Analysis Uncategorized

1981: Thatcher tells Afghan fundamentalists “The hearts of the free world are with you”

As UK and other western citizens flee Afghanistan and the UK government denies asylum on racist grounds to Afghans who served, a look 40 years ago shows the UK government’s opportunism

The US and UK are fleeing Afghanistan after decades of military and corporate presence , leaving the Taliban to overrun the country, with the fall of Kabul expected in the coming days and scenes of US and UK personnel evacuating their stations in scenes reminiscent of Saigon in 1975:

As UK citizens are flown out of the country, the racist UK government has said, according to senior military sources, that it doesn’t want to give refuge to most of the many Afghans who served as interpreters and other support for UK forces, in case it encourages other asylum-seekers to come to the UK:

Yet forty years ago, the Tory government was telling the same fundamentalist factions that “the hearts of the free world are with” what were then termed ‘resistance fighters’ against Soviet forces:

Left activist ToryFibs summed up the shambles neatly:

The US and UK are running away from a monster their adventurism and opportunism helped create – and as ever when elites pursue their shortsighted interests, ordinary people are left to face the consequences.

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64 comments

  1. They’re not running away. And it ain’t another hasty Vietnam escape. They’ve been there TWENTY years ffs. That’s simply a poor reading of the gushing, mainstream bollocks that’s been permitted inside the controlled, daily propaganda sheets. US forces may stand down for a while, but bloodstained US contractors will stay where the money is and precious Afghan lithium will continue to be stolen from the mountains. Note also how the United States’ successful restoration of the Afghan poppy fields coincided perfectly with the Western, opiate tragedy harming millions.

    They’ll be back. There’s far too much to lose.

    1. SPOT the DIFFERENCE:

      Thatcher’s “best creation”, its most sinister legacy Blair:

      “promised the country would not abandon Afganistan once the fighting was over.”

      “To the Afghan people we make this commitment. We will not walk away, as the outside world has done so many times before.”

      🔱🥀🔱🥀🔱🥀 Lynton Blair polluting “Labour” Conference, Brighton,
      Tuesday 2 October 2001.

      BTW – all the usual suspects gush they hoped to eradicate in Afghanistan is rampant in Saudi Arabia. In fact some authorities in the field say that the horrendous practises of the Taliban were exported from Saudi Arabia and funded by them.

      The USA and us in turn ARM Saudi Arabia while they commit the exact Taliban reported atrocities.

      What’s more, anyone can read and discover that USA & UK history CREATING the Taliban from the then GLOWINGLY feted Mujahideen against the Russians.

      As ever, we should pause, step back and not be carried away by the superficial but toxic froth of the media which were correctly SAY we despise.
      🗺🧭🚩🗺🧭🚩🗺🧭🚩

      1. ✅to eradicate in Afghanistan what IS rampant in Saudi Arabia.

        ✅which WE correctly say we despise.

      2. I have dug out a old photo of my Grandfather in dr Livingstone uniform and helmet pulling a donkey loaded with ammunition along with a line of Welsh fusiliers making there way through the khyber pass and the mountains all around them.The date must have been end of the eighteen hundreds my Grandfather being fifteen years old and part of the India campaign I remember my Grandfather saying that they had suffered large casualtys from mountain tribesmen,far worse than anything they had encountered before.That area later became Afghanistan and them same fighters have been handing out a bloody nose to invaders especially British Empire ones for centuries.Obviously the majority are behind these so called religious fanatics in Afghanistan and I wonder if Britain ever will aceppt that they cant play war games with the big boys anymore because the Empires gone.Somebody inform Starmer not that the refugees situation will effect anyone from leafy Surrey in a big House and “loadsa money” Let Bolton and Stoke city be informed to prepare for boarding once again.?Do the knight and bullingdon boys ever learn history at their private schools ,they certainly don’t seem to.

    2. People need to ask if USA/NATO were there 22 Years, The Taliban dwindled into the background, The USA/NATO went there to weaken/wipe out the Taliban, Strengthen, Equip, Train the Afghan Military and Police Force.
      Just before They announce they are leaving Taliban starts making waves, when they leave, Taliban takes full control!
      How is it that a “weakened” Taliban SUDDENLY gained so much Power that they now have an Air force FFS and are Taking Numerous Capitals, in a matter of days, something USA/Nato could not fully do in 22 Years!
      OR IDEED on the FLIP SIDE!
      If the Taliban is THAT Powerful, why didn’t the USA/NATO have a MUCH, MUCH Harder time of it for 22 Years!
      ALSO Is it at all possible that this is just another Black/False Flag to get the UN/EU/NATO/Int MSM to beg USA to go back!?
      AND Finally I am curious why all the “Intel” coming out of Afghanistan appears to be from/about the Taliban and not By The Well Trained, Well Equipped Military, Police and Afghan Government whatever happened to all of them!?
      We all know USA “needs/wants” to go back to Afghanistan, I hope that The USA gets Flummoxed and The Afghans takes a helping hand from Neighbors Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and Russia to sort out this Dilemma and keep the USA OUT!

