[Marxism] IMT sympathiser shot in Swat - Barbarism must not prevail!

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Oct 11 13:49:46 MDT 2012

IMT sympathiser shot in Swat - Barbarism must not prevail!
Written by Alan Woods Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The suffering of the people of Pakistan is largely unknown in the West. 
A veil of silence has been carefully drawn over the number of people 
killed every day by American drones and Taliban murders. But recently a 
small corner of the curtain was raised as the result of a particularly 
appalling event.

Malala Yousafzai shotMalala YousafzaiYesterday Malala Yousafzai was 
brutally shot by gunmen as she was returning home from school. Masked 
assassins stepped onto a bus filled with terrified children, identified 
her, and shot her at point blank range in the head and neck.

Who are these men who wage war on defenceless schoolgirls? We know who 
they are because they have already admitted their guilt. The cowardly 
murderers who perpetrated this vile deed feel no need to hide away from 
public opinion. They feel no shame, for they are utterly shameless. The 
Pakistan Taliban has claimed responsibility for this act of bloodthirsty 

What crime did this fourteen year-old girl commit that could justify the 
taking of her life? Was she a friend of American imperialism? Did she 
support the occupation of Afghanistan? Was she on the side of the 
Pakistan government and its army?

No, she was none of those things. On the contrary, Malala was on the 
side of the oppressed people of Pakistan and Afghanistan and every other 
country. She was an enemy of imperialism, landlordism and capitalism. 
She stood for the cause of freedom, progress and socialism. And for that 
they have tried to take her young and innocent life.
Swat laid waste

Perhaps nowhere has the sufferings of the people of Pakistan been 
greater than in the mountainous area known as Swat. The Swat valley is a 
picturesque place that was famed for its music and tolerance. It used to 
be a favourite holiday and honeymoon destination. Now it has been laid 
waste by a war characterised by the utmost savagery on all sides.

Because of its proximity with Afghanistan, this beautiful region has 
been plunged into a bloody war, in which the Pakistan army, the Taliban 
and US imperialism have vied with each other to win domination.

First the Taliban seized control. They made life a hell for the people 
of Swat, forcing men to grow beards, beheading their opponents, imposing 
sharia law and other reactionary measures to keep the masses in a state 
of ignorance and illiteracy in which they would be more easily dominated 
by the mullahs and religious fanatics.

In one incident the Taliban killed 14 people in one village and hanged 
their bodies from the trees as a warning. Only two people dared to bury 
the bodies. Later they began to organize resistance to the terrorists 
and they are now members of the IMT. Despite all the difficulties and 
dangers, the comrades of the International Marxist Tendency in Swat 
organized a very successful Marxist School this summer, from July 13th 
to July 15th.

The school was attended by more than 225 comrades from all over the 
country. Even some soldiers were present. Also present was comrade 
Malala Yousafzai, who spoke in the debates. She was full of confidence 
and enthusiasm in the just cause for which she was fighting.

Now, not three months later, she is fighting for her life in an 
intensive care ward in a Peshawar hospital, with a bullet lodged close 
to her brain.
Reactionary nature of the Taliban

There are those in the West who consider themselves “lefts” who think it 
is right to support the Taliban, allegedly because they are “fighting 
imperialism”. Here we have ignorance and cynicism combined in equal 

The Taliban and other such reactionary outfits were never 
anti-imperialists. In the past they were sponsored, armed and financed 
by imperialism, which used them as a tool against the Soviet army in 
Afghanistan. Then the western media described them as “freedom 
fighters”. Now they describe them as terrorists. In fact they were 
counterrevolutionary terrorists then, and they are counterrevolutionary 
terrorists now.

Reactionary movements like the Taliban are intimately linked to the 
landlords and capitalists. They defend the interests, not of the poor, 
but of the wealthy merchants, money-lenders, landlords and drug 
smugglers. It is an open secret that they are financed, armed and, to a 
great extent, controlled by elements in the Pakistan state and the 
notorious intelligence service, the ISI.

To the extent that they are opposed to the American presence in 
Afghanistan, it is because their masters in the ISI are seeking to turn 
Afghanistan into a colony of Pakistan. This would not represent an 
advance for the suffering people of Afghanistan, only the exchange of 
one brutal foreign oppressor for another.

The struggle against imperialism can only be successful if it is led by 
the working people under the guidance of a revolutionary Marxist party. 
The real way to defeat the imperialists is to root out their points of 
support – the corrupt landowners and capitalists. The fight against the 
foreign oppressors can only be successful if it is linked to the 
overthrow of landlordism and capitalism.

