Afghanistan Threatens to Become Obama's Vietnam
by Christine Buchholz
On the occasion of US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's visit to Berlin, Christine Buchholz, a member of the Left Party executive board, comments:
Many hopes are tied to Barack Obama, since George W. Bush is the most unpopular American President ever, and Obama promises to improve the social situation and bring the Iraq War to an end.
However, Obama is making a big mistake by identifying Afghanistan as the main battlefield of the "war on terror" and declaring that he will redeploy up to 10,000 more soldiers to the Hindu Kush. The Iraq War has shown that what the United States and the NATO care about is not freedom from terrorism but their interests in natural resources in a strategically key region. The war has increased, rather than decreased, the danger of terrorist attacks.
If Obama really seeks to change foreign policy, he must break with Bush's war-mongering. He should withdraw the troops not only from Iraq but also from Afghanistan and refrain from threatening war against Iran. The war in Afghanistan is as unwinnable as the war in Iraq. Afghanistan threatens to become Obama's Vietnam if he doesn't have the courage to defy the neoconservatives and the ruling class.
The Left rejects the transparent plan of the German Federal Government, with Obama's backing in autumn, to have the Bundestag extend the mandate and increase troops in Afghanistan. War cannot bring peace to Afghanistan. The German Armed Forces must leave Afghanistan.
The original statement in German was made available on the Web site of Die Linke on 24 July 2008. Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi.