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Posts Tagged ‘Fascism

Afghanistan: Women Bearing Arms March in Defiance of the Taliban.

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A demonstration in Ghor

The Stop the War Coalition, a long-standing opponent of Western Intervention, claimed that this withdrawal was ‘hushed up’. In a statement on the 2nd of July they went through the damage wrought. They expressed no solidarity with those who now risk being brought under the boot of the Taliban.

DEFEAT AND HUMILIATION: THE HUSHED-UP END TO THE US’S LONGEST WAR

This weekend marks the humiliating end of one of the most disastrous wars the western powers have ever fought. For twenty years US and British troops, later joined by NATO allies, have occupied Afghanistan claiming to be forces of liberation against the Taliban.

This weekend the western forces are pulling out.

For Afghans, the US/UK invasion was one more foreign intervention in decades of occupation. As we in the anti-war movement predicted when Bush and Blair took the decision to invade, the result was a disaster for ordinary Afghans. Though no accurate records have been kept, hundreds of thousands have died as a result of the fighting.

instead of covering up or making excuses for this defeat, our politicians should be apologising first to the Afghans, and then to their own people for a catastrophic folly that has made the world a much more unstable and dangerous place. We in the anti-war movement must ensure that nothing like this can happen again.

Instead of covering up or making excuses for this defeat, our politicians should be apologising first to the Afghans, and then to their own people for a catastrophic folly that has made the world a much more unstable and dangerous place. We in the anti-war movement must ensure that nothing like this can happen again.

Socialist Worker is worried that the US may launch future attacks on the Taliban

Many now agree with Dannatt and predict a new civil war between various warlords and the Taliban.

It’s a horrifying prospect for people who have known nothing but brutal conflict since the Russian occupation that began in 1979.

But for Biden, the last moves have not yet been played.

The CIA is now in negotiations with the Pakistani government to reopen a US airbase once used for drone attacks on Afghanistan.

This is despite Pakistan kicking out the Americans in 2011, and the country’s ISI secret service being the main backers of the Taliban.

US diplomats are also exploring the option of regaining access to bases in former Soviet republics that once were used for Russia’s Afghanistan war.

Yet this time around, there will be no boots on the ground.

In order to “liberate” Afghanistan, Biden will now rely solely on missiles launched on the territory from military bases thousands of miles away.

People in the country are also worried at the fight between war-lords, but that the Taliban will take over.

“The Taliban are now notorious for their human rights abuses. The group emerged in 1994 after years of conflict. Many of their members were former Mujahideen fighter who had been trained in Pakistan during Afghanistan’s civil war in the ’80s and ’90s. They came together with the aim of making Afghanistan an Islamic state. The Taliban ruled in Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001.”

Amnesty International

Under the Taliban, women and girls were discriminated against in many ways, for the ‘crime’ of being born a girl. The Taliban enforced their version of Islamic Sharia law. Women and girls were:

  • Banned from going to school or studying
  • Banned from working
  • Banned from leaving the house without a male chaperone
  • Banned from showing their skin in public
  • Banned from accessing healthcare delivered by men (with women forbidden from working, healthcare was virtually inaccessible)
  • Banned from being involved in politics or speaking publicly.

“During the five-year history of the Islamic Emirate, the Taliban regime interpreted the Sharia in accordance with the Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence and the religious edicts of Mullah Omar.[1] The Taliban forbade pork and alcohol, many types of consumer technology such as music,[1] television,[1] and film,[1] as well as most forms of art such as paintings or photography,[1] male and female participation in sport,[1] including football and chess;[1] recreational activities such as kite-flying and keeping pigeons or other pets were also forbidden, and the birds were killed according to the Taliban’s ruling.[1] Movie theaters were closed and repurposed as mosques.[1] Celebration of the Western and Iranian New Year was forbidden.[1] Taking photographs and displaying pictures or portraits was forbidden, as it was considered by the Taliban as a form of idolatry.[1] Women were banned from working,[1] girls were forbidden to attend schools or universities,[1] were requested to observe purdah and to be accompanied outside their households by male relatives; those who violated these restrictions were punished.[1] Men were forbidden to shave their beards and required to let them grow and keep them long according to the Taliban’s liking, and to wear turbans outside their households.[1][24] Communists were systematically executed. Prayer was made compulsory and those who did not respect the religious obligation after the azaan were arrested.[1] Gambling was banned,[1] and thieves were punished by amputating their hands or feet.[1] In 2000, the Taliban leader Mullah Omar officially banned opium cultivation and drug trafficking in Afghanistan;[1][25][26] the Taliban succeeded in nearly eradicating the majority of the opium production (99%) by 2001.[25][26][27] Under the Taliban governance of Afghanistan, both drug users and dealers were severely prosecuted.[1]

