Red Flag Express №1
INTERVIEW WITH A STUDENT FROM AFGHANISTAN

The Canadian imperialists are helping a puppet regime

On the occasion of the International Day of Action against the war of aggression on Iraq and Afghanistan, we have conducted this interview with Saydal, a member of the Afghan Anti-Imperialist Student Association in Canada.

Arsenal-EXPRESS: After five years of imperialist occupation, what is the current situation for the people of Afghanistan? Did their situation improved?

Saydal: Five years after the occupation not only the situation has not improved but it has worsened. For us in the progressive movement it was clear from the beginning that the imperialist occupation is not going to change people’s lives for the better. History of Afghanistan is proof of this fact. Imperialist interventions have always increased people’s misery. The Soviet social-imperialists invaded Afghanistan with promises of building a better life for the people. But a decade of Soviet occupation left more than one million dead, millions wounded and six million refugees. The current occupation is no different. Tens of thousands of people have already been killed as a result of the brutal invasion and occupation. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced. And above all the women of the country have not been “liberated,” despite all the big talk about women’s “liberation” in the build to the war and during occupation. As a matter of fact there is more insecurity now then before.

Arsenal-EXPRESS: What are the people’s feelings about the occupation? Are there some currents that support the resistance against the occupation, while not supporting the reactionary Taliban?

Saydal: The people are increasingly turning against the occupation. The threat of Taliban’s comeback to power is playing as a deterrent for many people especially among the non-Pashtun nationalities to actively oppose the occupation. But it is rapidly changing. We have seen several major incidents of people coming to the streets with anti-imperialist slogans. The most prominent example is last year’s anti-imperialist and anti-puppet regime riots that shook Kabul. These are the type of resistance to occupation that is not led by Taliban. On the contrary these people are also against Taliban’s reactionary politics. There are also left-wing, progressive and democratic forces that are actively involved in organizing against the occupation. They have organized to boycott the imperialist orchestrated parliamentary and presidential elections. Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan had distributed tens of thousands of leaflets asking the people to boycott the elections. This event had really scared the reactionary forces in the rank of the puppet regime.

Arsenal-EXPRESS: Canada is leading the NATO troops who are occupying the country. The Canadian government is trying to justify this by saying that this is necessary for humanitarian reasons, for helping the people of Afghanistan—and especially the women—free themselves from the reactionary fundamentalists. What is your answer to this claim?

Saydal: This is a bogus claim. Firstly because NATO troops are actively involved in destroying peoples livelihoods. Their actions are killing people, forcing people to leave their homes and villages. The people of Afghanistan are facing a humanitarian crisis as a result of the NATO/Canadian-led offensives. Secondly, the Canadian imperialists and their other imperialist partners are helping a puppet regime, which is as reactionary as the Taliban, from top to bottom. This fundamentalist reactionary regime is no different than Taliban. The only difference is that the Karzai-led reactionaries are ready to serve their imperialist masters.

Arsenal-EXPRESS: The Canadian government-and so the Liberal Party and the Bloc Quebecois-is also saying that Canadian Army’s involvement is necessary for letting the NGOs doing their humanitarian work. Can you say a few words about the actual role of those NGOs?

Saydal: I think the NGOs are another feet of the imperialist occupation. Their main task is to facilitate it. Beside the NGOs are the tools of carpetbaggers, foreign and domestic. They are benefiting from peoples’ misery. Millions of dollars that are coming as aid are being looted by very corrupt elements through NGOs. The people in Afghanistan are extremely angry at these NGOs. Even the puppet regimes planning minister described the actions of NGOs as “economic terrorism.” Of course, he lost his job.

Arsenal-EXPRESS: From your opinion, what the Canadian people should do if they really want to help the people from Afghanistan?

Saydal: The Canadian people can do two things to help the people of Afghanistan. Firstly, they should organize, mobilize and fight the Canadian government and ruling classes to force them to withdraw the Canadian troops from Afghanistan. The presence of the NATO and other imperialist forces is the main source of instability and insecurity in Afghanistan. They should be withdrawn immediately to save the lives of ordinary working people in Afghanistan.

Secondly, the progressive forces should help the progressive and democratic groups and organizations in Afghanistan. The left in Afghanistan, a country that has been victim of direct imperialist brutality, needs all the help that they can get. I even think we should think about fundraising for an organization like the Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan. That would help them to intensify their work to build a third and revolutionary alternative to the imperialists and the Taliban. That kind of help can really change many things in Afghanistan.

Arsenal-EXPRESS: Thank you comrade!

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