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09/11/2021

Afghanistan’s victory and the legacy of 9/11

Afghanistan’s victory and the legacy of 9/11

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York, after which the US launched its war on terror.

In 1975, when I was an exchange student in the US, I was taken to visit the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York. At that time, it was the tallest building in the world, and presented as the “new wonder of the world”; in fact, it was purposely designed as a symbol of US world domination.

On September 11, 2001, I was the Editor-in-Chief of Aydinlik Weekly and worked at the Ulusal TV Channel, which used to be the only opposition television channel in Turkey at the time. As part of these media outlets, our thesis was that a new era had begun for the USA.

During the 2000s, the contradiction between the US claim to world domination and the dynamism of economic development had intensified. At that time, the US ruling classes were plunged into a dilemma that is now most heavily debated: either the US would relinquish its world domination and focus on addressing its mounting problems at home, or it would adopt even more aggressive policies, by launching a so-called “war on terror” in the name of revitalizing its economy and open up new possibilities for capital accumulation through imperialist wars– similar to what happened in the First and Second World Wars.

The financial oligarchy as the backbone of the US ruling clique held the illusion that the collapse of the Soviet Union had led to a “unipolar world”. This illusion inspired Francis Fukuyuma to hastily declare the “end of history”, which much of the intellectual fuel to eventually ignite the war on terror, using the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers as an excuse for military adventurism which was doomed to fail from the very beginning.

However, the era of economic boom wherein the US accounted for half of the world’s economic might was already far behind. US imperialism was already suffering heavy defeats in South Asia, South America and Africa. This was in contrast to China and other developing nations in Asia gaining an economic edge over the US, even though Washington retained its military influence.

With the liberation of Afghanistan in 2021, US imperialism has finally been able to admit that its “crusade” ended in disappointment and disgrace after 20 years of occupation.

The only thing that has not changed is the persistence of a very narrow clique in the US who thinks that the country will eventually subdue the peoples of the world with its bestial military power. Their class interests compel them to continue this madness. Their way of thinking is reminiscent of Hitler making calculations on how to win the war even after Berlin was taken!

The “biggest terrorist”!

In January 2002, I was a speaker at the “International Conference on Victims of Terrorism” hosted by the Algerian Parliament in Algeria. I started my speech with the sentence “The biggest terrorist in the world is the USA and its president is George W. Bush”. Over the last 20 years, developing nations have been exposed to brutal attacks by the USA in the name of fighting global terrorism. The name of US presidents have changed, but the policy of spreading terrorism under the name of the war on terror has not.

The US administration deliberately came up with an obscure concept of “international terrorism” and used it as a justification for the occupation of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. Over the last 20 years, we have understood that this amorphous structure called “international terrorism” is associated with the organizations that the US has facilitating by exploiting and revitalizing ethnic and religious tensions in order to justify its imperialist aggression. Indisputable evidence has emerged that Al Qaeda, ISIS, the PKK and ETIM are CIA-supported and that this support is coordinated through such mechanisms as the US National Counter Terrorism Center. Even US President Trump admitted, on August 11, 2016, that “Obama founded ISIS. And, I would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton.”

Turkey has been fighting separatist terrorism for 37 years. The Turkish security forces brought the PKK to the brink of collapse twice, but the US came to the PKK’s aid both times. The PKK was resurrected with the US interventions in Iraq in 1991 and 2003, using the power vacuum created through military means. Obama called the YPG, the PKK’s Syrian extension, “our power on ground” in his address from the White House on September 10, 2014. The US provided and continues to provide the PKK, enough weapons and money to arm an army of 60,000 men and equip it with war equipment.

But the USA was defeated not only in Afghanistan, but also in Iraq, Libya and especially in Syria. We will soon see that it will withdraw its troops from the entire West Asia. Members of the PKK, IS and Turkistan Islamic Party will have no hope of getting on the wings of American planes anymore.

The only benefit of the “war on terror”, which the US has spent billions of dollars on, killing more than a million people, injuring millions, destroying cities, causing inhuman atrocities, is that it allows us to prove that what the US is doing is terrorism according to the very standards it has created to justify its aggression!

