U.S. Intervention in Nepal: Lies, Hypocrisy, and Reality
Revolution #015, September 25, 2005
- Twelve-year-old girls sold into sexual bondage for the
price of a goat.
- Nike sweatshops grinding up lives for $1.56 a day.
- Women killed for breaking feudal and religious traditions.
- Starvation and AIDS ravaging the people of Africa.
- 140,000 U.S. soldiers kicking down doors, and killing
people in Iraq.
Planet Earth, right now, is really
a totally messed up place. But is another world possible?
Can humanity ever get rid of the oppressive inequalities
between countries, nationalities, men and women? Is there
a path for the future of humanity other than McWorld globalization
or the jihad of religious fundamentalism?
I’d like to answer this question
by responding to something Tim Robbins said at the big Not
In Our Name anti-war rally in Central Park (October 6,
2002). In a speech against the U.S. invasion of Iraq, he referred
to the Taliban, saying: “These people in Afghanistan,
they’re not peasants fighting for liberation.”
The implication here was that, if that
were the case—if there were a peasant movement
fighting a genuine liberation struggle—then this would
be worthy of people’s support.
So I want to say to Tim Robbins and
others: In fact, there are peasants fighting a genuine
liberation struggle in Nepal. And you and many others should
take a stand in support of them. You should support the People’s
War in Nepal which is fighting, in a secular way, not a fundamentalist
religious fanatical way, to emancipate themselves. And you
should oppose the increasing U.S. intervention in Nepal aimed
at crushing this revolution.
The U.S. government and their mouthpiece
media will say to you: “Yes, we know the regime in Nepal
is brutally killing, torturing, and jailing thousands of people...
but we have to stop totalitarianism and keep this country
from becoming a failed state... we have to help the democratic
When you hear this, stop and THINK.
means: Crush the revolution. “Help the democratic process”
means: Promote and enforce the process that keeps oppressors
and exploiters in power to rule over a system that enforces
a cruel caste system, crushing poverty, feudal women’s
oppression and the systematic discrimination of ethnic minorities.
“Preventing a failed state” means: Ensuring U.S.
strategic interests in the region and the world AND making
sure that a liberated country doesn’t emerge as a real
model and alternative for the people of the world.
This is what U.S. intervention in Nepal
is about enforcing.
In Nepal over 85% of the people are
peasants living in the countryside. Most cannot feed their
families and are constantly ripped off by landlords, corrupt
officials, dirty politicians and moneylenders. Different castes
and ethnic groups face systematic discrimination. Women are
suppressed and treated as inferior and unequal in every facet
of society. The whole country is subordinate to, dependent
on, and dominated by India and imperialist countries like
the United States. A corrupt and reactionary government has
done little, if anything, to address basic problems of food,
water, sanitation, and health care.
Addressing any one of these problems
requires tearing up and discarding all the economic, social
and political relationships within Nepalese society and between
Nepal and other countries.
This is what the People’s War
in Nepal aims to do. And you can see the outlines of a new
revolutionary society in the territory controlled by the Maoists.
In liberated base areas, the Communist
Party of Nepal (Maoist) is leading millions of people to radically
change their lives and themselves. Land seized from corrupt
officials and cruel landlords has been redistributed and there
are beginning forms of collective farming. Women own land
for the first time. Oppressed minorities have the right to
practice their own languages and culture and participate equally
in the new revolutionary governments. Laws and social practices
that discriminate against lower castes have been done away
with. Arranged marriages, polygamy, and other feudal traditions
oppressive to women are no longer practiced. Wife beating
and rape are severely punished by people’s courts. Women
are given the right to divorce, inherit land, go to school,
and fight in local militias as well as the People’s
Liberation Army. There is a whole new culture and way of thinking
among the people in these liberated base areas.
This is a living example of how a Maoist
people’s war mobilizes the masses to fight with the
aim of taking power into their own hands and building a whole
new society that really digs at the deep economic, social,
and political inequalities laid down and enforced by feudalism
All has all been possible because the
armed struggle against the Royal Nepalese Army, has allowed
the revolutionary forces to seize political power
in liberated base areas—which has allowed them to establish
new forms of people’s government. Now, to fully implement
such revolutionary changes throughout Nepalese society, it
will require overthrowing the current ruling class
and seizing nationwide power.
The Maoists in Nepal now control about
80 percent of the countryside. But India, the U.S., the UK
and other powers backing the Gyanendra regime and have said
straight up that the Maoist revolution in Nepal cannot be
allowed to win. And there is a real danger of invasion by
the Indian Army, some kind of UN-sponsored troops, or even
the U.S. military.
The U.S. has supplied the King Gyanendra
government—a straight-up monarchy that is murdering,
torturing, and unjustly arresting thousands of people—with
millions of dollars, thousands of M-16s, night-vision and
communication equipment, and special-forces counterinsurgency
training. American soldiers have conducted joint training
exercises in Nepal with the Royal Nepalese Army.
All those who oppose the madness of
U.S. war and oppression around the world should oppose U.S.
intervention in Nepal. And all those who dream of, and want
a new liberated world should support the People’s War
Dispatches From the People’s
War in Nepal by Li Onesto
(Pluto Press and Insight
In 1999, Li Onesto traveled deep
into the guerrilla zones of Nepal where a Maoist revolution
has been raging since 1996. Allowed unprecedented access,
she interviewed political leaders, guerrilla fighters, villagers
in areas under Maoist control, and relatives of those killed
by government forces. Illustrated with photographs, Dispatches
provides a vivid picture of the new people’s governments
and courts, the redistribution of land, new cultural and
social practices, and the emergence of a new outlook among
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolution
Write: Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 773-227-4066 Fax: 773-227-4497