By Batiushka for The Saker blog
There’s an east wind coming all the same. Such a wind as never blew…. It will be cold and bitter….and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it’s God’s own wind none the less, and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared.
His Last Bow, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, October 1917
Poor and mountainous Afghanistan is at the centre of the Eurasian Heartland. Around it, in clockwise order, lie Russia with Russian Central Asia, China, the Indian Subcontinent and Iran. As a result of its geographical position and despite it inhospitable terrain and the poverty of its natural resources, Afghanistan has been at the centre of wars ever since the first of the three failed British Afghan Wars in 1839. Then the 16,500 invaders of a Victorian Army were massacred by the Afghans, leaving fewer than ten survivors. Since then it has become known as ‘The Graveyard of Empires’.
It was here that the British Empire was defeated in the 19th century, that the Soviet Empire was defeated in the 20th century and that the American Empire was defeated in the 21st century, a new phase of whose defeat was seen so dramatically in Kabul in August 2021.
All three empires lost because they tried to impose a de facto atheist ideology on a strictly traditional society, which sincerely holds its Muslim beliefs, however alien they may seem to the atheistic, British, Soviet or American atheist invaders. When a people fervently adheres to its own civilisational traditions and values, it cannot be defeated by anyone. For this reason it is said that Afghanistan is easy to get into, but is very difficult to get out of. Thus, the Americans ran away, just like the British before them.
We are reminded of the old Russian proverb: ‘Don’t touch and it doesn’t smell’. In other words, leave the Afghans alone in all their huge diversity to rule themselves. Indeed, leave everyone alone in all their huge diversity to rule themselves. But that is something that imperialists of all sorts do not understand. For them, by definition: ‘Our size fits all’.
The Ukraine is totally different from Afghanistan. First of all, it is not in the centre of Eurasia. The Eastern half had always been an integral part of European Russia until, in 1922, Lenin decided for reasons of political manipulation to give it to the Western half in order to control that Western half. As for the Western half, it is itself divided into different parts, but much of the Western half of the Western half, taken over from Poland in 1939, is clearly near the borders of a different Civilisation – Western Civilisation. Indeed, this far Western quarter, that can loosely be called ‘Eastern Galicia’, has changed hands between Poland (Western Civilisation) and Russia (Orthodox Christian Civilisation) many times over the centuries.
Ukrainians love to socialise, joke, sing and dance. They also love outward show and decoration. They are sometimes accused of superficiality, materialism and the false sense of entitlement that provincials are tempted to incline to. Their temptation is to say: America is with us. Glory to the Ukraine! The best post-Soviet Russians say: God is with us. Glory to God! There is a difference. If all Russians say the same, they will win, just as the Afghans won against the atheists. When a people fervently adheres to its own civilisational traditions and values, keeping its own identity, it cannot be defeated by anyone. Vietnam proved that.
Thus, we have two quite different and incomparable countries: Afghanistan at the centre of the centre and the Ukraine on the Western margins – which is what its very name means. The Afghans live in inaccessible mountains, the Ukrainians on open steppes. The Afghans have a very strong identity, even if, like other mountain-dwellers, as in the Scottish Highlands or the Swiss Alps, they are divided into fiercely different and warring tribal clans and different languages according to the valley they live in. However, the Ukrainians in their open land are swayed one way and another, largely depending on who makes the best offer, on what way the wind blows and the tide flows.
The USA has constantly tried to chip off, occupy and control marginal pieces of Eurasia, islands like Iceland, the British Isles and Ireland, Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan, peninsulas like South Korea, South Vietnam and Western Europe. In 1975 it was humiliated and chased out of South-East Asia when Saigon was at last liberated. Other areas it occupies, like Taiwan and Korea, are under threat. In 2021, after it had dared to occupy not a marginal area, but the very centre of the Eurasian Heartland in Afghanistan, it was humiliated and chased out. It was a classic example of hubris and overreach. ‘We’re American, we can do anything’. Actually, you can’t.
