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The tragedy and valor of Afghan - 3 - The dictatorship of the proletariat or the dictatorship of the party?

The tragedy and valor of Afgan

Alexander Antonovich Lyakhovsky

The dictatorship of the proletariat or the dictatorship of the party?

For the Soviet representatives in Kabul, as well as for our special services, the military coup on April 27, 1978 was like a "bolt from the blue", they simply "slept through" it. The leaders of the PDPA concealed their plans to overthrow Daud from the Soviet side and, moreover, did not consult on these issues, since they were sure that Moscow would have a negative attitude to their intentions. Having carried out a coup d'état, they began to speed up revolutionary "transformations" as well. Analysts in the Soviet Union assessed the events that took place in Afghanistan in April 1978 as a top military coup supported by the army and part of the petty bourgeoisie, but this did not prevent the Soviet leaders from meeting the news of the PDPA coming to power with undisguised satisfaction, on the basis of which some Western experts claim that the elimination of M. Daud is the work of the Soviet special services, although no evidence is provided. They often refer to the phrase that B. Karmal dropped in an interview with an Indian journalist: "Russia wanted a revolution to take place here."

Be that as it may, but from the very beginning, the PDPA regime from the Soviet Union began to provide comprehensive assistance and support. And this is despite the fact that the events that followed the coup quickly showed that the country actually began to pursue a line to establish the dictatorship of the PDPA, or rather, its leaders. There were no trained politicians and statesmen among the leaders of the PDPA. They did not have the experience and necessary knowledge to carry out economic transformations and government. It turned out to be much easier to carry out a military coup than to rule the country. Having seized power in the country, they considered that the main thing was done, but only fairy tales usually end with a feast. And in life after the seizure of power, the main thing is just beginning. But the party members from the PDPA did not know how to properly dispose of the power that had fallen on them. Everything seemed simple to them when power was in the hands of M. Daud, but it is one thing to criticize the ruling regime, to hold meetings, protest and organize demonstrations, and it is another to reorganize society, make the country economically developed and rich. The incompetence of the PDPA leaders left a heavy imprint on further events in Afghanistan. In addition, practical activities were heavily administered and ideologized, carried out taking into account personal, nationalist and clan interests. And the fact that Afghanistan went through such ordeals and suffered huge material losses is largely the result of the strategy and policy pursued by the leadership of the PDPA.

On April 30, 1978, the Military Revolutionary Council announced Decree No. 1. It stated that it was transferring its powers to the Revolutionary Council, which was declared the supreme body of state power in Afghanistan, and was joining it. Afghanistan is declared the Democratic Republic (DRA). N. Taraki is appointed head of state and prime minister, B. Karmal is his deputy in the party and state, and H. Amin is first deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs. In the new Cabinet of Ministers of the DRA, a balance was maintained between the representatives of the "Khalq" and "Parcham", however, Hafizullah Amin, through his representatives of officers - members of the "Khalq", had real power in the army.

The first decrees of the Revolutionary Council of the DRA formed the government and the judiciary, appointed new governors, corps and division commanders. The tricolor state flag was replaced with a red one, almost identical to the Soviet one, as well as the coat of arms of Afghanistan.

The news of the armed uprising on April 27 in Kabul was received in the Afghan army mostly positively. The military organizations "Khalq" and "Parcham" in the divisions located in the provinces managed to isolate the senior officers - supporters of M. Daud and prevent the transfer of units loyal to him to the capital. In the units, numerous rallies were held in support of the revolution, the servicemen took part in cleansing the state apparatus of supporters of the previous regime, and were part of special groups of municipal authorities that controlled the fairness of prices in bazaars. Some officers were appointed to the posts of provincial governors and county governors. The government formed by the Revolutionary Council included three regular military personnel (Major M.A.Vatanjar - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Communications, Lieutenant Colonel A. Kadyr - Minister of Defense, Major M.

On May 9, the PDPA Program “Main Directions of Revolutionary Tasks” was promulgated, which provided for fundamental socio-economic transformations; destruction of feudal and pre-feudal relations; the elimination of all forms of oppression and exploitation; democratization of public life; elimination of national oppression and discrimination; the proclamation of the equality of women; strengthening the public sector in the country's economy; raising the standard of living of the population; the elimination of illiteracy; price control; elimination of the influence of imperialism and neo-colonialism in the economy, politics, culture and ideology.

