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Two New Statements from the Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan

The Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan has been, for a very long time, an important revolutionary force in Afghanistan.  Unlike the Islamists, its war against the occupation has pushed a secular progressive agenda; unlike the secular liberal (or those secular organizations that claim they are "progressive") organizations, it has refused to collaborate with the imperialist occupation or any of its NGO institutions.  As some readers may be aware, the organization's history of resistance goes back to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan where the party was almost completely liquidated––the Soviets actually targeted more Maoists than Islamists––and yet it managed to survive, eventually rebuilding itself to emerge as a significant organizational force in the now defunct Revolutionary International Movement (RIM).  Recently they have released two important documents, both of which I want to discuss below.

1. Rebuilding the Revolutionary International Movement

The document, A Decisive Struggle Must Be Waged for the Formation of a New International Communist (M-L-M) Organization, was originally an internal document, intended for the previous members of RIM, but which has now been made public in order to ferment international debate amongst revolutionary communist groups worldwide.  This document is significant for two reasons: a) it demonstrates that the Afghanistans have been taking the lead in trying to reestablish a new RIM; b) it provides an important critique of the failure of the last RIM.

What is particularly interesting is that this document, while not precisely naming the Revolutionary Communist Party USA (RCP-USA), more than hints that one of the main reasons for the previous RIM's collapse was due to the "hegemony" and "chauvinism" of this particular organization.  (The ironic asides about the "new synthesis", after all, is a pretty clear indication that they're talking about the RCP-USA and its cultish devotion to Bob Avakian.)  The failure of this group to abide by the collective decisions of RIM, to push its own line without abiding by the organization's structural process, seems typical of the American Exceptionalism promoted by US "revolutionary" organizations like the RCP-USA.

In any case, it is exciting to read of the possibility of a new Revolutionary International Movement and learn, through this document, that the revolutionaries in Afghanistan seem to be pushing for the establishment of such a movement.

2.  The Changing Situation in Occupied Afghanistan

In some ways more exciting that the aforementioned document, The Necessity for a Serious, Decisive, and Unavoidable Struggle to Determine the Principled Tactics of Struggle Conducive to the Current Situation is a communique that is invaluable for an understanding the ongoing occupation.  The proposed American "withdrawal", according to this document is only a withdrawal from the battlefield: the puppet government will become the main military actor (Afghani soldiers are cheaper than American soldiers, after all) to be managed from US bases.

Even more interesting––and ultimately damning to the US "war on terror" justification for the occupation––is the American plan to normalize relations with the Taliban by offering them amnesty and positions in the Karzai government.  Since Karzai's brand of Islamism differs only from the Taliban's because he and his supporters are willing to be American running dogs, there is no reason that, if the Taliban was to accept American hegemony as it has in the past, they couldn't all get along as Yankee stooges.  And there is reason to believe, from the pattern of former Taliban leaders already conceding to the Karzai government, that the normalization will proceed, with a few hiccups here and there, in a manner desired by the imperialists.  Which should force critical minded people everywhere to ask the question: if the "terrorists" are now American friends, or if the Yankee soldiers aren't in Afghanistan to "protect women" from "raving misogynist Taliban thugs", then just why the hell are they there?  (The question, at least on this blog, is rhetorical.)

By the end of 2014 the US hopes to accomplish this shift in neocolonial management, transforming itself into a contemporary version of the British Raj, which means that this will leave the Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan only three years to prepare itself for its inevitable movement from the periphery of anti-occupation struggle to the centre.  If the Taliban is bought off, thus withdrawing from insurgency, only the Maoists will remain as a revolutionary organization.  Crisis and opportunity: the latter because they will no longer be able to count on the parallel struggle of the Taliban forces and, as the only real insurgents left, will become the prime target of the US puppet regime; opportunity because, with the reactionaries all in one comprador camp, the anti-occupation struggle will be led by a secular and progressive force.

Furthermore, this document should tell leftists that anyone who cozies up to the Karzai government, which will soon be a unified camp of comprador reactionaries, is an enemy of the people.  I have long been distressed by the North American left's fetishization of groups like the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) which is neither revolutionary nor, despite the groundless claims of some people here, has done anything, at least in the past decade, for women in Afghanistan.  Aside from working with imperialist NGOs, and lacking any grassroots connections with Afghani women, RAWA has long been preoccupied with the "revolutionary" goal of placing its members in Karzai's government––it is hard to even call this "reformist" when Karzai's corrupt government pushes a reactionary theocratic politics (that are very anti-feminist) and is nothing more than an instrument of the American imperialists.  Which means that groups like RAWA, who speak out of both sides of their mouth in order to enjoy the indulgence of the North American and the American imperialists at the same time, should be seen, especially if they remain in the Afghanistan Parliament after 2014, as part of the comprador class in Afghanistan.

For too long the North American left has ignored the existence of the secular left revolutionaries in Afghanistan, focusing either on the Taliban or secular liberal groups claiming to be revolutionary, and hopefully the situation indicated by this document will force the often myopic left at the centres of world imperialism to ideologically support the Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan as they prepare for the next stage of anti-colonial struggle.


  1. Thank you for this post comrade JMP :)
    RAWA does have Maoist roots, though -- Meena and ALO leader Faiz Ahmad being married and all that. I don't know the situation but I can understand if it became opportunist as often happens when organizations aren't fully grounded in MLM.

    Comrade BF wrote a very good text on the ALO/CMPA split. I think that the ALO is today defunct, or at least very inactive.

  2. I know very well that they have Maoist roots and, for some reason, this keeps coming up whenever I point out that RAWA is opportunist amongst those who support them: but they came out of the ALO, etc., etc. The fact is that it has been opportunist for a long time and isn't even close to what it initially was. Leftists in Afghanistan are very aware that RAWA only works with NGOs, does little work for women on the ground (let alone poor women, since if it has a base today it is a very privileged sector of women who profit from the occupation - and it doesn't really even have that anymore), and concentrates, as mentioned above, as it always has, in having representation in Karzai's parliament.

    I remember how one of their speakers (who ended up, hilariously, on a panel with a CMPA member who exposed her opportunism to the people in attendance) actually refused to call the US invasion and "occupation" and, on a liberal Canadian television show, gave a different talk than she did at the "left" event she spoke at earlier––on the television show she talked about the need to work with Karzai and the occupiers.

    Point being, they're an organization that has degenerated into an opportunist *and* collaborationist group that doesn't resemble its maoist origins.

  3. Has RAWA done anything for Afghanistan in the past? And what are your thoughts on Malalai Joya?

  4. In the past they were a revolutionary group... As noted in the above comments, they did come out of a strong left tradition. The point is that they have completely rejected that past and now collaborate with the puppet government. And I have serious problems with Malalai Joya: she's the one I was talking about in the discussion above who, on a panel with a CPMA supporter, actually revealed that she didn't think the Americans were "occupying" Afghanistan. Then, the same week, she goes on the Hour and talks about working with Karzai and the Americans. Which is fine if you're a liberal, I suppose, but to pass yourself off as a significant leftist force when you're just a critical support of the regime is a problem.

  5. Also note that they tend to pull in the left support by being critical of the government they are a part of, but their entire practice is to become part of said government. This is liberal criticism which is still collaboration. The truth is that the entire Afghani left in Afghanistan thinks they are collaboraters and the left here should do their research of that context instead of just buying the contradictory and bullshit claims RAWA makes when they speak on sponsored "left" panels - claims they take away when they speak on mainstream media.

  6. the entire Afghani left? Do you have any sources for that claim?

  7. The CMPA cited in the above article which is the predominant force in the Afghani left. It is, in fact, *the* only secular left force which is actively resisting the occupation.

