The Tragedy of Afghanistan

Long before the Marxist invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979, the Western world was involved in political manipulations there. Indeed, they were what provoked the (foolish) Marxist invasion, as the Soviet Union, like the Russian Empire before it, always feared encirclement by aggressors. Its fear was real, as it came from continuous invasions of it, from the 13th century onwards. The Soviet Union did not want foreign missiles on its border with Afghanistan. After all, the positioning of missiles on the Soviet border with Turkey was after all what had provoked the 1962 Cuban Crisis, which was resolved only when the West backed down and withdrew their missiles, which led to the Soviets withdrawing theirs from Cuba.

The futile invasion of Afghanistan cost the US taxpayer well over $2 trillion (and the British taxpayer £35 billion). It was where the CIA trained Osama Bin Laden in terrorism, with consequences that are well-known. Far worse, it cost the US and Britain (and other NATO followers) thousands of lives. Far worse, it cost the Afghan people hundreds of thousands of lives from invaders (‘international or coalition forces’ or ‘the international community’ in BBCspeak) and millions of refugees. All for nothing. The West never learned the lessons of other lost wars: you cannot win a war when the people do not support you; you cannot impose your alien culture on people who have a culture ten times older than your own; you must respect others, not trample them down.

In reality, the rural masses – as opposed to the Westernised urban elite- want their country back. This is a repeat of what happened in Russia after 1917 and what happened in Iran after 1979, when the masses revolted against the highly Westernised urban elites. In the first case Marxism came to power, in the second case Shia Islam. In both cases foreign intrigues produced the opposite of what they sought, an anti-Western instead of a pro-Western regime.

Afghanistan is another example of the consequence of meddling in another country’s and another culture’s affairs because you think that you can ‘westernise’ the people. All you do in fact is alienate them. The Afghans have now defeated the British Empire, the Marxist Empire and the American Empire, in this ‘graveyard of empires’. Kabul will surely fall soon – it only ever was an enclave, financed at huge cost, in a country that was always largely controlled by the Taliban, who were Western-trained and Western-armed.

Amid the humming of shredders in embassies and the roar of helicopters and transport planes taking away escaping Westerners and Westernised, the Taliban are now ever stronger inside the gates of Kabul. They are now armed with the American weapons left there en masse and reinforced by the so-called Afghan Army which immediately surrendered to their brother-Taliban with all their US equipment and without a shot being fired. Kabul’s return to the Taliban may not be in a month or two, as the patronising Western media are suggesting, it may only be in days*.

Foreign troops went to Afghanistan and imposed themselves, supposing that they owned the place. The locals with their age-old Eurasian cultures and languages did not like imperialism. After twenty years the invading troops have been forced to run. Now Taiwan may return to China, the Ukraine (or the 80% Non-Hapsburg part) may return to Russia – similarly elsewhere.

The Marxist Soviet Empire could never do anything in Afghanistan because it held to an atheist ideology. The same was true for all practical purposes of the British and American Empires. As a result of its atheism, the Soviet Empire disappeared thirty years ago. Today an Orthodox Russia might be able to help Afghanistan, as it could respect the religious values of the Taliban, though of course without fanaticism. However, is Orthodox Russia strong enough? Let us pray for all those who suffer so much in this much-suffering country.

14 August 2021

*In fact it was the day after this was written.