War Against the Planet

The Fifth Afghan War, Imperialism, and Other Assorted Fundamentalisms

Vijay Prashad


LeftWord Books, New Delhi, 2002

Language: English

(viii+110) 118 pages

5.5 x 8.5 inches

Price INR 175.00
Book Club Price INR 122.00
INR 175.00
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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.

Vijay Prashad

Vijay Prashad is an Indian historian and journalist. Prashad is the author of forty books, including Washington Bullets, Red Star Over the Third World, The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World and The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South. He is the Chief Correspondent for Globetrotter and editor at LeftWord Books. He has appeared in two films – Shadow World (2016) and Two Meetings (2017).


This book is an impassioned appeal for a new politics of socialism, a struggle against the twin menaces of American neo-imperialism, ultra-nationalism and religious fascism.

 , Islamic Studies

Prashad’s critique is solidly grounded in fact, and his conclusions and analyses are tellingly related to the evidence he marshals.

 , Frontline