By Paul Larudee

The U.S. withdrawing from West Asia is a new chapter for the region

September 27, 2021 - 14:46

TEHRAN- Is the US departure from Afghanistan a victory? A cause for celebration? Certainly, for the Taliban it is. They are the ones who sacrificed their blood for 20 years to make it happen. It is also a victory for all resistance against imperialism in the same way that the victory of Vietnamese showed that the greatest imperialist power could be defeated.

Of course, not all of Vietnam's neighbors felt comfortable with the emergence of a united Vietnam that could be a threat to them, as had happened previously in the history of the region. In the same way, some Afghans and neighboring countries are not necessarily as enthusiastic about the Taliban winning as they are about the US losing.

The U.S. itself is also ambivalent.  Many Americans are happy that this war is over. But amazingly, a large number who have been arguing for years that the U.S. should get out are not happy with the way it was done, and suggested that more troops should be sent in order to protect those who were leaving, rather like trying to make an omelet without breaking an egg.

In any case, it's pointless to argue about such matters. The chapter is finished and will not be rewritten. 

Or will it? Let us not forget that $9.5 billion of Afghan funds have been frozen in U.S. banks. Also, the CIA clandestinely flew an unknown number (hundreds, at least) of ISIS fighters from safe havens in US-occupied Syria to join their like-minded terrorists in Afghanistan. Neither of these facts indicates a U.S. willingness to let bygones U.S. try to destroy them by economic means or by sabotaging them with terrorist be bygones. This is in spite of the fact that the Taliban showed goodwill by not taking revenge on their erstwhile persecutors as they were fleeing the country. Will the proxy mercenaries, as they have done and are continuing to do in other countries? We will have to wait and see, but it's always best to be cautious about our assumptions. 

This is especially true about assuming that the U.S. is in the process of withdrawing from the entire region of West Asia. Israel has a huge influence in the US, and Afghanistan has never been important to the Zionists. The same cannot be said for Syria, Lebanon or Iraq. And the U.S. is actually increasing its military presence in Africa. But it can be argued that the U.S. is planning to confront China, and is drawing its resources away for that purpose (as unlikely as that may seem).

Certainly, none of this is intimidating China, which is conducting its foreign policy in a much more constructive way, offering attractive and mutually beneficial options to both Iran and Afghanistan, as it has done to many other nations. Iran's seat on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is just the latest in this relationship, while China has offered to help Afghanistan with its immediate and long-term needs in return for trade in Afghanistan's undeveloped but substantial natural resources. The Taliban have already called China Afghanistan's “main partner”.

These developments are part of a global power realignment that is not working to the advantage of the US. As the U.S. and its smaller imperialist clone, Israel use their military might indiscriminately and impose debilitating economic sanctions on nations that they wish to subdue, the objects of their fury are forging new relationships with each other that will ultimately bypass, isolate and eclipse these vestiges of colonialism and imperialism. 

Of course, the U.S. will not disappear quietly. It still has a great deal of destructive power, which is the only power it knows. This is also the basis of Israeli power as well, and it is why the two are so interdependent. But in the end this is why they will destroy themselves, like heavily armed fighters chained together and sinking into soft ground, unable to save each other.

Paul Larudee is an Iranian-born American political activist who is a major figure in the pro-Palestinian movement. Based in the San Francisco Bay area, he is involved with the International Solidarity Movement and was a founder of the Free Gaza Movement and the Free Palestine Movement. 

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