‘A war of former colonizers versus the colonized’ Statement of the Cuban Communist Party at the Start of the Afghan War

I originally circulated this statement in a sort of pre-blog email circular that I ran at the time. It is worth another read in light of recent events.

From The Militant Vol.65/No.40          October 22, 2001


The following editorial was published October 8 in Granma International, the English-language weekly of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, under the title, “The war has begun.”

On October 7, at 9:00 p.m. Afghan time, the war began. Or rather, the military attack on Afghanistan began. The word “war” suggests a conflict between two more or less equal parties, in which the weakest has at least a minimum amount of technical, financial, and economic resources with which to defend itself. But in this case, one of the sides has absolutely nothing. But let’s call it a war anyway. That’s what the person who ordered the military operations called it.

This is really a singular kind of war. An entire country has been converted into a proving ground for the most modern weapons ever invented. The specialists and experts in research centers and military workshops who spent billions of dollars to create instruments of death will follow every detail of how their sinister creatures have performed.

No matter what the pretext, this is a war with the most sophisticated technology aimed at people who don’t know how to read or write; a war of a $20 trillion annual gross domestic product versus a country that produces 1,000 times less; a war that will be transformed, for economic, cultural, and religious reasons, into a war of the former colonizers versus the formerly colonized, of the most developed versus the least developed, of the richest versus the poorest, of those who call themselves civilized versus those who the “civilized” consider backward and savage.

It’s not a war against terrorism, which could and should be defeated by other more effective, rapid, and lasting means available to us; it is a war in favor of terrorism, whose military operations will make it more complicated and more difficult to eradicate terrorism. A cure worse than the disease.

Now we will be showered with news about bombs, missiles, air attacks; movements of armored vehicles filled with troops of ethnicities allied with the invaders; aerial landings and movements of the attacking countries elite ground troops; occupation of cities, even the capital, in a relatively short time; whatever television footage is permitted by the censors or leaked despite them. The battles will be against the natives of that country and not the terrorists. There are no battalions or armies of terrorists. This is a sinister method and concept of fighting, a phantom.

The events mentioned here will be accompanied by triumphalism, chauvinist exaltations, boasting, bragging, and other expressions of arrogance and of a supposed cultural and racial superiority.

Then comes the great question: will the resistance end, will all the antagonism disappear, or will the real war begin, the one defined as long and interminable? We are sure that this is the biggest question that those who pride themselves on having launched this irresponsible war must ask themselves today. Millions of refugees have fanned out everywhere, and the worst times are yet to come. We await the course of events.

Our people will be informed with the greatest possible objectivity about every event that takes place, giving space in line with its importance in the press, on radio and television, without altering the pace of our activities and normal information and recreation programs, and without abandoning the enormous social and cultural development efforts we are carrying out, nor the careful and strict attention to all production and service activities. The latter are now more important than ever, considering the consequences that current events could have on the already deteriorated world economy, whose effects cannot be escaped by any country, even though none is better prepared, organized, and aware than we are to face any difficulty that may appear. And we will continue to pay attention to our defense, as we have always done.

Once again, we will see hesitation and panic in the world. Later, as the foreseeable problems present themselves, there will be a raised awareness and a universal rejection of the war that has just begun. Sooner or later, even U.S. citizens, impacted today by the horrible tragedy, will understand that.

Even now when opposition and condemnation of terrorism and war, which has been the essence of our position– a position currently shared by many people around the world– has been battered by the expected commencement of military operations, we will continue to fight with all our strength for the only possible solution: the cessation of military operations and the eradication of terrorism through cooperation and the support of all countries, the unanimous repudiation and condemnation of international public opinion, under the leadership of the United Nations.

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About rawlinsview

News and political commentary from the point of view of the social interests of the international working class.
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