Now the USA is trying to cling on to Western Europe by shoring up its literal borderland, the Ukraine. This is one of the last US attempts to keep power in Eurasia. The USA fears Eurasia, for Eurasia is much stronger than it and the USA is isolated on its big island, placed, as if for quarantine, between the Atlantic and the Pacific. One day it will reluctantly be forced to admit that Eurasia is geographically indivisible, however much it tries to divide it politically and occupy it militarily. Then it will retire to its isolation on its big island, rejected by Afro-Eurasia, Oceania and Latin America, and start doing some very serious soul-searching about its own history. It is called repentance.
The USA has been expanding eastwards across the Atlantic for over three generations now. It has controlled the UK since 1942, from where it invaded the rest of Western Europe in 1944 and invaded Central Europe since 1989, using puppet elites, making assassinations and fiddling elections. Portugal under Salazar, Spain under Franco, Italy under every possible fraudster, Greece under the Colonels, France after it deposed the Last Frenchman, De Gaulle, the UK under the Conservatives, are only examples of its manipulations. The list of US assassinations is endless: Dag Hammarskjold, Aldo Moro, Olof Palme. See:
Exactly a generation after taking over Central Europe in 1989, since 2014 the USA has been trying to expand into Eastern Europe. We are now at an irreversible point. History books will be written as events ‘Before 2022 and After 2022’.
Today, the Ukraine is being demilitarised and denazified. Like the Crimea, the two provinces of the Donbass are nearly liberated, as also are the two provinces of Kherson and Zaporozhie. How much further the Russian Federation will go is unclear, but the existential threat to Russia posed by a US-governed Ukraine is being crushed. For the moment the Kiev puppet regime, that is, the USA, ‘is not ready to talk to Russia’. And yet diplomacy resulting in a fair division of the Ukraine is the only way out of this. A former Romanian Foreign Minister has just put it very well, speaking of the current Ukraine’s ‘unnatural borders’, which are at the root of all the problems and have provided the USA with its excuse for this dreadful war:
If there are no peace talks, Western Europe will go bankrupt, freeze, starve –and then revolt against its American feudal lords who tyrannise their European vassal-states from their camp-castles: Ansbach, Stuttgart, Wiesbaden, Vicenza, Bondsteel, Ramstein, Aviano, Lakenheath, Mildenhall, Rota, Souda Bay etc. See:
For the real centre of things today is not the proxy war between Russia and the USA being fought on the battlefields of the Ukraine and elsewhere, from Syria to Armenia, it is in Western Europe. This peninsula can no longer continue to be colonial-minded. It has to become civilised enough to realise that it is only a part of Eurasia. It is divided from the USA by far more than the Atlantic Ocean. It is worlds apart. Only when Western Europe understands this, will it survive. Its survival plan and its destiny are to become a part, an important part, but still only a part, of Eurasia. It has to stop looking westwards into the empty sea and instead turn eastwards to the people-filled land.
After many years of rather silly political dithering Belarus has recognised that its destiny is in Eurasia. Kazakhstan is still dithering, but is in the process of recognising reality. The New Ukraine will recognise it too. Hungary is already on the point of doing so. Substantial parts of Central and South-Eastern Europe, notably, but not only, the Balkans, will almost certainly recognise it given time. Then it will be left to countries like the Baltic States, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Croatia, Slovenia, the Nordics and all of Western Europe to the west of the old Warsaw Pact line, right up to and including the British Isles, Ireland and even Iceland, to turn on their brains and follow.
As we have said, we have two quite different and incomparable countries: Afghanistan at the centre of the centre and the Ukraine on the margins – which is what its very name means. The Afghans are fiercely traditional Muslims, the Ukrainians are more happy-go-lucky pleasure-lovers. However, one thing they do have in common: They are both Graveyards of Empires. Afghanistan is the Graveyard of Three Empires. The Ukraine, very specifically, is the Graveyard of Two Empires, the Nazi Empire and of the Neo-Nazi Empire.
