Richard.Bos at hagcott.meganet.co.uk
Wed Oct 2 23:10:17 MDT 1996
Louis R Godena wrote:
> 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.
> Louis Godena
I too was sickened by Rolf Martens posting. When I recover from this
bout of flu, I shall post something on the subject.
The PDPA, despite it's faults and internal faction fights, stood head
and shoulders above all other forces in the region. In just about
everything from education to women's emancipation, the government of
Afganistan stood for progress.
When a group from my organisation visited there in the early eighties,
they were amazed at the interest, and concern for the British miners
during their strike. At one factory the workers held a meeting on the
subject and donated quite a large amount of dried fruit to be send to
It is true that all was not rosy in the Afganistan garden, but I know
which side I was on. What a shame you were on the wrong side Rolf.
New Worker Online http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/2853
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