In the field of foreign policy, a peaceful policy of non-alignment, positive neutrality, the struggle for general disarmament, support for national liberation movements, strengthening of friendship, good-neighborliness and cooperation with all Afghanistan's neighboring countries were proclaimed. At the same time, priority was given to strengthening the traditionally friendly ties with the Soviet Union, to which the Afghan people had the most benevolent attitude as a great northern neighbor.

The ease with which it was possible to overthrow the regime of M. Daud gave rise to victorious euphoria and self-confidence among the leaders of the PDPA. Many of them were dizzy with apparent success. There was a sense of their own importance and greatness. Even accepting the delegations of the CPSU, they displayed a certain amount of arrogance, not to mention other Soviet representatives.

They increasingly began to talk about the "Great Saurian Revolution". At the same time, they did not take into account the peculiarities of Afghanistan, internal political forces and international factors, as well as traditions and religious customs. A serious problem was that N. M. Taraki and his successor H. Amin belonged to the Gilzai tribal group, while the country was traditionally ruled by the Durrani.

Populist slogans were put forward. In the media and in the speeches of party leaders, political leftist chatter continued, various utopian projects were declared that were initially impracticable. For example, it was announced that in five years the foundations of socialism, the state of the dictatorship of the proletariat (without the proletariat in the country) would be created ... Other fables were also promoted. This did not bring any benefit to the people, because the values ​​that the party members tried to borrow from the CPSU and instill in Afghanistan were not those in the eyes of the Afghans. The traditions and customs of their ancestors, culture and their entire way of life were above all for the Afghans. Nobody wanted to renounce them, since for them this meant betrayal in relation to their ancestors, dishonor and degeneration of the people as such. And although the leaders of the PDPA, at first glance, they were guided by good intentions and wanted to carry out transformations to ensure the prosperity of the nation, this was not enough. It is not without reason that it is said that the road to hell is laid out with good intentions.

The most serious problem for the new government was the establishment of relationships with the clergy and leaders of the opposition tribes - two of the most influential forces. But it was never resolved, since the leaders of the PDPA did not enjoy the authority and support of the elders of powerful tribes, prominent religious leaders and other strata of society who had real power. In this environment, they were considered impostors, upstarts and were not taken seriously.

Not being sure that they themselves would be able to carry out the declared "events", NM Taraki and his associates made a major stake on the USSR. And in general they achieved their goal. Soviet aid to Afghanistan, including military aid, literally flowed like a river (only through the USSR Ministry of Defense during the war in Afghanistan, more than 12 billion rubles were spent, and even more than 8 billion foreign currency rubles were spent on all kinds of gratuitous aid). Relying on the support of the CPSU, the leadership of the PDPA managed to impose its will on the people and led the line towards the establishment in Afghanistan of a totalitarian, authoritarian regime based on fear and violence. And in Afghanistan, with its traditional democratic liberties, this could not but meet with the fiercest resistance of the population. And it was not slow to manifest itself immediately. Moreover, the policy pursued by the PDPA,

At the same time, it should be noted that among the military and party leaders of the DRA (those who started the armed uprising) there were many very passionate people, sincerely believing in the proclaimed ideals, making sacrifices for the happiness of their people. These were people who selflessly wanted to devote their lives for the good of the Fatherland, without pursuing personal, selfish interests. There were those who had to fight ... against their fathers, brothers, relatives. However, as has happened more than once in history, the revolution first of all began to devour its creators, who could not in any way share power, and innocent people who, by the will of fate, found themselves involved in the whirlpool of these events. It was not possible to achieve the proclaimed goals, and the people were once again deceived in their hopes ...

"They were children of their system"

Unfortunately, at this stage, the Soviet side, represented by diplomats, party, economic and military advisers, also made serious mistakes and miscalculations both in assessing the events taking place in Afghanistan and in providing assistance to this country.

Immediately after the Saur revolution, at the request of the Afghan leadership, various specialists were urgently sent from the Soviet Union to work as advisers in the Central Committee of the PDPA, ministries and departments of Afghanistan. There was only one goal - to provide comprehensive assistance, primarily in the development of program documents, planning the socio-economic development of the republic, and pursuing an agrarian policy. It is appropriate to emphasize here that Soviet-Afghan military cooperation has been carried out on a regular basis since 1956. National military personnel have been trained in the Soviet Union and locally, and since 1972 Soviet military consultants and specialists (100 people) have been sent to the Afghan armed forces.

