Jeremy Corbyn speech against the Afghanistan war from 2010 gave us a clear insight into the injustices of the conflict but also gave reference to those that profit from war.
An anti-war speech made by Jeremy Corbyn in 2010 for the “Stop the War coalition”, in which he suggests the conflict in Afghanistan is “clearly unwinnable”.
His words have been reshaped on the same weekend that Taliban fighters took control of Kabul, signalling the collapse of the 20-year western mission.
Some of the highlights of his speech echo the realities ten years on as we see the chaotic abandonment of Afghanistan.
Jeremy Corbyn 2010 Stop the war coalition speech:
“Hundreds of British soldiers have died, hundreds of soldiers from other coalitions have died and thousands upon thousands of Afghanistan people have also died, for what, for whom for what purpose in the long run.
“I think the pentagon let the cat out the bag when they announced the levels of mineral deposits they had discovered in Afghanistan.”
“I think the Arms dealers of the world let the cat out of the bag when you realised what profits they made over the equipment sold in Afghanistan ”
“But and it’s a big but here, this war cannot go on, this war has to stop; and everybody knows this war has to stop! They know it’s unsustainable, they know it’s wrong and they know it’s spilling over from one country to another, after another, after another. ”
Corbyn goes on in expressing the cost of war in liberty here in the UK, with every anti-terrorist law passed we lose a little of our own liberty. He speaks of the cost, saying: “If there is not enough money to maintain public services in this country and the people are expected to take pension cuts and wage cuts, why on earth are we spending billions on a war in Afghanistan?”
“In a world where there is a shortage of resources in a world where there is instability in a world where refugees flow, we need to think in terms of sharing, in terms of humanity in terms of peace, in terms of international justice, not in the terms of Blair and Bush in 2001 paying the blood price for a disaster of American foreign policy”
The abandonment of Afghanistan
The abandonment of Afghanistan, yet another act of failed American foreign policy has again created a humanitarian crisis. The Western coalition military has left the people of Afghanistan to the mercy of the Taliban.
Our forces have not only been fighting a conflict for 20 years created by politicians under weak overtures of social justice, but this was also a war pushed on the British people by Tony Blair who in his Afghanistan intervention speech told the people “Let us reorder this world!”
The only reordering achieved is in the linings of the pockets of the rich and elite only the oligarchy have gained from this war. Our intervention has failed the people of Afghanistan, our forces and the people who came to support change in a country laid waste by war.
Afghanistan has been a cash cow for the oligarchy
Global Research looked at the profiteers of the Afghan war. Using conservative estimates, the U.S. has spent $2.261 trillion and the UK $30 billion. Weapons sales and the provision of other services to the war front, which has been rapidly privatised, has led to large enterprises making an absolute killing.
Without the 9/11 investment and its 20 years dividend, how could the likes of Halliburton, who former Vice President Dick Cheney was also its Chairman, have profited hand over fist. The same goes for Blackwater which had a revolving door between the Republican Party and the CIA.
Afghanistan has been a boon for liberal ruling class interests. 2.3 million Afghan refugees have fled abroad with 90% being hosted in Pakistan and Iran, which helps to destabilize these countries.
Clearly, if we look at the oligarchic liberal press we will always be blinded by propaganda that sells their “success” as a “mistake” within the fog of what is supposed to be our collective democratic process.
Afghanistan lies in ruins with a GDP of just $20.68 billion ($531 per capita), in 2019, while the U.S. spent $52 billion occupying it in the same year. Thus, Afghanistan is an unprecedented success for those who profit, from the racket of war and raise themselves up | 3 through the destruction of others.
Most of all, the 20 years of Afghanistan have been a success in brainwashing. To believe that a true democracy can carry out such violence and destruction and still be considered “the best governing system”, which others should strive to follow, is a perversion of the human desire for global peace and progress.
Julian Assange speaking in 2011: “The goal is to use Afghanistan to wash money out of the tax bases of the US and Europe through Afghanistan and back into the hands of a transnational security elite. The goal is an endless war, not a successful war” #Afghanistan
Julian Assange speaking in 2011: “The goal is to use Afghanistan to wash money out of the tax bases of the US and Europe through Afghanistan and back into the hands of a transnational security elite. The goal is an endless war, not a successful war” #Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/Hg3qVzABBg— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 18, 2021
Importantly, the assertion that “the Afghanistan war is over” is also propaganda. Large private contractors will remain, as will covert CIA operations. U.S. airbases will provide a launchpad for long-range bombers and drone strikes. To have gone 20 years like this and still believe in the sanctity of our oligarchic liberal press, the same class who profit from these hideous “mistakes”, is incredulous.
On the home front, Afghan refugees have contributed to a global refugee system that is used to fuel the politics of divide and rule.
Amongst Western subaltern, the right, subscribing to the old imperial ideology, personally blame the refugees and immigrants, who flee war and poverty, for “diluting” Western civilization. Perversely, while not identifying with the liberal message of multi-cultural globalisation, the right does support liberal invasions in the Global South which wrecks others civilizations. In contrast, liberals (often termed the liberal left) are set against the right on moral grounds.
They see immigration and multicultural societies as an innate good. However, equally perverse is that they see no connection between their “innate good” and liberal hard power i.e. the human rights atrocity of war which is the foundation of global population movements.
Indeed, many actively support these neo-imperial wars based on the very human rights liberals claim to hold dear. Ironically, both the liberal left and the right, for various reasons and to various extents, support liberal wars and thus liberal globalisation. Tragically, seeing themselves as diametrically opposed, they remain ignorant of basic contradictions within global capitalism. Absurdly, their melee is resold to us as democracy.
Abandonment is the wrong policy.
The shame now is the west must act without America who has effectively sucked Afghanistan dry and left it out to hang. We may even have to have a military intervention in hope of saving the lives of those that stood alongside us for 20 years. If only for a short time long enough to help in an orderly withal and transition, it may be we have to redeploy but one thing is for sure abandonment is the wrong policy.
As an ex-soldier, I was asked if I would support an expeditionary force to ensure a peaceful transition? The strange thing is even though I understand the nature of war and those that gain most, on humanitarian grounds with a clear intervention and exit strategy, my answer was a resounding yes.