  2. Thatcher’s words could be relied upon I’m sure🙄. She was also trying to cede Falkland Islands’ sovereignty to the fascist junta ruling Argentina under a 99-year leaseback deal in 1981. When this fell through, it became clear she would need to intensify the defence cuts, remove HMS Endurance from patrolling the South Atlantic and give the junta an overriding impression that any Argentine invasion would be uncontested. They fell for it and the ruse was successful. 907 dead bodies on both sides and a 1983 landslide election victory.

    1. A brilliant Private Eye cartoon at the time had a bust of Maggie atop a plinth on a windswept Falklands-esque landscape, inscribed with the words They Died To Save Her Face!

      1. Well found, Wirral! I lost my cutting of it years ago. More or less correctly recollected.

    1. It’s a long read but this article presents this catastrophe from the writers personal experience, a very ‘human’ perspective.

      As the Taliban Seize Cities, Desperate Afghans Are Trapped in an American-Made Fiasco

      Andrew Quilty@andrewquilty 22-27 minutes
      1.
      Afghan friends and colleagues began asking for help leaving the country in June. The requests were nothing new, but in the past they’d mostly been in jest. Now they were serious and urgent. The people who made them weren’t just seeking a better life but refuge.

      https://theintercept.com/2021/08/12/afghanistan-taliban-exit/

      1. Show them a picture of Bolton Lancashire and Stoke city on a winters day and they might rappidly change their minds on leaving for a better life in Britain…I think I would sooner live in a cave in the mountains than Bolton.When my family fled Bolton after the collapse of the cotton industry the town still had infrastructure and engineering jobs.Now its just a dumping ground for the worlds displaced people,the local council get a pittance from central government and they struggle on with dwindling resources and collapsing infrastructure…?.How much longer will the West dictate their idea of democracy and freedom to people that have thousands of years of their own religious beliefs and culture.,Decade after decade the same war games played out in other people’s backyards for the deposits below ground.Simply put its an offence against the people of this dying planet.

      2. If Who owns and pays for theintercept.com? It’s obviously a billionaire, but which one? Why would you trust it for anything??

        Have Labour antisemitism and the Grotesque COVID Narrative taught you nothing stevieh? You’ve obviously never kvetched for a second or about anything in your life!

      3. By “kvetch” I mean “distrusted power and authority”….

  3. Apparently “we” made a promise to Afghanistan in 2001. Blair said it, and Keith has repeated it in the last 24 hours.

    May I absolve myself from the “we.” I made no such promise. Indeed, I was of the opinion that Afghanistan should be left to the Afghanis, in the same way I don’t have a say and don’t want to say how any of the other 202 countries of the world choose their leaders. Most are, by their nature, badly governed and corrupt.

    But then we come to the UK. Badly governed and corrupt! Who are we to tell others how their government should behave until we have our own house in order.

    OTOH, I am quite happy to hold the coats of Messrs Blair and Starmer, whilst they go to Afghanistan, alone, and sort it out. Then they can start on the other 202 countries (though sorting out their own legacy in the UK might just be a priority).

  4. I think there’s a strong possibility that there has been some kind of agreement with the Taliban. For starters, we’ve been wrongly informed about Afghanistan by the media all along. It is pretty obvious that the Taliban ‘are the people’ and not a group of fighters hiding out in the desert. The takeover has been so smooth and outside the cities life won’t be any different. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were a renewed offensive in Syria shortly with a proxy army of Taliban fighters using captured American weapons.

    1. The speed of the collapse says they were never building a new civil society in Afghanistan, all the billions of dollars in aid, to contractors and corporations were never used for nation building, they were always an unwanted occupying force of colonists on to a good thing. All the deaths were for nothing and it’s sad to see many veterans still trying to justify their presence in Afghanistan. We’ve been lied to all along.

      1. It is a curious thing that, 22 years of bringing Peace and Stability, Taliban becomes background noise 22 years in and Taliban starts again, USA announces they’re leaving, Taliban Takes over All Capitals in a matter of Days. The USA left a well Equipped and Trained Military & Police we only hear from/about Taliban!!!?
        They come to bringing Peace and Stability for Afghans!
        They Leave Afghans at War and Utter Chaos!
        Smells like Rotting Fish!!!