18 September 2022
We are downloading and installing personal and familial firmware updates, so to speak: from the technological-industrial metaphor to the botanical-horticultural metaphor.
Our affections are expanding from devotion to the works of our hands to devotion to the works of God’s Hands, which include the works of our hands.
Batiushka nails it as always. As an Irish citizen living in Northern Ireland I understand the mission here, operation Z+ if you will is to dewokify Ireland and the UK. We are currently living in Mordor. We need to recognise that Russia is our friend and that neocon USA and EU and UK are our enemies.
I am 100% in favour of the multipolar world. The US dollar must be removed as the world’s reserve currency. Good for US citizens and the rest of the world, bad for neoconservatives.
All set up, easy as breeze. Thanks for the privilege.
The depravity of the Americans, due to politics, to humiliate their nation-building origin: the immigrants: both red and blue sides’ NIMBY talks, obvious treachery and their hatred to abuse the new comers, exhibit surely a sign that the US empire is near its demise.
“If there are no peace talks, Western Europe will go bankrupt, freeze, starve –and then revolt against its American feudal lords”
That’s not a military strategy, thats an economic strategy. One that is probably doomed to failure.
There will be a Special Military Operation in London tomorrow with Military checkpoints and armed troops on the Streets, in order to safeguard the many Heads of State in attendance.
To my mind there is a significant risk of terrorist activity by the `Ukrainians as a False flag to implicate Russia.
I hope they have more sense and decency; a forlorn hope based on past events.
As Thierry Meyssan shows, Ukraine is impossible to understand in western Europe – no natural borders.
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Education of Romania Andrei Marga said that Ukraine should cede some of its territories
“I say with all responsibility: Ukraine is within unnatural borders. It should cede the territories of Hungary – Transcarpathia, Poland – Galicia, Romania – Bukovina and Russia – Donbass and Crimea. These are the territories of other countries,” – and was sent to the Peacemaker.
Orban believes that Ukraine may lose half of its territory in the conflict with Russia
The EC for the first time proposed to freeze payments to Hungary by € 7.5 billion “for corruption”
Happy-go-lucky Banderites? Is that a joke?
As Pepe Escobar would confirm, Afghanistan and Ukraine do actually share a strategic affinity – the BRI, New Silk Roads.
Afghanistan, tormented with 40! years of war, and now Ukraine (remember Mariupol Azovstal?), major nodes, one ancient, one modern, both attacked for that very reason. And Germany, France lie at the opposite end to China, with Russia the facilitator.
Leibniz, the first economist, identified this in his collaboration with Czar Peter the Great 1792 :
Empire has a long memory, tries to erase the past, is terrified of the memory and gigantic shadows of futurity (Percy Shelley).
I feel blessed to have access to the material, including the comment threads here at the Saker.
I’m an absolutely ravenous consumer of information and I consider this site to be perhaps the most significant insofar as quality of overall value based upon content of which I’m aware.
Very much in agreement with you Iseeit. Tho we still need to be watchful and recognize wishful thinking, uncritical analysis, plain deceitful prop. even here.
Pročitao sam samo jedno svedočenje nekog ruskog stručnjaka, koji je bio svedok prisustva i povlačenja SSSR-vojske i vlasti iz Avganistana; ali sam sklon da mu poverujem. On je rekao da nije bilo pravog razloga za povlačenje, da je veoma veliki broj lokalnog stanovništva bio šokiran sovjetskim napuštanjem.. Rekao je da je SSSR uložio ogroman novac, izgradio puteve, bolnice, škole, fabrike, vodovode i sisteme za navodnjavanje, poslao devojčice u škole, poslao lekara u svako selo, poslao veliki broj prevodilaca kako bi ljudi mogli da komuniciraju sa Sovjetima na svom jeziku (što je pod Jenkijima bilo nezamislivo).