The US, which helped fund the Taliban’s Islamist predecessor, the Mujahideen, as a force to defeat the pro-Soviet Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (DRA), and troops from the USSR, is guilty of having wreaked havoc in Afghanistan. The Saudis have their own responsibilities, “The Taliban, or “students” in the Pashto language, emerged in the early 1990s in northern Pakistan following the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. It is believed that the predominantly Pashtun movement first appeared in religious seminaries – mostly paid for by money from Saudi Arabia – which preached a hardline form of Sunni Islam.” “Afghans, weary of the mujahideen’s excesses and infighting after the Soviets were driven out, generally welcomed the Taliban when they first appeared on the scene. Their early popularity was largely due to their success in stamping out corruption, curbing lawlessness and making the roads and the areas under their control safe for commerce to flourish.”

The attention of the world was drawn to the Taliban in Afghanistan in the wake of the 11 September 2001 World Trade Center attacks in New York. The Taliban were accused of providing a sanctuary for the prime suspects – Osama Bin Laden and his al-Qaeda movement.

On October 7, 2001, a US-led military coalition launched attacks in Afghanistan, and by the first week of December the Taliban regime had collapsed. The group’s then-leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, and other senior figures, including Bin Laden, evaded capture despite one of the largest manhunts in the world.

This history (Who are the Taliban? concludes,

Having outlasted a superpower through two decades of war, the Taliban began seizing vast swathes of territory, threatening to once again topple a government in Kabul in the wake of a foreign power withdrawing.

The group is thought to now be stronger in numbers than at any point since they were ousted in 2001 – with up to 85,000 full time fighters, according to recent Nato estimates. Their control of territory is harder to estimate, as districts swing back and forth between them and government forces, but recent estimates put it somewhere between a third and a fifth of the country.

The advance is more rapid than many had feared. General Austin Miller, the commander of the US-led mission in Afghanistan, warned in June that the country could be on a path towards a chaotic civil war, which he called a “concern for the world”.

A US intelligence assessment the same month reportedly concluded that the Afghan government could fall within six months of the American military departure.

Neither Counterfire (who lead the StWC) nor the SWP have learnt anything from their failure to offer an independent stand on the war in Afghanistan. They have concentrated all their fire on attacking the Western coalition, and have few words left over to criticise the armed Islamistes and their totalitarian history and project. These ‘anti-imperialists’ have no strategy on how the reactionaries, the Taliban and other jihadists, may be fought or any idea of what forces the left might give concrete help to.

Armed Afghan women take to streets in show of defiance against Taliban

Women in north and central regions of country stage demonstrations as militants make sweeping gains nationwide by Emma Graham-Harrison in Kabul

Women have taken up guns in northern and central Afghanistan, marching in the streets in their hundreds and sharing pictures of themselves with assault rifles on social media, in a show of defiance as the Taliban make sweeping gains nationwide.

One of the biggest demonstrations was in central Ghor province, where hundreds of women turned out at the weekend, waving guns and chanting anti-Taliban slogans.

They are not likely to head to the frontlines in large numbers any time soon, because of both social conservatism and lack of experience. But the public demonstrations, at a time of urgent threat from the militants, are a reminder of how frightened many women are about what Taliban rule could mean for them and their families.

The article is thorough.

It concludes,

The Ghor provincial governor, Abdulzahir Faizzada, said in a phone interview that some of the women who came out in the streets of Firozkoh, the provincial capital, had already battled the Taliban, and most had endured violence from the group.

“The majority of these women were those who had recently escaped from Taliban areas. They have already been through war in their villages, they lost their sons and brothers, they are angry,” he said. Faizzada added that he would train women who did not have experience with weapons, if the government in Kabul approved it.

The Taliban’s conservative rules are particularly unwelcome in Ghor, where women traditionally wear headscarves rather than covering themselves fully with the burqa, and work in fields and villages beside their men, Parastish said.

The Taliban have banned women even from taking care of animals or working the land in areas of Ghor they control, she added. They have closed girls schools, ordered women not to leave home without a male guardian and even banned them from gathering for weddings, saying only men should attend.

Women from these areas were among those who marched. “More than a dozen women have escaped from Allahyar in Shahrak district last week and came to us and asked for guns to go and fight for their lands and freedom. The same situation is in Charsadda region,” Parastish said.

“Women said: ‘We are getting killed and injured without defending ourselves, why not fight back?’ They were telling us that at least two women were in labour in their region, with no medical things around and they couldn’t come with them.”

