AFGHANISTAN, a classic case of imperialist intervention, was having two presidents only days ago.
Years ago, almost the same scene was on the stage of that political theatre — two claims for the single chair of president. That was in 2014. The players were the same — Ghani and Abdullah. Later, a compromise was reached.
Tomorrow will also find a compromise to today’s caricature — a creation of imperialist intervention. Actually, that was an occupation after an aggression.
Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah simultaneous but in separate ceremonies took oath for the single presidency of a single country, Afghanistan, with snow-fed mountain streams and fertile small valleys. Ghani’s inauguration took place at the presidential palace in Kabul while Abdullah’s was next door, the Sapedar Palace. Both of the leaders packed respective ceremonies with jubilant supporters. Ghani refuses to recognise Abdullah and Abdullah mimed his rival.
The two presidents formed governments, two in number, for the country, where the towering mountain range Hindu Kush runs through the centre from north-east to south-west, a two-part. Two presidents for a single presidency is a rare development in the history of countries and in the history of bourgeois democracies.
The imperialist war-ravaged country watered by the Amu Darya, Helmand, Hari Rud and Farah Rud dived deeper into a new political crisis — fight among factions friendly to the empire. There is every possibility that one of the factions may stray from the imperial orbit.
High representatives of the masters — US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, and US and NATO forces commander General Scott Miller — attended Ghani’s oath-taking ceremony. Is their blessing there? Or is there some other equation?
The empire waging its longest war in the country was trying to resolve the crisis. Khalilzad negotiated between the fighting factions for almost 24 hours. Nevertheless, the emissary, till the ceremonies, failed. However, it will reach an end, a temporary compromise.
The 2014-dual claim to the single presidency found interference by John Kerry, then the US secretary of state. Power was shared with a high-sounding national unity government.
The present presidency duel began as Abdullah declined to accept the September 2019 election results declared in February. The results declared Ghani the winner. Abdullah’s complaints include election frauds. The deteriorating dispute led to the two inaugurations.
The chaotic development, therefore, pushes some moves by the empire in disarray. Most important of these is the truce with the Taliban concluded only days ago. For the empire, the truce in its nearly two decades of war was very important as it is now war-tired with a lot of bleeding and there is an urgency to move out of the quagmire and go back home. The empire is failing, visible now, to sustain the war enterprise. A relentless war is not possible. Now, it appears that the Soviet leadership was efficient and wise. It just moved out after paying a price. But for the empire, the exit job is not easy.
The money the empire poured in Afghanistan created extra problems other than war-fed military and political problems. The rich group that has cropped up with the empire’s money is itself a problem. A visit to the Kabul palaces of the nouveau riche and their clubs is enough to understand the factional fight centring on the presidential throne — a throne more valuable than the Peacock Throne stolen from the mediaeval India. Their life style and the amount of money they have accumulated through skimming, smuggling, thieving and robbing, they robbed even their master whenever they found opportunity, are enough to find out the cause acting behind the factional fight. The empire has to sort out the presidency duel. It will sort it out anyhow.
But the question remains: Has the empire succeeded in erecting the democracy in the country? The second presidency duel is the answer: No. Even, the façade of democracy constructed with money and munitions stands fractured. Strange show of power it is! The failure comes after spending so much, billions, dollars. Two scholars from the United States have calculated the cost of the Afghanistan war enterprise. That was years ago. By today, that amount has increased. All after these, dominating factions in the empire are not in agreement regarding the bloody business in Afghanistan.
What was the political plan? What was the military strategy and tactics? What happened to the much-propagated low intensity conflict tactics?
Democracy cannot be built this way: imperialist intervention. The long history of the empire’s democracy business in continents from Latin America to Asia is the evidence. Iraq is a current example. The recent democracy movement in Iraq has already taken a toll on the people there — hundreds killed during demonstrations for democracy in Baghdad. The empire’s democracy business with its so-called democracy institutes with the tags ‘Republican’ and ‘Democratic’ only fattens the empire and bleeds peoples in countries invaded by the empire. Andrew J Enterline and J Michael Greig of the University of North Texas in a paper, ‘Historical trends in imposed democracy and the future of Iraq and Afghanistan’ (January 2007) examined the durability, institutional trajectory and long-term political institutional impact of 40 imposed ‘democratic’ regimes during the period of 1800–1994. (cited in Farooque Chowdhury, The Age of Crisis, Shrabon Prokashani, Dhaka, 2009) For success of imposed ‘democracy’, a longer intervention, years spanning more than 50, is required. How long the empire can sustain now? It is a very serious question. The empire obviously carries on exercise with the question. But what about its lackeys? Do they? Alternatively, they have no choice, probably.
The behaviour pattern of unashamed lackeys and persons in the payroll of imperialism is an irony; they find no alternative other than bearing the banner of democracy by imperialism, for imperialism, of imperialism. Imperialism is their sole pole for reliance and dependence — a place to plea, a cave to cry and complain. It will continue as long as ‘democracy’ with imperialist intervention is not widely exposed among people, as long as imperialist masters play the ‘patron’ role — lend ears, sermon, fund, train, propagate, poke nose, intervene — in the countries concerned, as long as significant part of the progressives do not expose this imperialist ‘democracy’, as long as this message is not spread among people and as long as people do not oppose this imperialist democracy.
Farooque Chowdhury writes from Dhaka.
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