For those who have not had the pleasure of an introduction, the Spartacist League (SL) is a self-described “propaganda group” which specialises in sectarian attacks on what it calls “opponent groups” in the socialist movement. A correct view of history is important, because it informs how we organise today and how we form political policy for tomorrow. So when the SL argues that the roots of Al-Qaeda, the terrorist wing of Saudi capitalism, can be traced to the CIA-led destruction of the pro-Soviet Afghan government, we agree. The U.S. created Osama bin Laden, then used him as an excuse to start the “War on Terror,” which is really a class war against the world’s poor.
The truth matters. Banking on the passage of time clouding the collective memory, SL representatives use anti-war and other platforms to spread the lie that FSP supported the U.S. government in Afghanistan during the rise of the mullahs and warlords. This is wrong. So let’s set the record straight. In the Spring 1980 edition of the Freedom Socialist newspaper, we said this:
“In defense of the USSR. In international terms, the Afghanistan civil war has escalated into a conflict between U.S. imperialism, backing the right wing, and the Soviet bureaucracy on the Left. In such a standoff, revolutionary socialists are obligated to defend the gains of the Russian Revolution by giving unqualified support to the USSR against imperialism (original emphasis). Degenerated as the Stalinist bureaucracy is, the Soviet state is still a workers state, still representing a qualitative historical advance over a capitalist economic and political system, while [then U.S. president] Jimmy Carter’s cold war is an imperialist offensive against the collective economy of the USSR. Indeed, the victory of world imperialism over the USSR in Afghanistan would be a profound defeat for the international working class.”
In the light of subsequent events, the truth of this position has been demonstrated — which is why FSP seeks to build a fighting united front anti-war movement. We will do this despite distractions like Spartacist lies which, we demand, must cease!