‘Six years of a war of terror’

‘Six years of a war of terror’, an interview with Tariq Ali by Sherry Wolf for Socialist Worker, October 26, 2007

This is the sixth anniversary of the U.S. war on Afghanistan, which a lot of people see as the “good” battle in the “war on terror,” as opposed to Iraq. Is that true?

I have always argued that this was essentially a crude war of revenge to hit back immediately after the September 11 attacks—for political leaders to show the American population that “we are busy defending you.” It had no other major purpose to it other than being for revenge—an eye for an eye.

The second aim of this war, as Bush spelled it out, was to capture Osama bin Laden “dead or alive.” Those were his exact words, which we shouldn’t forget. Apart from that, there were no war aims.

There was never any question that they were going to capture the country. For one, the Northern Alliance wasn’t going to resist–nor were the Iranians, who were very strong in Western Afghanistan. Iranian leaders were hostile to the Taliban for their own opportunistic reasons, so they clambered onto the imperial bandwagon and said, “Fine, we can’t get rid of these guys, but if the Americans do, we’ll see how the situation develops.” read more