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Date: Mon, 9 Mar 98 11:08:58 CST
From: Workers World <ww@wwpublish.com>
Organization: WW Publishers
Subject: U.S. intervened in Afghanistan first
Article: 29525
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <bulk.10745.19980311122046@chumbly.math.missouri.edu>

Brzezinski Brags, blows cover: U.S. intervened in Afghanistan first

By Leslie Feinberg, Workers World, 12 March 1998

Why did the United States government spend billions of dollars financing the overthrow of a progressive regime in Afghanistan?

For years the official line has been that the CIA began funding the counter-revolution in 1980 only because the Soviet Union had sent its troops into Afghanistan on Dec. 24, 1979.

A war ensued. It reduced much of Afghanistan to rubble. Finally, the progressives were overwhelmed, the president was mutilated and hanged on a public street in the capital city of Kabul, and right-wing fundamentalists financed by the CIA took over.

The consequences for the population, especially women, have been horrendous.

Now Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was President Jimmy Carter's national security advisor, has admitted that covert U.S. intervention began long before the USSR sent in its troops to help the Afghani Revolution.

Brzezinski told the French weekly Nouvel Observateur that the CIA began bankrolling counter-revolutionary forces in mid-1979. We did not push the Russians into intervening, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would, said Brzezinski, as quoted by the French Press Agency on Jan. 14, 1998.

That secret operation was an excellent idea. The effect was to draw the Russians into the Afghan trap.


Some in the movement at that time put an equal sign between the United States and the Soviet Union, calling them both super-powers. But the USSR sent in troops to try and save a revolution. The United States intervened to crush it.

What was the Afghani Revolution of 1978 all about?

Afghanistan had been stagnating under feudalism for centuries. The first thing the revolution did was cancel the staggering debts of impoverished agricultural laborers, tenants and small landowners. It then began to train teachers for new public schools and nurseries.

The revolution set up literacy classes for the 90 percent of the population who couldn't read or write--especially women.

It abolished selling women into marriage. In the cities where the new government was strong, young women could tear off the veil, travel freely in public, go to school and get a job.

But the U.S. capitalist class wanted to turn Afghanistan into a geopolitical pawn against China and the Soviet Union.

The CIA recruited the ousted feudal warlords for a holy war against the revolution. Washington pumped billions of dollars into this mercenary army.

The CIA-backed freedom fighters were allowed to earn extra money by growing and selling opium for the drug trade.

Reactionary bands in the countryside began killing volunteer teachers and women who wouldn't wear the veil. Eventually, more than 2 million Afghanis died in the war. Millions more were displaced as refugees.


One of the counter-revolutionary factions funded by the CIA was the Taliban, now in power in most of Afghanistan. )From the moment the victorious Taliban marched into the capital city of Kabul in 1996, its rotten social character was apparent.

Political opponents were lynched without trial. Women and girls were barred from employment and education.

Those without male relatives to bring in money face either starvation or prostitution. Today females can only leave their homes when escorted by a male relative. They are under virtual house arrest, according to a recent release from the National Organization for Women here.

Schools and hospitals built by the revolution lie in ruins. Poor people accused of stealing food have their hands hacked off.

This is nothing less than a return to feudal slavery. But it was engineered by the most modern capitalist power. And it is being celebrated by the executives of the U.S. energy company Unocal Corp.

Together with Delta Oil Co. of Saudi Arabia, Unocal is investing billions of dollars in a gas and oil pipeline that crosses Afghanistan on its way from Turkmenistan to Pakistan.

U.S. imperialism's cynical role in crushing the Afghani Revolution in order to advance its own sordid interests has only further alienated the millions of oppressed people from northern Africa to the Middle East and central Asia. Even some of those who worked for the CIA in this operation have since turned against it.

The CIA still brags of its Afghanistan operation. Yet the head of that operation from 1986 to 1989, Milt Bearden, had to admit in an opinion column in the March 2 New York Times that Washington is far too isolated today to mount a similar effort against Iraq.