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War Against the Planet: The Fifth Afghan War, Imperialism, and Other Assorted Fundamentalisms


On 11 September 2001, three commercial aircraft became guided missiles and crashed into New York City's World Trade Center and the US Military's Pentagon. In response, the United States government (along with the United Kingdom) launched an assault on Afghanistan to root out the networks of the Saudi financier Osama bin Laden, and eventually the Taliban regime. This is the Fifth Afghan War.

Who is Osama bin Laden? Why did the US government target the Taliban and the people of Afghanistan? Why did the US government not cast its eye on the Ibn Saud family in Saudi Arabia? What is Pakistan's vise and what is the indulgence of Hindutva? What are the social forces that comprise the radical Islamic groups that felt the wrath of the US guns? What happened to the left in the Arab lands? Does oil have anything to do with the Fifth Afghan War, especially since there is no oil in Afghanistan? Why did the US change its mind about the Taliban, once welcomed in 1996, now reviled by aerial bombardment from 30,000 feet? Does the framework of Jihad vs. McWorld help explain the war, or is this another case of McJihad?

Drawing on an immense amount of material, political commentator Vijay Prashad lays out the reasons for the rise of the Islamic right, the demise of the left, the role of oil in the modern world, and the tragic fate of Afghanistan.


LeftWord, 2002, 118 pages