English


IWCA är en organisation jag följt med intresse. Den här texten är ganska gammal, och det är lite av poängen. Jag har tidigare letat efter den men inte fått tag på den. När jag väl fick tag på den tänkte jag att det var lika bra att lägga upp den om någon annan också är intresserad. Det är ett av gruppens första flygblad där man skriver ner sin syn på den engelska vänstern och klasskampen. Jag håller inte med om alla slutsatser de gör, men de ställer i alla fall rätt frågor, och i med det då förtjänar texten helt klart att läsas. Jag tycker den svenska socialdemokratin i större och större utsträckning gör samma sak som Labour – man räknar med att få arbetarklassens röster vad som än händer och siktar då in sig på mellanskikten istället.

THE INDEPENDENT WORKING CLASS ASSOCIATION

”The Independent Working Class Association [IWCA] has been established to promote and celebrate the political independence of the working class and to pursue the political and economic interests of that class, with no consideration for, and regardless of consequence to the existing political and economic structures.” (founding statement, 21 October 1995)

In June 1994, the media reported that Labour had recruited only 6,000 trade unionists from the 4,000,000 political levy payers offered a vote in the leadership poll. Since then Labour has recruited well in excess of its 80,000 target figure. But if they are not trade unionists, who are they? Activists within the Socialist Workers Party who will be campaigning for Labour at the next election already know the answer. ”All the indications are that the electoral support and possible membership emerges from the thoroughly rattled middle classes and not from the working class at all.” Former deputy leader Roy Hattersly concurs: ”we live in the age of the almost universal middle class what they want from a political party is prudent compassion. The near unanimous support for cautious altruism is an electoral blessing.”
Labour, a middle class party for middle class people. This is the moment of truth for the entire British Left. Will it continue with the pretence that Tory vs. Labour represents the very essence of class conflict, while bemoaning the fact that ‘socialism’ has been abandoned or take advantage of that fact?
It’s make your mind up time.

LESSER EVIL
Like the Left the working class is increasingly split into pro and anti-Labour camps. And as with the working class only the former are organised. The first step toward reaching the unorganised working class is to organise the unorganised anti-Labour Left. Many working class people are increasingly alienated from Labour. The strategy of the far right is entirely reliant on this alienation. However it is not the job of working class militants to mend this relationship. On the contrary, the task is to make the break permanent. Labour’s arrogant contempt in regard to its former constituency is based on the belief that there is no possibility of an alternative to them, and so the working class will be forced to vote for them as ‘the lesser evil’ regardless. ”The least advantaged – and in some ways the least attractive members of society will undoubtedly vote Labour whatever the party does.” (Roy Hattersley, April 1994)

CONSERVATIVE LEFT
One consequence of this analysis, is that their left flank is glaringly vulnerable. Many organisations to Labour’s Left defend their repeated failure to attack this flank on the grounds that: a) ‘Labour is a step to the left’ b) ‘we are too small to stand against them’ c) ‘we are the socialist alternative’.
While such organisations present themselves as radical, they are on the wrong side of this natural demarcation line. The one consistent message of the conservative Left is that a politically independent working class is not only impossible — but — undesirable.
As sponsors of The Independent Working Class Association we disagree. Now more than ever what is needed is a politically independent working class organisation. The setting up of such an organisation is the only practical response to the situation we are faced with; the total abandonment, even as a concept of the working class by Labour.
For without organisation the working class has no voice.
Without a voice there can be no resistance.
Without resistance, the British working class fulfils the role ordained for it by the establishment and becomes politically extinct.

CLEAN BREAK
The IWCA is distinct from anything that exists in Britain now or in the recent past. A working class organisation not only independent, but hostile to Labour. It will seek to absorb and unite groups (without demanding that they abandon their distinct positions or organisations) and accommodate individuals on the basis of that platform, while aspiring to be a pole of attraction to the tens of thousands of working class militants who long despaired of the Left ever doing anything worthwhile.
The IWCA will be a clean break with the past and will be seen to be so. From the outset it will be clear that we have rejected entryism and the prospect of reform, be that reform of Labour or the economic system. We will not orientate or seek solace from the official ‘labour movement’. Trade unionism as a strategy for total social change is no longer vaguely credible.
Instead the IWCA will be community orientated and in time community based. It will be led by the working class but not limited to the working class. Essentially it will be a can do organisation; an organisation that can make things happen or prevent them happening. Membership will be openly available and its activists will join with those fighting to achieve immediate results in the interests of the working class.

