Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Workers Party

Carter Cashes in on “Amber Waves of Grain”

3rd World Demands Soviets Out of Afghanistan

First Published: Workers Viewpoint, Vol. 5, No. 2, January 21,1980.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Ban the wheat, ban the technology sales to the Soviet Union, says Carter and company. Faced with their third crop failure in a row, the Soviet Union will be hurt by this action. The Afghan rebels will be helped but this is not the U.S. objective. The U.S., in general, weeps no tears over the fate of a third world country in which it has no direct interests (military or otherwise). As evidence, there was no response, except verbal, by the U.S. to the Soviet Union’s invasion of Eritrea or the Soviet backed Vietnamese invasion of Kampuchea.

Nor is the U.S. bourgeoisie’s embargo really aimed at crippling the Soviet economy since the U.S. has already committed itself to fill an 8 million bushel Soviet order. The U.S. is trying to cash in on the Afghanistan issue to whip up patriotism at home. For instance .. .

“Sacrifice For America” Means Attack On Americans

Mondale called on small farmers to “sacrifice for America” as their livelihood is ruined by the embargo. And when Kennedy screamed on behalf of Morgan Guaranty Bank and IBM, Mondale accused him of being “unpatriotic”.

Thomas Gleason, president of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) called for the rank and file to boycott handling Soviet ships and cargo. Gleason’s decision will help the guerrilla fighters but that is not his intention. A couple of months before, he initiated an economic boycott against Iranian ships and cargo to strangle the Iranian revolution. And this is the same stand–stand with the U.S. bourgeoisie against the Soviet Union and the third world–that he’s taking on Afghanistan.

The ILA boycott against the Soviets was not initiated by the rank and file–it is a top-down decision with the full support of the White House. While a boycott during the busy season now doesn’t threaten the jobs of longshoremen, Gleason came out with rah-rah statements saying, even if some jobs may be lost as a result of the boycott, it only goes to show not just American farmers have to sacrifice.

China Responds Cautiously While U.S. Tries to Set China Up

While steamlining public opinion in this country for war, the U.S. is also trying to set China up through Secretary of Defense Brown’s visit. Although repeating publicly proposals for “parallel actions” between China and the U.S. to counter the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, the U.S. has no intention of selling arms to China. Silks, a military analyst for the New York Times, said that if the Soviet Union engaged China into a nuclear war, NATO countries would have to help. But if it was a ground war, then it’s not necessary to arm China. The U.S. needs a weak China to lure the Soviet Union into attacking China. The U.S. wants the Soviet bear locked into a land war with China, weakening both and thus paving the way for the U.S. to be top dog again.

This tactic to lure the USSR to the East was jammed before because China was a genuine socialist country under Mao’s leadership. But now, restoring capitalism and taken in by the glitter of imperialist weapons, the Chinese revisionists are not relying on people to win a war. China has turned from a strong socialist country into a relatively weak third world country. This definitely increases the appetite of the Soviets.

Brown got a cautious reaction from the Chinese revisionist leaders. They confronted Brown on U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and U.S. troops in South Korea. Hsin Hua News, China’s official news agency, corrected a UPI statement that quoted Deng Xiao Ping as saying that China seeks an alliance to counter Soviet expansionist policy. The official translation was that China seeks to unite to cautiously deal with the expansionist policy of the Soviet Union. China is a third world country and the revisionist leadership can see that the U.S. being cornered by the Soviet military action. They aren’t total suckers and will resist the U.S. attempt to shift the war on them.

Third World Stands Firm Against Soviet Union

The Soviet Union has suffered big political as well as military setbacks in their invasion of Afghanistan. Afghan guerillas have routed the Soviet army and recaptured a town as well as two provinces in the Northeast region of Afghanistan. A huge cry of outrage against the U.S.S.R. has been raised around the world.

By a vote of 104 to 18, the General Assembly of the United Nations condemned the Soviet invasion and called for “the immediate, unconditional and total withdrawal of the foreign troops from Afghanistan.” The overwhelming support from the third world countries carried the resolution. The complete vote from the third world was 78 in favor, 9 against, 18 abstaining and 10 absentees. Among the 18 votes against the resolution were mainly the satellite countries of Eastern Europe and Soviet pawns such as Cuba and Viet Nam. Romania and Finland did not vote with the Soviet Union.

