This talk by US military planners about their ‘Afpak theatre’ troubles me – especially in its potential impact on British politics. To the USA and the rest of NATO, Pakistan is just another distant third world country to smash up, like Iraq and Afghanistan. But for us in Britain, it is much closer to home, as Pakistan plays a big part of the lives and hearts of millions of our fellow citizens whose relatives live there.
A NATO war in Pakistan would not just accelerate all the poisonous Islamophobic racism that has been building up since 9/11. It would also come on top of the way a certain abbreviation of the word ‘Pakistani’ has been deployed as the cutting edge of British white supremacist street violence for the past 50 years (no where else does this abbreviation have such force, but in the damp streets of this island). It would also come amidst the deepest capitalist depression for generations, where working class defeat can mean a desperate search for scapegoats by some. The BNP could have a field-day on the domestic fall-out from the NATO war engulfing Pakistan. We must prepare to face such a racist onslaught.
Our tasks is simple and urgent – to unite the millions of people in our society who are against going any further down this path of wars, greed, unemployment, racism, state repression and planetary ecocide. We have to unite people into a force that can stop the capitalist system dragging us further along this path to oblivion. And it is only through such mass action and creative resistance that we can discover and open up a new path to a different future.