SELF-DETERMINATION
At the heart of the IWCA lies the concept of working class self-determination. Therefore the question of a political programme does not arise as this would mean the collective will of the sponsors being imposed in advance. In time, following an appropriate period of common activity a programme will be hammered out in day to day confrontation with the practical needs of the class who will in turn play a key role in the development of that programme. Initiating a dialogue with local working communities will in many cases determine the immediate priorities.
The Labour party has arrogantly thrown the gauntlet to the working class and the Left. We are aware of our responsibility in picking up that gauntlet. The gulf between the working class and the Left is enormous. The size of the task is a daunting one, but the challenge is nothing compared to the political consequences of our failing to act.

RESISTANCE
One possible election scenario, is that some sections of the working class finding themselves in confrontation with a ‘socialist’ government, and hungry for real change, end up sharing common ground with the radical right out of sheer desperation. The Left has an obligation to offer the working class something other than the choice between New Labour and a resurgent far right. Labour are forcing the working class into a fight. As we see it, the alternative to resistance is either capitulation or collaboration. The setting up of an independent working class organisation is something that has to be done. New Labour have themselves provided us with the opening, So, let’s get on with it

IWCA leaflet, Winter 1995/96

Länk: IWCA – national site

Från Konfliktportalen.se: Anders_S skriver Stockholm och klassklyftorna, johan skriver Välkomna inte rasistiska partier till skolan, domljuger skriver Reklam för stadskampvecka, Fredrik Jönsson skriver Klassmotsättningarna ökar oavsett vad liberalerna tycker, Johan Frick skriver Ännu ett fiasko för Nationaldemokraterna, Hans Norebrink skriver När framtiden redan hänt: Två steg bak, ett steg fram

För mer vänsterbloggar besök http://www.konfliktportalen.se.

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Annonser

Här kommer en läsvärd artikel från Notes from the swedish workers’ movement (som jag tidigare intervjuat) som tar upp berättande och klasskamp. Jag publicerar den då jag misstänker att de flesta mina läsare inte läser den bloggen också. Kommentera gärna på engelska:

I read last night an interview with Alan Moore, an anarchist who has written some of the best comics of the recent past, including Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and From Hell. He discussed a little bit about the importance of story telling for radical movements, a theme which has come up here before, in my discussion of Kämpa Tillsammans’ use of the ‘workplace story’ as an organising tool.

I wrote:

“While traditional workers’ inquiries tend to be quite formal, often involving questionnaires and formal interviews, the members of Kämpa Tillsammans  chose instead to document their own (often humorous) work experiences, draw lessons from them and publish them on the internet. They deliberately chose the medium of story-telling because they wanted workers to engage with the stories in a way that is not possible with formal surveys. Kim Muller of Kämpa Tillsammans explains that they wanted to change the popular idea of what it was to be a worker; workers do not communicate with each other via “written pamphlets or leaflets but by talking and storytelling”, thus stories provide a far better way to develop a new workers discourse than dry analysis and documentation.”

Alan Moore had a similar point to make, although unsurprisingly, he made it far better:

“I think that if you actually examine the relationship between real life and fiction, you’ll find that we most often predicate our real lives upon fictions that we have applied from somewhere… Inevitably, we are to some extent creating a fiction every second of our lives, the fiction of who we are, the fiction of what our lives are about, the meanings that we give to things. So to some degree, stories are at the absolute center of human existence”

(in Mythmakers and Lawbreakers – anarchist writers on fiction, published by AK Press)

In my piece, I was counterposing the practice of workplace storytelling with that of the more formal workers’ inquiries, promoted by the Italian autonomia tendency. Many of the Italian autonomia writers were academics, and thus a rigorously formal inquiry into the ‘objective facts’ of workplace organisation and working class struggle in the big industrial plants  was a natural enough path to take, (This approach was mirrored more recently in Kolinko’s ‘Hotlines‘ inquiry into class composition in call centres). Kämpa Tillsammans’ approach was more subjective, they wanted something which was fun for workers to read and talk about. Workers swap stories and jokes all the time in the break room and on the shop floor, who would pass on an academic text or a piece of sociology?

Thus stories could be a much more useful organising tool – as well as passing on experiences and ideas, they carry implicit moral overtones, heroes and villains, which in turn justify militant practices and rebellion. Looking at stories in this way, as intrinsically related to our experience of daily life, has much in common with the trend in sociology towards ‘social constructionism‘, which places focus on the ways that social reality is created by groups and individuals. It’s no secret that bosses and companies do all they can to create a narrative of work that promotes responsibility and hard work. This typically takes the form of lectures and videos about ‘company values’, underscored by pathetic staff perks and bonus schemes. The success or failure of this attempt will have a big effect on the workplace collective, will workers identify their interests with the company and follow their narrative, or will they develop their own of subversion and rebellion?

Kolla gärna in bloggen Litteratur och Klass också. Eller varför inte Tio meter över havet.

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Från Konfliktportalen.se: Anders_S skriver Stigande elpriser, stillastående kärnkraftverk och sträng kyla, Jinge skriver Drevet mot Carlgren

Without taking a closer look, the Swedish workers’ movement may, for an outside observer, look very strong and well organized. Many workers are union members, and the collective agreements and strong labor laws should ensure some basic rights, but the laws are seldom very effective and not used in real workplaces, and the union is very centralized and makes it hard to act out self-activity among wage workers. Make no mistakes, the swedish working class is very hard pressed with the highest unemployment seen in many years. But more and more workers is also taking actions outside of the traditional ”Swedish model” – using wild cat strikes and more hidden forms of direct action.

I have made an interview Ronan (or ”handsome irish anarchist” as he likes to call himself) who works with the blog Notes from the Swedish Workers’ movement. The blog looks into the different currents of the radical Swedish workers’ movement.

Kim
Hi, handsome irish anarchist, wanna tell me a bit about the project you work with?

Ronan
Right now I’m doing a lot of research and writing about the Swedish workers movement. I’m writing a blog with some shorter pieces and observations, and have just written a longer essay for an Irish journal, and am in the process of writing another long piece which I hope will be published in the English journal ‘Black Flag‘. The intention is to eventually produce a pamphlet called ‘Notes from the Swedish workers’ movement’ which will summarise the recent history of the movement, and present some of its most interesting ideas and practices.

Kim
How come you have this focus on Sweden? Does the movement differs from other similar countries that much?

Ronan
My main experience is with the English speaking movement, through active participation in Ireland, and a lot of discussions and reading about it elsewhere, so I can’t really speak for the movement in non-English speaking countries like France or Spain (I also have experience with the movement in Denmark). My focus on Sweden is because I think that the movement is generally on the same track, but is quite far ahead of what has so far developed in the English speaking movements. I want to take some of the lessons that have been learnt there, and bring them to the English speaking movements, which will hopefully provide some kind of ‘booster shot’ and help to speed up the development.
To be more precise, what I think is special about Sweden is the way in which it has developed a revolutionary theory and practice centred around the workplace as it is constituted today, not as it was twenty or thirty years ago. In the English speaking countries over the past few years there has been a very long internal discussion about issues such as organisation and the relation to the class struggle. I think these battles have now been won, and what the movements are struggling with is developing a real practice. In some cases people are very interested in working with unions, even when conditions make this impossible, , in some cases there is a strong critique of unions, but no practical alternative proposed. It’s these kind of discussions that I’m hoping to help develop with this research.