The Pakistan Marxists have consistently exposed the close connections 
between the Islamic fundamentalists and the Pakistani state. That has 
earned them the undying hatred of the Taliban, who fear, quite 
correctly, that the spreading influence of revolutionary Marxism is 
undermining them.

In Swat our comrades have organized the local masses against these 
reactionaries. As a result many comrades have been the victims of 
fundamentalist terrorism. One comrade had eight bullets from a G-3 rifle 
pumped into him. The comrades reported that “only his will power and 
hatred of a repressive state and the Taliban counterrevolutionaries kept 
him alive”.
Malala’s heroism

Malala Yousufzai speaking at the Marxist school in SWATMalala Yousufzai 
speaking at the Marxist school in SWATAfter the horrors of the Taliban 
occupation, the Pakistani Army swept into the valley causing mayhem. 
That offensive uprooted an estimated 1.2 million Swat residents. The 
army has also been guilty of human rights abuses, including murder, 
torture and the massacre of prisoners. The ordinary people were, as 
usual, caught in between.

The Taliban counterrevolutionaries were particularly opposed to women 
playing any role in society other than that of domestic slaves. They 
wanted to prevent girls from going to school. Such was their fanatical 
hatred of learning that they destroyed schools and murdered 
schoolteachers. Malala’s father was the head of the last girls' school 
to be closed.

During the occupation of Swat by the Taliban in 2009, Malala, then 11 
years old, spoke out against the closure of girls' schools. At a time 
when the cowardly politicians in Islamabad were busy appeasing the 
Taliban, she spoke out against them. She wrote a blog for BBC Urdu under 
a pseudonym. She has subsequently continued to speak up against the 
Taliban, an action that took tremendous courage on her part. They began 
to threaten her, but she continued her defiant struggle, which took on 
an increasingly conscious and political character.

The Taliban leaders put out false information, accusing her of being 
pro-Obama and pro-Western. That is a lie. Although she was fundamentally 
opposed to the counterrevolutionary Taliban, comrade Malala was also 
opposed to US imperialism and the corrupt bourgeois regime in Pakistan. 
Her sympathies lay in a different direction altogether: with 
revolutionary socialism and internationalism.

Of course, at this point it suited the bourgeois that someone like her 
should expose the crimes of the Taliban. She was given the national 
peace prize in 2011. But then the bourgeois sources go quiet on her 
activities. The news reports of her attempted assassination make oblique 
references to her growing interest in politics, but they do not say what 
these politics consisted of. In fact, she was a sympathiser of the IMT.

This is not hard to understand. At the present time, the Pakistan 
section of the IMT is the only organized Left force that exists in Swat. 
Over the past few years our ranks have been swelled by an influx of 
former members of the Communist Party who have remained loyal to the 
ideas of Marx and Lenin and who are continuing to struggle for socialism 
despite all the dangers.

The report of the Marxist school in Swat, which we published in 
Marxist.com, concluded: “This school has given us great energy and 
strength to fight for the ideas of scientific socialism which could 
provide an alternate to religious fundamentalism and bourgeois liberalism”.

A Taliban spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, confirmed by phone that Malala 
had been the target, calling her crusade for education rights an 
“obscenity.” The real obscenity is a society that is based on the 
slavery of millions of workers and peasants and treats women as slaves 
of slaves. The real obscenity is child labour and illiteracy, poverty, 
disease and ignorance. And these are precisely the things the Taliban 
wishes to perpetuate.

Malala is one of the many outstanding young comrades who are looking for 
a way out of the present infernal impasse by taking the revolutionary 
road. In so doing she was well aware of the risks. She was prepared to 
put her life at hazard to fight for such basic human rights as 
education. And she has paid a heavy price.

Every class conscious worker in the world will keenly feel the tragedy 
of a young girl shot down in cold blood by a cowardly assassin for the 
crime of demanding rights for women. Our hearts bleed for the suffering 
of her family, friends and comrades. We fervently wish for her recovery.

This vicious attack will not deter us from our task. By exposing the 
baseness and cruelty of our enemies, which is only the distilled essence 
of the baseness and cruelty of the society that spawned these monsters, 
it will steel our resolve to continue the fight for which comrade Malala 
made such a great sacrifice.

Now more than ever the only choice for humanity is: socialism or 
barbarism. It is a choice between the forces of darkness and light, 
between ignorance and knowledge, between savagery and civilization. It 
is an easy choice to make, and Malala made it. Let her life and courage 
be an example to us all.

     Down with the murderous counterrevolutionaries! Down with imperialism!
     Let us fight for justice for all, for a life free from ignorance, 
violence and oppression.
     Let us step up the fight for a better future in a socialist world.

London 10 October 2012

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