By Dr. Sawraj Singh
America’s defeat in Afghanistan will hasten the decline of the west, which has been going on for some time, particularly after the year 2008. Donald Trump, past President of the US, called it the worst American defeat in history. However, this is not America’s defeat alone; it is a defeat of the whole west. Not only this defeat has exposed American weakness, it has exposed internal contradictions of the western imperialists. Not only the differences between America and Europe have been exposed, it has also exposed differences among the various European countries such as England, France and Germany.
There is also a contradiction between the capitalist class and the people. The capitalists are keen in bringing immigrants and refugees from anywhere because they see them as a potential commodity that can be exploited to maximize their profit. What western imperialists term Multiculturalism, is in reality, Multi cheap laborism. People, on the other hand, look at immigrants as a threat to their jobs and their way of life. For example, many people in Europe feel uncomfortable with the large number of Muslim immigrants. They feel that these people will not be culturally assimilated, and one day this confrontation can even lead to a civil war in some European countries. Similarly, some white people in the US and Canada feel very uncomfortable with the growing number of minority people. They also feel that a civil war situation can develop some day.
Many people in the world are looking at America’s defeat in Afghanistan as a victory for China. They feel that America and China are the two major powers in the world competing for influence. Therefore, decline of influence of one lead to rise of influence for the other. American defeat in Afghanistan seems to have brought four countries together there. These are: China, Russia, Pakistan and Iran. All of these countries bring power upon a large section of population into this group.
China has become the largest economic power. Many call it the Engine of the world economy. Russia still is the most powerful country as far as military strength is concerned. Even today, Russia has an edge in both nuclear as well as conventional weapons. Pakistan, even though perceived as a small and weak country by some, has strategically become very important. It has become one of the leading Sunni Muslim countries in the world. The Sunnis are the largest sect of Islam. Traditionally, the Arab countries have played the leading role amongst the Sunnis. However, the leadership seems slipping to the non-Arab countries such as Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia and Malaysia. This is history repeating itself as during the Crusades, the two most renowned leaders and defenders of Islam, Salah ad-Din and Al-Malik al-Zahir Rukn al-Din Baibars al-Bunduqdari (known in the West as Baibars), were non-Arabs. Iran is the leading Shia Muslim country. Syria and Iraq are the other important Shia countries.
This alignment of countries also shows that Eurasia will again become the leading region of the world. Except for the last two centuries, when the west became the dominant force in the world, Eurasia was always the leading region of the world.
The western media continues to portray the Taliban as terrorists even though there seems to be a qualitative change in their attitude. It is true that the Taliban came in to existence with the help of the CIA as a mostly terrorist group against the Soviet Union. However, after the American invasion of Afghanistan, there was a fundamental change in their character. Their struggle became more like a national liberation against imperialist invasion of their country; the Fall of Saigon in 1975 looks eerily similar to the Fall of Kabul in 2021.
The Taliban are now claiming that their current priority is reconstruction of their war-torn country. It seems that Russia and China are willing to give them a chance to prove their sincerity and commitment about reconstructing their country. The western media, on the other hand, continues to demonize them and are unwilling to give them any benefit of doubt. Apparently, the western media has ulterior motives.
India should not fall in the western trap and should maintain contact with the Taliban. India should clearly define its interests and deal with them accordingly. The global community, instead of ostracizing the Taliban, should try to persuade them to act as responsible members of the global community. The Taliban should also be persuaded to protect and safeguard the rights of all citizens, particularly minorities and women. The global community should act in a responsible manner as Russia and China seem to be trying to do.
Dr. Sawraj Singh, MD F.I.C.S. is the Chairman of the Washington State Network for Human Rights and Chairman of the Central Washington Coalition for Social Justice. He can be reached at [email protected].