In May 1978, an intergovernmental agreement on military advisers was signed, according to which their status (instead of advisers - advisers), tasks and number (now 400 people) were changed, that is, their number in the army increased fourfold.

In view of the urgent formation of the advisory corps, it included people who had never previously dealt with the problems of Afghanistan, had a very vague idea of ​​Islam, and were aware of the state of Afghan society in very general terms. They were children of their system, brought up on certain ideals and ideas (which often did not coincide with Afghan ones). For the first time, many faced with other people's morals, other social systems, thinking, traditions and foundations, so they often got lost in the simplest situations, made elementary mistakes. In this regard, party advisers tried to follow the path familiar to them. The Afghans were offered a path that had already largely discredited themselves in the USSR, but this manifested itself much later, and then they tried to push them to in order to completely copy and persistently implement the experience of the CPSU. But each nation has its own path. Without understanding this people, nothing could be done. But, as subsequent events showed, the advisers did not understand the psychology of the Afghans and their aspirations. Yes, it seems, very few people were involved. Oriental scholars studied and discussed the problems of Afghanistan in their own circle. Their views and recommendations almost never reached the immediate performers. Party advisers tried to introduce their own forms and methods of work, often bringing it to the point of absurdity (they organized socialist competition, read Leonid Brezhnev's books "Small Land", "Renaissance", etc.). The military advisers had their own problems related to the organization of the development of the armed forces of the DRA, etc. as subsequent events showed, the advisers did not understand the psychology of the Afghans and their aspirations.

Many drafts of documents prepared by advisers during this period bore the stamp of adjusting the PDPA to the model, forms and methods of the CPSU. So, in particular, the PDPA Charter, prepared with the participation of party advisers, obliged party members "to actively fight for the construction of a socialist society." Recommendations on the agrarian-peasant question focused the authorities only on the interests of the poorest part of the rural population, etc. However, I think, it is hardly legitimate to blame them for these actions now. Indeed, in principle, they acted in line with the then official line, based on the then official views on the Afghan events and instructions from the Center, which were often abstract and even contradictory. Due to their low competence in Afghan problems, they themselves could not offer anything else.

A negative impact was also exerted by the fact that in the actions of many party workers of the advisory apparatus, there were eyewash characteristic of the period of "stagnation", the desire to report what the leadership of the CPSU would like to hear, wishful thinking, as well as lack of initiative and the habit of waiting for directives from above. ... For example, in the reports to Moscow there were many such assessments of the current situation in Afghanistan: “Recently, measures have been taken to streamline and complete the land and water reform. The process of increasing people's confidence in the revolutionary government, in the PDPA is progressing ... There are all possibilities for the formation of the PDPA on Marxist-Leninist principles ... " Lomonosov.

Often, due to a lack of advisory experience, Soviet representatives substituted for the Afghans in their work, fulfilling specific duties for them, which formed in the latter a dependent mood, led to self-withdrawal from solving current problems and made it possible to focus on the internal party struggle. One of the prominent PDPA functionaries later recalled with gloating: “The meeting of the Council of Ministers is about to begin. We sit down at the table. Each minister came with his own advisor. The meeting goes on, the discussion flares up, and gradually the advisers move closer and closer to the table, respectively, ours move away from the table, and then only the advisers remain at the table, clashing with each other.

The damage was great. Many Afghan leaders, including those from the leadership, having delegated matters to Soviet representatives, focused on factional activities, the struggle for power ... "

There was even a plumber advisor at the Kabul Polytechnic Institute. They walked in droves through the ministerial offices, trampling on each other's heels, “dogging”, as one of our former ambassadors in Kabul, unable to resist a strong word, put it.

General A. Afanasyev, who worked in Afghanistan for a long time, frankly assessed his activities: “No matter how bitter it may be to admit, we ourselves have given birth to backer-owners in the midst of the Afghan military command and administrative apparatus! We were amazed at the justification by many Afghan leaders of the irresponsibility and criminal negligence of officials. Let me give you an example. The unit at night with weapons leaves to the rebels, and the officers left without soldiers do not bear any responsibility. To our bewildered question why they weren't asked, senior bosses answered: "So they couldn't do anything." - Well, at least to criticize the officers at the meeting, - we did not appease. To which the Afghans calmly replied: - This is not accepted in our country. It can offend people. "

Next

 "Rebuilding Society", or Taraki's Mistakes,  Transfer of land to peasants



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