612 / 5.000
I have read only one testimony of a Russian expert, who witnessed the presence and withdrawal of the USSR army and authorities from Afghanistan; but I’m inclined to believe him.
He said that there was no real reason for the withdrawal, that a very large number of the local population was shocked by the Soviet abandonment.
He said that the USSR invested huge amounts of money, built roads, hospitals, schools, factories, waterworks and irrigation systems, sent girls to schools, sent a doctor to every village, sent a large number of translators so that people could communicate with the Soviets in their own language (which was unthinkable under the Yankees).
The Soviets were invited in by the democratically elected government of Afghanistan to counter US interference and attempted “regime change”.
You have completely misread Afghanistan and Central Asia. This the part of the world where in 999 two young men, Abu Rayhan al-Biruni, who distinguished himself in geography, mathematics, trigonometry, comparative religion, astronomy, physics, geology, psychology, mineralogy, and pharmacology and Ibn Sina, who were known for his Canon of Medicine, living over 250 miles apart, in present-day Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, entered into a correspondence asking such questions as whether there were other solar systems out there among the stars, or are we alone in the universe? The exchanges of Ibn Sina and al-Biruni covered questions on diverse subjects pertaining to science and philosophy. Their efforts and those of scores of their colleagues in Central Asia are the purveyors of great breakthroughs that led to other discoveries much later in the world that were an essential part of the process that created those breakthroughs. Medieval Central Asians produced more than a few genuine breakthroughs of their own. In looking for achievements by these scientists and scholars, we should be equally attuned to this science-making process, at which they were masters. These scientists and thinkers not only did not work in a vacuum but lived in highly developed civilisations with extensive agriculture, trade and cultural exchanges with the world around them. Philosophers and religious scholars fleshed out the implications of the latest ideas, sometimes cheering on the innovators and at other times digging in their heels against them. Rigorous and demanding, these learned men continually asked not only what could be known through reason but also what could not. It was an intellectual and philosophical free-for-all. As well in this environment was a bevy of talented poets, musicians, and artists, who were creating immortal works at the same time. This is the Afghanistan and Central Asia that most of us are not aware of. This region was the core of development in the past and it seems that with the changing of the tectonic plates in the world, it may become great again.
The U.S. and her European allies fail to grasp a fundamental truth – If you are in a hole, stop digging. I look forward to the coming European Winter, while being very glad I am not living there. When the people (remember them?) feel the hunger and cold bite, they will protest? revolt?, call it what you will. The one thing I doubt they will do is quietly lay down and die. It will get ugly.
And in the Spring? My money is on Russia still standing, and her leader, Putin, remaining the only European leader willing and able to espouse traditional Christian family virtues. No wonder “they” hate (fear) him. He has called their woke bluff.
“How much further the Russian Federation will go is unclear”, but I hope Kharkov and Odessa may be included too! The suffering of the Russian speaking population there in this past 9 years must have been unbearable, and many citizens in Odessa died in the first months after the coup.
“…but I hope Kharkov and Odessa may be included too…”
I believe they will, the entire Black Sea coast must be taken.
Certainly Odessa. A landlocked rump state will be much less a headache for Russia.
The US has been trying to split Asia for decades: hacking at the centre, chipping at the edges, changing governments, bombing civilians, and always selling weapons.
I think of Asia as the whole landmass, including Europe, the peninsula that many have considered a continent in itself.
The author blurs these distinctions at times. When he says, “The Ukraine is not in the centre of Eurasia”, I think he means Asia, with Europe as a separate continent. Because Ukraine is somewhere in central Eurasia, between Europe and Asia.
The triangle between Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Kazakhstan is, roughly, central Eurasia.
“When a people fervently adheres to its own civilisational traditions and values, it cannot be defeated by anyone.”
