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‘US corporations should pay for destruction of Afghanistan’

Caleb Maupin is a political analyst from New York City and is an activist with the International Action Center and Workers World Party. He has worked against police brutality and mass incarceration.

Published time: January 16, 2014 12:38
(FILE) US Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade wait for helicopter transport as part of Operation Khanjar at Camp Dwyer in Helmand Province in Afghanistan (AFP Photo / Manpreet Romana)

Reparations should come from Halliburton, General Electric and all the military contractors that have made so much money out of the destruction of Afghanistan and other countries, foreign policy analyst Caleb Maupin told RT.

RT: A four-year old was killed a week ago, and now this latest incident (seven children and one women killed in the US raid). Why are international troops still raiding residential areas when Karzai asked them not to?

Caleb Maupin: The troops are not in Afghanistan to protect the Afghans or to obey the Afghan government. They are to protect the interests of Western banks and corporations. The whole history of Afghanistan is a history of being plundered. Afghanistan once had vast timber resources, vast forested areas that were cut down by the British at one time. And even the most right-wing historians would admit that the best period in the history of Afghanistan was following the 1979 revolution when the people of Afghanistan rose up, they drove out the foreigners and began to develop independently, with independent economic development. And that was the glorious history. That was the US that funded forces like that now make up Al-Qaeda, to go and tear down the revolutionary democratic government.

Afghanistan belongs to the Afghans. It’s not a poor country, there are all kinds of mineral resources and all kinds of wealth, but the people are there poor because of the control of these resources is under the hands of Western bankers and corporations. And that is the crime that has happened. This kind of massacres are really built into foreign interventions, you can see them wherever it happens, in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, anywhere.

US Army soldiers from Headquarters Company, 173rd Special Troops Battalion attached to 1st Squadron (Airborne) ,91st U.S Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team operating under the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) patrol near Baraki Barak base in Logar Province, on October 11, 2012. (AFP Photo / Munir Uz Zaman)

RT: The US troops are scheduled to be out in 2014 but the US wants a security deal granting its troops immunity from local law enforcement. In light of these latest civilian killings, what would need to happen for Karzai to agree to that?

CM: President Karzai, if he represents the Afghan people, should be demanding that reparations be paid to the people of Afghanistan for so many crimes that have been committed there, for all the people killed, for all the lives lost, for all the poverty and misery created by the US intervention. And those reparations shouldn’t come from ordinary working-class Americans, it all should come from Halliburton, it all should come from General Electric and all the military contractors that have made so much money out of the destruction to the people of Afghanistan and other countries in the world. Reparations are needed to be paid to the people of Afghanistan so that the crimes like these don’t go unaccounted for.

RT: If there is no deal and US troops leave, wouldn't that make it easier for insurgents to carry out terror attacks, and potentially kill a lot more civilians?

CM: That’s always the argument that the foreign powers make. They always make it sound like they are invading the country just because they care so much about the people that are under attack. But all over the world you can see the fruits of US foreign intervention. Look at Libya today – are they any better off since NATO and the US went in and overthrew Muammar Gaddafi? Is Iraq any better off? Or are the people of the former Yugoslavia any better off?

Everywhere the US goes, everywhere the foreign powers go and overthrow a government there is poverty, misery and suffering. They never improve the lives of the people, and the people have the right to run their own country. Afghanistan belongs to Afghans, and that’s how it should be, and that’s how every country is. Self-determination is a basic human right and the foreign troops should leave Afghanistan.

RT: Former high-ranking British military officials expressed worries of a Taliban takeover if international troops pull out. Is Karzai willing this to happen?

CM: I don’t know what’s going on in Karzai’s mind, I don’t have that kind of insight. All I can say is that for the last 50 or 100 years we’ve seen what the fruits of the Western foreign intervention are. Nowhere have they ever created peace or jobs, or democracy or equality, or whatever they were promising. Everywhere they've gone and intervened they have made things worse. They have created mass suffering and we see these massacres in place, the lives have been lost. It’s a basic human right to run your own country, to not have foreign occupying troops there. The Afghan people have that absolute right. And the money that is being spent right now on occupying Afghanistan and oppressing people should be spent on jobs, schools, education for the crumbling society here in the United States. Schools are being closed, hospitals are being shut down, so why is our tax money here in the US go to fund a foreign war in another country? It’s not benefiting anyone. Let alone the people of the United States.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.