Kim
What do you see as the ”real practices”, theory and alternatives that can be ”borrowed” from the swedish movement

Ronan
As I said, I think the movement has developed a theory and practice rooted in the modern working place, and the modern class composition. This is seen in practices such as the Registry Method and the reorganisation of the SAC, the Faceless Resistance promoted by Kämpa Tillsammans!, and in the promotion of ‘social factory’ struggle by Planka.nu or Piratbyrån for example. I am also interested in Folkrörelselinjen’s particular approach to working within union structures to build militance, which still recognises the problems with unions. All these different practices really go hand in hand with a polyamorous approach to theory, which has cannibalised classical Marxism, ‘autonomist’ reinventions, anarchism, syndicalism, left communism, etc etc. This has meant that there is no single political thread which is primary, but a lot of different ideas, taken and re-contextualised to suit the needs of the present.

Kim
Haha, I like the language

Ronan
Poly-amorous cannibalisation?

Kim
We usually prefer to say ”pragmatic” instead of polyamorous. But that can change…
At the same time, there is very few open struggles like wildcats and occupations going on. I can imagine that LOs firm grip have forced us to look elsewhere and try different things… (not really a question, more like thinking…)

Ronan
Yes, unfortunately I haven’t really been able to find figures for strike days and things like that. My impression was that a lot of disputes were happening through SAC?

Kim
Yes, in number of strikes SAC is high i think, but not in ”strike days” since the strikes very often is small.

Ronan
Ok

Kim
But the lack of open struggles also have a lot to do with class composition, high unemployment and unsecure jobs and so forth.

Ronan
Yes, in that sense it would be consistent with much of the rest of the world

Kim – Can you tell me about the posts so far?

Ronan
On the blog I have both assembled some different stuff, and written some original things. Bear in mind that with this blog form, I don’t mean the posts to be the decisive work on something, but a prelude to more discussion and development.

So, I have assembled some of the different articles written in the ESF reader, which was very useful. I have published a translation a friend made of a Folkrörelselinjen text, I have published a short description of the Registry method (written by Altemark), an original piece about the Batko group, and just recently an interview with a former Folkmakt member about the history of that group.

Kim
And what are you planning now?

Ronan
I am hoping that the pieces about Batko and Folkmakt will inspire some discussion, which will provide more information. I am also planning a piece about whether SAC struggles are too conflictual. I would like to write something about the 1990 recession and the turn towards autonomism, something about school strikes. I would also like to write something about Kvinnopolitisk Forum, more about Piratbyrån, something about class composition, etc etc… That is, the class composition in Sweden
I will also publish the longer essays I told you about at some stage.

Kim
It seems to me that the swedish movement have been good at taking use of people real life experiences of workplace struggles, through discussions, interview, inquires and storytelling. How do you think about that?

Ronan
Yes, I definitely agree with you on this question. In common with a lot of other countries, the idea of the ‘militant inquiry’ from Italian operaismo (where radicals formally investigate the conditions of work in order to learn lessons about the class composition and methods of struggle which can then be circulated among other workers) was much discussed in Sweden, through Riff-Raff for example. Your group, Kämpa Tillsammans was also influenced by this discussion, but instead of making a formal inquiry into the lives of other workers, you preferred to discuss how you personally learned lessons from struggles in your own workplaces. I think this is quite an important shift, moving from looking at the working class from the outside, to looking at it from the inside as participants in the struggle.

One of the results of this is that these pieces, anecdotes rather than essays, are a lot more digestible, they are not just something for left wing academics (who anyway don’t matter that much!), but they are something for average pissed off workers who are looking for something to do in their workplaces. Stories can give us much more than academic work, they carry morals and norms as well as statistics and graphs. It is not an accident that reading children stories is one of the first acts of socialisation, it is about learning values, rather than simply facts.

It is worth noting that starting with everyday life as the basis of an opposition to the system is something that is common with the US feminist practice of ‘consciousness raising groups’, these groups connected women to the movement in a way that abstract sloganeering could not do, and it became the backbone of the feminist movement during that time.

This tendency has been aided by the internet, which has made it easier for people to publish their own stuff, while blogging has at the same time made it more acceptable to write in this informal style, of half finished thoughts, pieces in an ongoing discussion.
To sum up, I think this is again connected with what I discussed earlier, the importance of returning the focus to everyday life, rather than in the tired old clichés from 1917, 1936 etc. It empowers people, it makes the struggle something that occurs in their everyday life, and it makes revolutionary politics a lot more easy to grasp.

