Tag Archives: Occupations

How and Why the Taliban Won, by Eric Zuesse

This is the best article I’ve read so far on Afghanistan.

People fighting for their homeland have, among other advantages, a moral advantage against an occupying power. They’re fighting for what’s theirs, not to steal and dominate what isn’t. It’s a lesson America’s revolutionary ancestors knew in their bones, but one most Americans have ignored, at staggering costs in blood and treasure, through America’s string of failed invasions and occupations since World War II. It’s also a lesson that should, but won’t, make those who presume to rule us quake. While the government is part of America, it is no longer of America (our rulers now pride themselves on their separateness), just as our puppet governments in the lands we’ve occupied have been part of those countries, but not of them. In other words, the government is an occupying power in our land, and is destined to meet the fate of so many occupying powers.

From Eric Zuesse at strategic-culture.org:

Between America’s founding and the present time, America has switched from doing war against military occupiers, to doing war as military occupiers, Eric Zuesse writes.

The prominent philosopher Slavoj Zizek stated the question well at RT, on August 17th:

The Taliban’s 80,000 troops have retaken Afghanistan with cities falling like dominos while the 300,000-strong government forces, better equipped and trained, mostly melted and surrendered with no will to fight. Why did it happen?

The Western media tell us there can be several explanations for that. …

However, all these explanations seem to avoid a basic fact that is traumatic for the liberal Western view. That is the Taliban’s disregard for survival and the readiness of its fighters to assume “martyrdom,” to die not just in a battle but even in suicidal acts.

He compared this to the Marxists who were willing to risk their lives in order to conquer the ruling aristocratic regime in Russia a hundred years ago and succeeded against enormous odds. But, then, Zizek said “it is doubtful that traditional Marxism can provide a convincing account of the success of Taliban.” Philosophers (including not only the anti-Marxist philosopher Zizek but Marx himself) always have been and are accustomed to contradicting themselves like that, without even noticing that they are. Even self-contradiction is accepted by them, because — as a profession — they have no consistent epistemological standard that they’re required to meet. Instead, Zizek blithely assumed that Russia’s Revolutionists hadn’t won for the very same reason the Taliban did — they were willing to die for their cause, while the opposing soldiers were not. He simply assumed that because the Taliban fought for a different god, they didn’t win for the same reason that those Marxist ‘atheists’ did.

However, the question still remains open, and must be addressed, in the most general sense:

Why did the Taliban win against the Americans in Afghanistan?

Why did the communists win against the Americans in Vietnam?

Why did the communists win against the capitalists in the Russian Revolution?

Why did the American Revolutionists win against the British Empire?

I shall here propose an answer to all of them, because that answer applies to all such cases, as I shall explain:

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