100 million vanquished indegenous people as well as the case of Japan’s WW2 defeat denonstrate that the willingness to use ‘superior destructive technology is the critical element in determining who loses–not “adherence to civilization traditions.”
WSJ …iranian drones are devastating. hmmm is this the chatter required to prepare the public for more escalation such as f16 and other weapons for ukraine.
“Portugal under Salazar,”
Just want to note that under Salazar, Portugal was sovereign. It played both sides of the aisle, It managed to avoid being dragged to WWII making money out of selling metals and other goods to both german and allies.
Even if it joined NATO from the start (prolly because of azores), it always managed to keep out of the banksters reach until the fall of the regime in 1974.
At the time, Portugal had the 8th gold reserves in the world, and almost no debt at all. Since then, the country has been bailed out 3 times, and now it owes more than 100%GDP to the banksters that fraud the country into that situation. s]
But the most blatant change is it has lost its sovereignty. All political parties dance to the american tune, and e.g. only the comunist party, which has historical ties to russia, failed to condemn russia for ukraines war, and for that they got into a shitstorm by all the media and other political parties.
“Spain under Franco”
As well, spain was sovereign with franco. It refused to be part of nato. It was on the side of the palestinians on the israel conflict and was considered a friendly nation by arab countries which put her on problems more than once.
Then we got the 80’s, and as portugal got a CIA stooge, Cavaco Silva, so did spain get Filipe Gonzales, which was elected on a platform of neutrality and refusal to join NATO, but which dissipated as soon as he got elected.
In conclusion, you can argue that Salazar or Franco where somewhat ceding to USA here and there, but not in a spineless fashion. That you can only say of the goverments after the revolucao / transicion .
From the dictatorships to the spineless attitude afterwards its a complete difference, and from spineless of the 80’s to what we have now, a proactive boicot of sovereign ideas, another stretch.
that the Soviet Empire was defeated in the 20th century
This statement is pure US propaganda and has little to do with the facts.
“There is a literature and a common perception that the Soviets were defeated and driven
from Afghanistan. This is not true. When the Soviets left Afghanistan in 1989, they did so in a
coordinated, deliberate, professional manner, leaving behind a functioning government, an
improved military and an advisory and economic effort insuring the continued viability of the
The funeral is on, I’m watching the top-2000 worldwide elites under one roof and watching them flush their countries’ futures down the toilet. The Queen? Great woman! Kept her mouth shut for 50 years. Led by the nose by the American Project.
There is one way in which Ukraine is like Afghanistan and that is the relentless propagandizing of the conflict and the reasons we are fighting it or supporting it (or both) and the predictions of our ultimate glorious victories! Plus the physical and moral hazards of letting the evil enemy succeed! To get a mind-numbing, gut churning refresher check out Pat Buchanan “Putin’s Narrowing Options” -September 16, 2022.
The Ukraine and the USA have recently compared Ukraine to Israel – without seeing the irony in that statement.
After an ESL class when my Muslim students (Iraqi Fulbright scholars preparing for US university) took the ‘pro’ side in a class debate about evolution, I told my friend that I was surprise at his secular argumentation. He said about evolution, “In the Mind of Allah, all is possible.” Thus, the material reforms of Afghan socialists were in no way anti-religious. They were particularly targeted at land reform and the mysogynist practices of traditional rural Afghan landlords, such as high land rent, prohibition of women’s education, enforcement of restrictive laws based on their particular and slanted Sharia. These elements rebelled against the reformers and the US CIA, sensing an opportunity to exploit divisions and seeking to “give the Soviet Union its Vietnam”, armed the ‘mujahadin’. Pressure from these rebels provoked Kabul to ask the Soviets for military assistance, and the well known war ensued.
Note that after the Soviets left, it was three years before Kabul fell and its President cruelly martyred. Note, too, that the mujahadin then proceeded to murder each other and destroy Kabul before the Taliban stepped in. This is not a simple story of religious patriots fighting off the Evil Empire.