Kim
Anything else to add?

Ronan
Yes, it’d be really great to hear from people involved in the movement, to hear what they have been involved in, and what they think is important. The more people that participate, the better the work will be.
They can contact me at: swedishzine(at)gmail.com.

And that was all, readers should feel encouraged to comment in english so the poor souls who don’t know swedish may read as well.

As a tribute: a swedish demolition worker does the riverdance.

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I dagarna möter Obama presidenterna från Afghanistan och Pakistan, så det är verkligen aktuellt med en röst från Afghanistan som för fram perspektiv från människor som faktiskt bor där och kämpar för förändring. Med tanke på vilket slagträ ”kvinnor” varit i kriget i Afghanistan hoppas jag att folk tycker det är intressant att läsa vad en del av dom själva har att säga, även om jag inte till fullo delar varje sig RAWAs mål eller analys tycker jag ändå dom har en hel del relevant att säga. Ett stor tack till Ian Sinclair och Peace News för den här intervjuen med Mariam Rawi från RAWA – Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan:

”Freedom, democracy and justice cannot be enforced at gunpoint by a foreign country; they are the values that can be achieved only by our people and democracy-loving forces through a hard, decisive and long struggle. Those who claim to donate these values to Afghan people through force will only push our country to slavery.”

Established in 1977, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) is an independent women’s organisation fighting for human rights and social justice in Afghanistan.  RAWA opposed the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan from 1979-89, aswell as the subsequent Mujahaden and Taliban governments, running underground schools for Afghan girls, publishing a journal and setting up humanitarian projects.

Mariam Rawi a member of RAWA’s foreign relations committee, answer’s Peace News’s questions about the current US-led occupation of Afghanistan.

1) In 2001 President Bush claimed the United States invaded Afghanistan to fight for ”progress and pluralism, tolerance and freedom”.  Why does RAWA think the United States invaded and continues to occupy Afghanistan?

The US invaded Afghanistan to fulfil its geo-political, economic and regional strategic interests and to change Afghanistan into a strong military base in the region. Since Afghanistan is the heart of Asia, it would serve as a strong base for controlling surrounding countries like Pakistan, China, Iran and above all the Central. Additionally, as a superpower, it continues to occupy Afghanistan to combat rising powers like Russia and China, who are becoming greater rivals for the US in the economic, military and political fields. Asian Republics

Many argue today that the 2001 invasion was planned before 9/11, but it gave the war-mongers in the White House and Pentagon a golden opportunity to advance its agenda in the region. In the words of Tony Blair ”to be truthful about it, there was no way we could have got the public consent to have suddenly launched a campaign on Afghanistan but for what happened on September 11…”

Getting hold of the multi-billions drug business was another reason for invading Afghanistan and in the past few years we clearly see that the US and its allies changed Afghanistan into the opium capital of the world.  Opium production increased more than 4400%, with 93% of world illegal opium produced in Afghanistan. Narcotics is said to be the third greatest trade commodity in cash terms after oil and weapons. There are large financial institutions behind this business and the control of the routes of narcotics was important for the US government and now they have reached their goal.

Furthermore, Afghanistan holds a rich source of gas, copper, iron and other minerals and precious stones and the big powers are of course interested in looting it the way they are doing in poor African countries. In the past few years there have been exploration efforts of our natural resources. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimates there are about 700 billion cubic meters of gas and 300 million tonnes of oil across several Northern provinces of Afghanistan. Also the world’s second-biggest unexploited copper deposit is located in our country with an estimated 11 million tonnes of copper. So besides routing the oil and gas from the Central Asian Republics through Afghanistan, the US is interested in exploiting Afghanistan’s resources too.

