Louis R Godena
louisgodena at ids.net
Wed Oct 2 15:35:04 MDT 1996
I was frankly sickened by Rolf Martens recent post celebrating the
execution, by the newTaliban fundamentalist regime in Kabul, of the former
Afghan President, Najibullah.
I won't comment here on Mr Martens' assessment of the historical
viccissitudes of the past 17 years, other than to say that while the
Peoples' Democratic Party of Afghanistan [PDPA] made numerous (and highly
visible) errors in their twelve years of rule, their sins were and are
dwarfed by the actions of their enemies.
As far as Mr Martens' reading of the historical record itself is concerned,
well, the less said about that the better.
The governments of the PDPA, it should be remembered, instituted a system
of universal education, literacy, health care, and subsidized housing in
nearly all of the 30 provinces of the country. They fashioned a labor law
that was the most progressive in Asia, admitting workers from both the
public and private sectors to specialized secondary and higher schools
regardless of nationality, age, sex or other factors, providing for free
child care, and raising wages by an average of 26 per cent (with the lowest
paid receiving raises of up to 50 per cent). They subsidized the
distribution of petrol, diesel fuel, kerosene, sugar, wheat flour, and
firewood and other staples to such an extent that famine in areas under
their control was virtually eliminated.
But by far the most important reform instituted by the successive PDPA
governments involved land reform. In the three major land reform acts
(1978, 1981, 1985), the effects were not confined to a redistribution of
land in favor of the poorest peasant families. They gave impetus to the
growing cooperative movement and freed the peasants from the grip of
landowners and usurers. The same acts provided for the mass education of
all in the countryside under the slogan "Everybody at the school desk",
and attempted to put an end to discrimination against ethnic minorities,
especially in the areas of culture and language.
Opposed to this was the mujadaheen--a cancerous class of parasites, the
mullahs, the landowners, the usurers-frenziedly feeding on the largesse of
the Saudis, the Iranians, the Pakistanis and, of course, the most
loathesome entity of all, the Reagan--Casey CIA. And since this is the
Marxism list, let us not fail to acknowledge the SWP, the ISO, and others
who, while as notably effective as a wet fart in a monsoon as far as doing
anything good, are always willing to jump in at imperialism's behest,
increasingly now even before being asked. The back of my hand to all of them.
And to you, Mr Martens.
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