Hitchens and the Left

Mark Jones mark.jones at tiscali.co.uk
Sun Sep 30 04:08:03 MDT 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "jenyan1" <jenyan1 at uic.edu>
To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Sunday, September 30, 2001 6:14 AM
Subject: RE: Hitchens and the Left

> John [Gluick],
> I fear that you give the Mujahedeen much more credit than they deserve.
> other than the chief of Pakistani ISI (CIA-Langley`s Karachi  franchise)
> Afghan operations is on record as saying that:
> "... without full U.S. support, the jehad did not, and still cannot,
>  - Brigadier Mohammad Yousaf, commander of Inter-Services Intelligence
> operations in Afghanistan, 1983-1987.

I know people think I have a thing about oil- I haven't, but the world has-
but consider this. No-one ever stops to ask what the Soviets went into
Afghanistan for in the first place, given a prior long history of pefectly
cordial and satisfactory relations between the Aghan monarchy and the Soviet
state, going right back to Lenin's day (the Afghan princes often trained in
soviet polytechnics etc).

The reason why Brezhnev went in was the same reason why the West is there
now. It was to get access to the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. It was
Pakistan and its port at Karachi which the Soviets were after, not merely
Kabul, and it was to contest US domination of the sealanes and the Gulf oil
states. That was the great game. The Kremlin gerontocracy were not up to the
job. But if the Soviet plan had succeeded, their principal ally would have
been Iraq and the principal target would have been the House of Saud. If
Soviet plans to wrest control of the Persian Gulf/Mid-East strategic space
had been realised, they would have won the Cold War not lost it. Western
Europe (already dependent on imported Soviet natural gas) would have had to
engage in a strategic turnabout. The Atlantic Alliance could not have
survived, IMO.

But why was it such a matter of urgency, what was it that drove the Soviets
on? It was not what their strategists told them about the current state of
the Cold War, and not because they were confident of success: this was a
desperate last gamble to save Lenin's state. What spurred them on was what
their own petrogeologists told them: that by 1985 Soviet oil production
would start to plummet, and after that the fate of the Soviet order, its
control over Eastern Europe, etc, would be in question. In fact, the
collapse of Soviet oil began in 1987. Between 1987 and 1992, Soviet oil
production fell by half, and the soviet system was destroyed. The West won
the Cold War in hard fought battles in Afganistan.


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