"Pluto Press have recently published a new book, Reaping the Whirlwind, The Taliban Movement in Afghanistan, by Michael Griffin. He has done a service in providing some quite detailed information about the origins of the Taliban and the background that led to their emerging as a force capable of taking control of most of modern-day Afghanistan."

"The dark clouds of war and destruction loom large over Afghanistan and Pakistan. As time clicks away the atmosphere of speculation, uncertainty, confusion and deep fear grips these impoverished societies. The threat of Imperialist aggression in the aftermath of the attacks in New York and Washington is dangling like a sword over the heads of the people." Lal Khan, editor of the Marxist paper Jeddo Judh (Class Struggle) in Pakistan, explains the background to the coming to power of the Taliban, their relationship with the Western oil companies, who is Osama Bin laden and finally reports on the mood in Pakistan and the effects a war could have on the Musharraf regime.

"Many people have been shocked at the media pictures of the unfolding tragedy in Afghanistan. The Taliban regime has carried out a reign of terror, with ethnic cleansing ... severe repression against oppressed nationalities and members of other religions, the smashing of statues of Buddha, the public execution of women in Kandhar the whipping... The howling of the oppressed women of Afghanistan reverberates throughout Asia. The question is: who is responsible for this bloody civil war, all these deaths, the hunger, ethnic cleansing and sheer barbarism? The answer is very simple. It was American imperialism which reduced Afghanistan to the level of the Dark Ages and completely destroyed civilisation there." Pakistani Marxist Doctor Zayar explains the responsibility of US imperialism in bringing the Talibans to power, explain the current situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and makes an appeal to the American working class.

Everything on a world scale is now subordinated to the perspective of war. The fact that the attack on Afghanistan (and other countries) has been delayed does not mean at all that the risk of hostilities has diminished. Alan Woods looks at the world situation as the build up towards war unfolds.

"The bombing of Afghanistan has now begun. The most powerful and richest country in the world, the USA, is bombing one of the poorest countries on this planet. And Britain, as usual, is behaving as an obedient lapdog to US imperialism. However they may try to disguise it, this war is not about “justice” or “fighting terrorism”. The aim is to terrorise the peoples of the former colonial countries, to bully them into submitting to the will of the rich and powerful. It is a warning: 'either you do as we say, or you get bombed!'". A first emergency analysis by Fred Weston.

Alan Woods reports from Russia on the developments during the first week of the war on Afghanistan and particularly the way in which Russia is advancing her interests in the whole of Central Asia and the Caucasus on the back of the 'war on terrorism'. Woods also outlines the difficulties which the US will increasingly find in this campaign.

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