  8. But aside from this I should add that this a red herring argument. The fact remains that: a) RAWA is deeply invested (and this is clear from its own activities) in being involved in the Karzai parliament; b) this parliament is a puppet government. Anyone involved in a comprador government is not progressive, end of story, especially once this government's prime duty will be to hunt down insurgents. Moreover, the fact that RAWA originally emerged from the same organization that became the CMPA, and is now alienated from that progressive camp, means that we should take the CMPA's analysis of what was once, back when it was the ALO, one of its mass orgs seriously. So if it comes down to trusting the CMPA or RAWA as a legitimate "revolutionary source", and RAWA admits to wanting to participate in the government *and* has openly stated in the past that it is willing to work with Karzai and the Americans, regardless of the criticisms delivered in this context, what source is more trustworthy?

  9. Are there any articles from RAWA saying that they want to work with Karzai?

  10. They are in the parliament, they are open about being in the parliament: that is working with Karzai. Or do you somehow think it is not? They have never hidden that they want members in the parliament, either, and I'm surprised you think this needs to be "sourced." Read anything about Malalai Joya, for example, and the first thing you'll see is that she was a member of parliament in 2007, and the campaign RAWA launched around her was about her dismissal--they wanted her reinstated. Hell, even Noam Chomsky talks about her being a great member of parliament and how she needs to be reinstated. So does this somehow constitute them *not* working in the Karzai government? What sort of especial sources are you looking for? Something where they say "we want to work with Karzai?" Please: that's not how they see what they're doing, and I am not suggesting that they think they as individuals should work on a one-on-one basis with Karzai; clearly they don't like him––just as NDP diehards don't like the Conservatives. But RAWA's political practice is to be in the parliament, which means to be a member of a comprador body, and the criticism made in this article is about the structural level. When you are a member of a puppet government, when you are fighting to keep your cadres in said government (i.e. like the campaign around Joya) then you are collaborating. So please stop with the dishonest questions that seem more designed to provoke than actually engage with the arguments I've made (none of which you've dealt with).

  11. The "revolution" of the Afghanistan Communist (Maoist) Party is defined to words and issuing some statements from Canada. But Malalai Joya and RAWA are working hard inside Afghanistan and they mobilize people against US occupation of Afghanistan. Malalai Joya was so popular among people that they elected her for the parliament and there she strongly exposed the US treason to Afghanistan and its puppets, therefore she was banished from the parliament and pro-US warlords tried at least 4 times to kill her.

    Malalai Joya is a true revolutionary of Afghanistan. Viva Joya!!

  12. Clearly you don't know what you're on about. Since when is trying to get into a puppet government (as argued above) revolutionary? And US "treason" to Afghanistan? That very discourse is counter-revolutionary garbage since it assumes that the US was working in the interests of Afghanistan at some point, which it wasn't.

    As for your claims about the maoists "making statements from Canada" that is just utterly ignorant. The statement came from Afghanistan, I posted it on my blog, and maybe you should try to understand the concrete circumstances of the concrete situation before blathering about how much you support a group that does nothing for the Afghan people (it doesn't, and if you go to Afghanistan you can see that it does nothing), and wants to collaborate with the Karzai government.

  13. How is Malalai Joya being in parliament any different then the Bolsheviks entering the Russian Duma or the German Social Democratic Party entering the Reichstag, prior to 1914? Being in the government usually refers to being in the executive branch, at the ministerial or cabinet secretary level, not the parliament. Was Joya's motive for being in the Afghan legislature to "collaborate" with the Karzai government, or to oppose Karzai?

    1. That is a pretty dubious analogy and would be contingent on RAWA, which is now the public face of the ALO, as being a revolutionary organization––which it isn't. In Afghanistan it is known as a bourgeois organization; moreover the ALO has been known as a revisionist organization since it split from the PYO and Shola Jawid during the Soviet occupation. They have been a a parliamentary collaborationist group for a long time and they are about as much an "opposition" to Karzai as the US Democrats are to a Republican-led government.


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