The ”war on terror” and ”liberation of Afghan women” were mere lies to cover the above and many other hidden agendas of the US in Afghanistan. Our peoples’ dreams for liberation were shattered in the very first days after the invasion when they witnessed that the war criminals and Northern Alliance murderers and rapists who destroyed Afghanistan, were backed and brought back to power by the US and its allies after the fall of the Taliban regime. When infamous criminals like Burhanuddin Rabbani, Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, Karim Khalili, Mohammad Mohaqiq, Yunus Qanooni, Mullah Rakiti, Atta Muhammad, Rashid Dostum, Ismail Khan, Haji Almas, Hazrat Ali and many more were decorated by the US as champions of freedom and were installed in power, everyone knew that Afghanistan had once again become the centre of a chess game of the US and its allies who made the slogans of ”democracy” and ”human rights” into painful jokes for our nation.

2) Can you describe what life is like for women in Afghanistan today?  Is it better or worse than life under the Taliban Government?

Despite many a hue and cry about ”women’s rights” and the ”liberation of Afghan women”, Afghanistan still faces a women’s rights catastrophe.

There is no tangible change in the conditions of Afghan women; in certain parts of the country the life is worse than under the Taliban.  The rate of kidnappings, rapes, selling of girls, forced marriages, acid attacks, prostitution and self-immolation by young girls and women has reached a record high, even compared to the Taliban regime.

Due to forced marriages and domestic violence, self-immolation by women aged between 18 and 35 is becoming an epidemic in Afghanistan. There have been hundreds of such cases reported mostly in the provinces of Herat, Farah, Ghor and Badghis. Where there is non-existent rule of law and legal support for women, they have no other option but to get rid of their misery by burning themselves.

Due to severe poverty which affects over 80 percent of Afghanistan’s population, life for hundreds of thousands of war widows and poor women is disastrous and in many parts of Afghanistan the level of prostitution and begging in the streets has risen to an unprecedented level. There have been many reports of parents being forced to sell their children as they can’t feed them. In the western province alone 150 cases of the selling of children, especially girls, were officially reported in 2008 — the actual numbers are much higher. of Herat

There are many more that are not reflected in the news as the media is strongly stifled under the shadow of guns and threats of the warlords.

In the past few years only some cosmetic changes were made in regard to women’s rights.  For example, the Women’s Ministry and 68 women members of parliament was trumpeted as a big success. Meanwhile the Ministry has done nothing for women and is just a showcase. The majority of women in the parliament are pro-warlord and cannot represent Afghan women as they themselves are part of the problem.

Afghan women have been badly betrayed in the past seven years under the US occupation. Their plight was used to justify the occupation of Afghanistan, but not only were no steps taken to heal their wounds, rather the worst enemies of women’s rights were empowered, supported and installed in key posts.

When the entire nation lives under the shadow of warlords, Taliban, drug-lords, occupation forces and a corrupt, puppet and mafia government, how can its women enjoy the most basic rights?

3) Barack Obama, the new President of the United States, has pledged to institute a ”surge” in Afghanistan, increasing American troop levels by 30,000. Does RAWA support this?

Considering Obama’s plans for Afghanistan, we can clearly see that there is no difference between Obama and Bush for our country. Both are following a wrong and devastating strategy which has so far pushed Afghanistan and the region towards disaster and deeper conflicts.

Even if the US deployed hundreds of thousands of troops in Afghanistan, they will not be here to bring ”peace”, ”freedom” and ”democracy” for the people of Afghanistan. They will only serve the US’s regional interests and help the warlords, drug-lords and other US agents who are in power in our country; but for our suffering and war-stricken people, it will have a ruinous outcome.

Freedom, democracy and justice cannot be enforced at gunpoint by a foreign country; they are the values that can be achieved only by our people and democracy-loving forces through a hard, decisive and long struggle. Those who claim to donate these values to Afghan people through force will only push our country to slavery.

The very first outcome of the ”surge” for Afghan people will be an increase in the number of civilian casualties which have already sparked protests and opposition from Afghan people. In the past seven years thousands of innocent people have been killed or wounded by the US/NATO bombardments. In the past few weeks under Obama’s rule, around 100 Afghan civilians have been killed.

Today many people in Afghanistan ask for the withdrawal of troops and regard them as useless to do any good for Afghanistan. The surge in troops will result in a surge in protests against the US/NATO in Afghanistan and it will also push more people towards the Taliban and other terrorist groups as a reaction to occupation forces and their mistreatment of people.

