Why Washington Wants Afghanistan

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Sep 18 06:50:53 MDT 2001

>_This_ kind of politics, the old politics of the overwhelming Russian state,
>has not been grazed to the ground by the wave of reaction that set in during
>the late 80s, early 90s. That this state is not a workers' state (how long
>it that the Soviet state could not be defined as such without blushing,
>however?) makes little difference. The US wants _no_ strong states in the
>colonial and semicolonial world. Neither do the European bourgeoisies
>of course, they would love a world without the US, which is an entirely
>different story). In a sense (and Deutscher has pointed this out
superbly), the
>Russian Revolution of October was both a socialist and a national
>The socialist contents, eventually, faded away in the tragic process which
>to Stalinism and its necessary outcome, Khruschev. But the "national"
>remained in the figure of a much ravaged but still strong state.

Russia is not a "strong state."  By any criterion, it is rapidly turning
into a typical semicolonial outpost with a comprador bourgeoisie. In any
case, this is the kind of question that has to focus on economics and class
relations. Jared's article was willfully perverse in avoiding exactly such
questions. If, by analogy, one was discussing the prospects of war in the
Pacific in 1939 or 1940, it would be necessary to explain the historical
background involving rivalries over China, Japan's need for oil, its growth
as an industrial power, etc. This is the kind of information contained in
Jonathan Marshall's "To Have and Have Not: Southeast Asian Raw Materials
and the Origins of the Pacific War." It is also the kind of information
that I tried to reveal when writing about the background of the wars in
Bosnia and Kosovo. Without it, we really don't have too much to offer as

Louis Proyect
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