  5. The UK old soldier officer class and militarists are ‘sad’ and ‘hurt’ that the investment has been shredded as if they were saying farewell to an old colony and hinting that the US was letting them down. Maybe Bernie Sanders has thrown some weight or perhaps the US has other purposes?

    1. https://www.sanders.senate.gov/in-the-news/aggressive-bernie-sanders-on-his-big-plans-as-budget-chair/

      “As Senate Budget chair, you’ll be a key figure in setting overall defense and non-defense funding levels for fiscal 2022. There’s definitely appetite among progressives to rethink the Pentagon’s budget. How hard do you plan to push for cuts?

      Let’s back it up and understand a couple facts. You understand you’re talking to the guy who led the effort to lower defense spending by 10 percent.

      We’re talking about the military budget, which is now higher than the next 10 nations combined. No. 2, you’re talking about the Pentagon budget, which is the only major government agency which has not been able to undertake an independent audit. And I don’t think anyone has any doubt that there’s massive waste and cost overruns in the military budget.”

  6. Johnson’s recalling parliament. Can’t imagine what for when the cosy cross-party consensus got us into this mess. Collective handwringing?

    For Labour, Starmer’s uniquely ill-advised untimely decision to double down and escalate against the anti-war left while lionising the hawkish Blair and his foreign policy record, leaves him and Labour without a leg to stand on.

    1. I am sure that the majority on here will agree with me that its so unfair to bring back our exhausted mps who are at the moment having a hard earned 3 month holiday after attending parliament for a shattering four days a week.How does one manage on a measly hundred thousand and all you can get expenses.I do hope that the mps make it back to their loved ones especially Strummer in Devon.,and Johnson in the Caribbean bolt hole.Still at least we are “all innit together”

    2. Below is an extract from a long letter laying out Labour’s latest response to this fast moving crisis.

      Dear Priti,
      …………….I would be grateful if you could answer the following questions:
      Will the resettlement programmes be opened to interpreters and other key support staff who were employed by British representatives, via third party organisations?
      Will the resettlement programs be opened to interpreters and other key support staff who were employed by British media organisations while in Afghanistan? They played a vital role and should not be abandoned.
      What steps are being taken to provide the logistical and resettlement support necessary, so those eligible for resettlement schemes and their families can quickly make the necessary move.
      Would you agree to establishing an urgent expert panel to help identify, at speed, the groups who are at increased risk and establish a rapid plan for resettlement? It is deeply concerning to see senior military and media representatives outline cases of Afghan workers who played a vital role serving Britain abandoned without support. This panel should also consider the role Afghan workers placed in supporting British aid efforts in Afghanistan, through DFID and related organisations……..
      Yours sincerely,
      Rt Hon Nick Thomas-Symonds MP
      Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Department
      https://labourlist.org/2021/08/labour-calls-for-safe-and-legal-asylum-routes-in-response-to-afghanistan-news/

      1. timfrom – I agree empathy, compassion, decency, humanity or integrity are not words that immediately spring to mind when one hears her name..

  7. It is being reported that Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani has fled the country

    1. The Guardan, CNN and NYT all carry the very same version, true. I wonder what’s really happening.

      1. I’m guessing that’s because they were probably all based on the Reuter’s exclusive.

  8. So our resident knightly mouthpiece doesn’t deny the subterfuge from Steve H centrist Dad Steve Hall sh davidh.I wonder if the neighbours realise what they are in for. “The biggest room in my house is the room for improvement” says the centrist Dad.Watch out for coconuts dropping off and careful with the Natives they still remember?

  9. The UK government must work quickly to bring our allies together and explore ‘all possible measures’ that could protect the Afghan people. …. This should start with the Prime Minister calling an emergency meeting of NATO.- Keir Starmer

    All possible measures sounds like a thinly veiled call for renewed military intervention. Not a chance of countries’ recommitting, It’s way, way beyond that point. The Taliban have such a territorial advantage and control abandoned arms depots.

    And how does this sit with his leadership Pledge 4 :

    4. Promote peace and human rights

    No more illegal wars. Introduce a Prevention of Military Intervention Act and put human rights at the heart of foreign policy. Review all UK arms sales and make us a force for international peace and justice.

    Did Starmer have anything to do with the formation of these 10 Pledges? Has he even read them?

    1. Andy, I seem to remember Max Headroom has a problem with keeping a pledge. Maybe he doesn’t understand what making a pledge means?