The troop surge will also give reasons for the insurgency to increase their operations and attacks which in return will intensify the conflict in Afghanistan.

We think the 30,000 extra troops will only serve the US regional strategy in changing Afghanistan into its military base — it will do nothing to the fight with terrorist groups as they claim. The US and allies are playing a two-faced game in Afghanistan: on the one hand they are increasing troops, and on the other hand, they are supporting the fundamentalist terrorists of the Northern Alliance, and initiating talks with the Taliban and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to share power with these brutal and criminal forces.

So now it is an open secret that the US is not interested in fighting terrorists. In fact no one can believe that a superpower is really incapable of defeating a small, medieval-minded and ignorant force such as the Taliban. Actually the US government needs an excuse to stay in Afghanistan for longer, so the presence of the Taliban and other terrorist groups give them an excuse for the Tom and Jerry game to continue for years — the UK have already announced that it will stay in Afghanistan for over three decades.

There are even some suspicions that the foreign troops provide some supplies and arms to the Taliban. Last March the Afghan media and local authorities in Arghandab district of Zabul province reported that NATO helicopters dropped three large containers full of supplies and ammunitions to a Taliban commander. In another move, a Taliban criminal commander named Mullah Abdul Salam, responsible for a massacre in 1998, was appointed as the governor of Musa Qala district in the Helmand province, the world’s largest opium poppy growing region.

A few months ago, an infamous terrorist from Gubuddin Hekmatyar’s party called Ghairat Baheer was released from the US prison at Bagram airbase.  Recently media reports uncovered that he is engaged in secret talks to pave the way for a sharing of power with Hekmatyar who is on the US’s terrorist list. According to information revealed to Al Jazeera, Hekmatyar would be offered asylum in Saudi Arabia, after which he would be allowed to return to Afghanistan with immunity from prosecution.

These are just few of the examples that show the US’s double standards towards dangerous terrorist bands: whenever the terrorists are ready to work in accordance with its policies, they are regarded as friends of the US, no matter how many crimes and brutalities they have committed and continue to commit against Afghan people.

4) What solutions does RAWA propose to end the fighting in Afghanistan?

RAWA strongly believes that the withdrawal of foreign troops should be the first step, because today, with the presence of thousands of foreign troops from many countries in Afghanistan, the majority of our people are suffering from insecurity, killings, kidnapping, unemployment, rape, acid throwing on schoolgirls, hunger, lawlessness, lack of freedom of speech and many more awful disasters. Peace, security, democracy and independence can only be achieved by our own people. It is our responsibility to become united as an alternative against the occupation, to rise up, to resist and to organize our people.

Right now our people are sandwiched between three enemies. From one side we have the Taliban, from the other side are the US air strikes, and from another side are the Northern Alliance warlords in different provinces. With the troop withdrawal our people will at least get rid of one of these enemies.

The justice-loving people of the US and its democratic-minded allies should continue to pressure their government to change its fundamentalists-fostering policy and work for the disarmament of armed groups who are in the pay of the US.

We think the peace-loving people around the world should support democratic-minded individuals and forces of Afghanistan who are being suppressed and weakened by the US and its fundamentalist stooges. Only the emergence of a powerful democratic movement can lead Afghanistan towards independence and democracy.

Afghan people are deeply fed up with their current conditions and are on the verge of rising up against it. We have already seen protests and rising up of people in the face of threats and terror in a number of provinces of Afghanistan. In the future this wave will without a doubt gain momentum.  With the emergence of a third front whose slogan is ”Neither Occupation Nor Taliban – Freedom and Democracy,” Afghans will rise up to get their rights with their own power. This is a long and painful process, but the only option to lead Afghanistan toward peace and prosperity.

Nyheter om Pakistan och Afghanistan: Vg DN DN DN DB Intressant svd Sys

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Från Konflikt: Frangere om det nya svarta, Svensson om privatiseringarnas konsekvenser

Övrigt: Kolla! om Kampen om rummet.