Countries who have sided with the Soviet Union before, such as Jamaica and Mexico, turned against it. Both countries, at September’s non-alignment meeting, supported Cuba’s move against Kampuchea. Middle Eastern countries, (Iraq, Algeria, Libya) long dependent on Soviet arms and political support, either said nothing or privately condemned the invasion.

Because of the invasion, Cuba (the Soviet’s henchman) lost a chance for a Security Council seat and was forced to withdraw.

Although the Soviet Union is getting more exposed to the third world, it in no way means the U.S. can make an easy come back. The Camp David Summit, U.S. support of Zionist Israel and of racist South Africa, as well as the recent military threat and economic sanction against Iran, is still on the minds of the third worlds peoples.

2nd World’s Appeasement Line Feeds Soviet Union’s Appetite

Thousands of people in Norway and Denmark came out to protest against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. But France, W. Germany, and Japan bent over backwards to appease the Soviet Union. French Foreign Minister, Francois-Poncet, stressed the need to “maintain the dialogue” with the Russians. He even dared to argue that Moscow’s motives in Afghanistan are still “unknown”.

West Germany’s Chancellor Schmidt said on the one hand that Soviet intervention in Afghanistan violates the elementary principles of peaceful coexistence among the people of the world, yet on the other hand, he insisted that the West should continue to maintain communication with the Soviet Union. The Soviets are pressuring West Germany by cancelling a planned high-level meeting on joint economic development. It also called off a concert tour to seven W. German cities that was to have started on Friday, January 11.

Of all the Western capitalist countries, West Germany is the leading economic partner with the Soviet Union. Hundreds of millions of dollars in trade and investment is involved. Under this economic and political pressure (not to mention several divisions of Soviet troops on the W. German border) Schmidt caved in.

Japan took a similar weak-knee stand. Japan condemned the invasion in the beginning, but recently the Foreign Minister publically rejected any military pact with China against the Soviet Union or any cooperative effort with China and the U.S. against the invasion. He said only “reducing the tension” is advantageous to Japanese interests.

These appeasement lines only feed the appetite of the greedy Soviet bear. The main focus of contention between the Soviets and the U.S. is still Europe. Any spinelessness of the second world bourgeoisie increases the danger of war. The responses of the French, Japanese, and German bourgeoisie show that it is the masses of these countries who must be counted on to fight against the danger of a 3rd world war.

Soviet aggression caused waves even in its own backyard, Eastern Europe. Romania reaffirmed her position that nations should not interfere in the internal affairs of others. Hungary and Poland were hesitant to give the Soviets their support. More importantly, the people of Eastern Europe see what the “Brezhnev doctrine” means in real life. “How can we applaud when Soviet troops move into another country? We know these troop trucks can move in any direction”, said one Polish writer.

Danger of War Increasing

The “Communist” Party, U.S.A. and Tom Wicker, mouthpiece for pro-Soviet bourgeoisie and a New York Times editorial writer, came out defending the Soviet invasion and crying about a “new cold war.” Wicker claims that the reason the Soviet Union moved on Afghanistan was because SALT could not be resolved, not because of the nature of Soviet social-imperialism.

The Soviet Union is a state monopoly capitalist country. They need to dominate and exploit countries in order to export its capital and make super-profits. The invasion of Afghanistan was not a matter of choice, it is an inherent characteristic of Soviet social-imperialism. The doctrine of socialist division of labor was used to justify Soviet plunder of Eastern European countries, Cuba and Viet Nam. The Brezhnev doctrine was to justify its imperialistic invasion against Czechoslovakia before and Afghanistan today. Detente has always been a “new” cold war. It never meant real peace between the two superpowers. In fact, under the cover of detente, the two superpowers have engaged in the most massive arms build up in history. The SALT talks only streamlined military build up, cutting out obsolete weapons while the U.S. and Soviet Union’s preparation stepped up.

The fight between the superpowers has reached a watershed–phony detente is ending and naked superpower contention is on.