One of the questions I did not get to in the show was one about why Afghanistan is so attractive to empires. The British, Soviets and now the Americans have come to a bad end trying to tame the Afghans. Ho back further and you have the Persians, the Greeks, the Arabs, the Mongols and so on. The story of Afghanistan is the story of conquest and the survival of that conquest. Each conqueror leaving something behind, but never really changing the area all that much.
In the before times, the main reason to conquer the area was its location between Central and South Asia. The Silk Road that connected Asia with the Middle east and Europe runs through Afghanistan. It is a strategic bottleneck that made Afghanistan so important to the pre-modern world. It also is rich in things that people have tended to desire like lapis lazuli in the olden times. Today it has valuable deposits of rare earth metals and things like lithium, used in modern production.
Of course, for the British, Soviets and American, it is the location near the Middle East that is the attraction. For over a century know, controlling the Arabian Sea has been critical to controlling the flow of oil. Afghanistan offers a nice launching pad to exert influence on the region. The Americans imagined it becoming a modern outpost of the empire to counter the ambitions of Iran. Instead, it was just another example of how empires inevitable overextend and bankrupt themselves.
I suspect another reason the place appeals to Westerners so much is that it operates outside of civilization. The Afghans are not Asian, and they are not European, even despite the history of invasion. The genes of the conquerors have been absorbed in varying degrees, but the population remains unique. The core of Afghan DNA dates to the founding population somewhere in the Neolithic. In other words, the Afghans stubbornly remain unconquered, despite it all.
For people who root their theology in the belief that man in the state of nature is naturally cooperative, the uncivilized world of Central Asia is like catnip. if you think you can remake the world in your image, what better place to start than a place that remains outside the grip of modernity? While many supported the Afghan adventure for mundane reasons like greed and influence, many supported the project because they thought they could prove the key points of their faith.
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This Week’s Show
- Young People
- Out Of Africa
- Nick Fuentes
- Million Dollars
- Thank You
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