divided; those associated with far-right forces, backed by the US, are expected to make a desperate grab for presidential power to further US-led regional Cold War defence and security provision.

A joint diplomatic announcement, in late July, that the ROK and DPRK were intending restoring cross-border communications together with an agreement to improve diplomatic links has provided a welcome thaw on the Korean peninsula. Previous diplomatic relations were severed over a year ago due to far-right ROK activists attempting to undermine planning for peaceful relations between the two halves on the Korean peninsula. A subsequent statement from the ROK unification ministry stated 'hot-lines were back to normal operation … and … the first step towards improving ties', had taken place. (1)

The DPRK Korean Central News Agency, likewise, reported 'the top leaders of the north and the south agreed to make a big stride in recovering mutual trust and promoting reconciliation by restoring the cut-off inter-Korean communication liaison lines'. (2)

The development can be viewed as a first move toward normalisation of diplomatic relations between two states, still technically at war since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The US, historically, supported the ROK for regional military and security provision and the Defence of Japan military doctrine for rapid deployment facilities. While the US still has nearly 30,000 military personnel based in the ROK, the changing balance of regional forces has had a dramatic effect upon traditional US-led hegemonic positions.

The rise of China has provided the US with a serious competitor and altered the regional balance of forces. It has led to a realignment of diplomatic positions, particularly on the Korean peninsula, where diplomatic silence has become commonplace. Relations between the US and the ROK, in recent years, have also been strained.

It is, therefore, not surprising that the US Embassy in Seoul 'declined comment' on the recent diplomatic thaw. (3) It is also doubtful, however, that  the embassy was unaware of the diplomatic initiatives between the ROK and DPRK despite a series of letters between  Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un since April leading up to their joint announcement.

The roots of US intelligence reach deep into the ROK political system; their GSOMIA intelligence network links the ROK into US-led regional and global military and security provision. (4) The GSOMIA system has also rested on the role of the ROK KCIA, established within weeks of President Park Chung-he seizing power in 1961. His military council established the US-backed intelligence service in four weeks and then used it for widespread systematic repression across the country and control of the system.  

Draconian legislation was also implemented to restrict progressive and labour movement organisations. Much of the legislation still remains in force to the present day.

The repression was also accompanied, historically, by shadowy far-right organisations including the notorious World Anti-Communist League (WACL) which was renamed the World League for Freedom and Democracy (WLFD) in 1990. The Taipei-based organisation has an important centre in Seoul, with strong links into ROK society at large. In fact, the ROK hosted the initial meeting of the Asian Pacific League for Freedom and Democracy (APLFD), founded at Chinhae in 1954, which evolved later into the WACL in 1966.

So-called World Freedom Day, celebrated by pro-US and anti-communist groups annually on 23 January, is celebrated in both Taiwan and the ROK and it has been interesting to note how reference to the ROK has appeared in far-right, neo-Nazi 'manifestos' in recent years. A reference to the 'societal goals' of the 'Justiciar Knights', for example, include 'the … South Korean model … a monocultural but highly developed and progressive society'. (5) It has been particularly interesting to note how their chosen model has switched from traditional European far-right ideals to the present-day ROK, tending to indicate some support from within the political system itself following intelligence-type assessments.

An example of the role of the WACL in ROK political life can also be seen by those associated with the previous Park administrations. Park Chung-he who served as ROK president from 1963-79, was a powerful military figure closely associated with the WACL. It functioned as a 'public relations arm for the governments of Taiwan and the ROK', and was used as an instrument for unconventional warfare. (6) Funding was also provided by the US. (7)

The fact that 320,000 ROK troops fought in the Vietnam War remains evidence of the significance of the ROK for US military and security provision.

Park's daughter, Park Geun-hye, later served as president from 2013-17, after a long parliamentary career and leader of the Conservative Grand National Party.

The ROK remains bitterly divided along political lines with those associated with the Moon Jae-in administration facing a difficult presidential election campaign next year. Those associated with the Park political dynasty, and their US-backed far-right allies, are vying for power. Washington and the Pentagon have been noted for wanting the ROK to declare their full participation in the US-led Indo-Pacific Strategy. The Moon Jae-in presidential administration, however, has been reluctant to declare full support without conditions. (8)

The recent diplomatic initiatives can, therefore, be seen in a favourable light and a welcome boost for those associated with the Moon Jae-in presidential administration in difficult times.  

1.     Two Koreas restore severed communications in surprise thaw, Australian, 28 July 2021.  
2.     Ibid.
3.     North, South Korean talks, Hamodia, 28 July 2021.
4.     The reasons behind Washington's push for GSOMIA., Hankyoreh, 12 November 2019.
5.     The Global Intelligence Files, Justiciar Knights, Wikileaks: Stratfor, reference 5543061, 31 December 2019.
6.     Inside the League, Scott Anderson and Jon Lee Anderson, (New York, 1986), page 11.
7.     Ibid., page 54.
8.     Hankyoreh., op.cit., 12 November 2019.

Impact of Covid 19 on Tertiary Education Sector


Written by: Ned K. on 3 August 2021

The federal Department of Home Affairs data for the year ending June 2021 shows that International Student numbers for the year were down by about 100,000 which equated to a $6 billion hole in the economy overall. 

This $6 billion includes an estimate of loss of "export income" to the universities here, but also loss of profits to the accommodation and retail and other service sectors. 

So, it is not difficult to see why some state governments have been desperate to find ways to get overseas students back into Australia to fill the vacant high rise apartments that have sprung up in most capital cities for overseas students to fill.

However, all is not as gloom and doom for the universities as they would make out. Despite the growing attack by the Morrison Government on China as a national security threat to Australia, and verbal and trade retaliation by the Chinese Government, Chinese students (and presumably their parents with the money) comprise 56% of all visa holders currently based outside Australia. 56% represents about 90,000 people.

International Education Association chief executive Phil Honeywood, a former Minister in Jeff Kennett’s government, said that Chinese students had taken up offshore online study at Australian universities much more than other overseas students.

This has been a financial saviour for universities here, Honeywood said.