writes Sara Aktaş for Yeni Özgür Politika.fghan women’s rights activist Seraj Mahbouba expresses her feelings towards the Westeren powers by saying, ‘Shame on you for what you have done for 20 years’. What really needs to be done in the face of capitalist powers who are not even ashamed of what they have done for more than a century is a struggle of the people who believe in themselves and who know that this is the only way to build a free life,”
Afghanistan, which is defined as the “key and heart of Asia” has once again been handed over to the Taliban with the updated version of the “Great Game” in history. It was not taken over, but handed over, because Afghanistan’s distant and recent history has taught us this truth. It was handed over, because we are going through the third world war during which we have witnessed similar games played by the imperialist powers in East Asia, South America, Africa and the Middle East.
The darkness of the Taliban in Afghanistan is not related to the success of the Taliban or the weakness of the Afghan people. Because the opportunity to establish a free country was not given to the people of Afghanistan. The living history of Afghanistan teaches us how the peoples of a country are sacrificed so easily for the benefit of the imperialist powers.
The history of Afghanistan has been shaped by the conflicts of economic, political and military interests and the complex political atmosphere caused by the global powers. Therefore, it is important to comprehend the recent events with a few historical reminders.
Global conflicts of capitalist powers have generally become entangled in Afghanistan. Whilst these conflicts grew primarily over Afghanistan’s strategic importance, Russia’s desire to reach warm-water ports and the strategies of Britain during the 19th century resulted in the creation of a buffer zone between the Western and Eastern blocs during the 20th century.
We can say that the reason why Afghanistan has become a zone of conflicts of interest in the 21st century is because it was the ”gateway” during this time for transporting Central Asian oil and natural gas to world market and a “base zone” between Iran, India, China and Russia, which the US considers as a threat.
note for proofreader: would there be a better wording suggestion than turn into?
Therefore, Afghanistan which has great strategic importance to any country that seeks to become a global and regional power, has been constantly subjected to intervention. For instance, trying to establish a protection zone in the north of India while colonising India, Britain defined Afghanistan as the “red line” after Russia invaded Turkestan. When Russia began to break this red line, a “Great Game-1” which lasted for around 200 years was begun.
Each intervention in Afghanistan with new versions of the Great Game also has a domino effect in international relations and balances of power. As a matter of fact, the intervention of the USSR in 1979 caused a great reaction of Islam and the West. Subsequently, the US put into practice the “Green Belt” project surrounding the USSR, that aimed to prevent the USSR from accessing the Persian Gulf and also to control the Islamic forces by provocating radical movements against the USSR.
The Taliban regime which was established in a chaotic atmosphere in Afghanistan in the 1990s did not face any difficulty during the years of 1996-2001, and got support from US and Pakistan despite the reactions of Russia and Iran.
However, the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, which aimed to become the world’s superpower led to the reaction of the Shangai Five led by Russia and China, and the Muslim world. The reaction of Russia, China and Iran against the intervention of US in Afghanistan and the situation in Central Asia as showed by the beginning of the “Great Game-2” and led to new alliances, as well as new hostilities.
The purpose of the US invasion of Afghanistan meant using the strategic advantages of Afghanistan, the control of the Central Asian oil and gas line, the siege of Iran from the north, keeping Russia, China and India under control as well as seeking to influence Central Asian countries, which had recently achieved their independence.
At this point, US withdrawal from Afghanistan costs the people of Afghanistan death, poverty and chaos, and the Taliban’s victory after 20 years marks the beginning of the “Great Game 3”. Therefore, while entering a new phase of the third world war, the complex political atmosphere – of the US, NATO and regional alliances and Russia, China and Iran- shows that the era of regional wars and conflicts will continue and increase.
Afghan women’s rights activist Seraj Mahbouba expresses her feelings by saying, ‘Shame on what you have done for 20 years’. What needs to be done in the face of capitalist powers who are not ashamed of what they have done for more than a century is the struggle of the people who believe in themselves and who know that this is the only way to build a free life. What needs to be done is to strengthen the grassroot organisations of the peoples in the region, that have an anti-imperialist characteristics and self-defence power. That means, the only solution is nothing but to struggle.