For now, she said, the main thing holding the women back was the men in power. “The governor said there is no need for us now and they will let us know.”

…….

Instead of gloating at the US and allied failure we should explore ways of giving solidarity to this resistance.

Written by Andrew Coates

July 8, 2021 at 2:52 pm

Statement by comrade Helen Steel on so-called ‘Anti-Fa’ Attacks on Feminists.

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Helen SteelI was horrified last night watching the footage of ‘Antifa’ attacking people who had attended an advertised protest outside Wi Spa in Los Angeles after women complained of a man exposing his penis in the women’s area of the facilities.

When Antifa and other anti fascist groups started, they were about defending communities from racist & fascist violence and attacks. It is sometimes necessary & reasonable to use violence to defend yourself or others from physical attack. In the 70’s-90’s fascists were graffitiing & firebombing the homes of black people, firebombing left-wing & anarchist bookshops, physically attacking black people in the street, attacking trade unionists & anti racists, gay bashing & so on. The police did nothing to stop those attacks and in fact regularly colluded with the racists / fascists. In those circumstances there was little alternative but for people to join together to fight back in order to stop fascists attacking people, so groups like antifa were created. At the end of the 90’s a fascist detonated bombs in Brixton, Brick Lane & and a gay pub in Soho, maiming and killing people.

By what measure are some on the left falsely comparing women fighting against sexism with racists and fascists? There are no feminist dictators, there is no campaign of violence and intimidation by women.Why the hell are antifa now using violence to defend the rights of males to sexually harass women – where the f*** is your analysis of who holds power in our society? Haven’t you heard of sexism and patriarchy? Do you not realise that males deliberately flashing their d*cks at females is something that most women & girls have endured from a young age, and that it creates fear in very many women & girls – especially those who have already been subjected to sexual violence (99% of sexual offences are carried out by males). The women complaining in the Wi Spa video that went viral didn’t even say that the male was trans, so why have antifa even assumed that the women’s actions were founded in ‘transphobia’ rather than opposing sexual harassment.There is no campaign of violence by women against males or people who identify as trans. There are just arguments about the impact on women of gender self-ID politics and how best to fight sexism. There is no justification whatsoever for violence or threats against women holding placards or wearing T-shirts just because you don’t like the message. When you use violence against people just because you don’t like their opinions, YOU become the fascist. You are trying to dictate and control what other people are allowed to say and think.The other thing that ‘antifa’ their allies and other gender identity proponents should consider is how they are actually helping the right-wing by perpetually trying to smear feminists as racist or rightwing. Most people still recognise that females and males are not the same. Most decent people would also think it is wrong for a man to be flashing his penis to women and children, particularly so in women only facilities. If you assert that only right wing people hold such objections you are making the right wing seem more sensible to those who think that sexual harassment is wrong.

The right wing are now trying to capitalise on this false framing of gender critical feminism as right wing and are now building their groups off the back of what actually was a struggle against sexism launched by left wing feminists. Those who spread lies and smears about women resisting GI are responsible for this growth. Take a long hard think about what you are trying to achieve because you are actually empowering the right. And you are simultaneously weakening the left by creating polarisation and division and intolerance of other opinions. You are also creating fear among younger trans identifying people who believe your lies that feminists hate them, rather than the reality that we want everyone to be free from sexist expectations about how people should behave.

When you threaten and intimidate women turning up for a protest, many will turn around and leave. It looks from some of the footage that some rightwing people did turn up. Many right wing activists thrive on violence and confrontation, so by intimidating women away from the protest, you are creating the space for the right wing to seize. You are also tarnishing previous good work that antifa and other anti fascist groups have done.And it’s not just the USA where this is happening. Antifa groups in the UK are harassing and threatening a feminist conference planned for the autumn in the UK. It’s so much easier to pick on women than to confront those who actually hold the power in our society. Antifa and allies need to cease harassing feminists and get back to tackling the very real and continuing oppression of racism & fascism.

Helen is one of the most respected people on the UK left. Her words weigh a lot,

Written by Andrew Coates

July 4, 2021 at 7:10 pm

Posted in Anti-Fascism

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Just When You Thought George Galloway Could Not Stoop Lower.

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Galloway’s Attack on the Respected Labour MP for Tottenham.

Lammy happens to be black (for those outside the UK who may not know who he is)…..

But Galloway can stoop even lower:

“I want to know the whole truth about the relationship between Starmer spokesman “Lord” Peter Mandelson and the paedophilic child-sex trafficker #JeffreyEpstein” Don’t you? @MoatsTV@UKLabour

Galloway has a thing about arses and anal-sex…

Written by Andrew Coates

July 4, 2021 at 12:48 pm