"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.

To understand the present war that is taking place in Afghanistan, one must take into consideration the factors that have shaped the history of this tragic land. Doctor Zayar gives an overview of the history of Afghanistan from the middle ages to the present day.

Events inside Afghanistan are moving quickly. So quickly that it is difficult to keep up with the lightening changes in the situation. The fall of Kabul came more quickly than anyone could forsee. Washington hoped that it would be able to hold back the Northern Alliance's advance until it had succeeded in putting together a coalition of non-Taliban forces (read: American stooges) to take over the country. However, in war, events cannot be directed like an orchestra under the conductor's baton. Alan Woods explains how this affects the situation on the ground in Afghanistan.

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