      1. It’s very odd, considering his legal background. You’d think he’d understand the importance of honouring his words and especially signed pledges.

        Listening to Starmer and his ever-hawkish Shadow Foreign Secretary, Lisa Nandy, does anyone believe they’d “Introduce a Prevention of Military Intervention Act” as promised in those pledges? Nandy is always deferring to leading hawks in the Tory party like Tom Tugendhat, Johnny Mercer and Rory Stewart, as if starstruck and slightly in awe of them?

        Starmer’s pick for Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, John Healey, voted for the Iraq war – and against requiring the support of the UN Security Council before the commitment of UK forces to military action in Iraq.

        A force for international peace and justice?

    1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/west_asia/37021.stm
      Taleban in Texas for talks on gas pipeline (1997)
      A senior delegation from the Taleban movement in Afghanistan is in the United States for talks with an international energy company that wants to construct a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan.

      A spokesman for the company, Unocal, said the Taleban were expected to spend several days at the company’s headquarters in Sugarland, Texas.

      1. Isn’t the withdrawal of western forces due to end on 11 Sept, 20 years to the day since you-know-what? The deep state love that date, don’t they! I’m half expecting another “event” on that day so they can start the whole 20 year horror show all over again!

  10. Forty years ago the fundamentalists were encouraged by the west to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan, they knew who those fundamentalist were, today the west are backing and arming groups far worse than the Taliban [who at least can claim to be representing a significant section of Afghanistan society] in Syria Al Qaeda and other head choppers are trying to regime change Assad [the West’s aim] who has tremendous support in Syria on the grounds that they [Al Qaeda] may be bastards but they are our bastards.

  11. Just read John Snow’s autobiography ‘Shooting History’ which I highly recommend.
    John points out that to beat the Russians in Afghanistan (who had gone in to support a Communist Govt) the US etc funded and trained 43,000 Jihadists (including Bin Laden) and he estimates that 100,000 came from abroad to fight the Russians.
    The USA even offered satellite information to guide the Jihadists.
    John makes the great point that the USA & Britain had no idea what to do if they won the Cold War and how to work with diverse citizens and rebuild, apparently the US soldiers in Afghanistan used to tell the locals to get the feck out of here!
    Then the Jihadists bit back and we had the ‘War on Terror’ driven by the US Neo-Cons & like Iraq perhaps we have had the greatest policy disaster.
    And of course the Western Capitalists usually want a payback – oil, arms sales, reconstruction projects etc and there is a significant gas pipeline in Afghanistan.
    It must be hell to be in Kabul now, a Taliban spokesMAN just said “Stoning and amputations is for the courts” (but whilst many US states still carry out the death penalty) perhaps stoning and amputations too are for the dark ages.
    A reason the Taliban progressed so fast is that tribal chiefs did deals as perhaps they saw the way the wind was blowing.
    But blame the US Right Republicans & Right/Centrist Democrats, and the Tories and Right Wing Labour.
    Oh and perhaps the Tories cutting £4b from overseas aid (to outdo UKIP) helps create the conditions for the bad guys to emerge?
    This is a victory for the Far Right Taliban unintentionally enabled by politically ignorant Right Wing Western politicians!
    If only the World had had left wing democratic socialist Govts who would have put diverse human beings ahead of wealth, power and profits.

  12. Very interesting Steve H which only goes to show, that the fleet of war machines sailing around the S.China sea is just more of the same colonialist attitudes towards the Natives.Whats more worrying is a colonial religious fanatic in Downing street if the current carpetbaggers in office vacate with their winnings and let in the knight.through the door.A senile old molester Biden in Washington and a Zionist fanatic in London Drowning street is more than just a possibility?

      1. Yes Steve H I have lived a long life in many different countries and always amongst the ordinary people as I do now.I have found that no matter what colour or religion we all want a peaceful life unhindered by colonialism and apartheid government…We want very little,and hope for a better future for our children….Some people want everything even the air we breathe and the ground beneath our feet.I would hope that my grandchildren in S.east Asia and in Florida USA have a future in this dying planet,its not too late to treat this earth with the respect it is due..?

  13. They’ll be studying this in Military College. Beginning of last week, we were hearing it would take three months. It’s taken them 3 days!

    As an interesting aside, the Yank replacement for the Hummer (Oshkosh JLTV) has been so well donated, the Taliban are now the world’s second largest operator. Wonder if they still prefer a Hilux?

    The translators and other have already been stiffed. Fears of encouraging refugees (1000s are fleeing across the border) means we’ve shat on people once again.