Islamophobia and xenophobia

While I am a Muslim, my argument has nothing to do with the religion of Islam. Since Muslims live in the geography that the US wants to dominate, terrorism and Islam began to be conflated. If, for example, the United States had designated South Asia as a key region to maintain its world hegemony, how many unheard-of “Buddhist terrorist organizations” would have been launched?

It was revealed in 2003 in a statement by then US Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice that the “Greater Middle East and North Africa Project” lies behind the “Crusade” launched by the US with the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Ms. Rice declared from the UN tribune that the borders of 22 countries will change and democracy will be imported as part of this project, whose cartographic representation can be found in a map prepared by Ralph Peters, former Colonel of the US Army. The map was featured in the US Armed Forces Journal, and shows states with distorted frontiers, including “Free Kurdistan” and “Free Balochistan”.

The above map was prepared by Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters. It was published in the Armed Forces Journal in June 2006, National War Academy. (Map Copyright Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters 2006)

Beyond Peters’ cartographic representation, the US also strives to create a so-called “Free Eastern Turkistan”, something they have hoped to create since the 2000s. At this point, it would be meaningful to emphasize that the US initiatives of so-called ‘Free Kurdistan’ and so-called ‘Free East Turkestan’ are part of the same plan. The so-called ‘East Turkestan’, the so-called ‘Kurdistan’, and the so-called “Baluchistan” are divisive plans to interrupt the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s initiative to unite the world. Despite these imperialist plans, the BRI gives humanity the opportunity of achieving peace, tolerance between different cultures, collective development, and progress by sharing.

Both Islamophobia, and xenophobia (and its manifestation in the form of Sinophobia originating in the USA and Western Europe), are actually targeting all the peoples of developing countries. US imperialism desires to maintain the gendarmerie of the world by creating these ideological barricades and racism in front of the oppressed people’s quest for rights.

Congratulations to the heroic Afghan people!

First of all, I must sincerely congratulate the heroic Afghan people’s struggle for independence. Those poor but faithful people who were not treated as human beings by the snobs of the Atlantic Camp have taught US imperialism an historical lesson.

We must be very hopeful for the future of Afghanistan. The USA and the West inflicted great casualties on Afghanistan and its people. However, from now on, we will see that Afghanistan will not be associated with terrorism. The Taliban organization, which took over the administration in Afghanistan, stated very resolutely that they will not allow their country to be used for the interests of other countries, and that they will not harbor terrorism. They have shown their sincerity in this by fighting ISIS and Al Qaeda for years and not giving the Turkistan Islamist Party the opportunity to operate.

Afghanistan has a chance to have neighbors that are all members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). As part of the SCO, we must be confident that Afghanistan will make a significant leap forward, picking up momentum from the emerging Asian civilization. Asia’s accumulation of civilization, Afghan people’s aspirations for a better life, and the SCO’s and Turkey’s friendly encouragement will help them overcome the difficulties that will arise from some of the ideological shortcomings of the Taliban.

It is realistic to expect the four important countries of emerging Asian civilization, China, Russia, Iran, and Turkey, to join hands and work together to heal Afghanistan’s wounds and make Afghanistan an important component of the Belt and Road Initiative. Afghanistan will be in safe hands from now on with the liberation from the occupation of the US and NATO by the armed struggle of the people. It will ensure its security with the SCO and realize its economic, social and cultural potential through the Belt and Road Initiative. For my part, I can promise that my colleagues at the Belt & Road Initiative Quarterly (https://briqjournal.com/en) and I will make sure to monitor Afghanistan’s inspiring transformation.

Adnan Akfırat
Adnan Akfirat is a Representative to China and Member of International Relations Bureau of Patriotic Party of Turkey; Chairman of Turkish-Chinese Business Development and Friendship Association (Turk-Cin Is Der); visitor researcher of Shanghai University Turkish Studies Center and Shihezi University Silk Road Research Center. Mr. Akfirat has been living in Shanghai since 2011.

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