"We were told the Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan and the PDPA may be killing thousands of peasants but at least they were more enlightened towards women's eduction." Yes, OK, but they were (ditto Saddam, Karzai). Not just a "story" i.e. a lie.
"Marxists should not weigh up the policies of this or thst opposing state to work out who is the most 'progressive'." Why not? Isn't that an important part of the picture?