    It’s now a wait and see moment. Talibans first priority is food (winter is coming) for Afghanistan. Let’s see if they focus on themselves or their country.

    Afghanistan has just joined the SCO.

    1. The main concern for the new government will be flushing out the puppets,and I expect they will be grateful for the support the USA has given them in abandoning most of the arms including no doubt a few hummers along with a few aircraft and helicopters,armoured vehicles including tanks.Nobody can have any doubt that the US like to kit out their troops..I think the Toyota Hilux as had its day along with the US and allies achieving anything with the eternal war machine.

    2. Correction.

      It is Iran that has joined the SCO, not Afghanistan.

      For your amusement;

      A Mexican YouTube wit remarked: “No, it’s completely different! Saigon was on a Wednesday; this happened Sunday.”

      Bryan MacDonald
      @27khv
      The Soviet Union collapsed only two years after its withdrawal from Afghanistan. Just sayin’.

  14. Thatcher called the hand chopping, women stoning feudal warlords freedom fighters. Many on the far left, the SWP, the AWL agreed with her.
    Glad to say I was a Militant supporter at the time. We definitely did not.

  15. Some interesting links via here to recent articles by Caitlin Johnson and Pepe Escobar:

    http://steelcityscribblings.uk/wp/2021/08/15/two-new-reads-on-afghanistan/

    The map in this initial link is also useful in providing a likely guide to a future in which after over half a century of playing with jihadism for Great Game geo-political aims which have destroyed and wasted countless lives at a cost of trillions of dollars on the part of Western sociopathic elites the grown ups will enter to sort out the chaos and demonstrate how infrastructure benefiting everyone can be done at a fraction of the cost.

  16. Some members of the Taliban government warned the United States about 9/11.

    Afterwards, the government proposed the idea of handing over suspects to a properly constituted court so that a trial could take place.

    In his memoirs, Blair made it clear that he was not interested at all.

    We were lied to about this. And these facts, just like Afghan casualties as a result of the invasion of that country, are now totally ignored in the media coverage.

    https://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=80482&page=1

  17. If only the Imperialists had kept their noses out.
    As in other states with mobiles and the internet a progressive middle class and Civic Society may have emerged led by young people and there may have been mild reforms.
    Some of the key players there are the tribes.
    Lesson: You can’t impose from without but you can offer aid and solidarity.

  18. Tories pushing the line “after all the gains in Afghanistan” it would be good to have a few examples?
    The US wasted 1trillion and lost 2,500 trips and 4,000 contractors and were 40,0000 civilian deaths, and perhaps the only thing that went up during the US occupation was poppy production, up 90% during their time (Ali, NLR Blog).
    Some are trying to put the blame on the Afghan Military but the US Pro-Capitalists gave the contract for servicing the Afghan airforce including refuelling their planes to private contractors but when US pulled out so did these contractors so the airforce at a stroke was was grounded.
    The reactionary Taliban played a clever nationalist card, and why should the many tribes fight them when they were saying they wanted no foreign boots on their land?
    Right Wing Neo-Con Republicans, Right Wing/Centrist Democrats, The Tories, Right Wing Labour are all culpable however much they try to wiggle out of their political mess caused by their elite Western Right Wing political ignorance.
    Oh and Jeremy Corbyn voted against the invasion.

  19. Johnson on the gains, we got rid of terrorists in Afghanistan but we need to step back a bit.
    Before the Iraq War voted for by Right Wing Labour & the Tories, there was little terrorism in the world but after it tragically there was plenty with some now in Afghanistan.
    Then the invasion of Afghanistan again backed by Right Wing Labour, and if the current crop of Starmer & Nandy, Bryant then had been MPs then they would have most likely voted for both?
    They all voted to bomb Syria.
    The other gains elections, progress for women sadly will be soon swept aside.
    And who voted against all – Jeremy Corbyn.
    Perhaps the greatest policy failure of the 21st Century brought to you by Right Wing Labour and the Tories.
    Never have the Right Wing UK politicians been so clearly exposed – Lions led by Donkeys!

    1. Bazza – Who did a runner for the vote on the Chilcot report.
      Keir Starmer spoke out strongly against the Iraq war in the Guardian at the time (many years before he was an MP). On Afghanistan he has spoken out strongly (today in parliament) against the governments incompetence and dereliction of duty to the Afghani people.
      https://labour.org.uk/press/keir-starmer-delivers-statement-in-parliament-on-afghanistan/

      ps – The Afghanistan War was prompted by the attack on NY and came a couple of years before the Iraq War. The hubris of the coalition partners’ decision to invade Iraq led to them to lose focus on Afghanistan Hence where we are today.

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