Skip to main content

The Girls of Kabul

F**k that, we don’t have to worry about that. We did it in Vietnam, Nixon and Kissinger got away with it. This is what eleven years ago Joe Biden, an advocate of an unconditional withdrawal from Kabul, told Richard Holbrooke who feared for the Afghan women who had been pushed back into the darkness. Today, newspapers around the world are wringing their hands over the bad impression made by the liberal order and its values, and weeping crocodile tears for the girls of Kabul, who have been kicked out of schools and handed back to a dark, reactionary fanaticism. But the commander in chief of a West which claims to be an alliance for democracy has always considered freedom and human rights in Afghanistan to be myths for the deluded, not worth the lives of its soldiers. A hypocritical and impotent Europe has followed him, and today seems to fear only receiving a new wave of refugees.

Let us take notes and learn this lesson. The bourgeoisie has written glorious pages, when its revolutions swept away the old aristocratic and feudal regime and the torch of Enlightenment illuminated the path of humanity. However, with the 20th century of imperialism and with the last anti-colonial revolutions, that epoch has ended forever: the circle has closed; capitalist development has embraced the whole globe; bourgeois nation states have become imperialist powers always in struggle for the partitioning of the world; the proletariat has become a real global power and the only revolutionary class.

For every instance of freedom and emancipation, as for the national aspirations which remain unresolved, woe betide relying on capital and on the array of powers in struggle; anyone who does that is destined to be utilised in this power struggle and then thrown away like a puppet. What is happening today in Afghanistan has already happened in Syria: the girls of Kabul have been deceived, used and then betrayed like the girls of Kobane in the Kurdish insurrection. The Greater Middle East, from the Mediterranean to Central Asia, is the living proof that every solution in national, ethnic or religious particularism is a dead end, while a modern proletariat is now counted in cohorts of tens or hundreds of millions. The only force that can oppose oppression and exploitation, and thereby liberate the whole of humanity, is the world proletariat. Not only does Kabul display the ideological bankruptcy of the liberal myth — through the crude disclosure of imperialism’s power-politics logic — it is also the confirmation that communist internationalism is the only way forward and the only solution.

The Girls of Kabul. (2021, August-September). Internationalism, 12.